Saturday, June 13, 2009


We arrived in London after a very short flight from Amsterdam. We are beat. 
Getting out of the airport was easy, with one small mini heart attack about the guitar. Of course all our bags were there except the guitar... it's always somewhere else. I'm not sure if maybe the baggage handlers like to take it out and play it for a minute or what happens, but we always wait for the guitar.
So there it is and we are set. Or are we?
Head to the Avis counter, which is of course a bus ride away. We are pretty organized though. I've had the rental booked for weeks, so I'm assuming there are going to be problems. This is not my first rodeo. Little did I know we were going to walk out of there a couple hundred pounds lighter due to unforeseen complications. Read "BS" at the Avis counter.
They tacked on all kinds of stuff, charges for going out of the UK, charges for "extra" insurance to take it out of the UK and evidently our GPS needed to be more expensive too- "whatever" we think, let's just get out of here. We know we have to get going, there's a learning curve we are up against, it's been a while since either of us have driven on the wrong side of the car, not to mention the wrong side of the road so we know we are rusty- have to make to Dover by 3 to catch that ferry Things are looking tight.
"Um, what is that?"
Oh, that would be a stick. We got ourselves a manual transmission here people and guess what? It's on the left!
I can work a manual, I was one of those that said I would never want an automatic because I thought they were for lazy people- then I moved to a real city and got my first automatic, never looking back. 
So yeah, shifting with the left hand, sitting on the right side, driving on the left (but only in England)... this is an adventure after all, our stars aligned and left nothing out.
We made the ferry. Eddie carries our tiny passenger (see pic) to the main deck, I suss out a good seat and we relax, my vision is starting to get blurry... I'm guessing we're up for 18 hours, Elvis is moving around constantly so I am resting easy, we did it. Well the "hard" part.
Pulling into France, I decided to drive. I don't need to practice, I take us right off the boat and straight to Belguim... don't forget to call Mom. Done. Yes, while driving- sorry Mom.
We just drove through a rainbow. It was a pretty awesome sight weather was dodgy, hard rain, then nothing- we all spot the rainbow and just like that it appears in the road and we actually watched ourselves drive through it. Eddie says "well that must be a good sign". He's not really into signs but if that wasn't one, neither am I.
Stopped for ice cream and saw a couple of roosters in the parking lot. Strange somehow but not too much since it does look a lot like Wyoming or something out here. Minus all the foreign language signs. Paid for our coffees and Q's Chocomel (Cecemel in the Belg. speak) and saw a kitty in the window. The lady said she sits there a lot, Q wanted to feed her but I think once you feed a stray they stop hunting for themselves... side note, sorry.
I believe we made it to Germany when I decided I had had enough. My feet are swollen and my brain is squirrely, I need to sleep, we have 90 miles until Duisburg, which is where the wicked rest tonight.
We're here. The GPS got us pretty close to the htl, those things are handy but we could have bought on for the price of the rental and this one doesn't even speak to you like the others- well maybe it does and we haven't figured it out yet. Last time ours was speaking french and we could not get it to shut up, so we welcome the silence. Speaking of silence, that is what we are going to do now, be silent and sleep. It's been 26 hours.
Not so much I forgot there was a kid and pregnant gal on this trip. We need food!
Checked into the Etap, not the finest of htls but a place to rest our heads for sure. You check yourself in, no desk clerk at night, so we were on our own for food
Eddie drove around a bit then we decided he was the navigator and I was the (better) driver. We ended up with crackers, cheese and liverwurst- favorites of all of our, so it was okay. We got a bottle of "Munsterland" Bananenmelk, it is delicious. Not our usually dinner time grub but it is the 27th hour and as long as we aren't laying down to the sound of growling stomachs- we're good.
Dudes are in the shower, we had to pry Q away from Ki.Ka. It's a German cartoon of a piece of tofu, I'm not kidding. He has no legs and giant hands and Quattro thinks he is hilarious, I'm just glad he thinks Germans are funny.

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