07 August 2008

Catching up. Berlin to Duesseldorf to New York to Denver pt1

It's 5:30 Denver time and I am still running on NY time so I just hopped out of the shower and am sitting down in my (HeavenlyTM) bathrobe. I took a heavenly shower and slept in a heavenly bed on heavenly sheets and know what: it's all true These are heavenly compared to what one gets in Germany. I think my US imported bed is pretty good, but these sheets are fantastic. This is the first time I have stayed in a Westin and it's pretty nice. Strangely enough, this is basically our honeymoon... the longest time the German and I have spent alone together since we got married, as I started a new job the week after our marriage six years ago, and then the kids came along. I kept saying that we would honeymoon when I could go scuba diving, but I am happy enough to take any time now.
This is also, by far, the longest time we have ever left the children (next longest a few months ago, for two nights). They seem to be loving it: Thing1 was answering our calls completely in German by our second call (the girls are with Oma and Opa). They are seeing their cousins every day, swimming in the lake, and becoming fluent in German overnight, it seems. I'm not certain they will want us back.
It has been a busy past week. First, I had an emergency quick hospitalization in Germany. All is well, it was just a little stressful. Since the admitting registrar was completely unfamiliar with non-EU insurance (the German's company has international insurance), she was flustered and things got a little bogged down. Luckily, the process continued while he left work, took Thing2 from the babysitter and joined me at the hospital. It was a good experience, even with that hiccup. All the staff and doctors I came into contact with were warm and helpful, and I found their pseudo-British accents comforting to my Anglophilic ears.

After recovery, I stuck around for long enough to make them happy and then I went home with the German and the girls. That seemed to surprise the staff, as I was told that I could stay for two days. But since we were leaving for the States in 2 days, I wasn't very interested. Maybe next time, if I have a chance to line up the grandparents for babysitting... One hopes, of course, not to have unexpected medical emergencies.

Before hitting the doctor (and then the hospital), I had been at American Services and my emergency passport was initiated- the German picked it up Wednesday morning. Awful photo.

Then the drive Thursday night to NRW and the drive Friday morning to Duesseldorf to leave for upstate New York. That was a 27 hour trip, in total, what with needing to actually drive to the airport, get there early enough and then an 8+ hour layover in Atlanta (the small upstate town we were going to doesn't have that many flights from Atlanta, and we had missed one by 15 minutes). We were an hour late leaving and got about 23:00 local time. Since we had driven from Berlin the night before and gotten only 4 hours of sleep, we were pretty tired. We did see Kung Fu Panda, Made of Honor and Nim's Island and I enjoyed them all.

We had ordered special meals (I was the Asian Vegetarian High Spice and the German was the Muslim) and I can tell you that mine was tastiest (and spiciest) and his was also very good. I found it amusing and telling that the (German) stewardess asked which of the meals was for which, and when we said that either was fine, mentioned that she had not thought our choice was for religious reasons. That is so intrusive, that I can only smile and say that I was not surprised that a German could say that. I told her it was to avoid pork in the meals and she said that Delta did not serve pork and I informed her that domestically she was incorrect. None of us could understand why an airline would serve a foodstuff that is so offensive to so many, but that's Delta for you;).

Home (that is, at my parents) by 23:30 and to bed asap. That was Friday August 1st and it was a very long day!

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