Today I send out another Blog, this time by a guest author, my daughter, Kathryn. It was one week ago today I drove Kathryn and her mother to PHL for their trip to Germany. The two of them seem to be surviving quite nicely and I am so glad they have had this opportunity to spend time together as well as be with the Grands & Greats as they transition to their new duty station in Germany. So my friends, read on and theRooster shall return later.
Once dropped off by our fabulous chauffeur, Herr Lee, we got through security, ditched our luggage, and walked the Philly Airport. We went to the USO for an hour or so. I took a nap, mom played Bob One “O” and others in Words with Friends, and we enjoyed stretching out in preparation for the flight.
We boarded our flight, it got off a bit late. The flight attendants were fabulous and extremely professional. That was the high point of the flight. There was a broken bathroom, so the line for the bathroom went the whole line of the cabin. After 7.5 hours, we landed in Dublin. The best part of landing was being able to stand up! the most interesting thing in Dublin and this part of the trip was border control. We moved into line to enter Ireland and noticed 2 lines, there was one for all EU, and another sign for mom and I that read…. “Rest of the World”.
After an hour layover, we were on to Düsseldorf. Arrived at 11 AM. Got a taxi to the Marriott. The staff and concierge were delightful. Checked us in, let us know there was no water until 4 PM, and we fell asleep for a few hours.
That afternoon, we took off with an U Bahn pass and went into the big town of Dusseldorf, to the Ko, or Königsallee. As we came up out of the station we were surrounded by white tents. We had happened upon the city three day Food and Drink Festival.
We were surrounded by everything Jeff and Lee love, brats, weinerschnitzle, kartoffel, and every wine, beer, gin and other “cocktails” were available.
We saw hundreds of beer tables all over. It was a great time, kind people and lots and lots to see. We bought some pepperoni for Zed, a few glasses of dry (troken) German and South African wines, had spetzle for dinner, and absolutely enjoyed the beautiful evening.
The next day we got up, had a fabulous German breakfast (soft eggs, cheese, breakfast meat, fruit, coffee, tea). There is so much I miss about Germany, and breakfast food is one of those things. We headed out Day 2 to the large market at Andreaplatz. WE had figured out the transportation and every street and stop brought back memories of my time with Jeff and our fabulous life in Berlin so long ago.
Day 3 we didn’t have great plans. We had thought of church, but the masses were so late after checkout we opted out. We went to the Hauptbahhof to find our train. Getting tickets was easy, so was getting a marzipan croissant, hot and fresh, along with my milkkaffee. We boarded the quiet train to Erkelenze, a quick 1 hour ride, then got on our bus to Geilenkirchen. Mom, ever the trooper, hauled her suitcase up and down stairs, platforms, busses. She is amazing! Sunday’s in any German town are quiet, and our Sunday here was no different. After checking in, walking up 3 flights of stairs (who needs Elevators in buildings?) and dropping our stuff, we got on our way to investigate the town. We went to the local grocery, ReWe, and bought cheese, rolls, meat, milk, coffee and tea. Oh yeah, and they have nice wine for 2.99 a bottle. Why is our wine so expensive?
After our quick jaunt, since Sam and family had already arrived, so we took a walk 1.5 miles (with 1 mile up a large hill) to the Davies family. (Thank The Lord for Google Maps! So worth the 10$ a day international with Verizon). The kids had a lovely guest house with lots of room and beds and a great back yard. Karin’s Guest’s House did a great job for them with a car, fully outfitted home, cell Phone waiting with minutes, kid TV and toys. The kids looked good, happy, running around, but Sam and Zed looked gray and pasty. Within moments of our arrival Sam and Zed hopped off to check out the McDonalds and see what they could get for the kids for dinner. They came back with all sorts of chicken tenders and fries and little bags of gummy bears. They then left a second time for real food, groceries, etc (a challenge on a Sunday night we have all come to find out). No restaurants took credit cards, they had no euros yet, and got limited groceries. Mom and I bathed the kids, got them all settled, got Zoe in bed, kissed everyone good night, then high tailed it to our apartment. At least the way back was all down hill. As we came down the hill we noticed a Bitberger Pils sign, and decided to stop.
We ordered a beverage, sat outside and absolutely enjoyed a lovely night watching people walk around the town center. We were surprised by the wasps everywhere. The restaurant had small cups of coffee and lit it on fire to keep the wasps away. It worked! After an hour outside we headed back to the hotel. We stopped at a little Italy 🇮🇹 restaurant, ordered spaghetti Carbonari to go, and came back to our small apartment and enjoyed a lovely dinner in our jammies.
Here is a Blog from a travel writing Military Family, in this article they wrote about the ReWE experience. http://www.worldtravelingmilitaryfamily.com/rewe-grocery-store-germany-shopping/
Thank you Kathryn, you did theRooster proud. Many thanks to all who are following along. Peace my friends.