Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wilkommen to Germany!

I made it! So did all my stuff! Everything was weighed and found to be under the limit. Whew! First worry taken care of. Got through security with no problems. Out to the gate, and see the plane is on time.

Well, not exactly. The plane was there, but there was no crew. The crew sauntered by about 15 minutes past the time we were to start boarding. Then they have to do their crew stuff. We ended up taking off about 40 minutes late.

In continuing the reputation I have given Condor Airlines of being the "Nickel and Dime Airline", there was one free movie ("The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"--which I had actually seen), and one free TV show (an episode from Season 1 of Modern Family--which I hadn't seen). If I wanted to watch any of the other "Premium" movies, I had to pay 7€. I opted to attempt sleeping instead. I was not overly successful, even though I did not have anyone sitting by me (I think I was the only one with a vacant seat--it was awesome!).

Dinner was served at 10:00. It was okay. I put my earbuds in and listened to music after dinner (it's a good thing I brought them because, of course, they were available...for purchase). I must have nodded off a little bit, because there were some songs on the playlist that I had no memory of hearing.

The flight was uneventful, and we actually made up about 10 minutes of the delay. Upon landing, we taxied for a long time to an outdoor gate. We deplaned from the front and back down those stairways they wheel up to the door. I was surprised we didn't go to an actual gate with a jetway to the Terminal. We were on a 767--not a small plane. Anyway, as I exited the plane and got on the bus that would take us to the terminal, I looked back at the plane. When I'd got on the plane in Seattle, this little green guy was on the wing tip.

When I looked back at the plane, theis was what was on the rest of the plane.
I had no idea I was flying with such cute critters!

We were dropped off at Terminal 1 of the Frankfurt Airport. 

Next up was Passport Control. Christian had said it would take about an hour. Fortunately, there weren't many people from the flight staying in Frankfurt. I was through Passport Control in about 10 minutes at most. Then it was on to Baggage Claim. Both the Chinese Shopping Bag and Betsy's suitcase came sliding down the carrousel. I grabbed a cart, loaded it up and headed out to find Christian. He was waiting just outside the baggage area.

We had a bit of a walk to the car, but I didn't care as I had been sitting most of the last 10 1/2 hours. We found the car, loaded up my stuff, returned the cart, and headed out.

We made it to Mainz, and Christian's apartment shortly after 5:00. He gave me the grand tour, and I changed into some cooler clothes. As we sat down to have some cherry cake, Nico (Christian's son) and Olga (Nico's girlfriend) arrived. They also brought a delicious cake. Of course I had a piece of that one too. Then Maria arrived followed by Rosi, and Clara. Christian had invited his friends for a Welcome party. Andrea came as we were eating a cheese dip that Rosi made, and some other appetizers. It was wonderful to get to meet everyone in person. I have seen photos of them from various biking adventures. We had a great time visiting (Christian and Olga doing most of the translating), and even looked at the photos from our Austin to Memphis tour. Unfortunately, in all the chatting, I forgot to get a picture of all of us. But I did get this one of Maria, Christian, Andrea, and me.

Now it is 11:45PM. I really need to go to sleep. 

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