Germany : Flag Your Cards, Know How to Read a Map and Stay Calm

We have finally made it to our documentation of Germany from December 2011! Here we go...

Before leaving on an international trip,

be sure to notify your credit and debit card providers

Someone... possibly by the name of Whitney {me}...

may have

forgotten this crucial step on our Germany trip. When we approached the Hertz desk, we tried our two cards only for each one to fail. 

I felt sick to my stomach. 

The Hertz employees were awesome and worked with us hand-in-hand. We are incredibly thankful for bank security BUT we couldn't reach the company we banked with

at the time

because they don't have a 24-hr access line. With our time change, we were forced to wait a few hours in the airport. So we walked upstairs with our American dollar bills and chowed down on the always internationally reliable McDonald's.

They only offered McMuffins... no biscuits but that's ok.

We finally settled the issue with the bank and Hertz, packed our bags into the new rental car for the trip, and JD turned the car on... only to find out it's a manual. 

Neither of us can drive a manual.

So we unloaded our bags and trekked back up to the Hertz desk.

No automatic cars are available for another hour.

Walk around airport.

Whew! Automatic car is now available. We add a GPS onto the package and load the new car up.

Set out in our VW Golf from the Frankfurt airport to Ramstein-Meisenbacher. 

GPS doesn't work. Fortunately, there's a map. 

A very hard-to-read map.

Four hours later (should've only taken one hour), we arrive to our destination! 

Even with the absolutely terrible luck throughout our arrival, my jaw dropped as JD drove through the lovely, quaint towns that were more beautiful than even the greatest photographer can capture. 

The Lord is gracious in even our most frustrating moments.

We've been on a number of trips but this was, by far, the most terrible way to start one out. 

And yet, it ended up being a favorite trip of ours overall.

Prepare for our greatest attempt as we send you through a journey of one of the most whimsical countries on the planet.

Have you ever had a time where things were terrible and embarrassing in the beginning but the outcome was better than you could have ever dreamed?