Monday, September 24, 2007


We just spent a fabulous weekend in Heidelberg...located outside of Frankfurt on the River Neckar. Unlike much of Germany, Heidelberg was spared during WWII as it was neither an industrial center or transportation hub. Following WWII, situated in the American zone of Germany, Heidelberg became the headquarters of the American forces in Europe. The city population is roughly 20% US military and their families, 20% university students, remaining are probably all employed by the university or tourism industry.

We arrived there Saturday around lunch time. We kept things fairly low key as Carter was a little under the weather. We wandered around the old town (Altstadt) and had lunch. We walked up Philosopher's Way and enjoyed some incredible views of the city and castle. It's quite a hike up this road, but the old homes provide a great distraction.
View from Philosopher's Way on the north side of the River Neckar:

Saturday we night stayed at a little hotel on the west side of town, Hotel Neu Heidelberg. Apparently that's the best you can do when booking only 24 hours in advance. It turned out to be a fabulous hotel & restaurant. On Saturday evening, we put Carter to bed in our room and then had dinner in the hotel restaurant. Great food & we were able to run upstairs to check on Carter every 15 minutes. It was the first "date" Ben and I have had since we've moved to Germany. Dinner just the two of us...Fabulous!

Sunday was spent doing things centered around the funicular railway (which by the way is just a fancy term for a train that goes up and down a REALLY steep slope). This railway has a 43% grade at it's steepest point. That's pretty darn steep! Anyway, we took the railway to the top of Molkenkur and stayed for a Falcon show at the Falknerei. Pretty amazing how fast these birds can fly and dive for food. The show was entirely narrated in German; however, it's pretty easy to figure out the general idea of what the guy was saying. Carter was totally amazed with these birds of prey.

When then took the railway back down the mountain with a stop at the Heidelberg Castle.

The rest of the pics can be found here.

It was a fairly exhausting day for all. Just ask Carter:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Frankfurt Auto Show

Ben and I were lucky enough to get free tickets to the Frankfurt Auto Show and time off work to actually attend. And, yes, it is much better than the Detroit Auto Show...if only in that it's more spread out than the Detroit show. It's too cramped at Cobo Hall. The Frankfurt show is spread out through 10 different buildings at the Frankfurt Messe (convention center) and walking between buildings gives you an opportunity to escape from the crowd.

Most beautiful car: Alfa Romeo Competizione

For those of you who are interested (probably only Andy and Bernie), here's the link to the rest of the pics.
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Thursday, September 06, 2007

It's a Small World After All

Quite possibly one of the most annoying songs every to come out of Disney, but the lyrics really ring true to me these days.

Sitting with 17 other engineers in a conference room on an old Royal Air Force Base in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England (30 min outside of Birmingham), I was one of 2 not from the UK. The other - a Swede from Volvo - leaned across the table and asked if I knew Jessica Ledger. In fact, I do. She and I worked together on the Lincoln MkS Sedan for a year. Not only did we work together, we actually had the same job and worked for the same guy. What are the odds? This Swede and I are in the middle of England for 5 days, never met each other before, or any of the other people we were with. He was recently back from a 2 month assignment in Australia where he had been working with Jessica who relocated there almost a year ago. Sure, we are all Ford Employees ...but it's still kinda crazy for a company that has over a quarter of a million employees.