Today was Oma’s birthday so the phone started ringing off the hook around 9 am with well wishers and congratulators. The plan for the day was to take a shiffahrt to Lintz am Rhine, have lunch, and walk around the town.
It was Oma’s birthday, so she got a free trip. Uncle B. and Renate got the senior discount and Gavin and I rode along under some odd-balled discount scheme that I never quite figured out.
In Bad Honnef, the boat stopped and picked up Doris. Doris is a long time friend of the family, the exact details perpetually fail me, I just remember she is very nice, speaks excellent english, and we got lost walking down the Drachenfells a few trips back.
We arrived at Lintz around 12:50, and went to Oma’s favorite restaurant. It is a little ways away from the main shopping district, but worth the extra three block walk. It has a lovely view of the trees, train tracks, and river; it also has a nice shaded eating area outside with old grape vines growing up on the surrounding trellises.
Gavin and I read carefully over the menu for something that he would like. He had “Putenschnitzel Hawaii Art” –breaded chicken with pineapple and hollandaise sauce, I had some sort of regional specialty, with kartoffel knodeln and apfel kompote.
After lunch we walked around Lintz and had ice cream. I had hazelnuss and I ordered Gavin peppermint chocolate chip. Gavin and I stood in the shade while Renate, Oma and Doris lined up on a bench. Following that there was some light shopping, walking around the city and deciding that we should probably head back to the boat.
Oma, Renate and Uncle B. headed back to the benches by the Rhine, while Dorris, Gavin and myself went to the glassmaker’s shop. I had never realized there was a glassmaker’s shop in Lintz, apparently sometimes you can watch him at work, but he was not there today.
The variety of glass work on display was amazing. The colors were intense, and the shapes were amazing. There was also a whole room of Christmas stuff. Gavin made a few disparaging comments about commercialized Christmas and we exited quickly.
I was quite proud of myself, I just bought two postcards (and a little note card to leave a note for Oma). I also got a little green glass frog king, modeled after the Grimm’s fairy tale. In the original story the Princess throws the frog forcefully against the wall after he tries to jump into bed with her.
The boat trip back was much faster than the trip there as we were going down river. Uncle B. spent nearly the entire time in the pilot house, while Oma, Renate and Doris wondered why the boat was so empty, and talked happily about the beautiful weather.
We got home around 6:30 and I uploaded the pictures from the trip, while Gavin gleefully found his Nokia and started to read HP again. I had made him leave it at the house so he could enjoy the scenery on the cruise.
About the same time I finished uploading pictures, Christiana came over with a birthday cake for Oma. Her husband, Richard, was waging war on the bugs eating their cherry tree and the bushes, so he arrived a little later. It was a heart-shaped chocolate cake with pears inside and powdered sugar on top. It was quite good with lots of whipping cream. We also had schweine ohren (pigs ears, also referred to as mause ohren) a somewhat heart-shaped pastry partially dipped in chocolate.
We had cake, schweine ohren and tea. We sang Happy Birthday (loudly and very off-key). Then Oma dissapeared for a little while and came back with mini-pizzas. The timeline here is a little messed up, but we sort of lost track and soon it was nearly 9 pm.
The party eventually broke up, Richard and Christiania went home, Renate and Bernie dissapeared, and Oma went off to do whatever it is Oma does in the evening when she’s not watching TV. Gavin happily went back to his Nokia, and I uploaded more pictures, recharged batteries, and blogged.