Into the Night. Our AirBnB Adventure
We finally located our rental car and to our horror, it was smaller than the minivan we took to the airport, so our bags wouldn't fit. (Hey honey, remember when I asked - "are you sure the European van is as big as the Toyota, and you assured me it was. Doesn't ring a bell?? Of course not.) Of course I was only thinking that, didn't say it. Because Scott was ready to assume a fetal position in the corner of the parking deck, and he actually might have at one point. I all but had to slap him out of it and pep talk him locker room style, we have come this far, we are going to get to our Airbnb come he... well you know! I am in turned up mama mode and nothing is standing in the way of that Airbnb! So I took over the packing and promised to get everything to fit. This is a job I am cut out for, as most moms are. Not everyone was bucked into a seat belt, and I was wrapped up like a pretzel in the passenger seat, but we were all (squeezed) into the car, and we were going to make it to our destination. Obstacle faced and tackled!
Liam was sitting on a couple of suitcases. Let's just stare at the absurdity for a moment. You've gotta do what you've gotta do!
We go to put the address into the navigation, and to our sheer devastation, the navigation is in German. Of course! Because we were in Germany! And because it was in German, we couldn't figure out how to change the setting to English. At this point we are both cracking up. It was all too ridiculous. Again, we don't have SIM cards for our phones because all attempts were thwarted, so the car navigation was our only tool of assistance on our voyage. Scott struggled to input the information and then follow the directions, in German, to our AirBnB in Mainz, about 20 minutes outside of Frankfurt. We made a few wrong turns, but after we finally got onto the freeway traveling the correct direction, we made it to the little city of Mainz, and then eventually to the neighborhood, and then eventually after a few more wrong turns, to what we thought might be the right complex. We had arrived! Granted it was only the pickup the key. We find what we think might be the right building and Scott goes to the building to ring a Fabiola, but he returns to the car with pure defeat on his face and tells me - "they're all last names." All the buzzers are labeled with last names only! Of course we only know her first name! It's 1:30am and it's a total ghost town. Scott has given up. He insists we have to just get a hotel, to which I remind him it is the weekend of the biggest Annual Auto Show in the world, and there are literally NO available hotels. We go back and forth, but he insists it's only only feasible option, although I know if we go seeking out a hotel with vacancy, it will be hours before we get our tired bodies into a bed! As we are pulling out of the neighborhood a bus pulls up and unloads two passengers who walk in separate directions. Liam says - "look a person!!" (Life!) "Ask her for help!" Smart kid. So this girl about our age is walking in our direction enough that we can drive over to her and attempt to ask her for some guidance. She only speaks German. Scott asks her if she knows of any hotels in the area. I told him, forget the hotel!! Ask her if she might happen to POSSIBLY know Fabiola! Names are without language barriers. (Unless it's Czech). A shot in the dark. So he asks her, "do you know a Fabiola who lives in this area?" And she says - "Fabiola?? We say - "yes, Fabiola." She responds - "I am Fabiola." And then she pulls a set of keys out of her jacket pocket and dangles them. We sit in complete disbelief. We could have jumped out and kissed her. This was nothing short of a miracle. Liam said - "I told you! Aren't you glad I told you to ask her?!" Yes Liam, yes we are! We were all giddy and practically slap silly at this point. Scott said - "I hope you realize that was total divine intervention there!" Definitely. I mean, how else could you possibly explain it.
So now we have the keys, but we still have to go hunt down the actual apartment. This had turned into an adventure inside an adventure. We had a map, an address, and pictures of the outside where the door was, which was somewhat hidden from street view, and we're looking for it in the dark. It's the middle of the night and we're hunting for our AirBnB like an undisclosed rave. We circled the area where it should have been nearly a dozen times until finally Scott parked the car (at my firm request) and went hunting for the door on foot, which was much easier. After about 30 minutes, he came back unsuccessful. Then I noticed a post office in one of the pictures I had of the space. So we go hunting for this post office, and then we are finally able to find the place! We parked the car, unlocked the door to the building, and climbed 5 flights of stairs with the essentials of our luggage. Opening that door to the Airbnb, where we would call home for the next few days, was sheer bliss!! We spilled ourselves inside the space, laid on the floor, and relished in that moment of completion! We had made it!! Most of the way anyway. We had arrived, (multiple times actually) and our AirBnB was charming and cozy. We got the kids' teeth brushed, into PJs and into bed! They were briefly ecstatic before they passed out. And then we collapsed on the couch, and Scott set his phone alarm for 1.5 hours, when he would have to be up and dressed for networking European business contacts at the major auto show… speaking German. And I would continue to wrestle nurse Lydia (who was so screwed up on time already) for the next few hours until she would finally run out of fumes around 6am. There is no rest for the weary. And definitely not for those who chose move their life abroad. A welcome to Europe precursor to the difficulties of European life that would lay ahead…
Literally spilled into our space. Makeup bag in the kitchen?! Oops! Surely I was still delirious.
Back from the Auto show. Back from returning the MINI minivan, Futbol on the tele and storm clouds rolling in... PRAISES!
We got a bigger car!!!
Can you tell Liam is thrilled?! A seat below him, air space above him, and a seat belt. It's a Cadillac in comparison. Our 7 hour journey to Brno was complete luxury, and now I really don't care about much about practicality and European space limits. I want a car this big.
What can I say? It's gorgeous!
(Return travel pending.)