Tag Archives: Germany

My trip to Germany!

It’s hard to believe 2 weeks ago I was on an airplane coming home. I want to talk about my trip to Germany and things I learned about blind people and the culture there.

I was excited to go, but also nervous since I was leaving Frasier. I think the longest I ever left Robin was 4 days, so this is now the new record. I put Frasier in his crate and caught a Lyft to the airport. The plane ride was long by the end my hips, legs and butt were all just like lets go. We got to Germany at 7:20 local time which is 6 hours ahead of Eastern time. Going through customs was easy they actually opened a new line for us so the blind people could get through quickly.

We caught a bus to the hotel and the stops were spoken in German and then English. The hotel was connected to the airport and employed 90 thousand people so it is a pretty huge building. Anyway I got checked in and started noticing differences from the states. I caught an elevator and there were no bells or audible information what floor you moved to. All week I just guessed or asked people. A few times I got off on the wrong floor. Once getting off the elevator the next surprise was nothing had Braille. In the elevator the buttons were arranged vertically so I could count to my floor, but there again no Braille. In fact the entire time other than the conference program I observed no Braille. Thankfully my room was two from the end, so I could find it easily.

One morning I woke up and ventured around on my own to see what kind of trouble I could get in to. I found the breakfast place and it was 30 euros for a hot plate. I said no and walked back to my room. When doing this I went to the ground floor and to get back to my room you had to use your key card on the elevator to get it to go to your floor. I stuck the key in backwards or upside down it just didn’t work. There was a guy who said I need a way to figure out what side was the top on the key card. Normally I put tape on it, but hadn’t yet. He actually chipped away some of the top layer so I could feel a little notch. I thought this was cool and something he didn’t have to do. He I think was a worker at the hotel but props to him for doing this. I met him in the elevator, but he used what he had to make something accessible. I just thought it was cool.

We went out and walked around Frankfurt and things I observed were the following. My god it was so quiet. We passed several outside diners and folks were just laying on the riverbanks and the noise was so minimum. In are cities noise is so crazy loud. The food I had in Germany was amazing. My favorite was curry worst. The beer was also really good.

I went to a dinner hosted by another company and it was decently loud. Thankfully I sat near a couple from Belgium, and we talked the entire evening. It was neat to learn about there company and family. She had a guide dog named Bootsy trained in Belgium. Hopefully one day Abby and I will go see them! We exchanged contact information and I really enjoyed the evening and getting to know them! I only saw 3 dogs though the entire time, and honestly the stress of everything I am glad I left Frasier. It was hard, but I knew he was safe with Abby.

On Saturday we had a free day, so we went to Heidelberg and viewed an old castle. It was really accessible to touch and explore. I will say this I thought a castle would be tall, but this was more compact and spread out. It was cool to have that much access to something so old.

One funny story in the town we stopped by a gummy bear store and Dave asked what can I get here you don’t have in the states? The lady replied we have gummy breasts and penis’s. It was just so unexpected.

When I got home Frasier jumped all over me. He didn’t want to leave my side. It’s funny I fell asleep during a Celtics game last night and Abby tried to take him out and he would walk away from her when she’d call him. He wanted to stay near me. By the way go Celtics please beat the Calves. Also the radio team for them is just amazing. Cedric and Shawn are the best.

I got Abby an Apple Watch this week. I am thankful for all that she does. She cooks and did a great job looking after Frasier and she puts me first. I wanted to show her how much it means to me. She spoils me all most every day and I had been slacking since I got the ring. Anyway thank you for everything that you do.

I really loved the opportunity this trip presented and I learned so much. I left Humana a little over a year ago and while that job served me well and I made several friends there I’m glad to be where I am. Technology is my passion you should see my room and my gadgets.

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A quick update wedding plans in Germany

The wedding planning was going great until Abby called the park to check something and they said we had picked a smaller venue which we confirmed when ordering in December but whatever. Long story short we found a place and also a spot for the reception it will just be smaller than we intended. Making cuts was hard because I didn’t want to hurt anyones feelings. I think at the end of the day I did good with making a selection. All cousins are off the hook. I wanted y’all there, but we have a huge family. I also didn’t want to invite 1 and not another causing hurt feelings. I hope everyone understands Abby and I still love you.

It’s hard to believe were getting close to the wedding day. It goes fast. I leave for Germany in a week which I am looking forward to. I had to make a tough choice, but I think I made the right one. Germany has no ADA so it is up to each proprietor whether or not they would allow Frazier to enter there venue. I talked to some blind people who said they had good luck, but others who didn’t. I called the hotel and was told he could sleep at the hotel with me but couldn’t enter diners and such with me. Thank god for the ADA I know there is a bill trying to get rid of it, but it’s this bill that has brought so much progress for those with disabilities here in America. Shame on you congress and etc. for trying to over right the progress made here.

Frazier and I are doing well. We went on another trip about a month ago to SanDiego . I really want to go back and take Abby. They had so many audible traffic signals and walking around there was nice. Frasier was a champion. I am amazed with his ability to backtrack.Robin was good at this also, but he always remembers. He has had a barking issue and that still comes up from time to time, but he is getting better. I can’t wait to take him to a ball game which when we get back to Germany were going to one. I get back Sunday and we’re actually going Tuesday night.

I am typing this on an IPad Pro which I got recently. I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I am going to sell my MacBook Air. Typing with a keyboard on this thing feels great, plus with multitasking with apps it’s just as nice as my Mac was. Plus it’s more portable at the end of the day. I am not much of a computer user these days anyway. I decided to go with the cellular version on T-Mobile. One cool thing is I am leasing it month to month so when the next IPad comes out I can give it back for the new one if I want. Work also wanted me to get one so they are pitching in money also which is worth it.

Abby and I have been playing with a new service called Aira also. We love it. The first time Abby used it she went up and was able to get her own drink from a soda fountain. Basically how Aira works is you have glasses that connect you to an agent who can see from the camera in the glasses. They also can see where you are with GPS. I used it in Chicago to get me to the pet relief area in the Airport, and also to find my gates that changed 2 or 3 times. It’s awesome, because you don’t have to ask for assistance you can get the info from the Aira agent and then do it yourself. If I had waited to get an Airport worker in Chicago that would have waisted time depending on how much time until your next flight things may not be possible to do anyway.

I will make notes while in Germany and do an update when I get home. T-Mobile gives me free data while there so I’m glad that isn’t a concern. I love them as a company and coverage is getting better all of the time. In Louisville it is better than Verizon with speeds and in buildings which surprised me. Anyway I hope all of you are well. I am going to miss Abby, Bancroft, and of course my boy while I am gone. I have to go back to the dreaded cane. I hope to do some travel on the train while I am there. I’m also working on taking a ride on the autobahn I want to go over 100. I have 2 free days so only god knows what kind of trouble I can get in to. Lol I will just miss my family back in KY for sure.