Sunday, July 4, 2010

On the way to Germany

Ground control to Major Tom. As I tucked myself in for the night in my American Airlines first class pod, I imagine that this is what space travel will be like in 50 years. (And yes I’m very pissed I won’t be around to see it.) I had personal space, access to entertainment and fairly decent food. I was reclining, much like you would in a dentist chair and summoning all of my powers to put my body into hibernation. I wasn’t totally successful, but for the few hours I managed, I dreamed I was on a flight to the Moon. Then I kicked it up a notch into fully flat mode and I dreamed I was in giant Copperfield magic trick where the coiffed magician had a giant hula hoop and he was passing it around the plane to prove he had levitated me as I lay on that bed in the sky. There is something unnerving and amazing to be lying down on your side, pillow under your head and comforter on your body and below your bed is nothing but 30,000 feet of atmosphere.

Yes, we are on our way to Frankfurt. Those 3 years of putting every damn penny spent on the credit card finally paid off. (Thank you Patrice for teaching me the ways of the mileage grab.) Frequent flyer travel in international first class is the holy grail of us mileage chasers. Our premier international first class experience was just the way to start off an adventure. As you see here, it even impressed my sonshine.

If you know Alex, you know it takes a lot to impress him, his highs are certainly never too high. It didn’t compare to his flight on that WWII era B-24 Liberator year or so ago, (John and Alec, he will be forever grateful to you for letting him have last spot on “Witchcraft”, still the highlight of his 14 years. ), but it was in the neighborhood.

So take this physical change of space and add an aural sensory shift. Using the provided Bose noise canceling headphones, one can access the “Sleep” audio channel. When I listened it was the sound of a mild rain. Another weird sensation 30K feet in the air. I found myself concentrating on listening for patterns in the rain sounds. “Oh didn’t they just play that combination of left ear tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, right ear, plop?” I guess my mind can’t be shut down by the recorded sounds of rain. I did manage to knock out a few reports for work, so all it is not lost. I watched the pilot to Royal Pains, (not bad) and several episodes of the BBC sitcom Miranda. (hilarious!)

After night of trying to force myself to sleep, all while watching my Alex and Frederick knock out zzzz like pros (this will become a pattern I fear), breakfast is served and then we land in Frankfurt. No complaints here, German efficiency had us out of the terminal, all bags in hand and off to our hotel in under an hour.

The Starwood gods smiled upon us and granted us a room, ready for check in at 9:00AM. Our weary band vegged at the hotel, unpacking the toys, napping and watching Kevin Costner listen that voice in the sky say “ease his pain, Leichtigkeit seine Schmerzen, ” in German. I think the best way to learn a new language is to watch a movie you know by heart in another language. Field of Dreams fits the bill. They didn’t even do a bad job dubbing James Earl Jones.

And yes, Field of Dreams makes me cry in German as well. I am forever thankful for a Dad who was always happy to have a catch with is daughter. I’ll bet when he bought his baseball glove in the early 60’s he couldn’t have imagined it would be his daughter’s prized possession.

We are staying in Offenbach for the day, as this is where we pick up the RV on Monday. Nice little town, decent pizza. From what I hear, Offenbach is like Oakland to Frankfurt’s San Francisco, with all the inferiority complexes that come with being the also ran to a great city. The subway station is just next door. After fumbling around with the subway ticket machine, a stranger came to our aide and hooked us up with the right tickets to the Frankfurt Main Train station. He was a bit curious as to why tourists would be going to the train station, as it’s “not a very nice area, red light district and all”. We were on our way to pick up Frederick’s parents who were coming in on the train from London via Brussels. While we waited at the train station Alex had his obligatory chicken nuggets in another foreign city and we have another picture for the Mc Donald's around the world collage.

Frankfurt Mickey D's- another for the collection

Lola and Lolo were the last ones off their train, but right on time. We took a cab back to the hotel, grabbed some beer and pizza

The first dunkel

(the first in country dunkel!)

Alex, where's my dunkel?

and headed back to the room for some sleep. {Alex requests that I confess that he drank none of this beer}

Tomorrow we pick up the RV, stop at the German WalMart equivalent for supplies and drive to N├╝rnberg. We’ll update you then. As Heidi would say, Auf Wiedersehen!

1 comment:

Packey said...

Well written installment! I am looking forward to the rest.