Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

roadtrips

Last week, I headed out on a wine delivery tour for Mickey, driving a fully-loaded wine bus for a two day trip. I started off at 5 am, hurtling along on the autobahn in the pitch dark. Surprisingly, I was in a really good mood. I had decided to change the tour plan a little bit so that I could spend the night in Hamburg where great guy’s great friend and girlfriend live. I have been hearing a lot about this incredible city, with its kilometers of harbour, bustling night life and funky, modern style…more Amsterdam, less Berlin…and I was eager to finally visit.

After a very long 15 hour delivery day, and almost getting fired (and therefore almost quitting) because I had altered the tour, I arrived at great friend’s flat in the heart of St. Pauli, a block from the reeperbahn (for those of you who know what that is). I was so happy to finally be there. The 3 of us stayed up late, drinking wine, eating pasta, and talking…and das baby slept. In the morning, before I continued on my route, we took a drive along the harbour. There was so much to see. The Speicherstadt fascinated me. Rows and rows of old, red brick buildings, separated by narrow water channels where the ships of yore used to move through, unloading their wares, which were then pulled up into the windows above…things such as spices and rugs from the Orient, and coffee from South America.

My tour on the second day led me through the back lanes of the L√ľneburger Heide, rolling countryside with soft, bushy forests of softly changing colours. I passed countless couples riding their bikes on the open, winding, country lanes, while I bumbled along in my wine bus, singing loudly with Adele on the stereo, and the sun shining. Throughout the afternoon, I noticed, several times, motorhomes randomly standing on autobahn exits, each with a simple sign on the side saying ‘sexy girls’. I naively thought it was some kind of fun, girl-power club, but no…they are brothels on wheels…really?

The next morning, bright and early, great guy and I set out on the 2 hour drive to pick up his quite-old-but-new-to-him boat, which he and the father bought off ebay. On the way, we stopped at a roadside, self-serve pumpkin and squash stand. I love these self-serve stands…so simple, so trusting, so cheap! We picked out a couple of small pumpkins, a long, yellow-y spaghetti squash and a big acorn squash. Since Thanksgiving I have been craving and, therefore, making different pumpkin soups each week (thankfully great guy eats everything!) and now I am going to try squash soup. I am a firm believer that everything can be made into soup.

With barnacles and shells still clinging to its bow, and seawater still dripping from the motor, we arrived to see that the boat had survived the long journey from the Spanish coast. The boat was much bigger, shockingly, than on the little online ad and for the first ten minutes or so, we just walked around and around it. Then we hopped in, opening all the compartments, finding water skiis, a swim tube, safety vests (including a super-cute baby one), a fishing rod and a full tackle box. It was just like Christmas.

Great guy’s work colleagues had told him we would probably arrive at the pickup spot along with 20 others who bought the same boat. We had heard lots of ebay horror stories, but thankfully everything was as promised and getting it home went quite smoothly…well, after great guy spent 3 hours fixing all the electrical hookups so that the boat trailer had lights!

The father thinks great guy should name the new boat ‘Duck’ because he thriftily already has the signage for it, but great guy told me he might name it ‘Funny Hunny Bunny’…what a dreamboat! I mean great guy, of course.
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