Tuesday, September 20, 2011


After checking in to our hotel, we rested for a bit and then decided to go for adventures, including looking around town, looking for dinner, and looking around the hotel.

One of Jacob's main priorities was to use the pool. Since our luggage hadn't caught up with us yet, he had to be satisfied with a look at the pool and the fitness center. This hotel, Hotel Pullman Stuttgart Fontana, features a full spa (at least I think of it as a full spa; I am a guy who has never gone to an actual spa, so take my word with a grain of salt), with steam and dry saunas (bathing suits not allowed!?!), massage room, jacuzzi, workout room, and snack bar. We enjoyed seeing it all and spent some time in the workout room. Jacob loves the equipment for some reason, especially the water cooler. He and Lucy had some drinks of water before we left.

Checking in at the front desk to see if we our luggage arrived (not yet), we asked where to walk around and get dinner. The market (Markt in German) and town center are a five minute walk from the hotel though a park. That was fine with us.

The park was across the street. One peril was the playground on the right which was not where hungry parents wanted to go. Fortunately, the children were focused forward and we didn't have to fight over playing at the playground. The other end of the park had a fountain and a long sand pit where some older gentlemen were playing what looked like bacchi. We looked at the fountain for a little while then headed into the market.

We used an underground walkway to avoid a major road. The rain started while we were below. The interesting thing about this underground path was its accommodation for bicycles. Ramps led down into it and back up out of it. After much exploring, that seems quite common here in Vaihingen. I wonder if the rest of Germany is so accommodating for bicyclists.

A nearby restaurant let us get out of the rain. Its name is the Vahinger Pizza Kepabhaus, featuring pizza and gyro meat dishes. We tried to order pepperoni pizza but the pepperoni was all out. We got salami instead. We also ordered a gyro dish and some spinach bread. The kids shared our food and each had a 500 ml box of juice, which was way more than they needed. The juice was popular, the food not so much. I had a rather uninspiring beer, Efes. I guess it's good to start low and work your way up in quality. We are staying for a week.

After dinner, we walked over to a small mall to buy milk and see what else they offered. We found a food market that provided milk and some desserts: chocolate covered gingerbread, chocolate covered Irish cream cakes, and butter crisp cookies (sans chocolate). Jacob and Lucy enjoyed the escalators and elevators in the mall.

If only more malls had rides...

Finally we headed back to the hotel, hoping for a swim. The front desk said our suitcases still hadn't arrived. We went up to our rooms to hang out. Later, they called to say our suitcases would arrive in half an hour. We watched a little German TV (we couldn't figure out anything except for the cartoons). Finally the call came in, our luggage came upstairs, and we went to the pool.

The pool area had some lockers where we changed clothes. A short walk through the showers brought us to the happy place: an indoor bean-shaped pool that was fairly deep and fairly cool. The kids loved splashing around, especially since green and purple pool noodles were provided by the hotel. I made an arch of one noodle and Jacob swam through with Mommy's help. After a good half hour, we headed back upstairs for bedtime, with dreams of an exciting tomorrow.

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