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Germany: Day 6


We are done with the IDS show! It was a really successful show for us, so we are super happy. Got out a little early today with the plan to go to the Chocolate factory, Starbucks (in German of course), the mustard factory, the nutcracker factory and to walk around the old part of the city. We did it all… plus took a long walk along the Rhine!


Then we met up with some old business friends for a serious dinner. More beer. Coaster flipping. I got to 14 in one night. The reigning champion with 20 years experience got up to 21. So I wasn’t that bad!


I had some more pork products with cabbage and potato dumplings. So insanely good!


I won a Fitbit today and bought so many gifts and sweets that I’m afraid to pack my carry on luggage. This should be fun!

I talked to Jack and he had received his report card yesterday. We had been worried about one or two classes at the halfway point but he seemed to have brought everything up πŸ™‚

Jack: I got 2 A+’s, 7 A’s and 2 B’s.

me: Wow that’s so good! I’m proud of you!

Jack: But my grade point dropped down to a 3.65. (He had high honors last time)

me: Awww hoes that possible  when you have so many A’s? 

Jack: I had more A+’a last time, that’s how.

me: Ok well we can work on that and bring them up again…

Jack: Nah, this is WAY better than I thought I was gonna do so I’m good…

And there you have it. I’ll see the report card when I get home tomorrow! Last night in Koln…it has been a great trip!

Germany: Day 5


Still in Koln! Still at IDS! 

Well right now I’m in bed. πŸ™‚

It’s a bit of a repeat from day 4, so not much new to report. Work dinner hotel bed. Tomorrow is our last full day and then we fly home. Back to reality! 

I had this great tea at a publisher’s booth and had to share it.

Dinner was in the “going out” section of Koln. Very trendy and crowded. People would sit outside and eat while snuggling under blankets supplied by the restaurants! Very neat-o!

I called Jack after we ate and after he got home from school.

Jack: I thought you were showing me the restaurant?

We were facetiming and I told Jack I would walk into the restaurant to show him what it looked like. Then I tried to say goodbye without doing that!

me: Sorry, sure  let’s go. 

I walked into the bar and held his face up.

me: This is where we ate dinner. (I rotated the screen through the restaurant bar and he saw how everyone stopped talking as they looked to see what was going on.)

Jack: Can’t hear you!

me: I’m not talking right now, just showing. Too loud! Have to put the phone up to your face now to talk. (Everyone thought I was nuts)

Jack: Ok goodnight!

me: Goodnight.

Drunk German guy making fun of me: Gooot Naaaaght. (Laughter)

Haha those funny Germans.

Gute Nacht to you.

Germany: Day 4


Could this tradeshow convention hall BE any bigger? There are 11 halls and hundreds of booths in each hall. Some halls are more than one floor even. Today, while working at our booth, I managed to walk 6.5 miles. OMG.


It was a busy work day with some fun added in. Some of the bigger companies have booths with dance music and they start their day with a group exercise class complete with aerobic instructor in workout gear and headphone mic. 


We got another little break at the end of the day and walked around in the old part of the city which was so much fun. I bought a few paintings of the Dom Cathedral and a LOT of chocolates and souvenirs to bring home. 


We had a GREAT dinner and I asked the waiter to bring me whatever he wanted. It was seriously one of the best meals I ever had. It involved cabbage, pork, potatoes and cream. Go figure. I’m sure it was a diet dish. :O


We have all types of people working at our booth: the Guy from Romania (he is here to add the exotic flair), the girl from Poland (for comedic timing), the German guy and girl (for local flavor) and the US gang which stands out like a sore thumb in a crowd πŸ˜‰

me: I have a present for youuuuu…

Jack: What is it??

me: Something in a box.

Jack: Come on!

me: And some plastic.

Jack: Give me a hint!

me: It’s from Germany.

Jack: Sigh.

Ha, Mom wins one finally and gets a sigh!

So tired. Will write more tomorrow. I mean today after day 5. πŸ™‚

Germany: Day 3


It was another busy day at the IDS dental  show in Koln, Germany on Wednesday. We had many meetings with our distributors and vendors, and had hundreds of customers visit our booth. We’ve spoken about a dozen languages between us all! In dem zahnzwischenraum! (Inside joke)


There weren’t too many opportunities to sit and rest so our feet are a bit sore 😦 we log about 8 miles on our Fitbits each day too!

We were able to walk around before dinner and do some shopping and of course pickup souvenirs and chocolates, but I still have more shopping to do.


The temperature has been great, 50’s, and is expected to go up even more this week. The lights are warm at the booth so we are always just a bit on the sweaty side. I’m hearing it’s. I’ve and cold back home haha. Glad I’m missing it!


We had an amazing traditional German dinner at Roter Ochsen, near the Rhine River. Bratwurst, blood sausage. Schnitzel, apple strudel, beer beer beer! I tried a little bit of everything.


Jack called during dinner and I stepped outside to FaceTime with him. I wanted to show him the restaurant and the sights.

me: Hey Jack look! Here’s the river and the river boats, and the restaurant we are eating at right now. Can you see everyone inside? Look, there’s Bill and Bob and Mirja and Andrei, remember him from last year when they visited and we went to Five Guys? Are you waving? See? They’re all waving! And those are some other sales people…

Jack: Mom, I can only see my own reflection in the window.

me: Sigh. Ok on that note, goodnight!

I tossed and turned all night ugh, Day 4 is going to be tough!

Germany: Day 2


It was a long day punctuated by us all calculating home time from the local time … for every activity.

Like this. Said to whomever is closest.

“I’m waiting for Jack to call, it’s about 11am here, so …(counting on fingers) it’s 6am there, so …maybe in a few he will call.”

Or this. 

“Hey, it’s time for lunch now so that makes it 7am at home. They’re just eating breakfast. Ha.” 

Why is this so important? It isn’t, but we all constantly talk like this.

Today was full of standing, walking and sitting at meetings. And deducting 5 hours off of every time check. Like now. It’s 5:17 at home people!!! Omg!!

We had a nice dinner at a hibachi restaurant. I offered to pay and neglected to tip thinking it was already on the bill! Apparently in Germany you have to tell them before you pay if you are interested in tipping, and how much. They will then ring the card with that amount. I just let them take the card without a glance and then tried to read the receipt to see if they included the tip. They didn’t. Ah well. As they say, I probably will never see them again. 😦

Tomorrow will look a lot like today I’m afraid.

Jack did call me when I was at the show (6pm our time and 1pm his time) because they had a half day at school today. He was anxious to hang up again and go eat lunch! 

Jack: I love you and I miss you and I’m going Joe to eat lunch. 

me: Okay. (The phone goes dead so I call back)

Jack: We already said goodbye.

me: We did? I thought I accidentally hung up…

Jack: No, we’re good.

me: Sigh…

Gute Nacht!


Germany: Day 1


We landed in Germany at around 3 am our time, 8 am local time. Koln (Cologne) is a very pretty city with lots to see and do! We visited the Dom Cathedral…


…and walked for miles looking at shops (including the beer museum, nutcracker store, and a few local gallerys). 



We stopped at a street stall and ate curry Wurst with pommes frittes (same words for French fries that they use in France). Yes curry wurst is a thing. 


We also visited our German sales team, saw their office, and had a quick sushi dinner with them and picked up some groceries at a local market.


Now it’s 8:30pm here and 3:30pm back home. Time to catch up on Zzzs.

I had been waiting for Jack to call for about 20 minutes. Where was that boy? He had instructions to get off the bus, feed Bella, change her water, scoop her litter and then call me. I was getting wonky after only 4 hours of sleep on the plane last night, if that.

Finally he called.

me: Hi Jack! Want to FaceTime?

Jack: Nah…

Too late I had already dialed in.

me: Hey there you are! How was Bella? 

Jack: Good. She’s eating. I changed her water and scooped her litter. 

me: Awesome, thanks! Why didn’t you call me when you were home? (I noticed he was back at his friend’s house)

Jack: I didn’t want to. Bella was eating. 

me: That’s ok. You’re walking in circles over there eh? What are you doing? Any homework?

Jack: Nope! Gotta go use the bathroom.

me: Oh ok. Um…Talk to you later. Love you.

Jack: Bye, love you too.

And that was it! Guess he’s not missing me yet! I’m now officially deliriously tired. πŸ™‚ tomorrow we officially start working at a big international tradeshow. Should be interesting!

Here are a few more pics! Enjoy!

Why it doesn’t pay to “fib”. Okay “lie”.

I took Jack to the gym today and told them he was 13. He’s not of course, but luckily looks like he’s 14. I just wanted to go to the gym and have a nice hour with him and work out. And he wanted to go with me! Is that too much to ask? Yes it is. 

So I drove around for 15 minutes looking for a parking place, went inside and lied about his age. They didn’t have the free week pass anymore. They didn’t have the free month if you sign up and they didn’t have any day passes I could use. So I was going to sign him up for an illegal membership. 

It was so crowded that we waited another 10 minutes for someone to help us. That person was unqualified to do memberships so I could either wait longer or do a $25 day pass. I thought that would be quicker. We signed up and they didn’t have my card on file. I didn’t have my card with me. I told the 20 year old employee that i knew all the numbers but he looked skeptical that anyone my age could remember that many digits. He needed approval to do that. Of course…

That person wasn’t available so I rattled off the digits and he tried to figure out where to enter them. Finally we got clearance. Then the receipt wouldn’t print and I was like It’s ok really! We’re going now! But they insisted on giving me that little paper which I then crumpled up and threw away without breaking eye contact with the kid behind the counter. Lol.

We went to watch a movie and do cardio. Jason Bourne!

No treadmills were available. We hooped in elliptical machines and I turned my phone light on to the horror of everyone in the room. 

Jack: Mom, how does this work?

me: Hold on… (shine light, hit quick start, set levels, etc) There just go and adjust with this button.

I finally hoooed in my machine and got into a rhythm.

3 minutes later…

Jack: I’m bored.

me: Sigh, ok let’s go try some other machines and the prowler.

We had a good time after that and worked out for about an hour. Jack was really getting into it and I liked being with him.

Jack: Soni don’t have a membership?

me: No just the day pass, which is $5 cheaper than the month membership.

Jack: Not really worth it.

me: You probably won’t come back that often so it’s ok. We saved $5! Let’s look on the bright side!

We left the gym only to find a $15 ticket on my windshield for obstructing traffic with my park job in between two other cars that looked to be legally parked!

Jack: Now that wasn’t worth it.

me: Sigh.