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June 12-13, 2005

Saturday, June 12, 2005

            For those familiar with these Diarios, you are aware of the fact that I HATE flying airplanes and am always a little uncomfortable before these trips.  For some reason this year I had very little discomfort before leaving, I felt very good.  Maybe it's the routine or I'm getting older.   Today, our children; Kevin, Jeffrey and Kristin, had a BBQ for us at our house. Clara (below) did all the cooking.  Jeff took the girls in the pool (below center) and they had a good time.  I jumped in with them as well.

[Below left: L-R; Kevin, Kaylin, Anabella and Jeff.]


            It was wonderful to have all the kids and grandkids there before we left.  The best part was that Kaylin and I got to stay up and watch four episodes of Futurama (her favorite show) before we finally fell to sleep.

Sunday, June 13, 2007

            The next morning I went to Mass at St. Monica's and said goodbye to Msgr. Torgerson (below right.)  He told me he is finally going to Oslo and Bergen, Norway where his family is from which we visited in 2003.


            I then went and had my final cappuccino at Diedrich's and came home to do final packing to leave.  Can you imagine what it is like to plan the packing for a 3 month trip especially when you are a technophile like me.  Rebecca was nice enough to drive us to the airport and Kaylin and Anabella came along.  The saddest thing for me was looking at the tears dripping down Kaylin's cheeks as she tried not to cry as she kissed me goodbye - it melted my heart.  How can such love grow between a 61 year-old man and a 5 year-old girl.  I am going to miss them very much.

            We went through the baggage entrance and checked in rather smoothly but when passing through the carryon X-rays they were suspicious of my metal scale.  They thought it was "wired to something else."  After she went through the bag and was satisfied, she was very courteous and very nice.  All in all, it is a horrendous process to go through.  We took the elevator up to the fifth floor Lufthansa lounge and I did some email on my phone and made a few phone calls. 

            Surprisingly, I was not anxious as I have been on all previous trips.  Just to sleep I decided to take the Klonopin anyway but at the recommended reduced dose of 0.25 mg rather than the 0.50 mg.  Finally we boarded the plane and our business class seats were two in the last center aisle.  All our carryon fit in the overhead.  I took the other 0.25 mg Klonopin and 30 mgs of Melatonin.  I tried immediately to sleep but I was in and out from the time we left at 4:40 PM to around 10 PM.  I then decided to take the sleeping pill (Ambien) that I was prescribed and I guess I fell asleep and awoke four hours later just an hour and a half before landing.  There were many bumpy sessions but I didn't feel them after the Ambien.  I wish I had slept longer but that's for next time.


            The landing was great and we were the first off the plane and the first to get our bags without a hitch.  We went down several elevators and whisked past customs and caught the first cab.  It seemed like it took forever for the Mercedes cab to get us to downtown Munich but the bill of �54.50 ($71.20) told the tale.  Thankfully he was not fishing for a tip.


            We checked into the hotel Marcia booked because she wanted a king-sized bed.  It is the Kempinsky Vier Jahrenszeiten (4 Seasons) [17 Maximiliansstrasse, +49-089-21250].

            We were both happy to get into the room and knew we weren't going to go to sleep though we wanted to.  I called BMW and asked if we could pick up the car tomorrow rather than Wednesday and they said it would be OK.  After rearranging our bags, I finally got dressed to go run.  I ran down the street of the hotel and shortly I was in Marienplatz, a place we have been to many times before.  I then ran up Ludwigstrasse and finished off just in time to have a cappuccino at my familiar Cafe Am Der Uni [, +49-] at the University.

            On the way back I found a Vodafone store and purchased a German phone card for Kristin's UK phone, a half a kilogram of cherries and a rose for Marcia.  The lady I bought the cherries from told me she thought I was from Spain, and not an American.  That's a new one.  I also tried our credit card in the ATM and it worked.  The wobbly depressed feeling of jetlag was beginning to abate.

            Marcia wanted a quick dinner and to bed, so I suggested we return to the place we had dinner on our first trip here a decade ago.  While she was getting ready I tried editing the website hoping to upload it.  The hotel charges $7 for 30 minutes in the lobby and after I complained to the manager that I could get it free at the coffee shop up the street he let me on for free.


            I uploaded the little bit I had done and four photos and then did AOL email to let everyone know we made it here safe.  We then headed out to repeat our experience at the Sp�tenhaus [Residenzstrasse 12, +49-089-290-7060] just down the street next to the Opera House in Max Joseph Platz.  At first the service was slow and the waitress was a little pushy but as the evening  went on (after a glass of Spaten beer and a bottle of Pinot Grigio) things kept getting better.  Marcia had insalata Caprese and I had smoked salmon with potato pancakes as an appetizer (vorspielen).


            Marcia had tender pork with chanterelle mushrooms while I had the best 1/2 duck I have ever eaten.  It came with red cabbage and spaetzle.  The vegetables were also good making this one of the best meals we have ever had.  I called the manager over just to compliment him (Karl Neubauer) and he told me he has been there for 24 years.  He had Frau Schalk bring us a complimentary glass of schenengeist which reminded us of slivovitch we drank in Yugoslavia 35 years ago on our honeymoon.


            Boy, the pretzels were good.   As we sashayed up Maximilianstrasse, we decided to get an after dinner drink at this little Italian place called Ren� Lezande [, +49-] .  We sat at an empty table but a man returned and said it was his bit wanted us to share it with him.  Well that created an hour of speaking in English-Italian-German and we discovered he is a city building inspector with 3 kids and we had a wonderful time.  His name is Klaus Rogg and I referred him to Dr. Tom Neuhann here in Munich to get his family's eyes checked.  After we left there Marcia went straight to bed while I had a K�nig pilsner at the hotel bar.  Finally upstairs, I finished the Diario and went to bed.


KJH                                                                Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #2 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD


Munich, Germany

Sent 6-13-05

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Copyright 2012     Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD