The Germany Journals (Ger-nals?) Part 3

See Parts 1 and 2 if you haven't read them yet.

DAY 9:

Still more rain and cold that morning - it was starting to really get to me. It was either pouring or drizzling all. the. time. We managed to while away the morning knowing we had a game plan for after the midday nap - Jack’s Fun World - an indoor playground built in an industrial warehouse space - it was HUGE. I started calling it “Captain Jack’s” after a song Shark Boy had learned at daycare - especially because it reminded me of another Captain Jack Song.

The place was filled with ball pits, climbing structures, trampolines, slides and such which were included in the admission as well as things that costed a surcharge - bumper boats, video games, mini-golf, and those stationary rides you find in shopping malls like cars, trains and helicopters that shake when you put coins in. To my utter disappointment Shark Boy wanted nothing to do with the former attractions and insisted on the latter (I refused to spend an extra cent). It's not that I found that kind of preference shocking in general - I probably would have done the same thing at his age - but it seemed so out of character for HIM.

After a meltdown about me not springing for mini-golf clubs (how does he even know what that is?) my low-blood sugar detector went off, and we got both kids some ice cream. That seemed to do the trick - he was into the ball pit and climbing structures in is usual way - seemingly teleporting from one end to another - and generally taking years off my life as I'd lose sight of him every few minutes.

He'd give us another example of his over-abundant energy levels before the night was out. Our hosts, my father-in-law and his wife had the idea to have dinner at the local resto-pub - it's a short walk away from the house. Shark Boy got a chance to show off his new bike and his ability to ride it, while my father-in-law opted to spare himself from the rain and make the short drive. We crossed the street, put him on the bike, pointed him in the direction of the restaurant and off he went. I was carrying the Lightning Kid and I lost sight of him quickly. It took me a good minute to realize that our two ladies who were walking ahead of me had no idea how far ahead he'd gotten and when they started trying to catch him they'd be far too slow. I dropped the Lightning Kid off with his grandfather at the restaurant then took off at my top speed. I was in jeans and running shoes and I went full out for 600 m before I even saw him. His grandfather’s wife had asked a jogger (with a better head start than me) to stop him. He was already at a major intersection when normally his habit was to stop at every crossing.

I was too winded and angry to muster a good scolding or punishment so I put him back on the bike back toward the restaurant with instructions to stop when he reached his mother. He ignored that and blew right by her. Another sprint for me and bike privileges revoked - my idea to throw the bike into the river was not taken seriously by anyone. I guess I should have been grateful to do some speed work - but safety first, especially for the kids.

DAY 10:

I guess the night cooled off any bike-related anger. My father-in-law, a.k.a Opa wanted to take Shark Boy on a longer bike ride. We planned to meet in town; my wife, the Lightning Kid and I would go in by car - while Opa and his wife would take Shark Boy through the forest on the bikes. I had my reservations but if they wanted to take on the challenges of a preschooler, more power to them. I told him not only to listen to when they told him to stop, but to ask them to stop if he was getting tired.

They ended up taking a wrong turn in the forest looking for a pen where wild boars are kept (not so wild, I guess) and long story short - they rode 10 km. He's three and a half. He'd been riding a bike for less than a week at this point. He even had too much spare energy to sit still in a chair at the restaurant were we all ate lunch together ("Weil" - aptly name since service took a "while"). Fortunately we were seated outdoors (the weather was finally warming up - in fact the intense sunlight took some getting used to) in the pedestrian area of town so he could run around.

We ate Flammkuchen and afterwards we went to an Italian Ice Cafe that had a Spaghetti Ice Cream so good it made the last one I had in Bad Homburg seem like hot garbage.

We got home and put the boys down for an afternoon nap and I took that as a cue to get a run in. Shark Boy's achievements of the day inspired me to go long - I skipped my *Burbathlon* antics to taake a route along the river Havel. I needed my hydration pack along since lunch had made me thirsty, but that also let me take my camera long to get some pictures from the riverbank. 12.5 km - my longest run since the *Chilly Half-Marathon*. I had a respectable pace that I liked, though I think I missed the negative split.

DAY 11:

German Hay Fever seemed to have been worse than the home brew and the Lightning Kid was still experiencing lots of wake-ups and still consistently getting up at 5 AM. These two factors had me too tired to do much on my morning walk with the Lightning Kid beyond a few toe-touching type light exercises and some triceps dips.

Get two of every animal...

The weather turned so nasty that hail pellets are overflowing the gutter. The day's Saving Grace (or saving throw, for you geekier types) is a date night at a nice Italian restaurant.

DAY 12:

We take a riverboat cruise from Tegel back to Heiligensee - keeping a 1&1/2 year-old safe, yet happy on a boat is a lot of work but a mid-day snack of Berlin Currywurst knocks an item off the 'must-eat' list...

My allergies were starting to kick into high-gear... the congestion from hay fever relegated me to the couch for snoring but it works out since I'm better able to greet my brother and his family when they arrive late that night: Let the Games begin!

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