Christmas Vacation Day 2: Oma’s Bean Soup and Bee Sting Cake

Since we slept so long yesterday, I decided to set an alarm for 10:30. It worked, kind of. I didn’t get up for the first alarm, but I didn’t sleep until noon. Once we all got around and ready I only had time for one slice of bread, but at least I got to eat some Maasdamer.

Since my brother-in-law had his knee surgery and can’t drive right now, he was gracious enough to loan us his Volkswagen Golf for the month. Because of that my sister-in-law picked us all up and dropped my wife and son off at my “Grandma-in-law’s” apartment on the way to get the car. That is really only important in order to tell you that on that drive I was pumped for information about car seats. You know, child car seats. Oh wait, I don’t think I ever mentioned it before. I guess I will now, my sister-in-law is pregnant, I’m going to be an uncle! That’s badass, right? Oh by the way, I am not one who subscribes to the theory that just because the topic is a baby that language must immediately become cute and sweet. While babies are cute and precious, I find that my normal vocabulary is still appropriate and actually quite descriptive. But anyway, back to the car seats. I had totally forgotten what an insane amount of information there is to learn about car seats, or about babies in general even, until my sister-in-law started asking me questions. It was nice to be able to pass some of that knowledge along though. And for anyone who wants to know, ISO-FIX is the way to go. That is the absolute safest method of car seat installation thses days, and the European seats are quite easy to use. I can’t take credit for that though, my wife was the one who told me about it. On top of that, we personally endorse the Britax/Römer brand. Many ADAC tests have found them to be the safest, and we have found their quality to be the most solid.
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INSERT PICTURE OF BEAN SOUP (that I ate too fast to get a picture of so you’ll have to use your imagination!)
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But once the car seat lesson was complete it was over the hill and through the streets, to Grandmother’s  house I went. It was unusually comforting to be shooting through familiar side streets to dodge construction and traffic, and a little fun. Once I arrived back at my wife’s Grandma’s, I was greeted by the pleasant smell of Bohnensuppe* and Pfannkuchen*! Now I don’t know if bean soup is a standard “grandma’s house” dish in Germany but it sure is in this family, and German pancakes are in a class by themselves. The soup contains a wide variety of beans, plus sliced wurst. Then you place pieces of the pancakes in the soup, add a little sour cream if you like, and there you go, awesomeness on a spoon. And to top it all off, for dessert they had Bienenstich waiting! I don’t know if I have mentioned Bienenstich before, but it is the best German cake EVER!! It is basically two layers of a white cake with a layer of a whipped style cream in between, and topped with honey glazed almonds. It just doesn’t get any better than that. What to do after all that excitment? Well what else do you do at grandma’s house? Why drink coffee, tell stories, take a nap, and fix computers of course.
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The one drawback to the afternoon was the call from the rental car company to say that they had found damage on the car we drove from the airport. Excuse me?? Apparently it looked as though I may have hit a curb. Excuse me???? Apparently we now owe them 580€. Excuse me?????? Well I know I didn’t hit anything, and after polling the audience we couldn’t find anybody that even say anything damaged. The lady who called was actually very nice about it and said there was nothing she could do. The Frankfurt office hadn’t documented any damage and she was obligated to report it. Apparently it is now between us and the damage department. So, the fight begins!

Once back at my father-in-law’s house though, we settled in with for a nice evening of pizza, Fußball, and quatschen* with the usual group consisting of him, us, my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law. With a little more discussion and outrage over the rental car damage situation. But hey, after everybody else retired for the evening we were actually able to fall asleep before 3 a.m. Okay, it was 1 a.m., but it’s progress!
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Plus we got to watch a little TV Total with Stefan Rabb (Germany’s only real “late show”) which is sadly coming to an end. Bis zum nächsten mal, Tschüß!

Glossary:
Oma = Grandma
Bohnensuppe = Bean Soup
Pfannkuchen = Pancakes
Fußball = Soccer
Quatschen = Visiting/Talking

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