Monday, 2019 September 23

We landed in Frankfurt at about 0530 local time. It was raining and dreary, and not the kind of morning that would wake you up. This was doubly unfortunate, given how little sleep all of us had gotten on the plane the "night" before.

We got our luggage quickly - it seems like Lufthansa, unlike Delta, does actually send "priority" luggage out first. We then found the taxi stand. A guy in a Mercedes sedan tried to fit all of our luggage into the trunk but it would go. Luckily the driver behind him had a minivan, so we all helped load the luggage into it and we were on our way.

I was nervous at first, as it wasn't clear to me if the driver understood that we wanted the Residence Inn, not the Radison. I needn't have worried, though - in the end we got to exactly where we wanted to go with no drama.

The front desk clerk at the Residence Inn was extremely nice and extremely helpful (plus she spoke excellent English). She was able to check us in, but at 0630 obviously no rooms were available for us. She promised to let us know as soon as she could get us into something, but could make no promises as to when since they were booked full and it would depend on when other guests left. We were able to store our luggage behind the counter, so at least we didn't need to worry about that.

She also offered us free run of the breakfast buffet. We were all still full from the flight, but Dad and I gratefully took some coffee. We sat a table for a bit, long enough for Krista to realize that if she didn't start moving she was going to fall asleep. We decided to try doing a little exploring, despite the fact that it was still raining.

We wandered around for a bit. It was clear that the old town area of Frankfurt was a pleasing mix of modern and classic architecture, with a lot of German charm. Unfortunately, between the weather, fatigue, and Dad's knees and hips we ended up cutting it pretty short. We took refuge in MyZeil for a while to escape the weather and to give Dad a chance to rest, but it was clear that he didn't have much left in him at that point - and neither did Krista nor I.

We made our way back to the hotel. We'd only been out for about an hour, but we'd worked up just enough of an appetite to actually make use of the breakfast buffet. It was only around 0800 so we made ourselves comfortable on one of the big sofas. I read; Dad and Krista both napped.

Krista woke up and asked me to get her a soda. I went to the front desk to pay; the clerk said she'd check on our rooms and, amazingly, they were ready for us; she hadn't been able to get us on the same floor, but at that point none of cared in the least. She gave us our keys and we all headed upstairs around 1000, agreeing to meet around 1300 to head out.

Krista and I both climbed into bed to take a little nap. The next thing I knew, I woke up and it was 1400. I slept hard, and I clearly needed the rest. Krista had also gotten some good sleep. We cleaned up and went down to meet Dad - he'd actually been in the lobby since about 1300, but was having a good time people-watching and reading.

We asked the desk clerk about the Eschenheimer Turm 1428 tower restaurant. Given the weather - still rainy - and the fact that it's mostly outdoor seating, she recommended the Schwarzer Stern instead - besides serving traditional German food, it's been around forever. Additionally, it was located right off of Romerberg Square, which was a place we wanted to go anyway. That sounded good to all of us, so we walked down there.

Unfortunately when we got there we discovered that Schwarzer Stern was closed for maintenance until sometime in 2020. We wandered around the square for a while, then decided to have supper at Alten Limpurg instead. We sat down and were quickly greeted by the waitress, who spoke fine English.

Krista had the bacon-and-onion flammkuchen (basically German pizza); she gave me a piece and it was delicious. Dad and I both had traditional Frankfurters; he got potatoes on the side, I got sauerkraut. The sausages themselves were very good, as were Dad's potatoes. My sauerkraut was honestly not good; I've had better stuff out of a jar in the US. But the beer helped - we both had the Schoffenhofer Dunkel, which was quite tasty.

Dad had had enough for one day so he decided to head back to the hotel on his own. We gave him the tourist map the front desk had given us, then we headed down to the waterfront. It was nice down there, but busy. The highlight was a German performing some sort of beat-heavy "country hoedown" number (in English), complete with a hilarious fake drawl.

Eventually we decided to head back to the hotel. Krista stopped and bought a couple scarves on the way. We also stopped at a Vodaphone and I got myself a tourist SIM with 8 GB of data. I didn't really need that much, but they claimed to be sold out of the cheaper versions. This seemed a bit sketchy to me, but at this point in the day I didn't care enough to argue. Other than the possible upsell the clerk was super helpful, even installing the new SIM for me and making sure it was activated correctly.

We walked through the same mall that we'd stopped at this morning. It had a Lego store, much to my amusement. A recurring theme of the trip was that Legos are everywhere - which makes sense, given that it's a European company.

When we got back to the hotel I knocked on Dad's door but didn't get an answer; I tried calling his room as well. But I was confused by the different style of sounds made by German phones, so I decided that I'd probably dialed wrong and he just hadn't heard me knocking. We went to bed.

Sunday, 2019 September 22 Tuesday, 2019 September 24