Vacation Travel Journal #2 of 3 Lynn’s eBay eZine March 5th, 2017 Volume XIII, Issue 04


Here it is… my second eZine from Europe! As you know, I will be writing three of these during our 12 days abroad. There will be one for each portion of our trip; London, England, Heidelberg, Germany and Krakow, Poland. It is my goal to keep you updated and also to use this as my family’s travel journal! Before I get started, let me say Happy Birthday to my Dad as today is his actual birthday .

Here is a throwback photo of my dad with Lee and I. We were at Storyland Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My brother and I LOVED going there in the summers when my dad was teaching at University of Alberta. Do you think I am rocking my turquoise blue cowboy hat with my shorts? Yikes!

The first “European Vacation” eZine ended with us getting ready to fly to Frankfurt. Our amazing cab driver Tony had hooked us up with a buddy of his named “Dutch” to take us directly to terminal 5 at Heathrow. It was painless and a bargain at one “bullseye.” A bullseye is a 50 pound note and that was much cheaper and easier than our arduous journey out of Heathrow .

Here we are in the British Airways terminal….happy as can be…not knowing what was to come! They even had a purple wheelchair for my mom. Wow!

Once we arrived in Frankfurt, things did not go so smoothly and I am NOT kidding. I had better share a score before I get into that nightmare. Here is a Villeroy & Boch piece that I took a best offer on while we were in Germany (the country of this gravy boat’s origin ).

Click here to see this auction.

So we got off of our British Airways flight and walked up the gangway looking for our wheelchair assist. We couldn’t find anyone and then suddenly Varina appeared. She was amazing. However, the rest of our journey was NOT.

First we had to walk about three football fields to customs (thank God my mom was in a wheelchair) and we got through that in a breeze. Next up, was walking another seven football fields to the luggage carousel. We grabbed our luggage, but since we had brought extra suitcases to take stuff home for Houston we needed a luggage cart to put it all on.

It cost one Euro. Of course, I didn’t have any Euros (only pounds left) so we needed to find an ATM or someone who would exchange $1 for a Euro. Houston had warned us not buy or exchange money before we got to any new country, so we had no Euros with us.

Finally, I found an ATM and took out 100 Euros but it was in two 50’s. Now, how do you get a one euro coin for a 50 Euro bill? Ughhhh. Finally, we found a very nice couple who gave us a 20, 2-10’s and 2-5’s for our 50 Euro bill. Then I could put the 5 Euro into the baggage cart machine. And we were off to the races….or rather to the beginning of our terrible adventure.

I have to say it was one of my top ten worst travel experiences. Next up, was loading the luggage on the baggage cart and pushing it to the bus terminal to catch the bus to the train terminal. The train terminal was in the same airport but VERY far away. Now keep in mind, my mom was still being pushed by Varina (thank the Lord) and Indy was hobbling along in her walking boot and I was pushing the HUGE luggage cart.

Here they are with the luggage cart and that is Varina.

The bus finally arrived and I had to hand all of our luggage to Indiana who still has that broken foot. Then I get on the bus and Indy and I put it into the storage bins. We go two stops on the bus and then we have to unload our 6 bags, the girl in the boot (Indiana) and my mom in the wheelchair with Varina. LOL. And, our saga had just begun.

Time to share a score. Thank goodness this sold during our trials and tribulations because it certainly helped ease the pain! I took a best offer of about $150. Can’t remember exactly.

Click here to see this auction.

We found the ticket counter for the train to Heidelberg. I was under the impression that it was a direct train ride, but NO we would have to change trains in Manheim. Varina had to bid us adieu at this point (and she was the one who was holding us all together LOL). We tipped her 10 Euros. The train cost another 80 Euros and we waited to board the train to Manheim.

We had no clue what to do when the train arrived. We don’t speak any German and it was a madhouse. People were pushing and shoving to get on and there we were with 6 HUGE suitcases. My mom made it on and we told her to go and find a seat. Then Indy got on and I started loading the suitcases to her. There was no place to put them on the train.

I tried to put some of them in overhead bins but our luggage was heavy and oversized and it didn’t fit. My mom had found a seat, but apparently it was in a reserved section (no one had told us that you could buy reserved seats) and we didn’t have reserved seats.

Finally, a very nice couple who spoke English told us which seats were not reserved and where we could sit. We were scattered all over and I was sitting in the back on a jump seat with the luggage. My mom really needed to use the restroom so somehow she made it to the “water closet” walking through the aisles of a moving train. She was almost near tears when she went past me, so I had Indiana move up to my mom’s seat and we saved the closer seat for my mom.

Just then a steward came by selling wine by the glass and I bought one for my mom and one for myself. Boy did we both need a glass of wine. When my mom came back from the restroom, I helped her sit down and handed her the glass of wine. She looked stressed out and finally a bit relieved. We almost started crying thinking about the next transfer to the local train, but instead burst out laughing.

While we were laughing my mom sold this Venetian trade bead necklace (that she had paid $2 to acquire). She accepted a $100 offer. eBay always makes things look better!

Click here to see this auction.

Luckily, Indiana had made friends with the nice couple who spoke English, Simon and his wife Mika. They told us when to stand up for the Manheim exit (they were getting off also), where to wait with our luggage and even offered to help get it off the train and take it from track 4 to track 9 for the local train to Heidelberg, when we got to the stop.

We started talking more with them in the hallway waiting to exit the train and we found out that Simon had done a semester at UCSB. University of California Santa Barbara which is right up Highway 101 from Malibu and that is why his English was so perfect. He also knew exactly where Pepperdine was and understood that we were excited to see the Goose.

They were so kind! It was amazing. Here they are with my mom and Indy.

We made it safely onto the local train with the help of Simon & Mika! When we got off in Frankfurt we located a cab and we were on our way to the Hip Hotel to meet up with the Goose! Because of so much luggage that short cab ride to the Hip Hotel on the Hauptstraße cost us another $30 Euros.

So far our transfer from the Frankfurt airport to Heidelberg had cost us $120 Euros. In addition to the horrendous 5 transfers from planes, to buses, to trains to another train and to a final cab. Not an easy trip! But right outside the cab in front of the hotel was the GOOSE!!!

Mission of the entire trip was accomplished right then and there! It was great to see him and after we checked into the “Marrakesh” room at the Hip Hotel, he and Indy went off to check out the town, head back up to Moor Haus to grab dinner and make sure they were there in time for the Sunday night chapel where Houston was speaking.

Here is a fun piece from my brother’s collection that I sold for him during that terrible trip by plane, train, automobile and bus. If we could have just added horse drawn carriage to our journey it may have just pushed us all over the edge! LOL.

Click here to see this auction.

The Hip Hotel was amazing and has different themed rooms for many famous cities from around the world. Check out their web site here.

Ironically enough, on that website, one of the rooms that is prominently featured was ours! Check out this screen shot grab I got of our room. To the left is Indy’s part of the junior suite, in the center is our bathroom and to the right is the main bedroom. It was darling.

I took a photo of the ceiling of the main room that you can check out here.

Isn’t it amazing? The attention to detail was incredible and it was a bargain at about $170 US per night and located right on the Hauptstraße, one of the most darling shopping streets in the old city. It was also in between Houston’s house and his school. He would pass by it each day to and from school. Perfect!

After Mor Mor and I had a wonderful dinner at the Lowenbrau (a restaurant right next to the hotel), we were finally able to spend some time with Houston when he and Indy returned from their dinner.

Here is my Instagram post.

The next morning, Monday February 20th, Houston was taking Indy to school with him and she would shadow him for the next three days. We hardly saw either of them  but knew that they were having a blast.

Mor Mor and I headed out to walk the old town shopping street and find the Villeroy & Boch company store. What a treat! Here is the checkout area and you can just feel the German history and tradition when you are in that store.

I took a lot of pictures that day so that I could do some research and figure out what I could buy and resell on eBay. The one flatware set that really caught my eye was the hand hammered “blacksmith” pattern. Here is a link to it on

Here is a photo of the 68 Piece set (service for 12) that was priced at 749 pounds or approximately $933.81 in US dollars at the Heidelberg store.

The sales lady was really sweet and even took out a place setting to show me how lovely it was. I agreed!

However, after doing my research on, I found that I could buy that same set for about $671.88. I would not be making any money by buying in the German Villeroy & Boch store. BUMMER! MAJOR BUMMER!

But I did sell a bunch of this flatware back home on eBay for a lot of money. This pattern has been selling really well for me.

Click here to see this auction.

Right across the street from the Villeroy & Boch store, Mor Mor and I found a darling café for breakfast called the “Garten Café.” Here is a picture of us at breakfast.

Much later that day, we found out from Houston that his Pepperdine classrooms were located right above that very café. STRANGE but true. When we eventually toured his classrooms a few days later, we could look out from the stairwell and sun deck and see the garden that you see in that photo that is right behind me and my mom. WEIRD!

After lunch Mor Mor and I did more window shopping up and down the Hauptstraße. The store displays and window fronts were phenomenal. They really know how to make a great marketing statement and I took a lot of pictures and hope to recreate some of their themes in my new/old Cheryl Leaf Antiques that I am planning on reopening in Bellingham within the next year .

Here is one of the store window fronts that really caught my eye.

The boots that I had purchased for our trip were hurting my feet so I was wearing flip flops and it was about 45 degrees. I was freezing. We ducked into a cute shoe store and I began to browse for something that would cover my feet, but was reasonably priced. NOT even close. The shoes were priced at $100 and over. I finally asked if there was a clearance area and we were led clear around the store to a separate store front where I found some darling slip on clogs for $29. Sold!

Then my scarf was too thin to keep both my neck and head warm, so my mom and I started looking at hats. I ended up buying a cute black knit cap for $15 with a pom pom on the top that matches my hair color. It is hysterical because when I wear it, it almost looks like it is my hair popping out of the top. If….I only had that much hair. LOL.

Here I am with my mom in front of the old bridge in Heidelberg and you can see my crazy new hat.

As we were walking on the Hauptstraße we saw a lot of people carrying HUGE bags that said C and A. We decided that the C&A store must be having a sale and we should check them out. Turns out it was their annual clearance and many things were 75% off. SCORE!

I bought 2 pairs of jeans for $4 each . I will sell one on eBay and keep the other. I also got a darling warm black puffy jacket for $19. My mom bought a matching black puffy coat. Twinning…winning! We text the kids and told them to stop by the store on their way home and I would pay for their purchases.

Houston got two pairs of corduroy pants (so that he could imitate his idol Dr. Lerner), a really nice yellow hoodie and a heavy winter coat for only $29 TOTAL. Indiana also got a heavy winter coat, a new pair of jeans and an awesome black sporty turtleneck for $19. The heavy winter coat was $9. WOWZA!

Clothing sells really well on eBay and is one of my mom’s favorite niches. But, I do really well with clothing as well…mostly mens. Here is a recent Tommy Bahama score.

Click here to see this auction.

After Houston and Indy’s shopping spree we met up with them and we all went to dinner at one of Houston’s local favorite places…a pizza restaurant. Here is a crazy selfie (as only Houston can take) after we finished eating.

It was a fabulous first full day in Heidelberg and I am a fan .

The next day, Tuesday, February 21st, my mom and I spent most of the morning searching for second hand, thrift and antique stores on the internet. I made a list and when I showed it to Monica at the front desk, she said that there just are not any stores like that in Heidelberg. Please tell me, where do you buy antiques in Heidelberg? I had wasted most of the morning and it was time to head down the Hauptstraße to have lunch with the kids.

We met up with Houston and Indy for lunch in front of the Pepperdine Heidelberg Campus. We would grab a hasty lunch and then head back to the classrooms to tour them and meet some of the professors. The kids got soup and my mom and I opted for kabobs. Then it was up the two flights of stairs to the classrooms.

We FINALLY got a tour of the school. We met Catherine the head of the academic program and she raved about how much they all loved Houston. She told us that he was the SGA (Student Government Association) liason along with Gabby, who plan events in coordination with the Malibu campus. They had just planned a flamingo dancing excursion during the program’s group visit to Barcelona. Who knew? Way to go Goose! I couldn’t find a photo of them actually dancing the flamingo but I did find this post of his “crew” in Barcelona.

Then we walked into a classroom and there he was…the infamous Dr. Lerner. Houston’s favorite professor and a real comedian. I asked Dr. Lerner if I could get a photo of him with Houston and Indy and he said “only if you pay me.” I told him we were going to visit Krakow, Poland in the next few days and he said “instead of paying me, just leave Houston there PLEASE.” Dr. Lerner pretends to dislike certain kids and teases them non-stop. I take it as a sign of endearment. How can you not love the Goose?

Here are my kids with Dr. Lerner.

We met more Pepperdine students and saw the upper floors and all of the classrooms. It is a great place!

On our way back to the Hip Hotel, I sold this on eBay. Actually, I sold two of these. They were originally marked at $99.99 each and at ½ price they were about $50.00. I took a best offer of $25.00 each. Much better than donating. Right?

Click here to see this auction.

My 50% off sale on my old merchandise is working wonders for my February sales. We are currently sitting at about $14,236.48 for the past 30 days. A record February for sure! We are up 63% over last year. WOW! Thank God for Mo and Carmen minding the shop and shipping everything out . Thank you girls!

After school that day, Houston and Indy came by the Hip Hotel at about 3:30 and we all took a cab up to Moor Haus where the Pepperdine students live. It is in the shadow of the great castle (the Schloss) and has incredible views of the river and the city below.

Unfortunately, it is quite the hike for these students and once they get to the base of Moor Haus there are more stairs to navigate. Very reminiscent of Pepperdine…aka Stepperdine. Here are Houston and Indy in front of the gate to the house. Check out their new jackets ($9 each from C&A) and Houston’s new cords. NICE!

The steps were not easy for my mom. After a hip replacement last April and having a knee that also needs a joint replacement, stairs are not easy. I have to be honest, the stairs were getting to me as well and she has 30 years on me. She was an amazing trouper. It does astound me however, at how unfriendly Europe is for the handicapped. There are not many ramps, elevators or handicapped restrooms. It is definitely not a place for someone who has a hard time walking.

Here are my mom and Indy taking a break on the hike up from the gate to the Haus. Remember, Indy still has a broken foot!

The Haus was amazing. First we toured the dining area where Houston has a job putting out breakfast each morning. The room was amazing and showcased a photo of each of the different yearly groups from 1963 to present. Here is a photo of the four of us under the doorway.

We also toured the library, the computer room, and the living room. Check out Houston and Indy in the very fancy Living Room. You can see a bit of the library in the background. What an awesome experience to live in such a historically lovely building that has belonged to Pepperdine since 1963.

Finally we made the trek up a few levels of stairs to the Goose’s room that he shares with three others. What a mess! LOL.

Here is Houston showing Mor Mor his room. You can see Indy sitting on Houston’s bunk in the lower corner…but all you see is her broken foot and the boot .

As we were leaving, Herr Daugherty (aka Herr D) the head of the program came out to meet us and I got a great picture of him with my mom and kids.

He was super gracious and spent quite a bit of time with us. Herr D told us that he had been the director of the program for 26 years and that Houston was a blessing to have with them in Heidelberg. Thank goodness! All of the beautiful wood in the Moor Haus reminded me of these Taylor and Ng bowls that I sold recently. Can you believe that Taylor & Ng made wooden salad bowls? I think I got close to $80 for the three of them. Yes, that is right.

Click here to see this auction.

As you saw previously, Houston’s room was a total mess so Indy promised to come back and help straighten up his clothing after Mor Mor, Indy and I left to tour the Castle while Houston studied for his Psychology midterm that was taking place the next day.

Off we went to the Schloss Castle. We got there to find that the last tour had already departed. DARN IT! All we could do was purchase general admission tickets (which would also include a ride down the hill on the venicular on the last car at 5:40 PM).

We did get to see some of the grounds. Indy and I took a funny selfie with the river behind us and I also got a picture of her in front of the largest wine barrel in the world.

After the castle semi-tour we bid goodbye to Indy and she walked back to Moor Haus to clean up Houston’s room. Thank goodness someone wanted to tackle that mess! Mor Mor and I headed to the venicular station to hitch a ride down the hill. We had plans to eat at the Irish Pub right down from the Hip Hotel.

We had a very interesting ride on the cable car/tram aka venicular that hugs the hill and at the base began our walk down to the Irish Pub.

We had a great dinner and I recently sold something Irish for quite a good deal of money.

Click here to see this auction.

It is the Claddagh which I LOVE and have incorporated into my eBay with heart logo. I am 1/16 Scotch-Irish you know!

But back to all the walking. Later that night, after Indy cleaned up Houston’s room, he sent Indy home to the Hip Hotel down the long winding hill all by herself. It was about 11 pm and I begged him to walk with her or put her in a taxi which I would have gladly paid for…but no, he said “Heidelberg is one of the safest cities in Europe” and that she would be “fine.” I am sorry but with everything going on in the world, I thought it was a terrible idea and stayed up late to make sure she arrived safely back at the hotel.

It was just a few short days later that there was a terrible car incident when a 35 year old man drove a car into a crosswalk quite near where we were staying and one man died. Let this be a lesson to everyone, that you should always travel in pairs or utilize other safety measures.

The good news, Indiana did leave Houston with a much cleaner closet. Here is a picture.

Speaking of clothing and closets….I brought 85 I sell sheets with me to list from Europe. 90% were of clothing that my mom had written up for me and I had photographed before leaving California. Here is a sweatshirt that I originally started at $39.99, but once Manchester United won the Championship I raised my starting bid price to $99.99. Why not?

Click here to see this auction.

The next morning, Wednesday, the 22nd, Indy, my mom and I decided to take the one hour city tour by bus. It was a very fun tour and we enjoyed it immensely. After the tour we went back to hang out at the hotel and Indiana joined Houston for his afternoon round of classes.

She had to miss 4 days of school for our 12 day holiday and I explained to Xavier (her high school) that those days should be excused because it was for a college visit. That was way too true! That poor kid even took notes in Houston’s classes. What a scholar!

That night we would be hosting Houston and four of his friends for dinner at the Schnitzel Haus. It was truly a highpoint of our Heidelberg visit. Houston had invited Riley, Logan, Alec and Noelle. Indy and I knew Noelle from his Freshman year on the Malibu Campus so it was great to see her. We had the best server, Yanina, and she took lots of photos for us. Here are a few of my favorites.

After dinner, Mor Mor and I took a cab back to the hotel and Houston and Indy walked back to the Hip Hotel.

The next morning we got up early to walk to the old bridge and take some photos over the river. We had to check out of the hotel at 1 pm and ate lunch/dinner in the hotel pub while waiting for our taxi to arrive at 5 pm to take us to the Frankfurt airport where the four of us, me, my mom, Indy and the Goose would be flying to Krakow.

After our nightmare arrival process to Heidelberg….remember planes, buses, trains and taxis, that cost $120 pounds for three of us, we made the decision to take a private taxi directly to the Frankfurt airport. The private taxi was $170 pounds and once we had all settled into the luxury leather seats of the Mercedes, we all immediately fell asleep. 70 minutes later we had pulled up to our departure terminal and not one of us remembered anything about the journey. That is a the sign of a successful transfer between cities. NO BAD MEMORIES!

Here is a final score before I start writing the next part of my travelogue about our journey to Poland and our wonderful time in Krakow. Talk to you soon!

Click here to see this auction.

By the way, I picked this final score because in Europe (especially Heidelberg and most of Germany it is Christmas year-round). There are some wonderful Christmas shops and this was an ornament that we used to carry in our antiques/gift shop where it was also Christmas year-round.

Thanks for reading my ezines! I appreciate it!
Happy eBaying!

Lynn Dralle, ‘The Queen of Auctions,’
Creator of the best-selling eBay Boot Camp in a Box.

Lynn is an experienced eBay Power Seller, author and teacher. If you want to know the eBay tips, tricks and tools that Lynn uses for buying and selling at online auction click here.

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