We arrived in Frankfurt at about 8:30am local time. It’s now 6:00pm. Bill and I arrived in the Stuttgart area (Mohringen) at about 1:30 or so… I was intensely irritable, tired, and hungry, even though our flight was pretty decent for a transatlantic on a commercial airline. It took us awhile to get our bags, though the dogs were waiting for us in baggage claim like last time. They were locked in their carriers, which were reinforced by zip ties. Since we didn’t have access to anything sharp at that point, I had to leave them in there while they cried a bit.
I gotta hand it to the dogs. They were very good at both the Houston and Frankfurt airports. In fact, they were utterly charming in Houston. In Frankfurt, they whimpered and whined a little, raising the eyebrows and the concerns of a few passers by. They were nothing like Flea and MacGregor, though, who accompanied us on our last German tour. Flea, in particular, was very vocal at the airport. Come to think of it, MacGregor was good… he just happened to be accompanying the very loud and obnoxious (yet lovable) Flea.
We had no issues whatsoever going through customs. We were told we’d have to pay a fee, but when the customs people heard we were from the United States, they told us just to come on through. Awesome. Also, we thought we’d have to pay $800 for the dogs, but it turned out we only paid $400, because they went by their weight instead of the size of their carriers. So things are off to a good start. Incidentally, I have to hand it to the Houston Airport TSA, for being so good to our pups, and to Lufthansa Airlines, for just being way better than any American carriers I’ve been on.
After securing a car, which wasn’t quite large enough for our luggage and the dog carriers, we took off from the airport, then stopped at the first nasty rest stop off the autobahn. I let the dogs pee and Bill took apart their carriers, which were eating up a lot of space. No one at the car rental place bothered to help him set the GPS, so he was trying to fiddle with that. I got increasingly bitchy as we rolled down the highway because my blood sugar was in the basement and I was struggling to stay awake. Although Lufthansa’s food wasn’t bad for airline fare, it was still airline fare. I didn’t eat much of it, so I was hungry.
We are at Hotel Flora, which is a small place in a residential area of Mohringen, the town nearest to Kelley Barracks. That is where Bill will be working. Last time, he was in Vaihingen, which is where Patch Barracks is. I am familiar with Patch and Panzer (everyone is), but Kelley is pretty new to me. I think I only went on there one or two times when we were in Stuttgart.
After we checked into the hotel, I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and crashed for about four hours. I was awakened by the sound of a family playing together after Sunday dinner. I guess that’s preferable to the sound of a hysterical woman screaming into her cell phone, which is what Bill heard when were at the hotel in San Antonio. It’s hard to believe we’ve only been in Germany for ten hours and we were just in Texas yesterday.
Tomorrow, Bill goes to work for the first time since April. We also start our housing hunt. Wish us luck!