The Saturday after Thanksgiving started off with team problem solving for how Tony and I were going to get around for the rest of the day.
Hitch #5: Trying to get a rental car from the companies on base is pretty much impossible on a Saturday morning, never mind on Thanksgiving weekend.
So, we headed to a rental car place in Bitburg and managed to find ourselves a quaint little Ford Focus station wagon. Sure, not what you’d expect from a rental car company in a country who is known for the Audubon, but it did the trick. Zoom, zoom!
Once we were situated with a vehicle, hot showers, and fresh clothes it was off to Luxembourg. I knew enough about Luxembourg to know that it is a small, French-speaking country sandwiched between France and Germany, but beyond that, I was a bit clueless. So, Tony and I headed into Luxembourg City with the trusty Sat Nav.
In true American fashion, we visited the Luxembourg American Military Cemetery and Memorial. Along with being the final resting place for over 5,000 U.S. soldiers from WWII, it is also (fun fact) where General Patton is burried. It was a cold and cloudy day in Luxembourg, but it was a beautiful place to visit, even if there was some very prominent construction under way. It may not have been the cheeriest of sites to visit during a vacation, but I have to say that it certainly makes me appreciate everyone who has ever defended my freedom and well-being.
Taps played at 5 to signal sun down and the closing of the cemetery. It was quite eerie to walk out of the chapel to the tune and the sunset, looking over the widespread, uniform white headstones.
If you’ve never visited a national cemetery, I defintely recommend taking an afternoon to visit your nearest one. Everyone has different expereinces when they walk through a military cemetery, but I think it definitely pulls on everyone’s heartstrings.
Come sun down, it was time for dinner.
Hitch #6: Neither one of us knows what restaurant chains are represented in Luxembourg, nor is there any indication by the Sat Nav on how expensive the listed restaurants are.
Hitch #7: Just like in many European countries, restaurants don’t begin serving dinner until 6:30. It is 5:45 and we are starving.
Hitch #8: The Sat Nav has frozen and there is nothing in the car skinny and sharp enough to hit the reset button. We are lost in Luxembourg City.
Finally, I was able to reset the Sat Nav with the end of my key ring (not until after the clip on my bra was suggested) and we were off to dinner at the Utopolis. I was in need of a heavy helping of carbs so we ventured into the Italian restaurant. Here, I got the chance to use my French (yay!) and I ordered up some excellent linguini with fruits de mer (seafood). Later, I tried to order ice cream at the Hagen Daas shop, but couldn’t remember the word for “scoop” or “cup” to save my life. Luckily, some creative hand gestures and an assortment of other French words I pulled from a hat got us situated and we finished off the evening with our tasty dessert.
On the drive home, Tony and I exchanged country music suggestions and I got to witness something I hope his girlfriend never does. Tony sang Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine” at the top of his lungs doing 110 mph down the Audubon. Yes, this sufficiently perked me up for the remainder of the night and we jammed out to some of the best old school country music for the rest of the drive back.
I was scheduled to catch a bus from Frankfurt Hahn to Frankfurt Main at 00:30 so I rounded up all my stuff back at Tony’s house, left him with the most recent copy of Hello Magazine (I wish I could see any of his friends’ reactions to the magazine floating about) and we raced the Sat Nav to the airport. And thank goodness we did because…
Potential Hitch #9: The website for the shuttle service said the last bus left at 00:30, but upon arrival at the airport at 23:55 we discovered it was actually leaving at 00:00.
So, a little scamper to the bus and I was on my way to spend the rest of the night sleeping in the Frankfurt airport.
Unfortunately, sleeping in the airport proved difficult this time around, but I was entertained by a German Navy guy who was on his layover headed for Afghanistan. When I tell you this guy was sociable, I’m not joking. He could talk to anybody. This guy could get a wall to engage in conversation with him. I’m actually quite convinced he could get the famously still and stoic British soldiers to enjoy a conversation on Skittles.
Alas, it was time to head for my flight back to Aberdeen and then promptly to my bed before I moved into my new flat on Sunday afternoon.
Happy Shenanigan Thanksgivng to all! And to all a good night!