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Letter: Turkey vacation, travels in Germany were memorable

Hello Worthington! Here's our monthly check-up letter, and I'm loving Germany more than ever. Since my last letter I went to Turkey on vacation, my mom and sister came to visit me, and it finally got nice and warm out!

First off, the vacation in Turkey. My host family took me with them on their yearly spring vacation. It was fantastic! Each day was full of sunshine, sea and lots of great food. The temperature was about 95 - 105 degrees Fahrenheit every day, and with nice breezy winds it was very comfortable. Our resort was also very nice. It was newly constructed last year and everything about it was top notch -- service, food, rooms and other facilities. Everything was great.

It was really fun to lie in the sun and then go swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. The water was fresh, cool and salty. It was great to cool off from the hot sun. I also went parasailing on the Mediterranean Sea, which was really awesome. While parasailing I was able to take in the scenery and look at all the other resorts.

Another thing I really liked about Turkey were the people. They are a very friendly culture. Shopping is also really good in Turkey. You can barter with people on the price and it's really fun -- sometimes you could get the price in half! One day we went to a bazaar, and I've never seen so many things for sale. Shoes and socks, jewelry, belts, kitchen and bathroom supplies, electronics -- literally everything was there. People say here that Turkey is half European and half Arabic, and it was really interesting to see the two influences intermingling in the same land.

Right after Turkey (about eight hours after I got back in Germany), I took the train to pick up my mom and sister in Stuttgart. They stayed for 10 days, and I was again awestruck by the generosity of the people of Crailsheim. In the week, we were treated unbelievably well by the people of Crailsheim. We were treated to days in Nürnberg, Heidelberg and Rothenburg. We had such great tours of these beautiful cities. My family enjoyed the market places, castles, seeing the huge churches with their amazing artwork inside and, of course, "The Christmas Shop."

But the hospitality and generosity didn't stop there; we were also often invited to coffee and cake, grilling or being taken out to supper in delicious restaurants. They tried all the traditional German food and were most impressed with European white asparagus. It's much larger and more tender than the green variety we have.

The people of Crailsheim are some of the most generous people I have ever met, and I'm so happy I've had the chance and honor to call myself a "Crailsheimer" for the past year. Even on our last morning we were treated, my friend's dad took about six hours of his day to take my family back to the airport. It was really fun to show them around my Crailsheim home and to be able to actually have them experience the things I like about Germany.

The past couple weeks have then been pretty normal. I go to school until the 25th of July, and then the summer break starts. I'm looking forward to going sailing again with Family Mertens for a weekend. Also, I'll be going to the Bodensee for a historic boat ride with Family Meiser. I'll write you how it all goes in next month's letter.