IN FRANKFURT, Germany -- Well… for those of you that know me, you know I do not sleep as much as many individuals. What started out as just a light sleeper who was afraid to miss any action, has turned into, “Amy doesn’t sleep, so she will pick you up at the airport at 5:00 a.m. or will put the wet laundry in the dryer when the cycle is finished at 2 a.m.” So the “Who’s going to wake us up so we don’t miss the shuttle?” question was directed at me; the alarm clock. Based on our travels, this job is not one I take lightly. I do not want to be “the one” who is responsible for us missing our chance to locate the R.V. and get this show on the road.
It is 5:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. Let us rewind a spell. Flight was great from Seattle to Amsterdam. As we walked over to the monitor to see where our connecting flight to Frankfurt was, we didn’t hear Benjamin quietly mumble, “I am going to the water fountain to get a drink.” About 4.5 seconds later, Lesle said, “Where’s Benjamin?” At which point we appeared to be a Flash Mob doing Elton John’s rendition of “Benny and the Jets” beginning with the chorus. “Benny! Benny! ” Who was spotted walking toward us throwing up is hands as if to say, “Oh my Gosh! Can’t a 7 year old get a drink these days?”
The boys were keen on listening to all the different languages surrounding us. When one gentleman said, “Pardon moi” as he slipped by us on the moving walkway, Nicholas said, “Hey Zach! ‘Parodon moi’ means, “Move to the right!” He will be fluent by the end of our trip.
Off to Frankfurt to find out that 5 out of 5 of our bags did not make it. After 2 hour wait in line we learned that our bags should arrive by 11 PM but would not be delivered to our hotel until noon the next day. We took the “Free Hotel Shuttle that leaves every hour” (get used to the quotation marks, this post will have a lot) only to learn that they were not ready for 6 passengers. Three climbed in, leaving the other 3 to wait for the later ride. Jack, willing to take the “hotel shuttle” later, to pick up the bags night was told, “You are only allowed 1 round trip ride on our “Free Hotel Shuttle,” otherwise it is 40 Euros” Okay… let’s forget that idea. Time to eat.
The only place for a tired group of travelers was attached to our hotel called, “La Hacienda.” Note to self. Skip Mexican restaurants in Frankfurt. I was thinking of going for the “Mexican Special: Enchilada with turkey, corn, squash and tuna” but went a different direction. My vegetarian burrito (that came with a baked potato) had cooked carrots, snow peas and sliced pickles. The flies were buzzing about which was almost the breaking point for the little guys. “Let’s just go home and watch the games on t.v. It is so much easier,” Nicholas recommended. When we reminded him about his free travel kit for the missing luggage snafu that came with XXL T-shirt and mini soaps and toothpastes, he quickly forgot about the flies and was back in vacation mode.
While we were eating, Lesle read Wednesday’s column posted back home by UW’s Gregg Bell on gohuskies.com about our travels. Most of the article explains how crazy, I mean, adventurous, this trip is. But there is one part that cracked us all up. It was the part describing how before we got the R.V. and were roughing it we would stay in a hotel to regroup, refresh, re-generate. “They better soak it up,” is what he wrote about this one stay. Yeah, whoo whoo.
I have to admit, it made me think about what lies ahead. This was supposed to be our “great night” as we brushed flies away, eating cooked pickles and getting ready to hit the hay in our hotel that is lacking a bit of the air conditioning, or a breeze, or any air at all for that matter. Not to mention wireless service would be nice. The Soccer Six look like a team ready for anything, but mostly bed. All wearing our XXL T shirts to improve our chances of getting to sleep.
So here I sit in the lobby, because I do not want to be the weak link. The fact our group trusts me more than they trust a wake-up call or an alarm clock makes me smile. I take this job seriously. Why? Because we need to take our 8:30 shuttle to the airport to get our bags (fingers crossed) AND be picked up by the R.V. shuttle so we can get this party started!
The U.S. women have helped us get excited by beating N. Korea and increasing their chances of advancement in a big, big way! Our first live game will be watching Husky Alum/Volunteer Coach/Friend/Best Babysitter Veronica Perez help Mexico take on the skillful Japanese!
We’ve got games to watch! People to cheer on! Friends to meet! Brats to eat!