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Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm here

The flight wasn't as bad as it could well have been. I didn't sleep, but there wasn't anything annoying going on the entire night. We pushed back to leave as the sun was setting in Cincy. The novelty of the large plane, and getting settled, and then the drinks, then the dinner service, cleanup and such took me to the start of the first mediocre movie. I have no desire to actually start watching movies after the two I 'watched' during the flight. In these days of paying for every little thing, I have to say I was impressed with this Delta flight. There was a pillow and blanket (wrapped in plastic) on my seat, they came around and handed out free ear plugs, cheap headphones to listen to the videos, and eye masks to get some sleep. Dinner was, well, food, and beverages were offered often enough that I didn't break into the bottled water I bought and brought on board.

We got into Frankfurt, Germany an hour before my itinerary said we would, around 9am. Gathering up with Roy and Travis put us back at the end of the line to get our passports stamped (no line at that point), and although there was a bit of a wait to get luggage, there was no inspections at customs. Roy got the rental car quickly - they have Avis, Hertz, Budget all lined up outside of baggage claim just like in the US - and we got the car. There was some delay as Roy figured out the diesel minivan. Then came the fun of trying to figure out the German road system. We had maps that our travel person, Amy, had emailed us. However, reality and the maps weren't even acquainted. We figured out what city we were headed more or less towards. After 3 loops of the airport interchanges (the guys said it's 2.2 cause we did a U-turn not once, but twice in the process) we headed out. During all of this I was giggling uncontrollably in the back seat. I was almost put out on the curb, since my giggling wasn't helping the guys keep what little composure they still had while trying to decipher the German road signs.

I collapsed into fitful napping while the guys got us to Bad Windsheim, where we are staying. We had to stop and ask directions, since the guys didn't like my suggestion - after consulting the map - that we needed to head into the maze of unmarked (on the map anyway) cobblestone paths towards the center of town. At my urging we stopped at a gas station after I assured Roy that the guys in Clarksville has told me 'everyone' here speaks English. Welllll.... that's apparently not quite true, but some guy took pity on us and lead us into the cobblestone maze to the hotel.

At this point, I am sitting here after a wonderful and very filling dinner. Roy and I spent about an hour wandering on foot to figure out how to get out and back in to the hotel tomorrow. I managed to get some euros, and have been way over tipping because it's easier for me right now to round up to the nearest 5 euro. A brief nap, then the wonderful dinner with an excellent wine. I've had only cat naps in the last 30 or so hours, and now about half a bottle of wine. I've spent 15 of the 50 euros that cost me $69 from the ATM machine next door (just logged into my account to check the cost) on pie and coffee earlier, and the wine and a bottle of water with dinner.

Next up is to figure out how to call my parents, post this, email some others, then shower and totally collapse.

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