Europe, Spring 2005

The initial purpose of our trip was to attend the wedding of our German daugher Karin and her Ronny.

But, knowing me, you will not be surprised,
that "being so closeby" we had other places and people to see in Europe too!

Tom would not be able to get away from work until the night before the wedding.

But, Page and I were free of any such entanglements at the time! So, I asked Page
if she might like to go to Europe the week before the wedding, to do some antiquing with me,
probably in Belgium and possibly Holland. She said, "Great!"

I then wrote to Dierk and to my French friend, Marie-Paule, both, in Brussels,
to see if they might be free to see us that week. And they said "Yes!"

Next, I asked Tom if he could take a week off after the wedding, and he said "Yes!"

So, I promptly suggested the we go to the Alps, which he had never seen,
and asked Page and Dierk if they would like to come along.
Everyone agreed!

And thus began the general shape of our itinerary,
which then would be filled out further, in amazing ways!
Following is a quick glimpse of what made it so wonderful!

As always, it was a delight to see our old friend Dierk,
who even offered to do all the driving for our two plus weeks!
And such fortuitous timing, to see Annemarie in Brussels,
the night before she went in for lung surgery!
She in no way wanted Dierk coming to the hospital, with there being nothing he could do.
So, it was sort of good timing, to be able to get him away for a few days.
We then went back to see Annemarie, before setting out for the wedding.
(She has since recovered well and even came to visit us here this year.)

It was thrilling to have the opportunity to see Marie-Paule and Gilbert for the first time
since they left for Russia in 1991 and had stayed there until quite recently!

Most amazing was the trip to Lorraine,
to visit a French faiece dealer I had met on the internet
(tee hee)!
We spent four magnificent days with Patrick and his wife Isabelle.

As ever, we were charmed by the chance to visit with dear friend Helga
and to be back in her house in Hoholz,
which we had known for nearly 20 years as our home base in Bonn!
She told us this time, we indeed certainly felt like family to her there.

Special, indeed, was the opportunity to meet Karin's Ronny and to attend their wedding in Bonn!
(Ronny is not keen to be seen on the internet, so....)

Excited to visit Maike and Stefan
and to see their young sons and new house for the first time!

Delightful to be back in Garmisch and on the Zugspitze in the German alps,
for the first time since I had learned to ski there one week in 1965!

And back in Munich and Salzburg, with a first trip to Innsbruck!

It was a most wonderful trip!
We had a fabulous time, with special thanks to:

Dear Dierk for his sense of humor, his driving and translating French
and his patience with the ladies!

Dearest Helga, for the great food and her always-warm "Hoholz Hospitality!"

Charming Patrick and Isabelle for the magnificent cuisine,
the trips to museums and elsewhere, the meds and TLC for Page's flu

and most especially for their warm and welcoming hospitality!

Precious Page for her most enjoyable company,
her wacky sense of humor, unfailing ability to keep the men in stitches
and the free Hilton Hotel rooms in the cities of Brussels, Innsbruck, Strasbourg and Munich!

And finally to the love of my life for it all!

Now, to flesh out our adventures a bit:

Page and I flew into Amsterdam from JFK.
While there, we took a quick boat tour of Amsterdam, for Page to get her first glimpse of the city,
and then walked a square or two. A couple hours after our arrival, we caught a fast train to Brussels.

Tom arrived a week later in Bonn, the morning of the wedding.

So, you won't see him for a few pages.
(He barely arrived in time, about an hour before it started, having flown into Amsterdam
and taken a train to Koeln and then to Bonn that morning

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