Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 24

Tuesday started like any other day. I woke around 7 or so, did my jail cell worked out, showered, and headed down for breakfast. I was pretty excited to get back to Bob's since I had learned quite a bit about EmberJS from PeepCode's tutorials. I had gotten the "Aha!" moment late last night and was anxious to apply what I'd learned.

He and I worked together at the table up until lunch and then decided to head out for lunch at a quiet little Italian restaurant near his flat. We both ordered pizza and sat around and shot the breeze for a while afterwards. Bob was trying to "learn me" networking tricks, so we ended up staying longer than usual... Who am I to interrupt IP routing techniques?

As we were leaving the restaurant, it had began to sprinkle a bit. We made it back to "the office" with damp clothes and geeked out for the rest of the afternoon. Around 5pm I headed down to the hotel and got ready for a nice evening with Bob and Michelle.

Around 6:30, Bob and Michelle arrived at the hotel and we all walked a few blocks away to a nice restaurant named Zum Hirschchen for dinner. I ordered a genuine German dish of steak w/ mustard sauce, potatoes, and salad. What is a German dinner without beer? That's right... it isn't. I had a few beers to help wash down the deliciousness.

When in Dusseldorf, drink Alt beer. Kolsch beer can only be consumed in Koln. At least that is the motto. It's very similar to OSU vs. Michigan. At one point, Bob noticed that his Alt beer was in an Kolsch glass. This is wrong on many levels and it deserved a picture. I'm sure the tables around us thought we were nuts. We took about 20 pictures of this glass because it was hard to get the word "Kolsch" into the picture.

We stuck around the restaurant for quite a while and had great conversation along with a few too many shots of Jagermeister. Thanks for the great night Bob and Michelle!!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 23

Monday was a great day. It was mostly work related greatness, but great none-the-less. The day started with a hearty breakfast in the hotel. All of the waitresses know me by now and begin preparing my coffee for me before I even sit down. I always thank them with a big smile and a "danka!". The return the smile with a very nice "bitta". I'm convinced they think I live here now.

When I arrived at Bobs, he and I gathered our thoughts of what needed done for the week and dove right in. It was a very productive morning. Bob and I hacked away across from one another at the table. Around lunch time, we headed to Sevens with Michael and Michelle to get some delicious doner at the restaurant on the lower floor. Matt was still at an exam, so we took the metro without him and hoped that he might meet us there later; he never did arrive so we assume he would find his own lunch, :)

After lunch, Bob and I headed back to the flat and continued working. He and I worked at the table and time seemed to pass by very quickly. At one point we decided that we needed guidance on  problem we were having and found a killer site called PeepCode.com which offers packages for learning various technologies. We got a 5 pack and began watching some nerd TV at the office desk. Before we knew it, Michelle was telling us it was time for dinner. She had prepared a delicious meal of shrimp and noodles with salad. Michelle and the boys enjoyed picking on Bob and I for getting so excited about our taste in good TV. Some people watch action flicks or horror flicks. Bob and I prefer nerd flicks. :)

After dinner we wrapped up a few last minute things and then I headed back down to the hotel around 8 or so. I was able to talk with Jennifer for a while and watched a bit more of my nerd TV before calling it a night...

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 22

Sunday was a pretty relaxing day. I woke up around 9 am because I simply couldn't sleep anymore. I decided to get a few things done and just hang out. Food didn't sound good at all yet, so I skipped breakfast and decided to go outside and get some fresh air instead. I walked all around and snapped a ton of photos in the process. It was an absolutely beautiful day.

Around noon, I decided it was time to try and eat some food, so I stopped at a waffle place in the Altstadt (yes, I spend a lot of time here) and ordered some banana waffles. Oh. My. Goodness. Yum! After gorging on waffles, I headed back to the hotel and relaxed for the better half of the day. I continued to work on my cool new project and watched soccer on TV... in German. My window was open the entire time and I enjoyed listening to the cars and people outside on the streets. The weather was perfect and I really enjoyed the sounds of downtown Dusseldorf all day from 3 stories up.

For dinner, I headed back down to the... wait for it... Yep, the Altstadt and ordered some doner at a corner cafe. The Altstadt was packed with people by this time who were all out enjoying the weather. I walked around and got a few grocery items and then headed back to the hotel to relax for the rest of the night.

I posted my pictures to my Google Plus account. Click here if you'd like to see some beautiful pictures of Dusseldorf on a perfect Sunday.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 21

Today was a great day! I slept in until about 11 am. Since I had already missed breakfast and didn't have enough time to head to the Altstadt for breakfast, I decided to dig through my goody bag from the Marathon and "make due". I feasted on pretzels, salami, apple juice, a bag of peanuts and an apple that I snuck out of the breakfast hall yesterday morning. It wasn't the healthiest of lunches, but it worked. No coffee.

Today, I was going to go see Nick's football team play a game of American Football on the south-side of Dusseldorf. It was about 6 miles away and Michelle generously offered her train pass for me to use. This saved me about 5 euros since I wouldn't have to buy a ticket. Bob was able to explain my route over the phone and I took detailed notes. It was pretty fun riding the UBahn by myself through the main train station and out into the burbs. I arrived in Tipplesburg and a few local bike riders were able to point me to the right direction once I got off the train. I was happy they spoke English and had an iPhone with GPS to help me. :)

I arrived at Sportspark Neiderheid right at 3pm. The game had just begun and I found a comfortable spot on the sidelines where I got to watch Nick in his element. He is the coach for the Dusseldorf Blades woman's football team. He basically just paced back and forth along the sidelines "coaching". :) The weather was absolutely perfect and everybody ended up with a little bit of sunburn today! Sometime before half time he spotted me in the crowd and came over to say hello. The girls played a good game, but ended up losing to Berlin with a score of 42 - 19. It was a great game and I had a lot of fun; I actually got into it a few times on the big plays. It was a lot of fun!

After the game, Nick and I headed back to his place so he could change. He had a nice place in a quiet neighborhood. Once he got out of his coach's uniform, we headed to a nearby restaurant called Scotti's and had some burgers and fries with his team. By the time we had finished eating, it had gotten pretty cold. We decided to head back to his place so he could grab his jacket before going out for the night.

We ended up going to the Altstadt around 11 pm with his friend Vera, from CrossFit. We went from bar to bar, and Nick knew quite a few people at each place we went to. He used to be a bouncer at a few of these places, so we would show up to the door, he'd shake hands and catch up with the bouncers as they rattled off some German. The next thing we knew, we'd all go in the door and have shots or beers delivered to us. Awesome!

We hung out at the Altstadt until about 2 am and then I stumbled back to my hotel room in the chaos of the crowds. It's amazing how busy the Altstadt is at night. During the day it's a beautiful cobble-stoned oasis filled with restaurants and shopping. At night it turns into a party jungle with bars and lights. I love it!!

When I got home, I was able to talk with Jennifer for a while and then I was in bed and asleep by 3 am.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 20

Today was Friday and was a full on day of progress. Bob and I worked diligently to get a prototype working on this project that we're doing, so we had our hands on the keyboard all morning. Around noon, he and I walked down to the corner and ordered pizza which we ate out on the sidewalk on a busy street. It was really neat to see all the traffic whiz by while we sat and talked.

Busy Corner Restaurant

Alt Eisenbahn

When we got back to the office, I was able to find my girls on Skype before they got on the bus. Today was "western day" for the kindergarten so Daizi was in her element.

Jazzy, Daizi, Lizzie, and Me

Bob and I continued to work through the evening and for dinner we had to man up and cook our own food... Well, actually Michelle cooked it, but we had to heat it up. :) We had sloppy joe sandwiches with french fries and Mezzo Mix (mmm). We almost had too much sloppy joe mix, but we felt obligated to eat it since there were (oddly) two buns left. As it turns out, Michelle had left enough for her too. When she returned from town, she opened the refrigerator and saw nothing... Oops. We are mere men trying to live in a womans world sometimes. Sorry Michelle... If it helps, they were delicious. (?)

Bob and I continued to work into 11 pm. We were both very excited to have something working before the end of the word day in Chicago (7 hours behind). We got it working pretty well and enjoyed a few glasses of some really good Lofroaig Scotch before I headed back to the hotel for the night. When I got home, I tinkered around on a few things (VMWare SNAFU) and then I passed out.

A day at the office. :)
Today was a great geek-out day! I love my job.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 19

I arrived at work around 10 am and worked a full day with Bob. He and I are getting a ton of work done. I wish I could talk about it, but I simply can't at this time. Just know that we are buliding some next level web stuff over here. :) For lunch, I enjoyed the second half of my Subway sub from yesterday and we stayed busy here in the flat.

After work, Me, Bob, and Michelle all headed to Koln to spend the evening with Dariush and Rita. We arrived around 7 pm and I got to see my little friend, Nouchine. She was shy at first, but started to open up after a bit. Jonathan made a cameo appearance at one point when we arrived, but he was pretty sleepy (ie. grumpy) and went to bed. We all sat out on the back patio area and enjoyed the weather. Dariush and Rita prepared a really amazing meal tonight. We had salad, lemon flavored chicken, rice cake, and a delicious Iranian dish with egs, chicken, and eggplant. Nouchine hung out with us for a while and then had to go to sleep eventually as well.

Nouchine ready for dinner. :)

Where's Nouchine? Anybody?...


Beautiful night to be outside.

Michelle, Bob, Me, Dariush, and Rita
After dinner we sat around and enjoyed coffee, drinks, and conversation. It really was a great visit and I hated to see it end. Thank you, Ghobad's for a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 18

Today was a good day. After an overtime day at work followed by a scotch-fest with my friend Herbert, then an all-night blogathon, I decided to let Bob know I'd be an hour late. I arrived at his flat at 10 am sharp and we began our day. Today was a pretty beautiful day outside, so we worked with the doors and windows open.

At one point my old friend, "Nuts" came to visit me on the back deck. This year he had a big acorn and buried it in Bob and Michelle's flower pot. We watched him bury it, and then he left for a few minutes to do something only to return and make sure that Bob and I hadn't stole his buried treasure. When he realized we weren't going to do anything with it, he scurried up a tree branch never to be seen again.

Making sure we didn't steal his nut.
For lunch, the family all went to Subway and ordered foot long subs. Matt and Michael are on exam week this week and the next couple of weeks, so their school schedule is very sporadic the entire time I'm here during their exams. After lunch, Me, Bob, Michelle, all came back to the house. Bob and I worked until around 7 or so. The entire time we worked, we had an amazing aroma filling the air... That of a delicious dinner.

Michelle had made a decadent dinner tender fish with rice and vegetables. The fish had a honey mustard glaze sauce drizzled over it which added some crazy flavor to the meal. I really can't say enough about all of the amazing foods that Michelle has prepared while I've been here visiting. She's quite an amazing cook. I always see her cook books open, and I'll admit that from time to time I peak at the pictures of what she's cooking and get excited. :) Thank you for all the amazing dinners, Michelle!

Around 9 pm, I came home pretty well spent. I called Jennifer and we talked for over an hour. She caught me up on all the latest news around the farm. I'm pretty anxious to get home and help her around the property.The yard is out of whack, and a lot of spring cleaning needs done. I don't expect her to do all these things by herself, and it is hard being over here knowing they are piling up back there. I think an Enrique Iglasias song goes here. :) I fell asleep at 11 pm after one long day...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 17

Today was a fairly long work day which ended with an amazing conversation with a new friend.

I arrived at Bob's around 9 am and we worked until noon. At that time, he had a lunch meeting with someone, so I came back to my hotel room to work for a few hours. For lunch, I didn't know what else to do, so I walked down to (where else, but) the Altstadt for a pizza and pop.

On my way back to the hotel, I stopped and bought a 1.5 liter of water and worked at my desk for 2 more hours before heading back to the Bob's flat to work with him at the table. He and I worked diligently til about 7 pm, when it was time for dinner.

I screwed up today and embarrassed myself at the dinner table beyond belief. Michelle announced that it was time to eat, and at our house that means "Drop what you're doing. Come-and-get-it!". Doh! Everybody seemed slow to the table, so I hobbled up to the bar (still sore from the run) and was the first to arrive. I don't think I rushed to fill my plate, but once I filled it up, I began tasting the food that she had prepared and telling her how good it was... Shortly thereafter, Matt came to the table with his plate full of food, but didn't begin eating yet... I quickly realized that I had jumped the gun! Eventually Bob came and prepared his plate, then Michelle prepared hers. Once everybody had their plates ready we said "Grace" and then everybody began eating.

Wow, I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. I was extremely embarrassed and was pretty quiet the rest of the meal... I still am embarrassed by it, but learned my lesson good and well tonight. :( My parents raised me better than this...

After dinner, Bob and I went back to the work for another hour or so, and then I headed back down to the hotel room to catch up on somethings that I've been putting off. I had to catch up on my blog, email some people that had been waiting on me and tie a few more loose ends. At one point, I went down to the bar to but a bottle of water at the bar. There I met a very nice man by the name of Herbert who was in charge of the hotel.

Herbert is 75 years young and was an absolute joy to talk to and get to know! Our introduction started by him asking me what country I was from. He then told me to pick a drink and sit and talk with him for a while. I told him I'd take a scotch on the rocks, so he poured it for me and we sat. He and I sat at the bar and talked for over 2 hours!! We could have easily talked for 2 more hours, but he was starting to drink me under the table. After my first glass, we were so deep in great conversation, that I bought myself a second glass of scotch and we continued with our conversation. As I finished that glass, we found ourselves even deeper into our conversation that he interrupted it by offering me yet another glass of scotch "on the house".

Needless-to-say, Herbert and I became pretty good friends in a very short period of time. As people would come in the front door, he'd pause our conversation, tend to their needs, and then come right back to the bar and pick up right where we left off. I can't explain how much I enjoyed this night with my new friend!

Herbert and Me @ 2 AM after a few (or more) drinks
We talked about politics, women, sports, history, family, religion, you name it... I will never forget my 2 short hours with Herbert at the Hotel Berial! He (personally) made my stay here at this hotel so very memorable. Thanks for a great night Herbert! I look forward to seeing you next year at the bar around 11 pm! :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 16

Today was painful. Walking became a challenge, sitting was relief, and steps were "the devil". I crawled out of bed and had to laugh at how bad my legs hurt. It was mostly my calves. Quads were OK. Hips were fine. Pride was through the roof. But the calves...

Our commute from Dusseldorf to Dortumd, Germany
Bob and I were scheduled to be on site all day at one of our partner companies in Dortmund, Germany. I arrived at Bob's house a bit early so that we could get a head start on the traffic. The drive was just under 100K from Dusseldorf, so it would take us about 1 hour to get there.

We arrived and had a full day of meetings. Around noon we went to nice restaurant and I ordered some delicious chicken and rice dish. I took a photo with Bob's iPhone, but don't have it handy to share the visual of this delicacy with the world yet... When I get it, I'll update this post and remove all these filler words. :P

The work day ended around 7 pm and we made our way back home to Dusseldorf where Michelle had a delicious meal waiting for us at the dinner table. She had made chicken with a variety of potatoes and steamed broccoli. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of this either, so you'll have to take my word for it that it looked as well as it tasted.

Lizzie, Daizi, and Jazzy (ie. My Bay-bays)
I came back to my hotel room around 9 pm and talked with Jennifer for about 1.5 hours on Skype. We had a lot to catch up on. She told me about the latest "farming news" and I told her all about my weekend with Nick and the Marathon. It was great to catch up with one another and just talk about everything that's been going on. I hadn't really talked to her since Thursday evening, so we had quite a bit to talk about. Of course, we injected a few "nothing" conversations as well. :)

Of course, I got to see the girls as well and they told me all about their new goats and pigs. We got new goats for the farm: Pete, Meech, and Oreo (?) are the goat's names. The pigs names are still yet to be determined. I think Lizzie named hers "Haas", but that is all I know at this time...

I eventually fell asleep around 1 am.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 15 (The 2013 Dusseldorf Marathon)

OK, it's time to spill the beans... I was not trained for this race by any stretch. I know I've probably said thsi before, but this time I meant it. I was genuinely nervous about how this run would go; I didn't know if I would pull a muscle at mile 10, damage my feet from pounding the concrete with my minimalist shoes, or blow a knee from all the cool new weight I have gained over the last few months. See my Facebook page for details of when (and why) my training came to a screeching halt on Feb. 2nd. :) Regardless, I was quite pleased with the end result. I finished in 4 hours and 46 minutes.

I woke up at 7:30 am and awoke to my obnoxious iPad "alarm" alarm. I taped my nips, charged my iPod, laced my shoes, and headed down to the dining area for a hearty breakfast. The breakfast hall was packed full of Germans in spandex and sweat-wicking clothes. Carbo craving runners filled the dining area and German speaking excitement filled the room between the clanking of dishes and silver wear sounds. Everybody was preparing for a day of running. All of the eggs had been consumed by the time I arrived, so I defaulted to rations of bread and cucumbers. Blah. I was able to grab an apple on my way out, but that was it...

Bob, Michelle, and Me (aka. Luc)
Around 8:30 am, I met Michelle and Bob near their flat and we all walked down to the starting line. The sun was warm but the shade was freezing; it was one of those mornings. I wore my Columbia jacket all the way up to sound of the starting gun. The race started at 9 am sharp.

The first 5 miles were effortless. I ran steady and strong. After a while I came upon a crowd of runners who were gathered near a woman wearing balloons strapped to her waist. The balloons read "4:00"... This meant that I had been keeping an 4 hour marathon pace up to this point. I though "Hell, this is easy". I figured as long as I could keep this balloon lady in my sights for the next 3.5 hours, I'd have a new PR under my belt. A few meters back ran a dude holding a flag which read "3:59:59". Apparently, they didn't coordinate with one another before the race. Shouldn't he be in front of her?

Beautiful Day for a Marathon
The next 5 miles were just as easy. I was keeping up with the 4 hour balloon lady, and the 3:59:59 flag dude was hot on my trail. He and I played hop scotch for the next few miles, but we never passed the 4:00 balloon lady. Go figure. Regardless, I was still feeling strong and my breath was in tact. I wasn't exerting myself too much (which was surprising). Who said marathons were hard...?

Around mile 6, I found Bob and Michelle off to the side and they were cheering me on to keep running strong. This helped immensely. I had been in the zone for so long with my only friend (my iPod nano) that I hadn't really realized there were other people here. I was "in the zone". My music helped me to stay focused on my form and my breathing; everything else was German.

As I approached the 10 mile marker, I was still keeping up with the balloon lady, and the flag dude was creeping up on me. Eventually he passed me around mile 11 or 12. I still felt strong, but my calves were starting to tighten up a bit. They weren't screaming expletives yet, so I continued to push forward with diligence.

On pace for a sub 4 hour marathon!!
Approaching the "half marathon" checkpoint, I realized I was rocking a 4 hour marathon pace. I crossed the 1/2 marathon checkpoint at 2 hours exactly! At this point, I thought I might be able to keep this up and set a new record for myself. My goal was to keep the balloon lady in my sights at all time, and then as we approached the finish, I'd scream past her and finish with the flag dude (assuming he'd eventually pass her).

As it turns out, my calves and my will had taken a beating from this crazy-for-a-chubby-dude pace and I found myself slowing down with each passing "K". Keep in mind that this was a European race and all of the checkpoints were in kilometers. By the time I'd reached the 25K mark, I'd lost sight of the balloons and my will to pass her...

I thought to myself, I still might beat the flag dude... Needless to say, he passed me shortly thereafter and I never saw them again. I was approaching the 30K mark now and my pace had slipped even further. I was hitting the wall.

By the time I reached the 20 mile marker I found myself doing a walk / jog regiment. I'd walk for 50 meters and then jog for 200-300 meters. Running was a thing of the past at this point. My quads and calves just weren't in it anymore. Around mile 22 I started looking around each corner for the finish line. It was nowhere to be found. The 4:15 balloon dude passed me, then the 4:30 balloon dude...

The ailments of this distance run tacked on more and more pain to my calves; I continued  looking for that finish line for the next 5-6 miles. Kilometers just didn't make sense to me anymore. My legs were pissed.

Eventually I came to a point in the race where the finish line was in sight, but there was still another 2 miles to go before I could cross it. Talk about gluttony. The race directors did this on purpose! I just knew it! I wanted their names and their addresses. They were clearly distance runners who found joy in this "false hope" game. I see the humor now, but didn't see it then.

Around mile 24 I was able to see the 4:15 balloon dude pass me, but he was passing me on the other side of the road; heading for the finish. I looked at my watch and realized that I was still on a sub 5 hour pace, but my dreams of crushing my PR were just that; a dream. My goal now was to "not die" and just finish. I continued with my jog / walk regiment, but by this point, it was almost easier to jog. Walking took more effort. Ironically, it's more difficult to walk on sore legs than it is to jog. Ask any runner and I'm sure they'd tell you the same. Once you get to a certain point, the mechanics of running are less painful than the mechanics of walking. Weird, I know.
Less than 1 mile to go!!
I eventually made it to "the other side of the road" where I saw the 4:15 balloon dude 30 minute ago. I was on the home stretch. I only had about 1/2 a kilometer to go... That's about 1/3 a mile for all my American friends. Oddly, this tends to be the longest part of a marathon. The last 0.25 miles of a marathon are sometimes the most difficult. Your brain says your "almost there", but your eyes say "holy crap, that's far as hell".

2013 Dusseldorf Marathon
I crossed the finish line and the clock read 4:46 with some odd change. The wall is a bitch. If my legs could have just kept up with my ego, I may have qualified for Boston! Maybe next year... (?)

After the race I hobbled around the Altstadt looking for Bob and Michelle. I never saw Michelle on the "other side of the road" as I approached the finish, so I wasn't sure if she had already finished or not. The crowd was pretty compact, so my eyes were scanning every German face to see if they resembled an Andreini. Bob, or Michael, or Matt should be somewhere in this crowd waiting for Michelle to exit the runners area.

Eventually I found Michael and then I saw Bob. Luckily Bob had my coat and that was a good thing. The shade was still cold and I was drenched with man-sweat. I immediately put my coat on and we all enjoyed a tall beer with Michelle's relay team near the finish line.

After the race, I went back to my room, showered, and fell on my bed. I tried to catch a few Z's, but I'm not sure if I ever did... I laid there for a while and eventually I got up. Again, I'm not sure if I ever actually saw the sand man though...? Let's assume I did.

Me, Bob, Michelle, Becky, Erin, and Barry
We had dinner plans for 6 pm, so I arrived at Bob and Michelle's around 5:45 and we headed to a very nice restaurant named Meyer & Freeman (ie. Morgan Freeman) to eat dinner with Barry, his wife Becky (?), and their daughter Erin. I had the shnitzel, and it was THE SHNITZEL! :) I ate it all.

After dinner, Bob and Michelle dropped me off at my front door. I hobbled up the steps and fell on my bed again... I definitely saw the sand man this time.

This was a great experience. I'm proud of the way I ran the race. I pushed hard in the beginning and pushed even harder near the end when all of my energy was gone; I left everything on the course. Once the 4:30 balloon dude passed me, I knew it was time to just enjoy the run since all hopes of a new PR were gone. I will remember this run forever. It's the run that I didn't (ok, couldn't) train for, but still kicked ass on. :)

Thank you, Bob, for allowing me to run this race again! Maybe I'll set a new PR here next year??? :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Germany 2013 - Day 14

Moose Sighting!
Today I got to sleep in a bit. I woke up at 11 am and started my day very slowly. I had the curtains closed and the window was closed, so no noise and no light was entering the room. It felt like it was still night time... Even when I woke up at 11, I felt like I could have slept for a few more hours. I quickly realized I was being ridiculous and needed to get moving. :)

Today was scheduled to be a pretty relaxing day though... I only had two real "appointments":
  1. Pick up my race packet before 6 pm
  2. Carbo load before going to sleep
The plan was to meet Bob and Michelle at their flat sometime around noon and head down to the race expo to pick up our race packets. Michelle was running in the race tomorrow as well, she is on a relay team of 4 people and she was signed up to run the last leg of the relay. It was almost a 10K leg and she was pretty excited about it. Last year she ran the first leg so she got to be a part of the starting line. This year she gets to experience the finish line, so she got the best of both ends from the two separate events.

I arrived at Bob and Michelle's flat around noon and Michelle wasn't there, she had plans until around 2 or so. This meant that Bob and I would be picking up my race packet, and then he would go back down to the expo with her to get her race packet later. He and I enjoyed some coffee from his amazing coffee maker before heading down to the expo. As it turns out, we got lost in conversation on our way and ended up taking the long way. :) Doh! It was windy and chilly, but all in all a beautiful day, so it worked out!

The expo was pretty crowded and there were a lot of vendors setup selling their goods and services. I got my race number and my t-shirt and looked around at a few booths before we headed back. Bob went back to his flat and I headed back down to my room. I was able to post a few blog entries and catch up in the "social networking area" for a few hours.

2013 Dusseldorf Marathon Expo
Around 6 pm, I headed back down to The Andreini's where Michelle had cooked an amazing dinner of bow-tie pasta with salad and garlic bread. It was de-li-shus! I had a heaping helping of seconds and we sat around for a while afterwards talking and enjoying the evening. They invited me to stay for a movie, but I was looking forward to getting my things ready for the race and relaxing before the "big day".

Bob and I
I was in bed and reading by 10:30 pm.