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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Great Journey to Europe – Part III

On the Gotthard, just before we arrived at the Hotel Schweizerhof, some of us had decided that we were up to a grand evening out and decided to meet in the lobby and take in a restaurant and a few libations.

The original plan was to head over to a Rosti Café that I had spotted on our first evening in Luzern, not the one Patsy and I eventually ate at, but another in the Old Town district. The plan fell to pieces as soon as others started to show up in the hotel lobby. Everybody seemed to have a newer idea based on some fact that someone else had told them later in the day. Jerry Leininger even took the effort to have the desk clerk to call the place that Kevin and Becky Raabe had mentioned to them earlier. The place turned out to be fully booked and we went back to my original suggestion until the next strap hanging group showed their faces. We changed our ninds again.

After some waiting on several others, four couples of us headed for the Brew Pub that we all had noticed earlier in the day on our walking tour. As we passed the street that lead to my original idea’s café, I alerted the others that I would walk up that street and check out the café and the other club that Jerry had checked on just to see if we were getting the straight poop from those assisting us. I told them I would meet them on the river front street or at the pub, whichever I or they reached first.

Hot footing it up the street, I located the café and counted the empty tables to insure availability and then headed across the square to check on the club. A sheet of paper sign on the door stated that there was no more room at the inn even though I could plainly see plenty of empty tables through the door.

I walked on down the alley toward the water front and as I crested a hill and started down, I see the group of Aggies at the bottom waiting for me. They noticed me just about the same time as I noticed themboth they and I broke out laughing at the same instant. I didn’t find out until I joined them that Patsy had just said that “if I was smart, I would cut through that alley and catch up to them right here.” Well, to every body’s surprise, that’s exactly what I had done. They all got a jolly chuckle at my expense!

We found the brewery house and I walked into the seating area to check out the availability of tables. There were several under cover that looked just right. I walked back out to gather the guys and during my absence two couples of young adults took one of the longer tables just as we were about to slide two of them together. Someone on that end of our group ask them if they would mind moving to the smaller table and they graciously did so. We slammed the tables together and awaited the wait staff.

Finally, a guy comes up to take our drink order. When he got to me, I made him understand that I wanted to buy a round for the group of young adults at the table next to us. He finally understood and ask them if it was OK if I bought them a round and, again, they graciously conceded. At this time the remainder of the table understood what I was about and each couple under rote one fourth of our new friend’s bar tabthere are good people everywhere, you just have to put forward that first step and they will literally crawl out of the woodwork, concrete, plaster, etc…

Soon we had our beers and somebody proposed a toast. As we raised our glasses, clinked them together and just maybe made a boisterous toast; the brewery manager came running out of the back angrily waving his arms about and pointing his very vicious looking finger at us as he warned us to be quite or be evicted, we quieted downfor the moment, at least.

I turned to our new friends behind us and ask if they would take a group picture of us and they, again, very graciously complied.

Surrounding the table left to right: Howard and Patsy Hatfield, 
Jerry & Ginger Leninger, Lee & Joanne Billingsley,
 and Christine and Stan (Class of ’71) Key from Graham, Texas

Our waiter soon reappeared and took our food order. He just shook his headwhether his head shaking indicated our activity or the manager’s activity, I am not entirely sure. It mattered not to one sole surrounding our tablethe possibility of our incarceration plus the care and feeding of eight Texas Aggies, I am sure was not in the best interest of neither the Luzern Police nor the Swiss Government.

As I remember, each of us pretty much ordered something different but I think Joanne was the only one who ended up with sour kraut, the only sour kraut eaten on the entire trip through Switzerland and the portion of Germany we were to visithard to believe.

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