May 23-25, 2017- Journey to Germany
We left our friends and home to drive to Charlotte, NC to go to the airport early on May 23rd. Once we got to the airport and tried to check-in we found out that our flight to Detroit (we were supposed to fly Charlotte-> Detroit-> Amsterdam->Cologne) would be delayed for 4 hours which would make us miss our connecting flights. The person at the Delta desk then began speaking with their supervisor and after about 5 minutes we had been completely been re-routed through Atlanta. When we checked in at the gate I was happily AMAZED to find that we had been booked into "business class" instead of economy ! :)
After this our flights were smooth and comfortable. The only drawback was that Rachael and I were not seated together on the 8 hour flight to Amsterdam. We were just a few rows apart and it wasn't a problem as we were sleeping and watching movies most of that time. I met some wonderful people who were sitting next to me. They are from the U.S., but had moved to Belgium for work. They invited us to visit them in a week or so in Belgium ! It was as if we were meant to have been seated together !
We arrived in Cologne happy but a bit sleep deprived. Our friends Michel & Natascha were so welcoming and wonderful to us! We met them in 2015 in Rome where we were staying at the same Airbnb. I am truly blessed to have been welcomed in such a wonderful way. They are fantastic hosts and I am sure I cannot thank them enough --(and we've only been here for 2 days!)
After something to eat and a 3 hour nap, we were ready to actually begin our adventure. We started by going to the shops to get a few items we needed but didn't want to take on the plane, and WINE of course ! We also bought a SIM card so that we could use our phones across Europe. We got back to their home around 6pm (Germany time) and their neighbors were arriving home from work and walked over to meet us. They invited us over to cook-out at their home for dinner! We had a wonderful time with great conversation, food, and wine/beer! Again, we could not have asked for better. My hear is overflowing with happiness and gratitude. I went to bed and woke up around 6:45 which is only a bit earlier than my regular time of 7am so I think my jet-lag is getting better. Today is a holiday in Germany so no one has to work. We are going to bicycle over to the Cologne Cathedral for a festival later on today. The weather is Terrific here at around 50 degrees(F) at night and around 75-80 degrees in the daytime! I am sitting drinking coffee and typing this on their back patio. The rest of the house is asleep.