Saturday, July 25, 2009
Goings on in Dusseldorf
We arrived in Dusseldorf on Thursday morning. After collecting our luggage, we hopped on a train to the Hauptbahnhof (Hbf, or, main train station). At the Hbf we took a tram (surface street train) to our hotel. We are staying at the Renaissance Dusseldorf.
When we arrived our rooms were not quite ready so we sat in the resaurant and ate breakfast. We ate pancakes with maple syrup, bacon, apple juice, donuts, scrambled eggs, etc. After a long trip, we were very tired and hungry.
Since the rooms were not going to be ready for a while, we checked our bags and went looking for the Supermarkt (supermarket). Fortunately we found it a few blocks away. It is small, but has everything we need: milk, bread, pasta sauce, Belgian chocolate, Diet Coke, etc. Dad bought some kind of sausage that nobody can pronounce the name of, but it tastes good. Mom brought an electric griddle and two hot pots so we can cook stuff in our room. So far we have had mac and cheese, Zataran's jambolaya, cereal, PBJ/PBH, and pancakes.
When we came back from the Supermarkt, we checked into our rooms and crashed. Everyone was asleep within moments. We use our minibars (emptied) to store our cold food. We slept for a few hours and then went swimming in the pool upstairs. Don't worry, I have my fish to swim in. I think we are the only kids in the hotel because everyone looks at us funny. Especially at the pool.
On Friday, we were planning to go to the Rhine Festival, but it was raining and it was not yet opened. So Dad consulted his handy dandy PDA and we re-routed to the Aqua Zoo, an aquarium with fish and other animals. Very cool place.
After the Aqua Zoo, we decided to eat lunch in the park nearby. We walked a bit to find a place to sit and found the coolest park ever! It had life-sized legos to build stuff with. We played for hours and built a bridge, an airplane, and a Wal-Mart. See our pictures!
Having fulfilled our dreams of building with very large blocks, we grabbed a tram to Koenigsallee, the high rent shopping district. Think: Rodeo Drive, Biltmore Fashion Square, and Cherry Creek Mall all on steroids combined. Dad, Caleb, Andrew and I sat quite fashionably in a sidewalk cafe and ate fine chocolate while sipping a late vintage Coca Lite and Wasser mit Gaz. Sehr shon. Mom, Morgan, and Aprill engaged in retail therapy. BORING!
Upon our return to the hotel we ate grilled cheese samiches, nectarines, and peanuts. Dad and Morgan went back to the Supermarkt and brought more food. We ate like kings! Of course, we had to again take our evening dip, so we realxed in the pool before retiring. The pool attendant gave us a hard time about swimming - she didn't want me to get in the pool because she thought I would "have an accident". Not nice.
Mom and Dad had a private meeting with the hotel manager, Gabi, to discuss the lack of welcome from the pool staff. She took care of us by giving us a nice dinner in the hotel restaraunt Saturday night.
Saturday was fun too. We went to Altstadt (Old Town) Dusseldorf and visited the shops and walked along the Rhine. Across the river was the festival, so we hopped a ferry and went in to check it out. It was free to get in, but each ride costs money. It ain't cheap either. We all rode two rides at about 4 euro per person. We also ate bratwurst at a biergarten just to sit down for a bit. Dad, Caleb, Mom and I rode the hugest, ginormous ferris wheel and figgured out how to get back to the hotel by surveying the landscape from the high vantage point offered by the ride.
We walked a short distance to the nearest tram station and made our way back to the hotel.
Our dinner reservations were at 6, so we rested a bit and then got dressed for dinner. Gabi had a big table waiting for us and had even purchased a special cup so I could dring my apple juice all by myself! We had really good food and a superb dessert! The only problem was my tooth was bothering me, so I didn't eat much - until the ice cream came. After dinner, we pulled my loose tooth then we all went to bed.
Today is Sunday. We found the church yesterday so we will be heading there soon. Today we are fasting in preparation for the stem cell therapy which begins Monday morning. I am a bit nervous - which is probably why I have been grinding my teeth. Dad and I talk a lot about what will happen tomorrow. I hope everything goes well. Dad asked me if I could only have one thing get better because of the treatment, what would it be. I said I'd like to walk. Dad asked me if I could only have two things get better, what would they be. I said I'd like to walk and use my hands better (so I can pitch for the Rockies). Dad asked me if I could have three things get better, what would they be. So I repeated the walking thing, using hands, and of course talking better-so I can sing.
We planned a party for when I get better. It will have ice cream cake, all-you-can-eat. So far the invitation list is pretty exclusive...of my brothers!
Things are going well here. Thanks to all who are supporting me!