P1020860.JPGWaltraud, Hilde, and Mary in Ulm
We thought we’d stop by our German in-law’s for a quick hello and two days later we’re still here. Wolfgang and Waltraud Frasch have been fantastic hosts but I’m sure they’ll be relieved when we drive off.

Fortunate for us we had a home base yesterday. Money makes the modern world go round. In Germany, money often comes in the form of cash. Our world nearly stopped because we were rapidly running out of money. American credit cards are not accepted at many German establishments (surprise!) and our debit card was rejected by the ATMs. After traipsing about town to many banks where we faced rejection after rejection, we contacted Nicholas, our son and go-to advisor in these situations. He advised us that our bank, Cashmere Valley Bank, had probably put a hold on withdrawals. Indeed, they had, and between the nine hour time difference and international cell phone disconnects it took all day on the Internet to straighten out. When we finally inserted that debit card and 200 euros came out, oh the joy!

Our German experience has never been well-defined and is ever evolving. The latest version goes like this: get an apartment near the Alps and a language school; take some intensive German classes, go hiking in the mountains, attend festivals, take short trips into Munich and surrounding sights.

The Fraschs have been invaluable in helping us arrange all this. We leave today for Sonthofen near the Austrian border to look at an apartment that Waltraud found on-line. There is also a school nearby. I’m hoping I can trade my English tutorial skill for German language lessons. Now that our pockets are stuffed with wads of euros we are in a position to make a deal.