I said the last post might be my last from Germany, but I have more to tell....
The trip to the airport was a non-issue and we arrived in Stuttgart around 7pm. Unfortunately, it was already dark and so finding the hotel which was not in our GPS was a bit challenging. It was more challenging that there are 2 hotels with the same name right across the street from each other.
Finally, we parked the car near one of them and the only elevator was blocked off. So we walked down the traffic lane and into the hotel.
We finally got to the room which was the best room I have ever stayed in. High tech beyond belief. I'll try to post the photos another time as I cannot get them right now. When you walk into the room, you put the key into the wall and everything lights up like a toy store.
We found a cart for the luggage just like the grocery stores that takes 1 euro to unlock.
They then told us where to park and we moved the car to the appropriate garage. We then decided to take all 4 of our bags (which had grown from our arrival) to check in early tonight. Unfortunately, KLM does not do early check-in.
They told us to go to Customs to get our stamp for the Bionic. We finally found customs after asking 10 people and learning that the word we needed was "Zoll" and that the "Zoll" sits secretly between an exit and a flower shop.
Then the lady with the gun came out and told us we have to come back tomorrow at 5:30am. The flight is at 6:20am so the cards are already stacked against a good morning, but that is all we can do they tell us.
So, we went to Burger King, ate our last terribly unhealthy meal, had a great sundae with oreos and likely the last diet coke before returning, we hope, to the US tomorrow.
That 1 euro cart was well worth it as it now sits right next to my bed overnight. Hopefully, no 2am alarm goes off when it finds it is not where it should be.
Then the rental car had to be returned. That was fortunately not too difficult except they could not print a receipt and so I have no idea how much the bill actually was. Since they wanted me to return to another counter to get that information, I decided to come back to the hotel.
I then walked through the airport with my underwear in my arms that I had taken out previously and left in the car when I actually still believed I might be able to check my bags tonight.
It is now 9pm and I have to get up at 4am.
Morals - wear a watch (would have been good many times on this trip), don't arrive in a big city after dark, and don't leave the first flight out, and find a better way to carry around your underwear....