Monday, April 29, 2013


I am on day four with my German brethren. 

We are one world, right? 

Sure I never actually think like that until I am half way around the globe with a life boat in the form of my three year old niece Iris.

“I think the museum will be good, Lizzie.” My sister-in-law told me as she was leaving with her students for their bike tour of Munich.  “Iris will like the museum.  There should be some paintings with animals.  It seems like there is a lot of 19th century work.”

While my English major did not afford me copious amounts of economics classes I could apply later in life, it did afford me a couple art history classes that I enjoyed.  I was actually able to enjoy one of the classes twice, after I earned a D+ and the opportunity to “repeat/delete” a class during my freshman year.

Can we all just take a collective time-out on the concept of “repeat/delete”?  If I had a nickel for every moment and decision I’d like to “repeat/delete”...

About 90% of my first dates: REPEAT/DELETE.

Third glass of wine: REPEAT/DELETE.

Booking an Economy seat to Europe instead of ponying up for Business: REPEAT/DELETE.

I just asked some of my younger brethren here at the hotel bar about the “repeat/delete” concept and according to them, there is a three-strike rule here at their school in Munich.  Here, they have instituted a “three-peat/delete”. 

Even better! 

Onto my day:

Our jaunt through the art museum was brief.  Or as Iris described it as we moved from collection to collection: “I go there, I go back”; roughly translated: “Weren’t we just in this room?  Let’s go back to the hotel already!” 

Afterward, we found ourselves in a café for lunch.  While my BI, AKA: Baby Iris, may not be a lover of fine art, she does consider herself a toddler, non-Jewish, yenta.  She is always trying to engage everyone, talk to everyone, connect with and ultimately get the dish on everyone by staring at them longingly and peppering them over and over with “Hi, Hi, Hi…” until they are forced to at least offer a smile or as was the case with the young couple seated next to us in the café, say hello and engage in some conversation.

“You are American?”  The lovely German girl started.


How the hell did you guess?  I said Dankeschon at least three times when I ordered.

“Where are you from in America?”  She continued.

“My niece is from New York and I am from California.” 

Iris was now staring at the German girl, smiling and dancing around in her stroller, quite pleased with herself for having once again caught a live one.

“Oh, where in California?  Anywhere near Malibu?”

“Actually, yes.  A little town over the hill from Malibu called Westlake Village.”

“Yes, that’s south of Santa Barbara, right?”

Who is this person familiar with my may-as-well-be-a-one-stop-light-town from half-way across the globe?

“Yes, exactly.  So you know California well?”  I asked.  It felt good to talk to someone here who knew my home.

“I love it there.  I visited in 2005.”

I love it, too.  More every day I’m here.

“It is nice.  You have to come back soon.”  I offered, like the governor has me chairing up tourism for him or the guest room in my house might actually be open for her visit.

“I hope to.  Where is your niece from in New York?  New York City?”  She continued the conversation.  Iris can sure pick 'em.  

“No.  My brother’s family lives near Albany.”

“Oh, I know Albany.  I work for a company in Russia and I transport bone marrow from Russia to New York.”

Bone Marrow...from New York.  Holy Law & Order: Special Victims Unit! Ok, now you are definitely not staying in my guest room the next time you are in California. 

“Oh.”  I had no idea what to say.  “That’s nice.  Bone marrow from Russia is nice.”

I looked at Iris, still dancing and smiling away.

What the hell did you get us into?

“Ok, Iris.  Should we go back to the hotel?” 

“Ya, back hotel.”  Thankfully, Iris was ready.

“It was nice talking with you.”  I gave my impromptu lunch companions a smile over my shoulder as I hurriedly pushed the stroller away.

“You, too.  Enjoy your visit.”  She smiled back.

I looked over my shoulder about every 15 steps on my way back to the hotel.


Lake Constantine.  Grapes in the foreground.  Swiss Alps in the distance.  Beautiful.