Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Germany is Fun"

The title was a quote by Mayzie as we were collecting our bags in Frankfurt. 10 hours later and I just asked her if she still thinks so, and she does. Must have been that Haribo candy we just ate. I am amazed at how easy everything has been for us, as I sit here in Heidelberg in our old hotel over looking the Neckar river. The 4 days leading up to leaving were beyond hectic and stressful. Up to the last minute we were cleaning and moving things. The storage area we built is completely maxed out...if we had kept our couches or our desk or the ping pong table, or if my friend Devin had not taken the kegerator off of our hands, the stuff would not have fit, it was that tight. I am thankful for Jennas parents being in town to help us out. Anyways, we arrived at PDX airport already exhausted and ready to be done packing. After some tearful, sad goodbyes to my mom and Bill and Jenna's parents, we all boarded the plane. We ended up having to pay $200 for Oskar to be on the plane, I am not sure why since all he did was sit in his box under a seat the whole time just liek a regular carry on bag. Doesnt make much sense, that one. Oh well, we were glad he was not overweight and his box was the right size and all 6 of our bags were not overweight either. You should have seen the luggage cart--that would have been a good picture.

It is so nice taking a single flight to Europe--this was the first time either of us have done that. Much easier with bag transfers and feels like more of a time machine....10 hours on a plane and you are in Germany. Awesome. Anyways, it went pretty good. Mayzie did not sleep at all, which menat that I did not sleep at all either. Jenna slept a bit, but that was more the drugs than anything else--she despises flying and Mr Xanax provides much needed assistance. All seats had the in flight screen in front of you, so Mayzie watched Wall E twice and she played with her Tag reader thing and did some drawing with her pens. We attempted to get her to sleep at one point, but she squirmed and acted up and became difficult so we just let that go and suffered through the rest of the flight. No turbulence or anything. Oskar was great under the seat--we didnt hear a peep out of him. Jenna gave him some Benadryl so I am sure that had something to do with it. So, we landed EARLY to a snowy, cold (25degrees F) Franfurt at 11:30pm Portland time, 8:30am German time. Tired but buzzing about being in a new country.

First thing was making sure Osky was ok, giving him some water and giving him some love...what a trooper. Immigration was no problem--they didnt say anything about my work permit, didnt ask what our address will be, or what we will be doing. Weird. Collected our large bags with 2 carts and proceeded right through customs--no one was even working. What? after all that paperwork for Oskar? damn! of course, if we hadnt done all that stuff for him, someone would have checked.  I was surprised about how easy it all was upon arriving.

Picked up our rental car to transport all of our crap. I had zero intentions of dragging all this stuff onto a train. Our reservation was for a compact car, but upon seeing our luggage the guy upgraded us to a large van, a very non-Euro car....luckily, though, because a small car would never have handled our travel gear. I am used to travelling semi-light, and this is ridiculous. This car we got has a GPS on board so we put in "Heidelberg", where we had a hotel booked right on the Neckar river. Driving over here was not too bad....the autobahn has no posted speed limits and there were some cars going 120mph easy. I got up to 90 and felt nervous. We got off the autobahn pretty quickly since we were in no hurry and immedietly were trapped in fantasy land. These german villages and towns are so pefect--nestled on hillsides, curvy roads leading to wooden barns, cobblsetone roads. Awesome. We made it to Heidelberg by 1pm.

Heidelberg is known for its castle perched up on the hill, overlooking the Neckar...its a beautiful, historic town, with tons of pedestrian only zones and bike lanes...a European paradise. Mayzie passed out on the drive over and fell asleep as soon as we made it into our room, which is pretty nice, too. So we all took a nap until 5pm. Then we wandered around the town and had a meal at a classic german restaurant...I had Smoked Pork and potatoes, Mayzie had spetzl, and Jenna had steak and cheese sauce with noodles. We had gluwine and a couple local beers--felt great after what seemed like an eternity of hecticness.

I can't believe we made it here as easy as we did. Let's hope the rest goes smoothly. Tomorrow we will tour some more of Heidelberg and head to our new apartment! We are set to meet there at 2:30pm. Who knows what time that is in Portland, we are all screwed up. Better get to bed.


DarrenDriven said...

So awesome! Keep the commentary and photos coming... we need to live vicariously through you, now! Haha.

Troy said...

That's awesome dude. Glad to hear the travel has gone pretty smoothly so far.