Peg - when we went to Germany it was an odd trip. My son called last Febraury and said he and his fiance were going to Germany for 10 days. She was born on the military base in Landstuhl and had never been back. He went on and on and said, "Mom, I've never been out of the country." "Mom, I'm ver concerned because I don't speak German." And two or three more of these sentences that started with "Mom... " I asked him. "Sweetheart, do you want Bill (my husband) and me to go with you." He just said, "Would you?"
So I asked Bill and he said that we were not going all the way to Germany for 10 days, but we would make it part of a vacation. That night he got on line and booked a flight to Puerto Rico and scheduled a 4 day visit for us, and then on board the cruise ship for a trip to three of the Canary Islands, then Cadiz Spain. Then from Cadiz Spain, the cruises ended in Barcelona.
We spent 4 fabulous days in Barcelona and then flew on a tiny airline "Ryan Air" to Germany. Didn't know then that it is very low on the totem pole - a joke among other airlines.
THey actually walk down the isle selling cigarettes and lottery tickets.
But we got to Frankfurt and saw Heidelberg, Munich, lots of time around Garmish and Mittenwald near the Austrian Alps - Nueunschwanstein (couldn't leave German without seeing that).
Then a kind of funny thing happened.
We went back to Frankfurt and my son and his fiance flew back to Atlanta. We drove to Ramstein and took a military hop to Dover Delaware. I told Bill I have to spend a day and a couple nights to see my friend, Raquel, who is on the boards here. Lots of people call her Rocky and I adore her!
We had a great day shopping and we went out to dinner with her and her husband. Then it got wierd.
We flew from Dover to Langley Virginia on a hop. That would get us to Norfolk (easy to get a ride from Langley to Norfolk) and on a flight to be home by dark.
However, plans changed. Bill asked the pilot, "Where is this plane going next?" The pilot told him, "This one is going to Hawaii in the morning."
Bill told him, "So are we!"
The pilot told him, "be on the airfield at 7:00AM - terminal won't be open so have everything with you and I'll get you on."
Well, we got there and as it turned out, they were escorting 4 new fighter planes to Hawaii and on to Guam, where the new fighteres were going to be stationed. The C-17 we wanted to get on was packed with the crews and mechanics and maintencance people, all their gear - everything. Someone told us, "You aren't getting on this plane, it's packed to capacity."
The pilot stepped up and said, "I told them I would have seats for them and I putting them in."
He told us to follow him - our seats were in the cockpit! We flew 10 hours from Langley, VA to Hickam Air Force base (next to Honolulu) in the cockpit of a big C-17 cargo plane. AWESOME!!!!
Funny thing was one when I called my son in the morning and say, "John, remember when I told you I would be home in Florida last night? Well it didn't exactly happen. We got as far as Langley Virginia and took a detour."
He said, "Mom, where are you?" I told him, "We kind of went out of our way a bit between Virginia and Florida and we are in Hawaii!"
He just said, "Mom, nothing surpises me. You could call me from the center of the earth and I wouldn't raise an eyebrow.
So we spent 3 weeks in Hawaii. As long as we were there we decided to stay a bit.
Anyway, that is my Germany trip.
Ah - you mentioned the German beer. Bill and I are not beer drinkers but my son is. (He's 36.)
We stopped at a cafe along the Rhine River and ate outside. Charming!
M son ordered German beer, not realizing that it is stronger than he is used to at home.
Then they brought his salad he said, "Mom, this is the best salad I've ever had."
I said, "It is lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers."
But its so fresh it is the best I've ever had.
"John, you do not like salads, you will not touch them at home."
"But this mom... this is happiness in a bowl"
No, dear, it is lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.
"It is so sad to think that I will never again in my life have a salad this good again.
Yes John, they sell lettuce tomatoes and cucumbers in Georgia and I bet Danielle can mix them up and put them in a bowl for you.
Ever since then we have teased my son about "Happiness in a bowl."