Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pondering The Meaning of Life... and Highway Rest Stops

Today, as I lie on my in-laws' couch, curled up in the fetal position and battling severe stomach cramps, I thought to myself, "If I'm lucky, my life is already one-third over. But what if my life ends up being much shorter? What have I done to make the world a better place?" The honest answer is, "Not a whole lot." Sure, I can hope that I've brightened the life of family and friends, but I'm certain that I'm capable of so much more... the questions is really just "When and/or How?" But of course, I don't have the answers, so, if you have any ideas, please share them!

In the meantime, let me get you up-to-date on our adventures. Yesterday we (and when I say "we", I mean "I"), drove 700 kilometers, from our home in Holland down to our home in Germany. It was a long trip, and fortunately for me, the stomach issues didn't start until this morning.

But along the way we stopped at a rest stop. Let me ask you, what do you think of when you read "rest stop"? If you're from Florida, or any number of other U.S. states, you envision hot, cement-covered slabs of earth, bordered by port-o-lets or (if you're lucky) stinky, dirty toilets.

Imagine, if you can, rest stops which make stopping a pleasure! Enter Germany. Sure, you usually have to pay a small fee for use of the toilets, but often they're the fancy, self-cleaning kind of toilet, in a clean gas station, with a restaurant attached to it.

But there's more!

The rest stop we stopped at was in Siegburg, and included a hotel, little park/picnic area (fittingly-littered with beautiful fall leaves), and a look-out point, which of course wouldn't be complete without a castle on the horizon.

Yes, really. A castle!
But even more amazing is the concept of a rest stops where you can actually rest and enjoy yourselves in the middle of a long trip. What a concept! Bet you wish you were here! Me too. :-) Maybe next time!

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