Kaitlyn falls for this city. HA! I so funny. The next morning (noon), while Andrea takes Victoria to Kindergarten, Amelie takes us into town in her Mini (the original model). Now this is a tiny car. Fun. We zip here and zip there. She gives us a view of Düsseldorf atop the Rheinturm. It’s a great view. You can’t really tell how beautiful of a city Düsseldorf is until you see it from this view. It doesn’t have any large landmarks that stand out other the industrial stuff or this tower that we’re in, nor does it have large old classical landmarks. But it does have an old part of the city, which you can see beautifully from up here. And the way that the Rhein snakes through the city is really cool.
Amelie says that because of the way the windows are slanted on this tower, people can take pictures with the illusion that the person is falling as they lie against the window. I can’t quite get the right effect (unitil later when I modify the picture). Kaitlyn sure looks happy for someone falling from 600 feet, eh?
Modern architecture, sushi, ice cream, and…
Andrea comes with Victoria to meet us at the tower. We walk to an interesting building called the “Doorway to Köln,” because its open door points straight to that old city. We also walk past some weird and wavy buildings that to me look very similar to the Experience Music Project building in Seattle, but I forget the architect’s name. (I just looked it up, and sure enough, the Zollhof office buildings in Düsseldorf were designed by the firm of Frank O. Gehry, a modern architect from Toronto, who also designed that odd building in Seattle. It’s like Chahuli glass, it’s so strange and bold that it’s unmistakably distinct.) We try another optical trick. If we all push, it’s supposed to look like we warp the buildings ourselves. This one we can’t quite pull off.
Andrea leads us to a place where we can choose among three restaurants. We all decide on the sushi place, including Kaitlyn. We order family style, and Kaitlyn gets to have all the California rolls. Victoria finds a new friend. It’s so cute how she copies everything Kaitlyn does. Kaitlyn reads (makes up) a story to Victoria after dinner.
Now it’s time for dessert. We walk a little further to a wonderful ice cream shop, where we have huge sundaes and coffee.
So, it’s the middle of the afternoon now, and we’re all full and ready to go. When we arrive back to the parking lot, I ride with Amelie as she starts up the.. umm.. as she starts up the Min…. Oops. She knows exactly what it is as she shuts off the light switch which is way over in the center of the dashboard and has no alarm like modern cars do. “Wait, Andrea, wait.” So, here we are having fun for the next hour or so trying to do various things in the following order:
- Jump start the Mini.
- Clutch start the Mini.
- Call Germany's equivalent of AAA.
I can’t figure out why the car doesn’t jump start for us, until after the ordeal is over. The guy helping us looks like he knows what he’s doing, so I let him take charge, even though what he’s doing doesn’t match the procedure I have in my head. What a woos I am. It’s (1) red dead positive, (2) red live positive, (3) black live negative, (4) black dead chassis ground. We mix up the last two steps. I think this arrangement we choose stops any current at all from flowing to the dead car. We connect the cable to the chassis on the live car instead of the chassis on the dead car. However, since clutch starting does’t work either, it’s probably inevitable that we were to spend some time in the parking lot. What’s life without unplanned adventures like these. For one, Kaitlyn and Victoria get to spend lots more quality (goofy) time together. :-) And we get to see how intelligent that little 3 yr. old Victoria is as she explains to her dad on the phone everything that’s been going on. She doesn’t miss a beat, that little one.
We go to the market while Amelie waits for the auto service to arrive. We get bags of gummi and sugar candy mix, some wurst, and some fruits and vegetables. While Andrea prepares dinner, a small parade comes down the street. I have no idea what it’s for, but it’s neat.
The dinner preparation is beautiful. We have simply wurst and veggies, but the table is decked out with flowers, and the little candies that we bought are scattered about the table with party linen and all. It’s fun.