Camaraderie in Germany

noun /ˌkäm(ə)ˈrädərē/  /ˌkam-/  /-ˈrad-/ 
Mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together

Camaraderie...that is the word that best explains why I haven't written a post in a while.  I was effortlessly working on the camaraderie with my friends here in Germany.  As I often write about, friendship is one of my most treasured things in life.   It also happens to be one of the biggest roller coasters when one is living as an Expat.  You make new friends, you play with them, you love them and eventually someone is transitioning to a different location.

It was hard leaving all of our friends in Alabama, but we know we one day be back in the U.S.  and I would again be at the pool building the camaraderie all while trying to surivive the heat and get my friz ball of a head toned down.  But living in a country that you know will not be your "homeland" on a permanent basis, leads to a bit of a heartbreak when someone transitions out of the area. 

My good friend Darla and her children are moving to Berlin, so we haven't pouted or distanced ourselves as we prepare for their transition....we made our camaraderie stronger.  We all barely came up for a breath once school was out....pools (indoor since it has been a tad cool here), playgrounds, sleepovers, long bike rides, late nights (sun is up until 10 here in Germany), lunches, dinners and yes, a few tear sheddings. 

Tennyson said, "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."  For me, the same goes with friendships. But it sure is hard when you often have to say "we will keep in touch" knowing it just want be quite the same as just popping over. 

So, we have made all of the promises to keep in touch,  said  see you soons, and hiden our tears as we give that last hug....but we know that the camaraderie that we built together here in Germany will make all of those promises come true! 

Now I think it is time to head to Alabama for a little hot vacation and rekindle that old camaraderie. 


Flowers in Germany

It is that time of the year....there are fields everywhere where snip your own flowers.  It is an honor system that includes a little coin box behind the sign. 

Seems it is also that time of the year that I don't ever seem to have my cutting shears in the car when I need them....


Biergartens in Germany

Much safer...

can we buy some arrows? um-NO!

We headed out to one of our favorite Biergartens today to attend their annual Medieval festival.  (yes another festival....refer to previous post about festivals in Germany)
Where can you get great German food (Spätzle, Currywurst, Pommes Frites, Wilde Kartoffeln mit Knoblausoße, grilled Schweinhals, Weißwürste, and great flamkuchen), let the kids run wild on a big playground and build sandcastles, sit under big canvas umbrellas when it rains, meet up with friends no matter what region of Baden-

Wurtenburg they live thanks to great train location, drink a hearty German beer and easily jump on a quick train home?  Why the Schwabengarten of course Schwabengarten website
As you can see from all the pictures from different visits, I am learning that a Biergarten is so much more than the name suggests.  The name can be deceiving and lead one into thinking that it is a place you go to sit and just drink beer.  It is so much more than that and is a big part of the German culture.  You quickly find out that Biergartens come in all shapes, and sizes.  You can find them similiar to how one can find a McDonalds in America....they are located everywhere.  Because not all houses here in Germany have their own grassy yard to BBQ with your friends and let the kids play, a Biergarten serves as the meeting spot. (and someone else cooks for you)  They are meeting points where you can catch up with your friends, watch a soccer game, listen to a live band,  all while the kids are getting covered in sweat and dirt. And yes, if you like Beer...they usually have a large variety of that as well.....

He is known to eat a whole apple flamkuchen
rain doesn't bother us

did I mention lots of ice cream?

good meeting point after school
The Train is the best ride!


Fishy again in Stuttgart

"mom...is he singing in English?"
I am going on the record to say, "Hamburg Fish Market" in Stuttgart is officially one of my favorite festivals....well the next two weeks at least.  I loved it last year as you can read on this post 2011 Hamburg Fish Market and I quickly remembered why within 2 minutes of hitting it this year.

It will take all my will power not to drag the kids downtown everyday over the next ten days!  Then again,  they probably wouldn't complain since this year I decided they were old enough to be given money and allowed to go around (without their loving mother) making their own food purchases....amazing how they kept returning with bags full of sugar powdered Schmalzkuchen (like Beignets) and not so much fish.

If you happen to be in Stuttgart, check out this festival....It not only has great fish cooked in every imaginable form, but it is also a place that you can run into your friends, hear a variety of toe tapping music and even have free sausage links thrown at you to taste from the "sausage man"....I guess he thinks things have gone a tad too bit fishy!


I run past this garage and it always brings a smile...
It is a good thing I am not the one using our one garage here in Germany, but rather using the wide-open outdoor spot we were designated.  I have made great HUGE progress parking in the 'Park Houses' here in Germany after a few lessons from Jason.  I know how to make a 360 in that little space and back my car in the spot in order to have a easy time getting out.  I have even learned to parallel park pretty daggone good if you don't count my back-wheels hopping the curb once in a while.  Yes sir, I have come a long way over the last year and a half in terms of parking a car.  Amazing what moving to another country can teach one......

Jason can barely squeeze-in...I can only imagine the sounds I could make!
Or not...I have heard the shocking sound of metal scraping against brick one time too many in my life... and THAT was pulling into our garage in Alabama that had the clearance of a runway.   I find 'home' Garages here in Germany a tad bit tighter than at home in Alabama. Seeing how I managed to get our car a classification of "totaled" all while re-designing the brick wall around the garage, it has not once been suggested that I utilize our garage here in Germany.  I am grateful to have a husband that always looks after me...and our cars.

Gives me the hives just thinking of attempting....

About Me

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Stuttgart, Germany, Germany
We are living as non-military expats for a second time in Stuttgart Germany. The first time, we moved from Alabama to Stuttgart, Germany in December 2010 for three years and now are back after six years.. This is a great adventure for our whole family that we enjoy sharing.