Today was filled with lots of memories!!!
I got my train to Stuttgart in the morning, and somehow found the hotel amid a lot of construction in the area!!! I finally got to the Lobby, and my friend (well, actually really my sister Lucy’s friend, but she really has become a friend of the family) Elke, was there!
I had not seen her since she came to visit back in the 80s! No joke! So, it was really wonderful to reunite with her again, and man, did we have a lot of time to catch up on!!! 🙂
My sister and she were friends at the Sorbonne in Paris and have stayed in touch on and off all these years, which is really cool. She came to visit the States twice that I remembered, and each time I remember she was a lot of fun. I was the “little sister” who tagged along back then… :), but it seems we both have grown up now (lol!)…at least I hope so!
The other amazing thing about Elke is that she grew up a few blocks away from where my Mom and Dad lived in Stuttgart after the war! Talk about coincidences!!
So today, naturally, we had to go see where they lived, where she grew up, and we even went to the town where my Dad had worked for the Army, helping to rebuild the phone system in Germany after the war.
It really was wonderful spending time with her, catching up, and seeing how she lives in Stuttgart. Turns out she has become quite an Equestrian, and owns a Riding School outside of Stuttgart. We went there also today and I was lucky enough to see all the wonderful and beautiful horses, her wonderful dogs, all the facilities and where Elke lives on the grounds. Really wonderful!
We talked about how difficult it is to run our own businesses at times, what it’s like to be self-employed, what obstacles we’ve overcome, etc. It was very inspiring to see what she has built there in 15 years! We even talked about possibly collaborating, as she needs music for her horse shows sometimes..how cool would THAT be?? 🙂
After a fun day reminiscing, catching up and having fun, Elke brought me back to my hotel in Stuttgart. No easy task with all the construction! I am now happily writing my blog in a very nice room, looking forward to giving myself a little rest tomorrow to prepare myself for the next part of the journey..Munich, then on to Austria!!!
Here are some pictures from today’s adventures. Enjoy!
So…last night after I blogged about Cologne, I went out again to grab some dinner, and then headed over to the jazz club nearby to hear a Swing Band.
Both experiences were amazing! The outdoor restaurant I chose had excellent food. Had my first Sauerbratten (sp?). Delicious! Turns out the restaurant was where the G8 Summit heads of state went when Clinton was president. They were very proud of this, and had pictures of the Clintons, Tony Blair and others around the restaurant. That was kind of neat! I just stumbled upon it, and it obviously was a “world-class” place to go! What can I tell you…I’ve always had a “high end” taste. Gets me every time…! LOL!
Anyway, I then meandered back to the jazz club, which had gotten very crowded (I had been by earlier, and they said to go get some dinner and come back later). The band wasn’t really playing yet. I found a spot upstairs (was really hot up there!…I’m still not used to the humidity and all the smoke!), and then the guys started playing. They were really good. Called themselves the Jazz Preachers.
I started talking to the guy next to me who turned out to also be another jazz piano player from Bavaria (Baden Baden area). We both said how impressed we were with the piano player. Turns out, he played the bass lines with his feet while he played the piano parts on the keys! Amazing!
He came upstairs to pass the basket (they do that here a lot), and we started talking. Turns out he was an organist for many years, but then turned to jazz! We exchanged cards, and all 3 of us piano players had a great conversation about what it is to be a jazz piano player! Very, very cool!! More possibilities and contacts for the band tour..and it just happened!!!
This morning I got up pretty early to get the train to Frankfurt. I didn’t want to pay too much for the train ticket, so I left earlier in the day. Seems to be a way to avoid that…anyway, I had a very enjoyable train ride “down the Rhine”. There were many families on holiday, or coming back from them. Adorable kids! And so well behaved!
Frankfurt is a much more corporate city than Cologne. I sensed it the minute I left the station. Lots of “suits” and folks in corporate dress. Got there at lunchtime, which was actually perfect. The streets were bustling with folks out and about for their lunch hours. I found a nice Italian eatery on the main drag, KaiserStrasse. Had a lot of fun watching folks walk by. I was also very careful about my bag. I could tell there were some strange folks at the train station entrance hoping to swindle some unsavvy tourists. I immediately got my “New York” attitude on, and walked briskly.
After lunch, I checked in early to my hotel, which is very nice. An Australian chain throughout Europe (who knew?). The room is really a small suite! With a really nice view of the city!
When I got settled, I decided to venture out and sightsee a little. The hotel is a block from the Rhine, which was perfect for me to be able to walk over it to the German Film Museum on the other side.
Interestingly enough, they had a great 50 year retrospective honoring 2001, A Space Odyssey, which I had actually seen the premiere of in LA in 1968! My Dad had a business trip and I was allowed to go with him and my Mom. We met with Mr. Goldwyn on the set of MGM, and a Mr. Walker (I’ll never forget him) took us all around the lot, and showed us all of the small replicas of the 2001 Space Odyssey models that were used in the film with trick photography. Then we got to see the Premier of it that night in Hollywood! It was one of those amazing things that happen to you, that you never forget.
But what was weird today is..I realized that I could have been in that exhibit! I’m a relic, I guess now…still can’t believe that was 5 0 years ago!!! Anyway, I took some of the pictures of the exhibit and had a big chuckle, since I had been there when it all happened!
My father had a knack for getting to “important” events like that. I remember we got the “royal treatment” with limousines and everything for that trip, including meeting Mr. Goldwyn, seeing the lot and going to the premiere. It really was something! I also remember being jealous that one of my sisters got to go to the launching of Apollo 8 in Florida since my Dad’s roommate was Mike Collins. They got the royal treatment for that as well.
But I guess today reminded me that things happen for a reason…I ended up being a musician and composer in LA years later..probably because I was influenced by that trip in some way…at 8!
Anyway, tonight I walked nearby to a fun place called Oscar’s that was attached to the Frankfurter Hotel, a beautiful place. There was a beautiful young African American singer tonight with a DJ. We lost a giant today with Aretha Franklin’s passing, so I asked them to do a few numbers for Aretha, which the did. I thanked them as I was leaving.
Tomorrow I head to Stuttgart. Can’t wait to see Elke and have even more adventures and memories of my parents! Seems they have been with me a lot on this trip!!! Thanks Mom and Dad.
Guten Knaben, guten knacht!
P.S. Here are some pix from last night and today’s adventures!