(Originally posted on Saturday, September 17, 2005)

We awoke up about 8 a.m. and got ready for the day. Rudi was due to pick up about 10 a.m. in the morning. We went down and had a light breakfast so we would not be ‘starved’ when we meet the group.

It was raining this morning. From our table in the restaurant, we could look out the window onto a broad, green lawn at the medicinal spa that was the focal point of that little village, hence the name ‘Bad Enstal’. What an idyllic experience; it was extremely restful and pleasant. We may just want to return here in the future…

Before leaving, we selected a few postcards from the rack and Grace fell in love with a couple of ‘Hummel’-like figurines on display. They were only about €9 each, which is considerably less than the real things. They look great on the mantle over our fireplace.

Ten o’clock came and went. We finally called AnaMarie and Rudi to see what was happening with our ride. They were still asleep since they didn’t get home from the reception until about 5 a.m.! I guess those Germans are really party animals… Anyway, Rudi came over to pick up about 20 minutes later; he loaded up our things and we bid farewell to this beautiful little inn and a pleasant stay.

We went over to the lodge (‘pension’) where the rest of the group stayed the night, or what remained of it when they finished partying. The group was gathered in a long room and everyone was eating breakfast; I was glad that I had already had breakfast, since there was not much here for me to eat. But I enjoyed the coffee and the conversation.

After a while, I went outside to get some fresh air since the rain had let up. I was sitting at a table that was right by the exit of the breakfast room. This allowed me to thank everyone for coming and helping to celebrate Tasha’s wedding with us. I had several very pleasant conversations with different couples. I had an especially enjoyable conversation with Lars, ‘little’ Maria’s husband. (‘Little’ Maria is Isti’s sister and is called as such because her mother is also named Maria; the mother is known as ‘big’ Maria!) This conversation would continue at dinner in the evening…

I was also able to speak with other of Tasha and Isti’s friends from Munich. I had an enjoyable time meeting them in the more informal atmosphere of this setting; the previous evening, at the reception, I did not have much chance to speak with guests other than those at our table and the head table. This was both informative and relaxing. It was the type of thing that Grace had talked of after her previous visit to Berlin.

Eventually, we all got our acts together and made our separate ways. Rudi drove us back to Kassel; Heather also joined us. We went to the Courtyard by Marriott hotel where we would be staying that evening. It was located on the back side of the Hauptbahnhof, but was somewhat hard to find. We checked in and Grace, Heather and Rudi went to get our suitcases at the Mövenpick while I went up to our room.

We were to have a room with a king sized bed. The room that we were assigned to was furnished with TWO king-sized beds and not enough room for me to maneuver my walker! That wouldn’t do, so I called the desk and they assigned us to a different room. About the same time that the desk clerk arrived with the new set of keys, Grace and Heather arrived with the suitcases. Then we made our way to a different floor and were given a strangely-shaped room with a king-sized bed. We accepted it, since it had more room, and we would be there only for one night. We had completed our second relocation in Kassel and were in our third hotel; I’ll try to avoid that in the future!

Well, this would be our final evening in Kassel. More on that in the next posting…

Jerry