May 19, 2012: First Day in Germany

We slept in a bit this morning not getting up until around nine.  And even getting up then, Dominica and I were up and the girls stayed asleep.  We knew that we were too tired to make it to breakfast in the hotel which is from eight until nine thirty.  So around ten Dominica sent me out to see if I could find breakfast at a bakery or something to bring back.  When I got downstairs it turned out that we were the only people in the hotel who had not come down for breakfast yet and that they were holding it for us knowing that we had gotten in so late!

So I rushed upstairs and Dominica quickly got the girls up and ready and brought then down so that we could have breakfast.  They have a really cute breakfast restaurant in the hotel.  It would remind Americans of the hotel from Faulty Towers – that size and style.  Breakfast was very nice with great breads, cheese and spreads.  A lot of meat too which, of course, doesn’t matter to us.  They even had set out a special treat for each of the girls.  It was really sweet.

After breakfast one of the owners got his own childhood toys out of a cupboard and let Liesl and Luciana play with them.  They really enjoyed that.  Germany has cool toys that we’ve never seen.  They had this really neat plastic car garage with toy cars and little wooden people with ball bearings in the base who, on certain parts of the garage, would automatically walk around.  It was really cool and simple.

I had a very busy day working.  Today is our semi-annual disaster recovery test at the office and it is a serious all day affair.  I started working at five in the morning “office” time and that was none too early as I was already heavily needed at that point and was needed pretty much the entire day.  That would have been fine but I really desperately needed to be working on my homework for my master’s class and I had no way to do that.  So that is stressing me out for sure.

Our pack and play was delivered early this morning and immediately Luciana was telling us that she wanted to get into it.  So not long after breakfast she was in the pack and play napping.  Liesl and I then hung out for about an hour while Dominica ventured out for her first time in Germany on her own to attempt some grocery shopping.  This went surprisingly well but involved a lot of pointing and confusion since nowhere that she went spoke English.  More people speak English here in Boppard than they did in Osnabruck three years ago but as this is not a tourist town at all the overall English speaking is still be sparse – which is good for forcing us into some immersion but difficult if Dominica wants to go out on her own for anything.  Everyone is very friendly and helpful, though.


Nearly my entire day was spent working.  The disaster recovery test was really intensive this year and I was needed all day.  It was really crazy compared to any test that I have been involved with in the past.  Of all of the years for me to be working remotely rather than being in the office all day.  That did not work out well.  We had thought that I would likely have the day completely free but that was not at all the case.  Very bad timing.

Luciana took several naps today and appears to be attempting to self regulate herself back to a healthy schedule.  Now that she has a pack and play she is able to actually tell us when she wants to nap and never needs to be told that it is bed time.  She has been lost without that.  Liesl is enjoying her private, quiet time as well.

This evening, once work quieted down a bit, we went out to the Markt, the main market square in the center of town, and ate dinner at one of the restaurants there with seating in the center of the square.  Liesl had a great time playing in the beautiful Markt fountain that was specifically designed to make it easy for people, children mostly, to actually get into the fountain to sit or walk around – very different than how things are done in the US.  A fountain to actually use, not just to look at.

Dinner was excellent and unique.  I had a salmon “omelette” which was three hard boiled eggs, lox, fried potato cakes and a cream sauce.  Dominica had coal fish and Liesl had fish sticks.  We all had some “cheese sticks” as an appetizer as well.  The concept of cheese sticks (not called that) is related to what we get back home but also quite different.  At home it is often fried mozzerella and marinara sauce.  Here it is fried canberra with fruit preserves and whipped cream.  More like what we get in eastern New York around Rotterdam.  Very delicious.

After dinner we hit an ATM and stocked up on cash (almost nowhere in Germany takes credit cards so you have to be prepared to go through cash like crazy) and then hit the ice cream cafe (eiscafe) to get ice cream.  Liesl got a little bowl of strawberry.  Dominica got the local equivalent to cookies and cream which was hazelnut cookies in a vanilla ice cream.  I got something that they local call blue angel (turns out to be what Americans call bubblegum, my favourite) and something green called waldmeister or master of the forest – which turned out to be what Americans call black forest (makes sense, I guess.)  It was all very good.  We walked back to the fountain and sat there eating the ice cream and then walked down to the Rhine water front and walked along it for a little bit and back to the hotel so that I could get back to work.

I worked for a few more hours but the Internet in the hotel got cut off around ten at night so there was nothing for me to do.  I worked from my Blackberry for a little while but we all turned in very early which we really needed.  It was bad because I had been stuck waiting all day to be able to get started on my homework that is absolutely due tomorrow because of work and travel but at least now I can get some sleep and start on it in the morning.

This is Luciana’s first night in her pack and play.  Thank goodness.

We figured out that we have way too many “moves” built into our vacation and that any stay of two days in unacceptable – we can’t handle the amount of travel involved and then just being in a place for such a short period of time.  It doesn’t work with kids, it just doesn’t.  So we cancelled our reservations in Bacharach, which was the really cool castle hostel that we were really looking forward to, and merged it with our stay in Boppard.  So instead of two, two day stays we now have a single four day stay.  We know our way around town here already and know that the hotel is comfortable and has good Internet access and that the kids function well here so this is low stress.  Bacharach is a hostel and a lot of stair climbing with a lot of unknowns.  So staying where we are makes a lot of sense.

We are attempting to merge two of our stays in France now as well and trying to eliminate the one in Switzerland.  We’ve already decided to drop our trek to the Cinque Terre as well.

Join the Conversation


  1. Isn’t there a Google Translate app for Android? The version on my iPhone will translate my speech into dozens of other languages, which I can play back to the native speaker.

    Have a safe trip!

  2. We have that installed and Dominica uses that when possible. It’s pretty hard to use on a large scale though and we have a lot of battery management issues with the Android (and a ton of time that the Android just goes offline and becomes useless.) Oh if only we could have brought the iPhone.

Leave a comment