Arrivals and Departures, or How Canada Regains a Resident

Our phone rang at 5:00 Wednesday morning; it was Rebecca letting us know that she arrived home safely back in Canada.

Her last few days in Europe were a bit crazy, but hopefully we sent her off well and with a good feeling about this place she called home for the last year. On Friday a few of her friends came over for a delish BBQ that Markus prepared. I think (not to put words in her mouth) that one of the best parts of this year for Rebecca was meeting new friends. They were absolutely lovely people, and I hope they keep in touch.

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On Saturday our friends from Phoenix, the Ravenhills, arrived: parents Cassandra and Mike and their girls Emily (15) and Amanda (13). Rebecca spent countless hours with Emily and Amanda growing up, so they had a blast during this short reunion.

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After a stroll around our ancient city center, we all went for a traditional Austrian meal. (There was a LOT of eating this last week.) The adults followed up with a drink on top of the city hall, while the girls took in a free concert by a Russian rock band.

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Sunday morning we decided to take the tram up the mountain for a casual brunch at a chalet. Rebecca and Annie weren’t dressed for the cold (bad parents) but the rest of us did the short walk up to the peak, finding some snow on this cool rainy morning. The girls (including Doro, Rebecca’s best friend at school) had a snowball fight in July. Crazy. (Most photos are by Mike…he has a great camera and took maybe a couple of pictures. 1,200 and counting over the first 9 days of their Euro trip.)

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Amanda gets to know the locals high above Innsbruck

Amanda gets to know the locals high above Innsbruck

The Doppelgänger of Rebecca is Doro. She speaks English very well and is super sweet.

The Doppelgänger of Rebecca is Doro. She speaks English very well and is super sweet.

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Rebecca’s last day was spent packing and shopping. She was given wads of cash from the family, which turned into many, many Euro t-shirts and other clothes. The Ravenhills went with her to get the shoppin’ started. As our present, Markus and I gave her some Austria music (Falco and Austrian folk music) to remember the year. (She requested it…not a bad joke on our part.)

Rebecca was sad to go but also was looking forward to being back in Canada and seeing her mom and Katherine. Markus was clearly down as he loaded the car and drove Rebecca to Munich. Annie and I will catch up with Rebecca in August, but it could be until Christmas or longer until Markus sees her again. Six months is a long time away from your little girl; (she will always be his little girl.) Even though there were some tough moments, I think Rebecca will look back on this year as a positive time in her life.

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