Though she won't land in Frankfurt for another 15 hours, my sister has already begun the near-epic journey from Seattle to Heidelberg! She will be visiting for two weeks, and we plan to visit at least Dresden, Berlin, and Paris while she is here, while of course also spending some time here in Heidelberg. We have both been looking forward to it for months and I can't wait.
I really look forward to having her brand new perspective on life here, because I worry that although I still notice quite a bit, it's nothing like it was at first. Things are getting pretty normal here; it's not as new and exciting as it was. Now a normal toilet has almost no water in it. A strange toilet has lots of water. Normal milk comes in a box. Strange milk comes in a plastic bottle. Normal people in the street speak German. Strange people in the street speak English.
Although we have had several visitors already, she will be the first visitor who has never been to Europe before. Everything really will be new to her, whereas with our other visitors, maybe Germany was new, but Europe/overseas travel in general was not. My sister has never been through immigration and customs. Never shown her passport. Never been in a city or country operated in a different first language than her own. She's excited about it. It's just routine for a lot of our past visitors. Of course it is still awesome when they visit, that goes without saying, but they don't have as much of a sense of wonder at just being off their own continent, and that sense is something I especially look forward to vicariously experiencing again...even though it's been only two years since I first experienced it myself.