After our first overnight stay in Switzerland and France, the husbands enjoyed a day trip to Trier, Germany to see some ancient ruins. (December 30th would be the only day in which Prof could go and see the amphitheater and museum since they closed on December 31st and January 1st for the holiday.)
Aunty E and I stayed back to let the kids recuperate. We chatted away while the kids played indoors. And even though they enjoyed the warmth of the heated tile floors, the kids needed some time to run and play in the chilly outdoor air.
So we ventured off to Luisenpark in Mannheim. Piano Man loves riding on trams, trains, and subways, so it was a no brainer. We took the train ride, and we received the typical stares from the locals, something I was used to in Cyprus.
Once we got into the park, the place was another massive park with multiple playgrounds, water pond, life-sized chess game area, and lots of green space.
Piano Man climbed a rope up a 45-degree angle ramp that would be more suited for a Marin Corps obstacle course.
The little ones rode down a metal slide over and over again until their fingers were numb from the cold.
And after a fruit snack break, they jumped on an open trampoline til they ran out of breath.
The kids enjoyed pushing chess pieces on the ground, at which point a German gentleman said some loud words in German to Aunty E and me. I knew five words in German, and so it was tough to decipher what he was saying. He finally said, “Achtung! Achtung your children!” (In other words, pay attention to your children’s rambunctious behavior.)
I thought, “Uh okay, we are watching our children. And we choose to let them enjoy being kids.” Although, Piano Man was a bit sad since he wanted to play checkers with the chess pieces. Aunty E was kind enough to take L1, L2, and Linus to the other playground area while Piano Man and I finished the game of checkers.
Even though the middle-aged man was pretty upset, two other German families right next to us were quite content with our presence and didn’t mind us at all. In fact, they shared chess pieces with us.
Sometimes you gotta laugh at those cultural differences. I don’t think he realized his anger and sharp piercing stares caused him more emotional stress than it did us.