Friday, September 28, 2012

Wine Fest Fun

We went to a wine festival in a small town not too far away from where we live last weekend.  It's situated on the Deutsche Weinstrasse (German Wine Road, basically) because the entire region is known for it's wine production.  And let me tell you, Germans know how to make excellent wine! It's some of the best I've ever had.  Sure, France and Italy are good. But man, there's just something about German wine that I love.

Wine and Church
I wish I was a wine connoisseur so I could more accurately express what I think are the qualities I love about it.  But I'm a poor ignorant country girls so I just drink what I like. Hehehe :)

Beautiful arched side street. Those are grape vines, not just random creeping foliage.
One of the other things that was great about this festival was the food.  It's so much better than American county-fair type food!! They have sit down places, like below, that serve food on real plates and it's all made to order and everything smells so darn good! I didn't think I'd learn to love the food here as much as I do, but man I'm going to miss getting good jaegerschnitzel whenever I want it.
Wine and food tent. Everything smelled amazing!
Instead of gorging ourselves (I had dinner going in the crock pot at home, silly me) we just decided to get some bratwurst and crepes on the go.  For the record, my crepe was better.  It was chocolate and banana. The hubs had marzipan in his. Blech :)

Good wine!
 If you ever go to a wine, or any other festival really, in Germany there's something you should know about the glassware.  When you purchase a beverage, you may notice the price being a little be more than what the price of the drink is. That's because you're in essence paying for the glass in advance.  If you don't want to keep the glass, just take it back to the place you obtain your beverage and they'll give you the deposit back.  If you want to keep the glass, just keep walking and use it at the next stand. It's awesome!
Keeper glasses
Better wine!

Anyway, just thought I would share our awesome day trip to a wine festival.  I hope I can do many more lovely German festivals before we leave.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Gnome in England

Hanging out having some beers with us.

Even when you're in England, sometimes you just need a Frappucino.
Chilling on the side of the road.

Staring down Soy Sauce.

A gnome in a Garden. 
So we took this guy with us to England and had some pretty fun times.  I think he's pretty photogenic.  He'll be an excellent travel companion. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Anniversary in Edinburgh

For our 5 year wedding anniversary we decided to spend the weekend in Scotland.  It was the last big city on our "To Do" list for the UK so why not? We got into town about 2 pm local time and checked in to our hotel.  Since we really didn't get a chance to eat before we left we immediately went out in search of food.  We walked down to a place called the Brew Dog pub and brewery.  Dave found this beer when we were in Ireland last year and fell in love with it. As such we had to make a stop there at least once.  Unfortunately, they really didn't have any food. Just bar snacks and chips but nothing substantial.  So we had a beer and left. I'm  not too fond of their beer so I didn't suggest we stick around for more than one.

We walked back up to the Royal Mile and decided to eat at a place called Deacon Brodies.  Inside Dave found alcoholic ginger beer. He was loving it. We just walked around and went back to the hotel kind of early because we're old now and tire out easily. :)

Dave and his alcoholic ginger beer.

 The next morning was spent at Edinburgh Castle.  It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been.  Still mostly intact and has a stunning view.  No wonder there's been a castle on that spot for over 1,000 years.  Location, Location, Location.

Can you just imagine what this would have looked like a couple hundred years ago? A thousand years ago? Wish I could have been there.

View from the castle.

Scottish street performer.
Oh and by the way, the fried Mars bars are amazing! :-) I watched the episode of Samantha Brown's Passport to Europe on Edinburgh and it was one of the first things she did.  It wasn't the first thing I did but we did do it on Saturday and it was well worth it.  Gooey, warm, decadent and oh so lovely. 
Fried Mars Bar!
It was lambing season while we were there and these cute little buggers were all over the place.  I am a sucker for baby animals as the hubs will attest to.  I made some comment about it while on the bus tour passing yet another field full of lambs and I said something about how cute they were and he made a comment about how tasty they were. I smacked him good of course and told him he had to get me a puppy to make up for it. :-)
Baby sheep!
We stopped multiple times on the way to Loch Ness and one of those stops was at this old church. It was the traditional burial ground for one of the clans in the area but I can't remember which one it is now.  It was on top of a hill overlooking a beautiful valley.  It looked like a very serene place to be put to a final rest I suppose.

Old Scottish Church
And here we have the great Loch.  It was pretty impressive if you ask me. Not much to look at on the surface but if you figure it's about 27 miles long and is deep enough to cover the Eiffel Tower you begin to realize how impressive this lake is. 
Loch Ness
And of course there was debate about the Loch Ness Monster and who is a believer and who isn't.  The hubs fancies himself as "practical" and "logical" and doesn't believe.  I, on the other hand, think there might be something down there.  On the bus tour we were listening to some history in the area and they were talking about the legend of the monster and when it began.  The idea was put forth that if we proved there actually was a monster it would surely be subjected to tests and scientific pokings or would be turned into a sideshow freak.  On the other hand if you conclusively prove it doesn't exist no one would want to visit anymore.  It would kind of ruin the tourism market in that area to an extent because people would quit coming to try and get a glimpse. 

Just caught a glance of the monster :-)
This picture of the hubs is us horsing around.  He was trying to take a picture of me while I was taking a picture of him.  All while standing outside a castle that is over a thousand years old.   How I love Europe!

View from the bus of incoming weather
This Hamish, the oldest bull in Scotland.  He was pretty cute.  We stopped to see him on our way home and he was very friendly.  He's literally a roadside attraction so I imagine he gets used to a lot of people coming around. They even have a store that, when it's open, you can buy food to give him.  Sadly it was closed when we were there but it was fun to see him nonetheless.
Hamish the "hairy coo'"
All in all it was a fantastic trip.  I'd love to go back sometime and spend some more time in the country.  The city is beautiful though and I highly recommend going if you can.  Our next trip is to England and then to Brussels (again, yay!) for the flower carpet.  I absolutely LOVE Brussels so I can't wait.  England will be fantastic with our friends Mark and Megan so I'm very excited about that one too.  So hopefully I'll get some more updates put up soon.  But don't hold me to it. :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What's For Dinner . . .


I've been looking for a good home made mac 'n cheese recipe forever. It seems like whenever I make it at home it always turns out grainy and weird. so I'm hoping this will turn out creamy and delightful.

Other than that, I'm just hanging out here on a lazy Sunday.  We were going to go to a Bazaar on base today but they always just have the same old stuff so I figured we'd seen it all.  The only thing that would have made it worth would have been the wine, cheese and some brats.  So, instead, I'm still in my pajamas while the hubs is off to the store acquiring the ingredients needed for the above mentioned mac 'n cheese.  My goal is to do at least 3 loads of laundry and to clean up my kitchen/dining room area.  Wish me luck!

Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Best Christmas In A While

The hubs and I decided to spoil each other this last Christmas.  This is one of the things I bought him since he's such a huge Star Wars geek.  I think he looks pretty fly for a white guy. :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Brief Overview of Our Trip to Dublin

 I know this one is a long time in coming but here are some photos of our trip to Dublin over Veteran's Day in November.  I'm a horrible photographer so none of these do the city justice. The city was fantastic.  We had some excellent food at a restaurant called the Elephant & Castle (I ate a dish called Eggs Idaho for brunch!).  I drank hard ciders exclusively because they don't sell them draught over here in Germany unless you go to an actual Irish pub. I found out I actually like Guinness which was a revelation to me.  I also discovered I *really* like Jameson and cranberry juice.  I know, I know! Whiskey lovers all over are groaning and saying you never mix whiskey, but in my defense, they made it for me.  At the end of your tour in the Jameson Distillery you get a free drink and one of the options is Jameson mixed with cranberry juice.  It's lovely. 

I ain't 'fraid of NO GHOSTS

 We did the Hop On/Hop Off city bus tour for the day and it was hilarious listening to the driver's commentary. One driver especially had a lot to say about Molly Malone.  I never realized she was viewed as a loose women, but then again I never really looked into her history. 

Molly Malone - the dish with the fish

 This was Dave finally taking a turn at the camera-ing. I was selected to do a whiskey taste comparison after the official tour was over.  I tasted Jameson, Johnny Walker and Jack Daniels.  I by far prefer the Jameson.  Never been a huge scotch fan but Jameson is getting pretty high on my list.

Whiskey comparison at the Jameson Distillery

Dublin on the river Liffey
We had a fabulous long weekend in the city and I wish we could have stayed longer.  Anyone who knows me could tell you I'd move the UK or Ireland and live there in a heartbeat.  Alas I don't think it will happen but it makes me happy knowing that I've been there and will have those memories.  Especially this one . . .

Amazing photo op at the Disney store

Versailles Is Amazing

We went to Versailles the weekend before Valentine's Day just to get out of the area for a while.  I always feel like a snob when I mention how many times we've been to Paris but it's just so ridiculously easy to get to!  Take a 15 minute car ride to the train station, the train ride itself is only 2.5 hours and it drops you off right in the city.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 
Recreation of Marie Antoinette's bedroom

Versailles is on the edge of Paris but is easily accessible by train.  We went on a Sunday when it was cold but fairly sunny. It was so amazing being around that type of history and seeing the weird and lavish way the rooms were decorated.  I'm sure they not have been completely left as they were back in their hey-day but it was really fantastic to see what it could have looked like.  In all honesty it's probably a very historically accurate recreation so it's not hard to get lost in the thought of  "Marie Antoinette stood at that fireplace" or "Louis sat in that chair."

Me and the hubs
Clock above the main entrance and over our heads in the picture above
We spent most of the day just wandering inside the palace.  Unfortunately the gardens behind the palace were closed.  I'm not sure if it was due to the weather or if it was something else but I was really disappointed. I'm hoping we can manage to squeeze in one more trip in the spring or summer before we leave Europe so we can visit the gardens.

Gates of the inner courtyard
We ate lunch at the restaurant inside the palace called "Angelina".  Apparently this restaurant got its start in Paris on the Rue di Rivoli and is known for it's hot chocolate.  Sadly we did not know this at the time and we got tea.  I know . . . it saddens my heart too.  The good thing that came of it though was that I found a green tea with mint in it that I love!! The only problem is they don't sell it here in Germany and it cost 12€ in Paris. Yikes! At the current exchange rate that's roughly $16 for a box of tea.  But it's totally worth it.  I can't seem to make myself stop drinking it so it will last.  But then again I bought to drink so why not drink it, eh? Knowing me it won't be the last time we'll go to Paris so I'll just make sure to include a stop at "Angelina" the next time I'm in town . . . or at the palace.  When I do I'll be sure to comment on their hot chocolate and see if they do it better than the Germans.

Glimpse of the garden from inside the Hall of Mirrors

I don't know what it is about Paris.  I seem to only blog anymore when I'm in  or have just come home from Paris but I love sharing my experiences with everyone. Each trip has been so different and amazing; you really could spend a lifetime there getting to know the city.  For me it just holds a certain appeal.  And it's not the food or the wine or the art but just the city itself.  It's inviting and just a wonderfully easy get away that I love taking advantage of.

As for doing a blog NOT centered around Paris I hope to be doing that very soon.  We have a trip planned to Scotland for our anniversary and if the hubs approves we'll be doing a trip to Lucerne, Switzerland the weekend after his birthday.  Fondue, anyone?

Thursday, January 5, 2012


It never ceases to amaze me the types of connections people can make.  I was talking to someone today and happened to mention some mundane item in passing and it actually started up a meaningful conversation.  Next thing I know we're sharing painful memories with each other and I'm on the verge of tears.  We had both been through similar horrific incidents in our lives and are trying to move past and move on.  She, unfortunately, seems to have had it much worse than I ever did but I believe we share the same heartache.  I'm not saying we're best friends now or anything of the sort but it's nice knowing someone, personally - not electronically, that has been through the same thing I have.  I am having a hard time trying not to make this sounds prosaic and ridiculous but suffice to say that I was caught off guard in a good way today.