Saturday, January 4, 2014

From Germany to London: Gluvine, Beer, and Holiday Cheer

In December I abandoned my daughter and fearful husband for a required 6-day European adventure for work. I arrived in Frankfurt on a Thursday and then went to Berlin, Munich, and London, staying in my new client's five-star hotels. I had some interesting experiences along the way.

Xmas Market in Frankfurt
I was so excited to explore Germany's Christmas markets! After walking around the market in Frankfurt with my gluvine (hot spiced wine), I was approached by three school girls who asked me if I was American. Do I stand out THAT much? I thought to myself. For a school project, they asked me why I came to Frankfurt and if I liked it. After answering the questions, they thanked me and walked away. I realized I wanted a photo with them, so I yelled to come back and we took a photo.

On Friday I arrived in Berlin. My hotel tour allowed me to see the aftermath of a celebrity's stay in a specialty suite. I can't say who, but let's just say this person likes staying in shape (there was a treadmill in the room by request), drinking beer, and partying!

By day three, I was exhausted and had arrived in Munich Saturday evening. My Vietnamese taxi driver (I had to ask) from the airport knew a lot of stats about the city, such as there being about 6,000 Vietnamese in Munich and that 87% of cabs now accepted credit cards (he was the 13%). That evening I ate my fave German street food Currywurst at a Christmas market and bought Ella's first booties (handmade).

Heated recliners at spa in Munich
To take a break from my multi-city jaunt, I explored the hotel's spa and pool on Sunday. I opened up the door to the sauna/steam room area and saw a naked man taking a shower! Shocked, I quickly turned around. Then I saw a couple go in together and realized it was unisex, so I entered. It was my first time being in a nude (optional) spa and it was not relaxing, so I left after about 10 min. . . at least the heated recliners were comfortable!

And then there was London--for those of you who have read my book, you know that I have had good experiences here. This time around I had a charming, talkative waiter at Balans Cafe who received a Xmas gift to visit NYC with his mum and a talkative cabbie who shared his wife has a fear of flying so they don't travel much.

By Tuesday, I was roaming Heathrow Airport in London. While walking down a long hallway to the bathroom I heard, "Miss! Miss!" I didn't think the man was calling for me but when it continued, I finally turned around, wondering if I had dropped something.

"Where is Gate 1b?" the tall middle-aged man asked me. I gave him a funny look, and replied, "Make a right and keep straight. You'll see it on your left." Out of all the people he could have asked, why on earth did he chase me down while I am going to the loo?

While returning home in NJ, I asked my car service driver (who I had a second time in a row) if there was something about me that would make strangers talk to me. He responded, "You have a nice, friendly smile!"

So. . . I guess I'll have to keep smilin' to keep my blog going! It's a good plan for 2014. Happy New Year, everyone!

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  1. There you go you answered it yourself Nubia - a nice friendly smile.
    You lucky girl - such an exciting trip!!!
    Happy New Year - see you're having snow a-plenty over there!

    1. Thanks, Rose. Happy New Year to you too! The snow kept us working from home Friday but now it has almost melted.

  2. It must have been hard on you to leave your daughter behind – but it sounds like you had and oh so adventurous time.
    Ha, loved the unisex bit – what a surprise… burn, my eyes burn….

    Glad to read the post and I hope you keep writing them because I so do enjoy reading them – have a happy new year!

    1. Haha! Thanks. Yes it was hard but I brought bag some nice gifts for her :)


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