The Adventures of BJ and Tony Morris
When friends asked us what we were going to do on our trip to Germany, we said we were
going to a wedding. The next question was always, "Oh, whose?" The answer always
brought some puzzled looks. "Our daughter's mother is getting married."
We thought the timing would be just right for us to combine the trip with a visit to Oktoberfest, but alas, once again it was not to be. We have tried to get to Oktoberfest numerous times but so far, either our schedules or flight availability has interfered. This time, the problem was mostly our schedules, but as it turned out, I don't think we would have been able to get on a flight to Munich anyway. The wedding was on a Tuesday near Frankfurt, so we planned to go to Munich Friday, spend a little time at Oktoberfest and then drive to Frankfurt. Wouldn't you know it, we got invited to 2 parties that wouldn't let us leave town until Sunday? We're just too popular!
Leaving Atlanta on Sunday, didn't give us enough time to get to Munich, so we flew to Frankfurt. The flight, in Business Class, was delightful, as usual.
We rented a SMART car from SIXTI http://www.sixti.com/cgi-perl/rental/el?language=en. Tony had been looking at the SMART car for a number of years and had just recently signed up to get one of the first ones to be imported to the United States http://www.smartusa.com/. This would give us an opportunity to drive one before buying!
We have to give SIXTI a thumbs up on the rental process. It was exactly as expected and very inexpensive. There was no hassle over insurance or additional drivers. The only caution we would give for renting from SIXTI is that their included mileage is VERY restrictive (100km/day), so if you are planning to do a lot of driving, you may be better off renting from a different company.
We were very happy with our little SMART for TWO with the exception of all of the decals. We were a rolling billboard for SIXTI! Ordinarily this would not have bothered me, but I was a little concerned that it might not be appropriate for a wedding.
The SMART had just enough space for two suitcases in the back. It was very basic; no glove box, no drink holders, no tachometer (Tony seemed to think that was important). When we get ours, we're going to upgrade to get whatever extras are available.
We were very happy to see Carina and her family. Carina was gracious enough to share her apartment with us once again. We took a drive to Bad Hamburg and enjoyed sitting in the sunshine with Carina and her sister Sandra at the Od-Odal. We had a freshly baked VERY HOT pretzel and a beer so we could pretend we were at Oktoberfest.
Back at home, we took a short nap and then had some delicious Gulaschsuppe
that a friend had sent over! We met the new step-siblings of our daughter, Steffi and
Swen. Does that make them our step-children? Maybe. We are growing quite a German family.
We have our daughter Carina, our younger older daughter Sandra (she's our youngest because
we met her after Carina, but she is Carina's older sister), our son Thomas (Sandra's
ex-boyfriend), our possible son-in-law Sinad (Sandra's current boyfriend), and lots of
other "kin" of unidentifiable relationship.
We took a long walk through the town and then headed back to the same
place we had been the day before. We were looking forward to another freshly baked
pretzel, but this time, we got the "day old" version.
The ceremony was in an old old building. Christine's dress was a beautiful quaint antique gown that went perfectly with the surroundings.
The couple was seated during the service while the woman presided read from a 5 page document (in German). Occasionally they would stop to sign something or speak. A few times, there was laughter. Tony and I didn't know why they were laughing, but we laughed politely too, hoping that was appropriate. Carina later told us that one of the times they were laughing was when they noticed that Christine had signed the paperwork with her old last name instead of her new one.
Carina's friend Katherine surprised the couple with a song from the balcony after the ceremony. She has the most beautiful angelic voice you ever heard, and to our delight, the song was in ENGLISH!
After the wedding, we all went out into the courtyard for a champagne toast. Tony and I helped open and pour the champagne. Every one stood around drinking champagne and chatting until it was time to leave for the reception.
We loaded up the wagon with all of the leftovers and headed back to the cars. our little SMART car in the procession between Sandra and Steffi. We drove, honking and waving, through the little town of Wehrheim on our way to the castle for the reception.
The reception was VERY fancy! There were 3 sets of musicians, an elaborate
buffet dinner, two slide shows and dancing. We were seated at a table with some very nice
people who spoke pretty good English. German people are always apologizing that their
English is not very good, but I am always amazed that they can carry on a conversation. My
German conversation is limited to ordering beer, finding accomodation, eating (basic
foods) and toasting!
After dinner and the slide shows, the dancing ensued. Following the couple's first dance, Bernd danced with Sandra and Cristine picked Tony to dance with! Dancing is not Tony's favorite activity, but after a little encouragement, he whirled her around the floor a few times. I thought it was very sweet of Christine to choose Tony for a dance!
The party was still going strong when we left, but we had an early flight
the next day so we said our good-byes. It was still a short night.
The American Parents