Our hotel was ideally located within walking distance of the heart of Frankfurt. We got a good start on the day and soon realized Frankfurt had a huge area of pedestrian walking zone only. This was definitely a modern city and the main event seemed to be shopping, so of course obligated to join in…we too visited some of the stores, however they were more chain type stores vs. boutiques.
We stopped for a snack (white asparagus) which was good but lunch was not so good as we found ourselves at a tourist trap type place. We headed across the river to an older area of Frankfurt which we were told was known for their Apfelweinwirtschaft, which is an alcoholic beverage made from apples.
Once we got over to this little area…the cobblestone streets intertwined with the rows of bars. Literally every other building had an apple symbol or reference, and was a bar to sample the local drink. We sat down outside at a table and told the waitress we had never tried the local concoction. She explained some people drink it straight, some add sparkling water to it and some add soda to it. She offered to bring a taste before ordering a full glass. It reminded us of wine…made from apples instead of grapes. It was not very sweet but not something we would order again…we will stick to the grapes. We thanked her and ordered beers.
We crossed the river back to the more modern side of the city and couldn’t resist the urge for Haagen Daaz ice cream. Isn’t it from this area? Well, either way, it went directly from the freezer to our tummies within a few minutes.
We continued our stroll taking pictures of the area and people watching. After being out all day, we decided to head back. Tomorrow we are flying back to CA for our regularly scheduled visit home. But first…we of course needed dinner. A modern building showed a pretty large group of people eating outside and a restaurant called, Vapiano. The concept was kind of nice…you walk in and are given a card with a magnetic strip. To the right was a huge counter where individual cooks were lined up taking orders and making the food fresh. We ordered a huge salad, pasta, bottle of wine and sat at one of the many tables for dinner. Once finished, you give the card to the cashier at the exit, she slides it and you pay for what you ordered. It was good fresh food, kind of a glorified food court with more of a restaurant feel.
Tummies full, we headed back to our Marriott to pack up and get a good night sleep. We will be flying back to CA for about 10 days for doctor check ups and to visit friends. Then will fly to OH to visit family for a few days followed by NY. We will leave NY on May 8th to venture into the United Kingdom…and that is where we will pick back up with our blogging! Talk to you then:)
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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