A wonderful vacation has come to an end. It was a bittersweet morning to awaken, have breakfast with Gerhard and then load the car for the trip to the Berlin Tegel Airport.
I bid farewell to Harald who went off to work and Uschi and Gerhard drove me to the airport with Kira going with us. Kira is one well behaved dog; she lays in the car and is quiet as a mouse all the while we were driving to the airport. The morning was sunny and bright and it would be a good day for flying.
We arrived at the airport and Uschi dropped us off at the terminal and went to park the car. Gerhard and I went into the terminal, found my gate and waited a short time in line before I was able to show my passport and get my tickets. All this time we were waiting for Uschi to arrive; obviously it was hard to find a parking space.
This was a sad time for me. I had to bid goodbye to Uschi and Gerhard and I was feeling sad about this. But it was a wonderful vacation and I am truly appreciative of the fantastic time that they all showed me. We said goodbye and I went through into the gate area to wait for my flight for Düsseldorf. The wait was short and the flight to Düsseldorf was short as well.
Once in Düsseldorf, I proceeded to the gate for the flight to Chicago, waited a short while, boarded the plane and began the long flight home. These trips I wasn't so lucky to have the seats to myself but I read and slept and reminisced about the wonderful vacation that I had had.
I arrived home in Chicago, caught my shuttle to Michigan City where my neighbor and my mother picked me up and then off to St. Joseph. It had been one long, more than 24 hour day, since arising at the apartment in Berlin and I ended up sleeping off and on for the next 2 days.
I can't say enough how fantastic this vacation was. It was a long held dream of mine to be able to go to Berlin and visit Gerhard and his family. It was everything I had hoped for and more. I will never forget this vacation.
Thank you, Gerhard, Uschi, Harald, Kai, Steffi, Oli, Mandy (and Kira) for making this vacation the wonderful time that it was!!
PS...And how did I get to this point where I had connected with German cousins, developed a relationship with them and was able to visit them in Berlin?? The story of how I actually made these connections goes back to the mid-1970's...stay tuned for the saga!!
Paul Koenig on the S.S. Veendam
11 years ago