Sunday, September 19, 2010

Guten Tag from Frankfurt!

We are really getting the European traveling experience these days.  River walks with the sun setting; breathtaking altar art and sculpture; outdoor dining; live music, all accompanied by transferring trains; walking ten times more than you think you can; and over-priced small portions.  The kids are handling the new circumstances  very well.  They are getting accustomed to the walking and different foods.

Philip’s orientation was a smashing success and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Gottingen.  It is a city untouched by the wars.  We were shown the student jails at the University (which the kids really loved) and the "goose girl" statue in the main square.

As it turns out, St. Edith Stein studied at the University of Gottingen from 1913-1916 under Edmund Husserl.  She had not converted to Christianity yet but had been convinced by some fellow students to go to mass with them at a St. Michael's church.  Unfortunately, when they arrived at the church, it was closed.  But it was her first attempt at going to mass to a religion she would later die for!  Philip and Rachel used Annie's babysitting services one last time to be shown Edith Stein's house and the church by another young family who has a devotion to that saint.

At this point we THINK Annie has made it home.  We delivered her to the security check at the Frankfurt airport.  Our prayers and love went with her.  Thank you, Annie, for all your help!  The airport turned out to be an amusing place due to a giant rocket playground for kids and Phil leaning on the alarm button in an elevator.  The funny part of the elevator alarm was that we didn't know what the noise was, and the kids were a little scared by the noise, so Phil and Rachel sang along to the alarm to diffuse their nervousness.  The airport police must have been confused when they listened on the intercom to hear a bunch of people singing along to the alarm.  Anyways, we also got to go out onto the observation deck and watch several planes land.

Many of our friends from Steubenville have been with us very much as Lucy copes with her new experiences by pretending to converse with them.  It happens several times a day (usually when Lucy wants to do something she is not allowed to do, like eat another cookie) that Lucy will tell Rachel that "Mrs. Leonard said she could have another cookie."  Or that "Tinkerbelle wants her to buy this toy." or that "The 'Smytingtons' are coming to this park", etc.

The Frankfurt hotel is quite stark compared to our Best Western in Gottingen.  It is difficult to not be negative about the people at this establishment, but we have to admit that Philip mis-interpreted the German word doppelzimmer as meaning "two beds" when he made his reservation online a couple weeks ago.  In fact it means "double bed" but apparently the room itself is only a little bit bigger than the bed.  So they bent the rules a bit to put us in the "family room" which is still only a little bit bigger than the bed and futon.  BUT there was coffee when we arrived and lots of fruit and complimentary apple pie.  So there is an upside.

In a few minutes we will all happily return to Eichstatt via the awesome railway system.  Servus!

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