After I had arrived in my hotel room, I took a shower and shaved. Having done that, I did not feel like someone who had just spent 13+ hours in a plane at all. It was shortly after 3 pm – time for cake. Before I went downstairs to join the others, I had to take a photo of my room, th0ugh. Now, this hotel-restaurant is the exact same place my parents celebrated their actual wedding 50 years ago, which is pretty amazing if you think about it.
Looking at the rooms, you could think not much has changed since then:
There is a separate bathroom with a toilet and a sink, but the shower is basically two steps away from the bed. Don’t get me wrong: it is a nice enough room and as it was a little chilly I appreciated that the heating worked (it’s August, so it’s not a given that the owner turned on the central heating system). Spoiled corporate drown that I am, I was also surprised that there was no shampoo and shower gel provided in the shower. But then again, Abbecke is not really in a metropolitan area and it is rather foolish to expect standards you would find in big city hotel franchises.
Anyway, once I was done, I went to the restaurant. The first guests – Ilse, Erwin and my aunt Barbara – had already arrived and were soon joined by Dirk, Tina, Achim and Stefan. Barbara had brought a photo album she had made after the wedding in 1966 and it was a striking time jump to see those photos from 50 years ago. Particularly because both Achim and Dirk had been there, too.
We had excellent cake, we had fun and I was trying to take photos of everybody. Ilse and Erwin proved to be quite the challenge here, but I eventually managed to get a nice shot of them (after the they had seen how the pros – me and Tina, my dad and Stefan – do it).
The photo of Tina and me was taken by Barbara. Nice job, really!
… and a little anniversary serenade for the happy couple.
If you wonder what I did… well: not much, I have to admit. I did not give a speech and I had not prepared a poem (as I have done before). I feel a little bad about that, but then again, I made a really long trip to be there, so this must count for something, no?
Dinner came and it was a joyful memory of all the family events we had in the past: game with a mixed vegetable plate and of course potato croquettes (which makes me think of the croquette eating contest I had with Stefan when I was… dunno… a dumb kid – it ended with a lot of puking on my side, thanks for asking).
It got later and I felt tiredness creeping up on me. The jetlag demanded its toll. I bravely powered through and was still around when Stefan played songs on the guitar.
I lasted till close to 11 pm, if I recall right, but then excused myself and toddled off to the bed (next to the shower).
What a nice day and celebration. I am sure happy I was there!
I mean: heck! – my parents are married for 50 years now. Me and Lamia have just pulled off 4 years – not even 10% of that. They raised two kids (awesome kids, by the way). And I sure know how hard it can be to raise two boys (and make them awesome). And, not that I would know,… I mean: I am still wet behind the ears. But I reckon there are many more ups and downs in 50 years than I can imagine. And to overcome the bad so you’re able to celebrate the good for such a long time and make it look easy (despite some bumps and some scratches in the lacquer) is certainly worth a Nobel peace prize. Or a medal. Technically the Nobel comes with a medal, I think, so there.
Anyway. Now that I write this, I think this paragraph could have been the seed for a speech.
Well… in 5 or 10 years then, eh?
Mutti und Vati –
unabhängig davon ob eure Kinder großartig geraten sind oder nicht: ihr seid definitiv großartig! Vielen Dank für die schöne Feier und die tolle Zeit!