The wife and I have a running joke about our new place here in Heidelberg that goes something like this; we've only been here less than a year but we've already had at least twice as many people come stay with us than I (we) had in 6 years in Italy. There's something about our place here that is very welcoming and people sometimes end up staying longer than they anticipated.
A perfect example is my brother Eric. For those of you who don't know him, Eric lives and works in Africa as a volunteer for the Mercy Ships. Last fall he had planned a trip home to the US for a couple months and he decided to swing by Heidelberg on his way back to spend a few days visiting us. It's not that often that we get to see Eric and we always enjoy his visits so we were looking forward to seeing him. Well, nobody enjoyed his visit more than the X Man. Uncle Eric played cars with him, took him to the playground, generally did all the things that the X Man loves doing. Uncle Eric is probably the only person in our family who is more traveled than I am - and that's saying a lot - and yet despite being all around the world, he was pretty impressed by Heidelberg. In fact, he mentioned that he might even cut his time in the US short just so that he could spend more time here on his way back to Africa. And sure enough, he was back here a couple weeks ago on his way back to Africa. And of course, nobody was happier about that then the X Man. We started giving him a hint about a week before Uncle Eric arrived by occasionally dropping the "Uncle Eric will be here next week..." bomb, to which he always got excited. In fact, one night about 2 days before Eric arrived, he asked when Uncle Eric would be there and when we told him it would be a couple more days he actually started crying! "I want Uncle Eric!", he whined. It was very sweet.
Anyway, Uncle Eric's visit was, once again, enjoyable and the X Man really misses him. Here's a few pictures of Uncle Eric's two visits...
If you'd like to read more about Uncle Eric, check out