Luhmuehlen, Germany 
Jun 9, 2011

We arrived Wednesday morning into Amsterdam after a very easy flight from New York.  Kelly, Nat, and I then spent the next 4 hours or so drinking coffee and telling stories to keep ourselves awake while we waited for the horses to be cleared through customs.  After a little mishap when a lorry tire met a curb, we joked that us girls would be happy to change it so that they didn’t have to call a repair man. They called the repair man, and then it took 3 men a lot of standing around scratching their heads.  Eventually they had a new tire on the lorry.  It was nearly noon when we set out for a “6 hour” drive across Holland and Germany.  I can’t say much about the drive as I was looking at the insides of my eyelids most of the time, but I can say that this country’s restrictions that require truck drivers to stop and rest every few hours was getting to be more than a bit tedious.  If we had that in America, it would take me a week to drive across the country!

We finally arrived in Luhmuehlen Wednesday night and got the horses settled into a nice stable where we’re staying until the event next week.  By the time we went to check in to the hotel and try to find dinner it was 10:00.  The hotel staff informed us they were closed and only agreed to give us a room after we begged a little.  Then we walked into town where the only food we could find was a Chinese restaurant.  In a scene that was a little like an I love Lucy episode, we attempted to crack a double language barrier to order some food.  As the proprietors barely spoke German and not a bit of English, they eventually brought a menu that had a few clip-art pictures of animals so we could figure what the words for beef, chicken, pork, and fish were.  We were still stumped with one, but through some demonstrations of animal sounds, we eventually figured it was duck.    It’s a good thing the place was empty because the quacking and flapping of arms at the table would have definitely turned some heads.  We ended up with an excellent dinner and headed to bed.

Today we took it really easy on the horses, hand grazing them and organizing our tack for most of the day.  We went to a tack store on site that was floor to ceiling, packed denser than anything I’ve ever been to.  It was really impressive, but I managed to leave without buying anything.  Kelly and I walked into town and found some real necessities; carrots and apples for the horses, and cookies and chocolate for ourselves.  Now we’re ready to take Germany by storm!  Jennie arrived in the afternoon and then we had a really nice dinner with a lot less gesturing and noise making.

Tomorrow we’ll give the horses an easy hacking day to stretch out their legs and then start to ramp things up later in the weekend.