Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sightseeing Commences

The sightseeing phase of our trip was supposed to begin in earnest on Monday. But due to insufficient planning (Cathedrals, and many museums are closed on Mondays) and some navigational difficulties we've gotten off to a slow start. So I had to squeeze some extra time out of my trip to plan the next few days; and unfortunately this means I'm way behind on blogging and I will be very tired tomorrow.

If I am very tired we will cut tomorrow short and try to have dinner with my cousins; and catch up on documenting the trip.

Today Gretchen and I went to a Roman-Irish bath. I thought of it as over a thousand years of leisure research and technology being focused into the art of rinsing off. Most German cities and towns are named in very unimaginative ways. So it's really no surprise then that the German city of Baden-Baden is a place of many hot springs. We went to Friedrichsbad, and for the low price of 31 euro, each, we took a bath. Today being Tuesday, the bathing was mixed, which was nice - we could stay together. The bath consisted of 15 stages:
Warm Dry Steam
Hot Dry Steam
Soap and Brush Scrub & Massage
Warm Wet Steam
Hot Wet Steam
Warm Bath
Warm Mineral Soak
Less Warm Mineral Bath
Warm Bath
Cold Water Plunge
Hot Towels
Cream/Lotion Application
Quiet Rest

We actually missed the quiet rest thing, we didn't see that stage untill the place was about to close, but that's not a big deal. We liked the steam and mineral baths so much that after our cold water plunge we jumped back to the warm wet steam and started over from there. All in all it was a two and a half hour bath! I highly recommend this if you are in Germany and aren't too squeamish about being naked around a bunch of bathers. For those of you who like to gamble I should mention that there is an amazing casino in Baden-Baden as well, along with tons of black forest hiking trails and such. I could easilly spend a few weeks just in Baden-Baden.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friendly Duel

After a bit of confusion regarding train stations; Gretchen and I met my Mother and Step-Father at the hotel where we will stay for the wedding. It is a very nice little place, that is currently being remodeled. I liked the fact that there was no TV or phone in the room; but it did have wireless internet. It felt just like home. We had a balcony that I enjoyed greatly. Dan and I got our computers out and had a bit of a duel.
Gretchen and I took a walk through the lovely forest that Budenheim is known for; the hotel is right next to it! The forest has chunks of Roman road/wall in it, all covered in vines. For dinner we went out for Pizza at a little corner shop, and ice cream from the bakery next door.

It is so much fun to be in a European residential neighborhood. Everything is built, maybe, 40% closer together. It just makes the houses look so cute/cozy! Arrrgh, I love the windows! I must get some imported for my next house. They open in two different directions, even the balcony door! Unfortunately Gretchens camera doesn't take movies, and I plan on buying one while I'm here, so you will have to wait for a demonstration.


I knew I was renting a small car, but this thing is tiny. It's really just a clown car with a conservative paint job. The trunk is just big enough for, maybe, three grocery bags.


In Frankfurt we rode the train from the Fleughafen to the Hauptbahnhoff and back. It was fun figuring out how to buy tickets from the machine and riding on a "real" train. Really, we did it just to see if we could. Also, I wanted to get my feet firmly on the ground before we picked up our rental car.

French Service

Our flight from JKF to Frankfurt was very nice. It was a Delta flight; but the New York based flight crew, I believe, worked primarily for Air France. The service was excellent! Also being a longer flight some of the things that you have to pay extra for were free. Free movies on a mini TV in every seat, a little pillow and blanket for every person. Two meals with wine, beer, soda, or tea. Usually I deny myself the luxuries of airline travel because I feel like I'm being nickel and dimed to death. But this flight was so nice I spent a bit extra and bought myself a few hard drinks. - Which also helped me sleep which was very important.

You see I didn't sleep at all Wednesday night, I get a bit nervous before traveling. I like to stay up and try to think about everything that I forgot. But when traveling a long way East there is another reason. We loose 6 hours! So if I don't prevent jet lag I can't wake up before two in the afternoon, and I won't want to go to sleep untill the sun starts to rise. So I messed up my sleep cycle on purpose then forced my self to sleep on the second plane flight, and awoke in Germany at about 9:30am. It worked just right! YMMV.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


We are sailing at 37,000 feet, 600 miles per hour; we are an hour and 38 minutes, or 1210 miles, away from landing at JFK airport in NYC. And this, about 50 miles away, is as close as I'm going to get to my old home of Madison WI on this trip.


Arrgh, sometimes a pirate has to go marauding. It gives new meaning and purpose in life. For example: I swear by the higgs-bosons visible in the infinite blackness of black beards beard that if I ever reach the "X" marked on Marty McFly's treasure map. I'm going back in time with his silver gull winged ship and I'm going to beat the small berrys off of the scurvey dog who thought putting gun powder in the heel of his boot was a good idea. Piratical footwear is neither easy nor pleasant to remove.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ahoy there mates!

Thar be seceret pirate ways of finding out how your mates are doing. Piratical networking is very important. If you plan on living to a ripe old age; like 29... you have to keep a weather eye out for corsairs corsairs: I've got mates!
((The average age of pirates in the eighteenth century was 27))

Gretchen and I watched Pi this evening. It was my second time. I did find it a bit eerie the first time through; although now it just seems ridiculous.