People who are reading my blog ask me to report at the end if it was worth it.
We're only at the half-way point and I can safely say, ‘we enjoyed it’. We saw parts of Germany we would never have dreamed of visiting, as they're not considered too touristy. We stayed in a very comfortable house for 4 weeks for nothing; eh, we offered our own in exchange. If you think about the benefit of that: we were told when the sprinklers didn't work as set, we got updates about the state of the lawn--when the lawn man didn't turn up, that the newly repaired washing machine still presented with the same problem. Somebody kept an eye on the mail and watered our plants. The house is and looks lived in which gives us a good feeling although we have a house alarm. In addition, we had a car at our disposal. An outlay not to be underestimated. We stayed in a house that really had everything we needed except for the ice maker and AC which we didn't miss. Well, most Europeans have a smaller fridge than Americans. That is one thing I definitely would change if we were to live in Germany again.
We met the family we swapped homes with, a delightful family. It's a great bonus if that happens. The next family from France we'll only meet after our stay when we're back in FL and they are about to vacate our house a day later.
There was no report about anything getting thrashed. The cleaners might rectify that tomorrow... It was my son who broke a coaster in this house. As way of compensating for that our exchange partner bought one of my books. Hey, a sale was done, too!
With all these modern technologies it's easy to keep on top of things. We email almost daily, when a crisis lurks -like I couldn't switch on their TV one day we skyped. Mail is being forwarded to our current destination although with a hiccup on the part of USPS. Cheap telephone lines make communication in both places easy.
We also met their parents who may have kept an eye out without us knowing and I got two jars of my beloved quince jelly which I'll never make myself in my life again.
In comparison, the really nice flat we rented last year, lacked certain mod cons or they were not functional in spite of us paying EUR 1000 for just one week. Obviously our rental car was on top of that.
It gave me ample of time to update my impression and adjust my memory. That will keep me going when away again form my native homeland for a while. We stocked up on Rumkugeln and other goodies. Enough to see me through a few weeks, unless Hubby partakes too much. He also grew find fond of Broetchen etc.
There are many websites to choose from, but this one has a lot of members worldwide and over 1000 in Germany. Have a look for yourself It's like browsing a travel catalog.
Will we do it again? Yes, we are. going to....tomorrow. And if that experience proves anything positive like this one, we might add another month next year. If we wanted more, my American husband would run into Visa restrictions. But there is a way to deal with that. I'm very grateful he arranged his heavy work schedule around my needs of being in Germany. In France, at last, he'll be on vacation for the most part. I'm so glad.