Answer: Auf Wiedersehen
The real question is How Do You Say Goodbye When You Don't Want To?
JP (age 19) left for his semester abroad in Austria, where he will be studying at an 800+ year old monastery through Franciscan University.
This is also the spot where Phil and I met in January 2000. It is an absolutely magical semester spent travelling through Europe and I am so very excited for JP's adventures.
But we will miss him so much, I mean just look at our bookends saying goodbye:
Over the weekend, one of my brother's family and one of my sister's family were able to come spend the day and it was nice for JP to see them before he left. We got pizza and ate it at the lighthouse:
Then headed to the ice cream shop where JP has been working over 40 hours a week all summer. Seriously, that kid worked hard to earn money to spend travelling this fall. They have four days of classes with 3 day weekends for students to travel. The whole school goes on a few trips together, including Rome and Assisi for a week, but other than that, students are on their own to make plans. JP is hoping to go to Greece for his 10 Day break which will include multiple train and plane tickets. But YOLO!!
We had one last family dinner with Gammy and Grandpa before he left.
Because I know you're interested - grilled pork chops, roasted cauliflower, rice pilaf, applesauce, and that beautiful fruit dessert from my mom.
I woke up at 5:30 the next morning and couldn't fall back asleep knowing I would have to say goodbye to JP, so I did what any normal mom would do... stress-bake.
Again, because I know you want to know - Chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.
Then we woke up JP, packed up the car and said our final "Auf Wiedersehen".
Some of us had a harder time letting go than others ;)
Before he left, so many kind family members and friends and coworkers gave him gifts to help him in his travels. JP is very loved and extremely grateful for all he receives. I gave him a keychain of Saint John Paul to hang on his backpack.
I hope that our John-Paul will have as much fun as his namesake, skiing the alps and travelling around Poland in his footsteps. We love you to the moon and back JP, and will pray for you daily. As the Austrians say, “Grϋß Gott” (God bless you). Have so much fun, and don't forget...