Penn/Brown football game

On my return to Germany, I had important business to attend – the Penn/Brown football game this past Saturday, which also served as Penn’s homecoming. Nick, Maria, and I met my Dad and his friend Mike at the game. Dad and Nick, who have recently been out to South Bend for a Notre Dame game, were generally unimpressed with the turnout and the spectacle. It would not have been possible at Notre Dame to take pictures of this kind of desolation in the stadium:

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Franklin Field at Penn seats about 75,000 people. They probably get the place pretty full for the Relays and maybe Commencement, but was there ever a time when Penn football drew crowds that big?

Anyway, the stadium has picked up a shiny new high-def scoreboard since the last time I was there:

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Nick and Maria, who genuinely seem to get along pretty well, enjoyed some sibling togetherness:

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Note my Dad sporting his Notre Dame windbreaker and a Brown hat. Hard to believe such a stunning display of disloyalty would go unpunished in a Philly stadium:

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Penn ended up thumping Brown pretty good, so it wasn’t much of a game by the end. We did have very good seats, though:

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Basketball season is right around the corner, so hopefully we’ll catch the same matchup in a different sport, this time in the cozier confines of The Palestra.

On the road again

Another month, another trip to Germany. It’s hard to stay blasé about traveling around the world, but we do our best.

This was a fairly short trip in comparison to others – I flew over on Monday evening, arriving Tuesday morning European time, and I flew back on Friday afternoon. Out of 96 hours away from home, I spent 16 hours on a plane. Fortunately, it was a beautiful plane, lovingly appointed with a very fine entertainment system.

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We arrived at a remote parking stand in Frankfurt, which means walking down steps to the tarmac, like in the glamour days of air travel, only instead of landing in sunny Hollywood like in the movies, you’re stepping into a freezing German morning so you can ride a bus to the terminal:

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Again, hard to stay blasé, but I do what I can.

My rental ride for this trip was a gorgeous black Audi A4 TDI:

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My hotel in Heidelberg had palm trees out front. They are indeed real, and they seem to be permanent:

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We need to import some of these to the States! I want palm trees in my yard.

I had some late evenings at the office, but fortunately that made for lovely photography:

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Before long, it was back to the airport again:

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One unusual thing about the trip – on the return flight we went quite a bit further north than usual, actually cutting across the southern tip of Greenland. Usually flights are routed somewhat further to the south.

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I’ll probably be heading back again at least once more before the end of the year. My passport expires in two more years, and I think I may end up filling it with stamps before then, which is amazing.

Warmup for Halloween

The weekend before Halloween, our town’s merchants organize a trick-or-treating night in the main business district. Kids from all over town come together and troop from one storefront to the next, picking up candy. For the parents, it’s a nice social opportunity, since we run into folks we normally see at school or in other settings.

Maria had ballet practice, and Nick’s costume wasn’t quite ready yet, so it fell to Anna to represent the family in costume. She was dressed this year as a “minion” from the movie Despicable Me:

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Nick grabbed a pair of goggles and made his own fashion statement:

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The local elementary school also opens its doors for games and a costume contest. We caught up there with our friends the Gesings, who live in our neighborhood:

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It was a fun evening, and a good way to get the spooky season underway.