Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Frankfurt Airport

*****Last Post from Camping Trip! Go ahead scroll back and start at the beginning! It'll be fun!*****

It's a big world out there and given time and luck we hope to see a good chunk of it. Part of the joys of travel for us is the planning.  Researching the history, reading about the customs, figuring out what to see, where to stay, what to eat.  Then every day is like getting a new it really what you wanted, dreamed about and and expected?  There is a satisfaction in forming opinions based on actual experience. There are always surprises.  Some good, some sad, but all interesting and isn't that all you can hope for?  May you live in interesting times. 

Our "vacation" portion of our time away is over.  What remains is the "transportation".  We tried to hold on to the remaining bits by taking the Romantic Road to Frankfurt from Rothenburg.  It's tiny roads with scenic towns.  What we soon realize is that unless you are stopping to explore, shop or eat in these towns, one is like any other.  After about an hour we abandon our drive and head for the autobahn.  When it's moving, the autobahn is a thrill.  Someday we'll have to rent a car worthy of Top Gear and enjoy the sport of driving. Today we have our Ford Wagon, petal to the metal, cruising at 90 MPH.   We approach the Frankfurt airport, looking for the Sheraton Airport Hotel. We can see it, but we can't get to it. After 20 minutes we finally locate the right parking lot.  It's a beautiful spacious hotel. The service is top notch.  We had reserved a double, but they were out so we were upgraded to JR suite. No complaints there. Even though we were right at the airport, we could hear no planes flying overhead. 

Alex is old enough now that we can leave him in a hotel room by himself, however there is still a little trepidation.  I always think Madeleine McCann's family thought it was safe as well. We had to return the rental car and Alex just wanted to hang out and enjoy the speedy wifi.  The rental car return was right next to the hotel, a very short walk we are told. We find it easily and pull into the directed spot....CRAP, we forgot to get gas.  It will cost us 100euros to walk away, so reluctantly we ask for the location of the nearest gas station and pull away. We'll as we have learned in this airport, we can't find anything,  We try to follow the directions and find we are back on the autobahn heading east. This isn't going to work. We also realize we haven't brought our GPS.  No safety net here.   We cleaned out the car, no maps either.  We are going to have to do this on our wits. Ended up on the back side of the airport at a security gate. You never want to be at "checkpoint" in a foreign country. It turned out ok as he was helpful with directions as well.  Eventually we found the gas, found the rental car return and walked back to the hotel.   

Oh and what greeted us, a smell we couldn't identify.  Remember that candy we got in Frankfurt, well it smelled like feet.  It had to go.  We ended up leaving it outside the door, like discarded room service.  It took hours for the smell to leave our luggage. 

Our choices for dinner were fairly limited, so we ended up at the hotel restaurant for what? more breaded and fried meat. We tried to hang on to those few moments of vacation, but eventually sleep takes over.  The next AM we packed things up and headed on home.  We called for the bell hop and to our joy he offered to take all our luggage to the airline check in counter! Yes, this was a hotel attached to the airport, but it wasn't a close haul.  What was most impressive was to see this very tiny man hold up the overladen luggage trolley on the down escalator. We gave him a healthy tip and a round of applause. 

There were a few tense moments while we waited to see if Frederick's upgrade from business to first class would come through (I know, first world problems), but soon we were all settled in our lay flat beds for the ride home. Safe and back in the USA.