Friday, April 10, 2009

We got off to a slow start on Friday. We figured with Abby throwing up the night before and Cade not doing too well in the car when he is tired that we would just go slowly. Everyone was up by about 8 am and we made some toast in our little kitchen. The kids had some fruit too. I tried to finish cleaning up from the events the night before. I tried to dry out the pillow case with a hair dryer but it pooped out after a few minutes. Oh, well. I decided to just leave it hanging in the bathroom, damp. We finally made our way out at about 10:15 and were trying to get all loaded into the car. The owner came running out of the house and asked, “Has there been some mistake?” Huh?! was my thought. She continued by saying that one of the pillow cases was missing off of a pillow and had they not put one on. I think that was her nice way of saying, “Where the hell is the pillowcase?” Anyway, I told her that Abby had gotten a little something on it (okay, a lot of something on it) and that I had washed it out and it was hanging in the bathroom. She said that was nice of me and I didn’t have to do that. I thought, “Oh, lady…yes I did!” Anyway, we finished piling into the car and just before we pulled out, the owner’s husband came running out. “Wait!” he said. “You left some things in the bathroom…clothing.” We kind of laughed and said, “Oh, we are done with it.” “Trash?” he asked. “Yes, or you can have it. Whichever.” He smiled and headed back inside, probably thinking we were crazy. I thought they would figure it out when we stacked stuff on top of the garbage can. Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, when we travel we take old clothes and leave them behind. This leaves room for souvenirs and when we get home, less laundry! We had gotten rid of a lot of things because of the throwing up the night before. I hadn’t intended on throwing away Abby’s pjs, but they weren’t worth trying to wash out when she has about 7 more just like them. Well, for not really doing anything, it was an eventful morning.

We were finally on our way toward Berlin and the direction Trudy took us this day was much faster to get to the autobahn. We went along for about an hour and suddenly came to a complete stop. Traffic was backed up. The only time we’d inch up is if someone decided to exit. We sat there for almost a half hour before we decided to make it into the right lane and exit as well. Trudy took us back country with about 5 other cars to the next entrance onto the autobahn. There had been an accident about 15 cars ahead of us. The detour was meandering to say the least and as we crisscrossed back and forth over the autobahn, we saw that traffic had started up again…shoot! Oh, well. At least we were moving. We finally got back on the autobahn and drove awhile before we stopped at McDonald’s for lunch. There was another neat play area with basketball and a maze. This McDonald’s had free refills and ice, which is not common in Germany (well all of Europe, as far as I can tell.) We were on our way again and it was exciting to pull into Berlin. We tried one more time to get a green badge for the “umwelt zone” with no luck, so we just drove in. Trudy led us to the Novotel Mitte in central Berlin. It was easy to find and we rolled in about 4:10pm. For some reason they still needed 10 more minutes to finish our room. So, Derek went and parked the car and the kids played in a little toy area in the lobby. Our room was nice, but crowded. They had pulled out the pull out couch for us and made it into a bed, but that took up a lot of extra room. Abby watched some German cartoons and we relaxed for a little while before heading out into the city. We walked a few blocks and found ourselves at Museum Island. We were looking for the DDR Museum and thought we knew where it was, but didn’t quite. We asked and they pointed in the direction. The problem was that it was a very little building behind a great big building and we ended up at the great big building. We finally kept walking and saw it right along a canal. The museum taught about life in the former East Germany and there were displays and drawers and cabinets to open. There was also a living room and kitchen to show what a typical East German apartment would look like. The only problem was that it as stuffy in there and there were a lot of people. For anyone who knows me, you know that is not a good combination. I did not feel very good at all. At least now I am smart enough to recognize it. So, I sat down for a little bit and then made my way through fairly quickly. The best part was Abby pretending to drive an East German car. After we left, we bought some wooden Easter eggs from a street vendor and then found a little place to get some dinner. Derek and I each had a brat and we also got an apple crepe. The brat reminded me of the one I had nearly 20 years earlier at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin when I was there with my parents and brother. It wasn’t as cold outside this time, but it was still very good. I wish I’d taken a picture of it. It is really long, on a hard little bun, and had spicy mustard on it. Yum!Neither of the kids felt like eating, so we ate quickly and then headed back to the hotel. When we got back to the hotel, the kids had some fruit and crackers and not long after that it was time for bed.
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