This morning, after breakfast, Gavin finished hammering the final shield on my walking stick and we loaded up the Silber Kugel with our bags. Uncle B and Oma drove us down to the Bad Godesberg Bahnhof and waved from the parking lot as we waited for our train.
We took an RE to Koln, and debated locking up our luggage to check out the dom. We opted not to. The Dom is impressive, but not worth missing a train for. Instead, we picked up a few brotchen at the bakery and headed up to our train.
Internet on the train turned out to be a misreading of both the web site and train propaganda. Cell phones work on trains, Telecom cards work on trains, but the train itself does not offer a wireless internet. Some train stations offer hotspots (for about 8 euros an hour), but the trains themselves do not. Eventually this will be posted to the blog.
The train ride itself was fairly uneventful. Gavin read on his Nokia, while I looked at scenery and clicked around on the laptop. We had our brotchen, and some Leibniz Waffle & Nougat keks which proudly stated “Butterkeks (38%) und Waffel mit Nuss-Nougatcremefullung (50%)” … what is the other 12%? I’m not sure I want to ponder that too deeply.
Eventually we arrived at the Munich Hauptbahnhof, we purchased U-Bahn tickets. Axel had given us very good instructions the day before, and we easily found the chocolate shop where he had left the key.
Clever Axel simply mentioned he lived on the “second stock.” In Germany the ground floor is counted as zero, so the “second stock” was actually the third floor of a beautifully maintained older apartment building with no elevator and very loud creaky stairs.
The apartment itself was quite nice as well. High ceilings, good views, and lots of light. There was also a well finished bathroom and a kitchen about the same size as ours, only much better thought out. Axel was still at work, so we left our bags in the living room and headed out to visit Leslie.
Getting to Leslie’s was an adventure. We changed U-bahns, caught a bus, and walked “down a street that looks like a driveway” (following directions). We arrived at the house before Leslie, and were let in by Silke, Leslie’s employer.
We had only been there about five minutes when Leslie and Samuel showed up. Samuel had been to the children’s gym and he had “lots of fun.” Sam was quite excited to meet Gavin and I. Leslie disappeared and came back in a dirndl. It was quite something.
We gave Leslie the stack of magazines we’d brought for her, and the books we’d brought for Sam, including “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” – the complete set, including songs, activities and a CD for Sam to ask Leslie to play “lots of times” and “Make Way for the Ducklings.” I read the Mouse one, while Gavin got about half way through Ducklings before Sam found other things to do.
We started into the carrot cake Leslie had made. Baby Leah joined us, and about ten minutes later, Beth and Kim arrived back from their day at art meuseums. There were more hugs, and more cake. Sam brought out his helicoptor and showed it off, and then went off for bed time.
While Silke was attempting (and losing) Bedtime Rounds 1-3, we passed Leah around, helped her play with her baby-food-jar-cap collection, the finger puppet pig, and talked about what we’d been up to.
At around 8 pm, Silke triumped or Sam gave up, and Leah also dissapeared to bed. We headed out for dinner. Leslie took us to a Greek resteraunt. Outside seating was full, so we sat in the basement dining area. We got there around 9 pm and ordered fairly promptly. The food showed up around 9:30-45.
By 10:05 we’d paid and left quickly before they could change their minds. We headed to the Irish Pub where Bizan (Leslie’s boyfriend) was watching “The Game” (whichever soccer game that was playing). On our way, we stopped for icecream. When we got to the Pub, Leslie handed off her purse to Beth and bravely headed into the pit of Soccer Fans.
Eventually Leslie emerged and informed us that “Bizan said the game would be over at 10:30 and he’d be out then.” So we headed across the street to the park to sit and wait. Sure enough, at around 10:30 the soccer fans started staggering out. One of them recognized Leslie and walked across the street and gave her a hug. He was introduced as Bizan (“Rhymes with Dijon, like the Mustard” Kim explained).
It was late, he seemed like a nice enough fellow. They’d met at an international group for young adults of sorts where he was an active member, and where Leslie was told to go to “make friends and meet people.”
We got back to Axel’s apartment around 11:15. Fortunatly, Axel had just gotten back before we had, so we didn’t wake anyone up. Axel popped out of his bedroom as we dragged into the livingroom. We said our hellos, and our goodnights and promised to catch up in the moring.