Monday, June 7, 2010

Back to where it all started....

This morning, we slept in pretty late… until 9:00. It felt so good. When we came downstairs, we enjoyed one final round of breakfast and got another crack at soft boiled eggs. I still am a beginner. After a few phone calls to confirm reservations, etc. it was time to be on our way. I felt so sad to be leaving these people…. Even though we had just met, I felt like I have known them my whole life. They are some of the most wonderful people I have ever met in my life, and I will miss them a lot.

I will also miss their darling house with the beautiful gardens and self shutting blinds on the windows. Their house has several floors, and they have a ton of space and bedrooms for visitors. The main floor has the kitchen and family sitting room with a piano. The next landing has their room and bathroom and office. Then on the second floor was the suite Heidi and I stayed in with 3 bedrooms, bathroom, family room, and little kitchen and balcony. Outside of this whole big suite is another door, probably with another bedroom. There was also more space and bedrooms on the very top floor. It is the most awesome house ever. Even for all these bedrooms, it is not one of those ridiculously giant houses of the United States. Everything is of suitable size, the bedrooms being large enough for a bed, dresser, wardrobe and a few small tables. It is just so cozy and homey. I imagine they get company quite a bit. I had the pleasure of meeting some of their family and grandchildren, and I can just imagine the house full of their family… there are so many bedrooms and places that everyone would be comfortable, and I can just picture the family gathered together in the garden for fellowship and time together. Their family could serve as a roll model for families all over. They are amazing, just like their house.

From here we took a train to Hamburg. There are several organs I want to see in the vicinity and Heidi had visited here once and wanted to return. We had reservations in the same place I stayed in last year since I knew it was cheap, clean, and safe. When we arrived on the train, we followed the directions given to us by the person at the hotel, but we got all turned around and slightly lost. Leave it to me and Heidi…. We called the desk again, who told us to get back on the train, ride it one more stop, and then walk this way and that to the hotel. So we got on the train, rode it one more stop, and walked this way and that. And this way and that. And this way and that. Heidi kept inquiring if this looked familiar and I said no. (We had come in on the S line, when last year we used the U line, so it was a slightly different part of town.) After some more this way and that, I got excited, exclaiming that this was starting to look familiar. Well, it was familiar… from about 15 minutes ago. We had managed to walk all the way back to the train stop we had originally got off on. So much for riding the train one more stop. Rather than get back on the train, we headed in the direction of the hotel, seeing much of Hamburg on the way. Finally, tired and exhausted we decided to no longer be the thrifty church workers we are and hailed a cab. Heidi later told me that it was a good thing we got a cab when we did, because the cab took us straight through Hamburg’s red light district. Yikes. I had thankfully totally missed it because I was rummaging around in my bag for something. In 3 minutes time we were at the hotel. We had been SOOOO close, and I was angry that I had missed it, but as I said we were coming from a different direction. We made it safe and sound, got checked in the hotel and went to find some dinner. By now it was rainy and cold. We watched some German TV, and then when the rain stopped, decided to get our daily ice cream just before bed.

I must admit, it was a little strange to be back in Hamburg…… to a town that was familiar to me…, but without Craig and all my organ buddies. I had a lot of memories come back to me. This hotel was the first place I stayed last year, so this was my first experience in Germany, and it was odd to be back. While I had been unable to get us from the train station to the hotel, I had no problems at all finding the ice cream spot. And this ice cream was extra special… it was from this little place that I had gotten my first taste ever of Gelato last year. If you go back in the blog, you will find a picture taken in about the same spot of my first taste of gelato with Kevin and Ty. The ice cream was just as good as I remembered it to be. :) I happily ordered 2 scoops. I figured after our adventure of getting lost, I deserved it.

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