Monday, May 14, 2007

9 May: April May

Now that the tulips are long gone, the lovely lilacs are on their last legs, and the chestnut blossoms have nearly all blown off and formed snowdrifts on the walkways around our house, it has turned cold and rainy! My new friend Judy from the IWC is getting married this Saturday and, in her own words, is terrified that the German monsoon season has finally begun. I told her there is nothing she can do about the weather, and to just focus on having a happy day. She invited me and a couple other people from the IWC to her wedding ceremony and champagne reception afterwards. John may have to work on Saturday and isn’t all that keen on going to a stranger’s wedding, so I might go alone. I found out yesterday that Beth is going too, so that will make it more fun. I’m excited about the opportunity to attend a German wedding!

Also on the agenda for Sunday is our second trip to the Nürburgring. John's colleague Jürgen has been dying to go again and he will already be in the area visiting family this weekend. John’s friend Gert wants to come with us for a reconnaissance trip before venturing out on the track with his new Mini. So yes, we are taking the E-Class and we will have four people in the car! Should be very interesting. I told John that he can’t expect to tackle the track with quite the same aggressiveness as he did in the Brabus. Of course he told me that I was just as aggressive as he was – I suppose things look and feel different when you are being tossed around in the back seat. This time we will have a boat of a car with rear-wheel drive and slightly squishy suspension, so we will have to be quite cautious.

On the topic of traveling, I have started putting deposits on hotels in the U.K. and bought our tickets to the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 24. John is still not sure this trip is going to happen but I didn’t want to lose a couple of really good hotels. After I find out what Beth knows, I may purchase trip insurance that would cover our deposits if we had to cancel the trip.

I went over to Shannon’s house this morning for an IWC coffee. I picked up Eliza on the way – I had a little trouble finding her because she dropped her daughter off at kindergarten and she wanted me to pick her up in front of the Edeka grocery store on the way to Feuerbach. Unfortunately I got Edeka mixed up with Lidl, another grocery store. (Why is it that every grocery store chain in Germany seems to have a similar blue-and-yellow logo? Neukauf is blue-and-yellow too!) I found Eliza eventually and we arrived at Shannon’s without further incident. We were joined by Anne M., Heather, Sabina, and Shannon’s very quiet Japanese neighbor whose name I won’t try to spell. We had a great time talking about German dialects, English and American accents, books, dogs, traveling, etc.

This afternoon it was still sprinkling a bit so I just took Cody for a short walk. On our way home we encountered a woman with an 11-week-old Berner puppy named Rebecca, on her first outing in the forest! The woman was a little worried about Cody and said she didn’t want the puppy to have any bad experiences with dogs. I said Cody was very friendly and had him lie down, but he still whined because he wanted to play. The puppy was a little nervous and eyed Cody warily while I talked to the lady. Poor Cody had quite a hard time trying to understand why this wriggly little puppy wouldn't play with him!

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