Finally! A chance to post about my great visits to DOD schools! On Monday, gracious host Tessie Hughes drove me to Boeblingen school where I had my first DOD school visit. The PTO folks, led by Susan Bartheld had one goal: fatten Kirby up! They started with obscenely large pastries, moving on to huge sandwiches and brownies at lunch and at the end of the day, they sent me off with even more food! Somehow in between I managed to chat with three wonderful groups of kids plus a charming crew of prospective writers who helped me eat the brownies at lunch. What I loved about this crew of Bulldogs is their patience and kindness with their visiting author.
After a last flurry of signing books, I was whisked back to the Hughes’ to pick up my suitcase and delivered to the Stuttgart train station.
It was a lovely and peaceful early evening trip until I began to wonder if I was really on the right train– there was no announcement of my destination city of Kaiserslatern. Luckily, I was on the right train and made a timely connection with hostess supreme Cleo Strazdas.
A quick drive to Schonenberg- Kubelberg (the village where Cleo lives) and I was soon ensconced in Chateau Cleo, one whole luxurious floor of her house all to myself. The weather was balmy so I slept with the window open and fell asleep to church chimes and woke up to chattering birds. Off we went again to Smith Elementary where I met with yet another schoolful of terrific kids. Cheryl patterson and her partner in “crime” Carrie Meade took such good care of me, even driving off base to get me a cup of coffee. As soon as I can figure out how to load the zillions of photos I’ve been taking, you’ll be able to see for yourself what I’ve been trying to describe.
Lunch with Smith faculty provided a recharging moment in my day. Before I left I found myself the recipient of an overflowing armful of thank you notes from several classes.I especially liked Sara’s which said, “I love your books. They are so interesting and when you start one you can’t put it down.” And Dominick pointed out the error in my German — I should have titled my earlier blog post, “gute risen.” Thank you, Dominick, for that correction!
After a great day at Smith, Cleo and her friend Jeremy took me on a tour of Bernkastel-kues, enjoying this city on the Mosel and a delicious Indian dinner. Home late; sleep fast.
Up and at’em to get to Landstuhl! Once again, I was treated to uber PTA hospitality (after art teacher Kathryn Lindley took me for morning coffee)and once again spent the day in the company of terrific kids. I had the pleasure of lunch with 8 students who volunteer to mentor new students (a big factor in dept. Of defense schools). We enjoyed lively conversation and red velvet cake baked by mom Jane Ellen (who grew up in New Orleans).
After school, Cleo and I walked around a lake in her village and came back to make a delicious salad for dinner. Early to bed tonight and off to Volgeweh tomorrow.
Anybody out there know how to upload photos in blogger on an iPad?