She estimates they have already spent $2,500 on things like reservations, non-refundable park passes, and tickets to attractions, not to mention the time involved in planning a month-long nationwide tour.
"This has been my full-time job for the last few months," said Frank. "Ten hours a day I've sat at the computer planning every detail and location. I've spent hours looking at these photographs reading street signs, looking at landmarks and using Google maps to locate the exact spot where Oma and Opa took the original shots."
Frank has two albums full of her in-laws' original photos from their trip, each marked with specific addresses and directions she has compiled through her search.
In addition to the photo albums, she had compiled a thick three-ring binder with the couple's itinerary. It contained many details: from the stamps needed to mail postcards to a copy of her in-laws' original itinerary in German to maps with restaurant and attraction information.
Frank holds on to little hope that things will resolve in time for them to leave on Thursday. She's unsure how they'll spend their month in the U.S. if they have to cancel the trip.
"What are we supposed to do? Go to strip malls? Go to see movies? We had lots of special things planned and now the government has ruined it."
Their plans included exchanging new wooden wedding bands at Yellowstone National Park on Oct. 7, the date of their fifth anniversary.
"Flo has metal allergies and he's never been able to wear his wedding ring. We had these wooden rings custom made and part of our plan was to exchange them in the park. Sounds romantic, doesn't it?"
She hopes the House and Senate can come to a resolution to fund the government and end the shutdown before her husband arrives tonight so that they can maintain their original plans. But she has little faith in the process.
"They just don't care," she said of Congress. "They're still getting paid. They don't care about our plans."
Reach Autumn D.F. Hopkins at autumn.hopk...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.