DAY 40, JUNE 26
(MATT) We woke up around 7:30 and were ready to go by 8:00. Well, we were ready to go, not little Heather. Oh yeah, that's why we don't travel with the female type. We eventually were all ready to go by 9:30. We took Heather to the train station (so she could check in her bags.) We let her write in the log while Jon tried to call Barry Kramer one last time. Jon had no luck--again. So we said a sugarless, tearful goodbye to "Our Little Heather" and ditched her. Thank you, Heather, for helping spice up our "Romantic Road."
(HEATHER) To Zog, Pog, Grog, and Dog (Matt, Sam, Chris, and Juan), "The 4 Amigos": I wish I could continue in my thoughtprovoking writing, but all good things must come to an end, and all good clichés must as well. I'm at the Bahnhof now, saying good-bye. Thank you guys so much for everything you have done for me. You've been great company, generous, sharing, and chivalrous. Without you, I would have skipped Rothenberg, which has become one of my favorite cities in my travels. Despite your conservative ideals, you're definitely one of the most memorable travel companions (grammar problems) who I have met.
So, fond farewell, "so long, farewell, Anf Wiedersehn, Goodbye." Now I must go eat a gyro and think of you! Don't forget when we did "Sound of Music" together. Don't quit your day-jobs or anything, but Sam, you made a great Gretel. John, you were a great "rebellious teenager," (me, me, me, so?!) Chris, you handled your one note with aplomb, and Matt, our duet woke the Dead! Love, Heather.
(CHRIS) Thank you Heather. You were a joy.
(MATT) We drove on toward Rolduc, stopping only to eat a quick lunch. We made it to Rolduc around 4 p.m. and found Andrew right away. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia (Sung to the tune of Handel's Messiah.) Insert as many Alleluia's as the Spirit tells you. Be free with them my children, this is Andrew, the Dutch Mystic Vanderhelm Youngblood Alleluia) we're talking about.
(ANDREW) Weeds that tumble? Unwanted grass, viciously ripped from its soft home on the earth, thrown into the merciless forces of the wind that randomly throws it around, propelling it to move in a circular--might one say, almost falling--motions upon horizontal, vertical, and, yes, even diagonal slopes. Never sure where it will stop, not remembering from whence it came. Yes, this scruffy omen of Providence has arrived, pretty much unannounced but not unforetold by she-that-uses-her-stationary. Unworthy am I to whom these great and experienced travelers have come. What am I to say? How can I express the inertia of my joy? obviously words do not fail me... Let the glorious reunion begin! AMDG!
(SAM) Alleluia (decorative music notes.) "Andrew? What have they done to you?!"
((CHRIS) Sam's quote upon seeing the petting zoo outside Rolduc.)
(SAM) This man, known here below as Andrew (Alleluia) gave us weary travelers a quick tour of the facilities. We were all deposited in our respective rooms that no one sees unless Andrew (Alleluia) shows them; i.e. the Bishop's room and the library. The entire Rolduc seminary is very impressive. We walked the grounds before Vespers and supper. There are about thirty seminarians and the singing was very beautiful in the Roman church. We all sat with Andrew (Alleluia) at the supper which was comprised of green soup, meat, frites with mayo, and salad. Life was good.
(CHRIS) Though life was good already, it soon got even better. Volleyball, yes, volleyball awaited us in the gym. We had some wonderful games with fat, juicy sets. Then, the seminarians decided they would challenge the T-weeds to a match. Home court or not, this is a mistake. As a team, we four have never lost. We continued in this manner, winning three in a row against Rolduc's best. It was close, though, especially when Rolduc had Andrew.
After the game, we had a drink and walked into Kerkrade. Andrew bought us french fries with mayo, peanut sauce, onions, catsup, and other Dutch toppings. There was a mini-carnival there so Sam and Matt went on the whirl and puke after eating this tasty mess. No problems. Andrew seems to be well. He gets a little lonely and restless sometimes, but seems overall content. All of us were impressed by the seminary which seems fairly orthodox (extremely orthodox for Netherlands.) Also, we had gone to Vespers earlier--they sang quite well. Tomorrow, we would see Belgium, where Andrew lived four years.