This is my first chance since arriving to our home away from home in Italy for entries to the blog. After two full days of travel, (it seemed like three), we arrived at our friends, Joe and Phyllis Kohler's house in Nicola, Italy at 10:30 PM Wednesday night.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Everything went fine with our flight, except my seat wouldn't recline. Beth let me change seats so I could get some rest before our four hour drive to Germany to stay overnight with our friends, John and Chris Taylor.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The car pickup went okay once we were able to determine where we were in the Paris airport so we could direct the shuttle driver where to pick us up. We got a very short introduction to the car and the GPS system. We tried to enter Kaiserslautern as the city we wanted. The GPS system would not recognize this city. Back into the office I went to get help. A guy came out and was going to show us how to change countries. The problem was that we had a card with French maps. He took that card and came back a few minutes later with a card with Europe maps. First problem solved and we were ready to go.
We followed their directions to the local gas station where we encountered our second problem. The pump would not accept our credit cards. We couldn't go ask in the office because our punp was in a line where cars behind us could not get around. We had a quarter of a tank so decided to try our luck outside of Paris. Fifty or so miles down the road we tried again. This pump was confusing because it said it accepted Visa and American Express cards, but there was no place to enter a card. Luckily, there were no other customers so the nice lady came out of her little hut and told us to pump our diesel fuel and then come to her hut and she would scan our card. Now we were full of fuel and could drive over 600 miles before we needed to see if it would be another problem.
The drive to Kaiserslautern went well once we learned how to turn on the cruise control. With a 130 KPH (81 MPH) limit in France and the threat of heavy fines, we wanted to use the cruise control in the light traffic. Once crossing into Germany, it was fun to experience the autobahn again. Of course, there was some road construction, and many areas with speed limits, but we did.get our Renault up to 182 KPH or 114 MPH. It was fun for me, but Beth was a bit nervous at times. Our directions to the Taylors' home were very detailed so we arrived in early afternoon.
Chris drove us to the US Base and signed us in and arranged for us to get ID's so we could have access when we return. We went to the Commissary and got some needed essentials like peanut butter, cereal, Coke, and a bunch of snack type foods for our breakfasts and lunches. We met John when he returned from working at "Stars and Stripes", and Chris cooked a very nice dinner of authentic German sausages with brotchens and salad. We caught up on old times and what was going on with ours and their children.