Wednesday, October 22, 2003

On Sunday morning, we caught the train and headed north toward Bremerhaven to pick up my car. It was a fast trip but a very good one.

I had bought tickets but hadn't made seat reservations for the first train. In 1987 when I was a student here, I never made seat reservations, but then again I was never looking for 4 seats together! So finding seats was a trick--first we wound up in smoking and then we wound up each taking a kid and sitting at opposite ends of the cabin.

We stopped in Hannover on the way up for the afternoon to see the
23d Trampoline World Championships. The finals started at 1:00, and we arrived 15 minutes late only to find this sign on the box office window: "All reserved tickets not claimed by 12:45 will be sold." Yep, they had sold my tickets and didn't seem terribly bothered by it. Fortunately, I had printed off my confirmation email, so I stuck that under the lady's nose and pointed out that nowhere did it say anything about being there by 12:45 or else. Also, Mike and Annabelle gave outstanding sad puppydog eyes. So finally she asked if the kids would sit on our laps. We said of course, and she sold us tickets and took us in.

Turns out Mike no longer fits on a lap. Period. Fortunately, Fred and I were able to just scrunch him in between us, and AB sat on my lap. They were great seats though, and the 2 tickets cost us only 30 Euro instead of the 54 that 4 would have been.

The competition itself was just awesome. The men were especially amazing, and the height they attained--especially on their tumbling routines--was just amazing. It was short though, since it was just the very best of the best. We were out of there by 4:30, so we went back to the station and had a snack before getting on our train to go on up to Bremerhaven to get the van the next day.

The low spot to our trip was that Mike really hasn't been feeling well. He has some sort of bug that makes him spike a fever several times a day. Motrin brings it down, but eventually he started getting an upset stomach, possibly from the Motrin.

He was feeling sick and grumpy on Monday morning as we were getting ready to check out of our hotel. Suddenly, he pointed at the door and wailed, "Oh, NO! They want us to make up the room!!!!" Um, no, honey. That's the placard you hang on the door to let the maid know the room is ready to be cleaned. You know: "Please make up room."

We got the van, which arrived safe and sound though with a dead battery. We had to turn it off to get gas, so we then had to buy 40 Euro jumper cables at the Aral station and ask a nice German fellow to help us out. We didn't turn it off again for the rest of the 7 hour trip home, and the next morning it started again just fine.

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