While I am sitting at my desk eating leftovers, I thought this is as good of a time as any to finally write a little something something about my trip to Germany three weeks or so ago.
The reason for the trip was my dad's 70th birthday and for the occasion there would be a big ole part-y! And by party, I actually do mean party and not a retirement home afternoon tea. My parents have a pretty dang lively social life and routinely stay up until the wee hours if they are in the company of their friends... They might not recover fast anymore from partying, but they still do it! ;-) Good for them.
I left out of Charlotte Airport on Tuesday afternoon, after completing a morning track session and wrapping up details on the (birthday) bike purchase. On the plane, I had the pleasure of a free seat right next to me, which rarely happens and then I ordered two (mini) bottles of red wine, which I never do, and passed out for a couple of hours. I sure don't hold my liquor well, but sleeping on a plane is unheard of for me, so I am just glad, I got some shut-eye.
We touched down in Frankfurt one hour early and since that is unheard of as well, I sat around for an hour waiting for my parents to get me. On our way back home, we picked up my aunt, who was going to stay with us for a couple of days and once my doggie bro Pauli finally calmed down (too many people, too much excitement), I got some good good breakfast.
For the next couple of days (Wednesday and Thursday) we prepped the party location which was my brother's vaulted cellar in his couple hundred year old house. The access to the cellar were these (slick) couple of steps and we had to drag all the party supplies down there (and up again at the days after the party - yay). Fortunately, the tables and chairs were already there when I got there, but everything else had to be set-up.
And because something had to happen eventually, I am happy to report, that I was the one missing a step and sliding down the stairs with a box full of plates and cups... except one cup, everything stayed unharmed. I had a bruised butt and some scratching on my elbow, but all in all, I was very lucky.
After several hours of work on both days, the dining area of the cellar looked like this:
Pretty sweet hmmmm? My mom had the decoration themed with fall colors and patters and everything just looked very very nice.
On Friday it was my dad's actual birthday and we kicked the day off with another yummie breakfast. Well, I actually kicked the day off with a 7 mile run and took "little" Pauli with me. The plan was to wear him out before the guests come. That didn't quite work, even though you could see that he was dragging his feet a little at the end of the run, but he had plenty of time to recharge before the party started.
I also had the assignment to leave the flower pot at some flower beds on the side of the road, because the owner of the flower bed was asked to prepare the beautiful bouguet that you see in the picture above. You know you are in the country, when you drop of the flower pot on the side of the road and it's still there 10 hours later when you found out, that you haven't dropped it of at the right location and the flower person never even saw it. It all worked out in the end.
My brother and I were in charge of the bar. Which is pretty funny, to put me at the bar, because I have no clue was "goes" into stuff... But I was helping with refilling glasses and handing out beer and wine bottles to the guests, while my brother took care of the mixed stuff... Including my mixed beverages... Which reminds me: must find Aperol here.
The food was catered and very yummie. I think the guests had a great time. I had a great time, just seeing everybody again.... This was an opportunity, that doesn't present itself so often. When I normally visit, I struggle to meet my friends and family, so no chance to meet all of my parent's friends too and those are the people I grew up with. Sometimes, they call me on Skype when they have a get-together, so I can see them. Anyways, my mom actually didn't tell anybody, that I was going to be there, so that was quite a surprise... for me too! ;-)
Here is my mom and dad. Both of them have been very active in the local sports club for several decades. At this moment, some of them were crashing the party to sing happy birthday and a couple of other old songs to my dad. They gave him a trophy as honored member and my mom got a flower bouguet for letting him out of the house to volunteer for the club! ;-)
The fun part for me was seeing all these people again, including my former gym coach! She stayed around for little while after the serenading was done and we got to catch up a little.
Eventually the party peetered out... And good it did, because at this point, I was fading fast.
I leave you with Pauli enjoying a goody from the cheese platter... It sure was a good day to turn 70... but it sure was also a good day to be dog in our household. He seriously got spoiled, even more than usual.