Friday we left Rothenburg oder die tuber (Sp?) and drove to Karlsruhe to K's parent's house while she and J (well, really just K because men have it easy) finished getting ready for The Big Day. We caravaned (somewhere between 3 and 12 cars, I wasn't sure) to the Theatre in Baden-Baden where the ceremony was held. Knowing how I am at weddings, I made SNG carry a pocket pack of Kleenex and some lip gloss in his pocket. It was a beautiful ceremony, translated from German to English so that J would know what he was agreeing to. But the ceremony was so professional, efficient, pragmatic... all those thing you'd associate with a German civil ceremony, that I didn't quite get to the point of weepiness. But I think J's mom did. Nothing can stop a mom's sentimentality!
It snowed and snowed and snowed some more, opening the door to a great number of White Wedding jokes, and the blanket of white made the forest around the castle where the reception was held seem like something from a fairy tale. I think it made a wonderful backdrop for a March wedding.
We met lots of K's family and friends and just adored them! K's godmother wrote a poem for them that she read at dinner called A Team that made everyone in the room reach for a tissue. She was kind enough to provide an English translation, so I made use of SNG's pocket pack as well.
We were treated to terrific food and conversation for cake & coffee, dinner, and an elaborate breakfast the next morning. I especially enjoyed chatting with a fellow named Timo whose English is almost better than mine. He's great fun and allegedly has a website, but I don't know it or I'd link it for you. But no blog. Maybe he'll start one at some point.
Now J&K are off to Rome, and we are finding things to do here in Baden Baden. This morning we took a bus (I just LURVE public transportation) which means I had to use one of those crazy FARKHARTE machines again but I think I got it right. At any rate, we each bought a ticket and used it to get to the train station and back again, but no one asked to see it. So I figure we could have just used it all day to cruise around and people-watch on the bus. There's not a great deal to do in Baden-Baden other than get nekkid and go to a Roman bath, and all the stores are closed on Sunday. But we have had a reprive from the snowfall so we took a very long walk on the hiking trails in the hills above the town. Tons of kids sledding and families wandering about.
Jen and Fish took the car for a day trip to some castle near Lake Constance that was a couple hours away by car. Tomorrow the four of us drive west to Strasbourg (Sp?) just across the border to visit the cathedral, eat tasty and cheap food (so says the Lonely Planet guide) and speak to the locals (because we can). That's our last day here before SNG & I catch a SUPAH-FAST train to the Frankfurt airport where we'll blow our last few Euros on rooster fights and leather pants. Jen and Fish will stay on until Friday, probably heading northward.
This afternoon SNG and I took a tour of every cafe in town from 4:15 - 4:45 and found them all completely full, so we're kind of running on empty at this point. Better find me a green tea soon or I'll have to go take a nap. And we can't have that!!! :-)
PS-- Krista, Volker, J, & K-- if you're reading, thank you again for inviting us to the Wedding. You threw a celebration that we won't forget! It was really terrific to meet everyone and to spend a little time getting to know our new German Friends!