A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Willkommen in Karlsruhe! (Germany travelblog part 1/4)

At long last, the first installment of my Germany trip...

Wilkommen in Karlsruhe!It was a snowy day in Stuttgart when our flight touched down. The transatlantic flight had been uneventful - DD and DsD had slept part of the way, but I stayed awake reading and working puzzles from a magazine I'd picked up in Atlanta. As the plane started to land, DD learned her first German word: Schnee ("snow").

And indeed snow would figure prominently in DD's enjoyment of the trip from the beginning. DH met us at the airport, and as we were walking through the falling snow to the car, DD made a snowball and threw it at me. I, of course, returned the favor, which precipitated a three-way snowball fight while DH paid the parking voucher.

Once in the car, DH gave me a late birthday present of several bars of dark chocolate, including Lindt 70%, 85%, and 99%! I had given up fast food and junk food for Lent, but the argument could be made that dark chocolate, being rich in antioxidants, does not qualify as junk food. Still, I would hold off on the chocolate until much later.

Fun in the snowOn the road from Stuttgart to Karlsruhe, the snow continued to fall. DD was so enamored of the snow that we stopped at a rest area to let her play for a while. The snow was several inches deep, and DD dove in with abandon. She made her first snow angel, threw more snowballs, and in general reveled in the white stuff. One would think she had never seen snow before. Although I suppose she hadn't, the last time she did being when she was an infant. The rest of us took advantage of the facilities, though I have to question the wisdom of having metal toilet seats in an unheated building, especially when it's freezing outside.

After DD had her fill of snow for a while, we got back on the road and made it to Karlsruhe around noon. After getting settled in, we walked across town to a pub for lunch. It was Friday, in Lent, so I had to forego the tasty-sounding meat dishes. Instead, DD and I had bowls of spätzle, and DH and DsD had tuna salads. After lunch, we went back to the hotel, and I took a much-needed nap.

Dinner was at another pub across town. DsD discovered that she was indeed legally old enough to order beer with her meals, and did so. I had a good baked fish, which I would not have otherwise tried if it weren't Friday, and a great dark beer. Then back to the hotel for a quiet evening. DsD wandered down to the hotel bar to get wireless access on her laptop, while DD scoped out the German TV stations.

The bed linens were different from what I'm used to - instead of a single top sheet, a blanket, and a bedspread that most American hotels have, there were twin-sized comforters in bedsheet covers (like very large but flat pillows, or futon covers). I'm not sure what they're called, but they were actually a neat idea. Each person has their own covers, no worrying about blanket thievery!

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