Route 66: 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Paisano European Tour 2010 - Day 14

Day 14 is September 20

Today is another great day to be alive, in Germany and with family.  It is, however a bit cloudy & overcast - it makes me think of some of the time I've spent in San Francisco

Since today is Monday, Jana and Marc "get" to go to school today and Frank & Heike took the day off, so Momma and I got to hang out and see more sites. We get to have a nice breakfast - have I mentioned how much I really enjoy fresh baked bread and rolls along with a nice cup of coffee in the morning?  No, well, Danke Frank!  It was always a great start to the day.  As we're finishing up the "wake up" coffee and fresh bread, we get the game plan ready to go.

Today our first stop is Hamburg Nord Harley Davidson shop.  Yay!  I always find it interesting to take in the sites at Harley shops when I get to travel somewhere else.  I still wish I coulda gotten myself a Swiss Harley shirt, but I guess I can either look online OR I could go back to Switzerland, hmmm...I think I Like That idea!  While we were looking around the shop, Frank said he may be considering selling his existing scooter for either a bigger one or a motorcycle.  Of course, That got me thinking... Now we're talking a bit about some "Euro" rides.  I'd Love to get out on the road in Europe.  I think that might be an upcoming trip.

Our next stop was Graff a huge wine and beer shop with loads of "stuff" all over.  It really reminded me of home, but in a good way.  I know I could have spent a fortune there.  I really like shopping for wine and even beer, too.  Pretty much everything I saw here was cheaper - it must be the proximity to the supply.  I should have gotten some of the cool single beers, but I was afraid they would end up getting broken before I got home.  I mean after all, you've seen how those folks handle luggage, right??  I did however, pick up a bottle of French red that was bottled in Hamburg.  We'll see if I can leave it alone until I get a chance to share it with Frank & Heike.

After our trip to the wine shop we then stopped at a nice little market for dinner fixings and had an "early" typical German meal after the kids got home from school.  Sorry, I forgot to mention that Frank and I dropped Marc off at school and while we are out, we take a drive past Jana's school, too. Just like most things, if you didn't know & forgot about the smaller flats, the neighborhoods here are just like the US.  I think that's one of the coolest things about being here.  Once you get out of the "city", it's very similar everywhere.  That just means that we are all much more alike than our governments might like to think sometimes.

After dinner and a rest, we went into Hamburg city to meet Frank's Uncle Heiner. What a great guy!  We met and then went to a nice little tea house.  Earlier, I had asked the real definition of Lufthansa and while Frank & Marc started to explain what it meant and no doubt, would have done a good job at it, Heiner, however, explained it perfectly.  It doesn't hurt that he used to be one of the big wigs there.  Heiner would be the teacher I would have loved to learn from when I was in high school or college.  Heck, maybe one day, as I continue my schooling to become a teacher, I might even be like him at least a little bit, in a cool way, I hope.

So, back to the definition.  Luft is air and Hansa is/was an loose association of trading partners back in the 15th or so century.  Hamburg and other coastal cities and areas in Denmark, Sweden and even into the Russian areas were a part of this association.  Of course, there were other cities as well.  This association later became somewhat of a self protecting association against pirates and other riffraff.  So in the 1920's LuftHansa air was born using the same general idea of servicing areas for flights and whatnot.  Heiner is a font of great information and he has so much knowledge, but it really was like chatting with a favorite uncle.

After the great conversation, we took a drive to Alster Lake.  We walked around a bit, but it was unfortunately raining a touch so we didn't get a great look at everything. What we did see, however was really cool. We did see the water taxis, boats, the skyline and what every lake should have, a bar right on the shore.  I think one of my favorite parts was the dog park or what I decided to call a poochplatz.  That park made me really miss my girls and I realized that I need to get the girls out and socialize.  I think they would love hanging out with other dogs, I mean after-all, they had foster brothers and sisters before they became part of the Paisano clan.

On our way home, we passed through a construction area that had, without a doubt, one of the coolest things I've ever seen.  When you speed, they turn on the "frowny face" sign and then a "happy face" sign for non speeders.  Classic!  We SO need that here in the US.  Of course, I would likely speed just to get the frowny face.

As we get ready to call it a day, and a very busy one at that, we had snacks and watched the movie 2012.  It was during this time that we realized that we are already down to our last two days in Germany.  It has gone way too fast.

We are now calling it a day so that we can get our and experience even more tomorrow.

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