Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Draws to a Close

I had a great ending to 2010!!

We booked a room for New Year's Eve at the Schloss Gnadenthal just over the border in Germany. J very nicely came to pick me up, and like the wise and wonderful husband he is, brought some snacks. He'd already packed for me, bringing what he thought was 2-3 times more clothing than one person could possibly wear during a one-night trip. It was just enough.

He'd programmed in the hotel into our GPS, and we were on our way from the parking lot outside my work. The hotel is about a two-hour drive away. About 30 minutes into the trip the GPS recommended a detour to avoid a traffic jam. J, in his manly wisdom, decided to ignore the GPS warning and continued on his merry way. One curve in the road past our detour-exit, we found the traffic jam. And stayed there for 45 minutes!! Fortunately, we found some very entertaining radio shows, with ridiculous Best-Of playlists. We entertained ourselves by quizzing each other and singing along.

One interesting thing about sitting in traffic is you really take note of the people beside you. There were a lot of cars full of people who weren't talking to each other at all. There were a lot of smokers, and a few guys blaring really bad music. Most interesting, however, was the guy who travelled with his budgie in a cage in the back seat. I wonder what he and his budgie had planned for New Year's. Speculation abounds.

It got really foggy about 30 minutes from our destination, so J slowed down and we just followed the lights ahead as we could barely see the lines on the road. Fortunately the worst of it only lasted about 15 minutes, and we were going through a populated area so there was some ambient light. We found our turnoff, which had been driven on but not properly ploughed, so it was quite icy. J is a great driver, but not as cautious as I am which drives me nuts as the passenger. I closed my eyes for much of this part of the journey.

We slid into a parking spot, grabbed our stuff, and walked around to the side of the building to the main entrance. As soon as we'd stepped out of the car, J commented on the silence. It was indeed vewy vewy quiet! As we waited to register, I noticed that even inside it was very quiet. I checked with the receptionist, and he confirmed that the restaurant was closed. Apparently most of the hotel had been booked for a silent meditation evening, and so all the normal noisiness, such as the restaurant, had been cancelled for the evening. Shhh.

All well and good, but it was just past 8pm and we wanted to have a nice dinner! So the receptionist called around and found a place for us to go to dinner - the Landhaus Waldschlosschen. It was very kind of him to help us out like that, and he advised us to hurry up as it would only be open until 9pm.

I'm going to have blog about our dinner experience another day... it was really something!

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