Day 9: Auf Wiedersehen, Germany

We woke up at 8:00 (I had gotten up to pee and was SURE it was only 5:00, only to be greatly distressed to find out it was 8:00 already), super hungover.  Whose idea was it to have that many beers?  We showered and stumbled outside in search of breakfast, finding a pastry at the recommended-by-the-front-desk-girl Mantei bakery, then coffee to go at another joint, and then, because food seemed to help our state, yet another shared pastry (a strudel-topped delicious one with Johannasburg berries?).  We took this pastry and the coffee down by our hotel and numbly sat on a bench, licking our wounds.

Returning to The Scene of the Crime the next morning

As it was getting later in the morning and we needed to think about driving to the airport for our flight back to the US, we slowly dragged ourselves to the hotel room and packed up as best as we could.  I remember telling Jimmy I would pay up to $1000 to be able to sit in that room all day instead of flying home.  Since that wasn’t an option, we slowly made our way over the cobblestone streets to our trusty car and Gretel, who had patiently waited in the P12 garage all night, and we got on the road.

We did make two stops, one for gas and one for a McDonalds cheeseburger (it was what the doctor ordered) before dropping off the car at Sixt and checking into our flight.  Jim also bought a fleece pull-over from the same lady at the airport Jack Wolfskin store who had helped us with our coat purchase the year before (in March 2008, on a trip home from former Yugoslavia).  Amazingly, she remembered us.  Must’ve been our good looks and charm.  We chatted with her a while before going through the process of getting our €4 VAT refund on the purchase (they refund you half the VAT back, making it only 10% instead of 20%).  Next we boarded the flight and endured the long hours it took to get home.

All in all, it was a fabulous trip.  We just didn’t want to leave that friendly country behind, and are already talking about the next time we can go.  And that is the mark of a successful trip.

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