Escaping to Istanbul

Grandma and Pops arrived...The first snow arrived the next day and we made a mad escape to sunny Istanbul, Turkey.

Goodbye snow ... Hello sun.



I am not sure if I have completely mastered "standing on my own two feet" here, but my feet have made great strides (punny) here in Germany. 

For example, I have now mastered 'foot snuggling' with my children's feet when they crawl in our bed at 5 am.  This gives the illusion of snuggling, and  allows one to continue sleeping with limited motion. 

The Giant step in the world of foot knowledge, has been learning "two footed driving".  It is crucial to surviving in this mad world of German driving.  Yes, I have self evaluated but know I am close to mastering it because I don't get so many horns screaming at me these days.  The key to this technique is to continuously pushing on the gas and the break while waiting for the light to turn from red to yellow to green.  (yes the lights turn yellow before green here)  Once it has turned yellow, you quickly start releasing the brake, push the accelerator as fast as possible and THEN you can exhale as all horns are quite.  I no longer underestimate the importance of Footwork, even if I don't always stand alone on my own to feet as I learn this country. 


Road Trippin... to Berlin

The Red Hot Chili Peppers sing a song, "Road Trippin" that says it perfectly.....

Road trippin' with my two favorite allies
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies
It's time to leave this town
It's time to steal away 

I guess we would have to change the lyrics a bit, if you continued to listen to the song, ...we weren't in the USA,  all three of us weren't 'stealing away' cause one of now lives in Berlin and we are each very lucky to have many 'favorite allies' in our lives.

Otherwise, the song sings it right on tune....

We three have become very close allies here in Germany, we were fully loaded with snacks as we boarded the plane, we were stealing away from the daily realities of life as we blew kisses to our husbands and young-ins for 3 days and most importantly we got in a ton of 'Road trippin' as we peddled our bikes all over Berlin enjoying the sights.  However, our tune was a little livelier than the Chili Pepper's song, because it was filled with laughter as we often sang off key haphazardly navigating our way around the sprawling city.  I am pretty sure each of us would hit 're-play' more often on our Berlin song than theirs!  

train tickets with bikes..
one of us went flying over the handle bars....guess who?!?

'trippin' on a boat tour

Holocaust Memorial


Bavaria..wellness hotel

We have heard numerous times since we moved here to Germany about the great "Wellness hotels" all around the region that we should try out.  However, we never quite understood what exactly a 'wellness hotel' really was or if we even needed to get 'well'.

 We planned a long getaway weekend in Bavaria with our friends and well, wouldn't you know it, we got well.  A large part of it was spending time with our good friends walking in the Alps thru the quaint town, eating good meals, swimming, listening to the cows with their big ole bells grazing on the mountain side and hearing our kids laughing (and whining) together.  The kids also got well when we ventured out for a day to the Alpsee Bergwelt click here for link  where we road the ski lift up to ride Germany's longest tobbogan run. 


It was much to all our surprise when we finally hopped off the lift to be greeted by a large playground, trampolines, accordion player and warm Bavarian restaurant full of regional dishes like homemade Spätzle covered with cheese from the area and Kaiserschmarrn (pancakes which are baked in a skillet then torn into irregular shapes and then re-fried again, dusted with powdered sugar and served with either cherry sauce or applesauce on the side.) Enough said about why the kids ended up "well".


playground at top

NOW I think I understand a tad better about these highly popular wellness getaway....

Thanks to Sabrina at the 'Sillenbucher Reisebüro', we booked at the Hotel Allgau Sonne (link) They have many scheduled activities (pilates, cycling, hiking in the Alps etc), massages, saunas, steam baths, a gym with state of the art equipment, various pools, hot tubs, a Physical rehabilitation program if needed, physical trainers, doctors and a complete scrumptious menu full of fresh food from the region.  Who wouldn't get well? Heck, I felt good within 5 minutes of checking in and that was before I stepped foot in the restaurant.  Even if it was cold and snowy our last day, I do believe I will be back in Bavaria more than often so we can "get well".
view from a gym
kids loved the pools too

great sunsets
wellness hikes
you never know what is waiting around the next Alp


Volksfest 2012

I was scared....very scared.  Not only of the crowds we may encounter, but also of the thought of the rides the kids would want to whirl on since they had managed to put on some inches the past year.  
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We took our chances and headed down to Stuttgart's 2012 Volksfest.  I am glad the thought of
overwhelming crowds of dirndls and lederhosen didn't stop us...because it was a night full of good laughs, whirls, and of course good German 'fest food'.  (I must admit, I was scared of this giant automated man that "ate crow" thru out our visit)
In case some poor soul forgot their Dirndl (like me) they can buy one in this little shop for the low starting price of 100 Euros as these two nice ladies explained.

Shop for Dirndls and Lederhosen

A little tasty plank smoked Salmon for dinner....

And plenty of rides to satisfy the taller souls...





 Really, this weiner takes it all.  AND just yesterday I posted a blog which stated, "Halloween isn't a traditional holiday here in Germany".  If only I had seen this display first!!!!


kürbis everywhere!

Lots of colorful 'kürbis' appeal...and I wanted to be a part of it ALL this year in Germany!  For those of you that don't happen to mutter a little German, kürbis translates to pumpkin in American English.  And in Germany there happens to be a hefty supply this time of year. 

Halloween as we Americans know it; costumes, candy and pumpkins carved into Jack-o-lanterns, isn't a traditional holiday here in Germany but there are pumpkins in the supermarkets, fresh markets, and of course, the "Ludwigsburg Kürbisfest" which had a "Switzerland" theme.

 I had a theme of my own:  Figure out this "kürbis kraziness"!  After tasting different variety raw and cooked, I decided to purchase the 'Carnival' due to the smokey flavor that exploded in my mouth as I crunched this raw bite.  If only I had asked how to open and slice this treat, it would have saved me my second workout of the day.  How can one little ole multi-colored pumpkin battle so hard against little ole me and 3 knives?  I am proud to say, I won the battle and the prize was a bag full of crunchy
Knife #2
Carnival bites covered in Rosemary salt and Cumin.  Now THAT is a guilt free treat that will "kürbis your apetite"!!

Cooper tasting..
Knife #3...

Anatomically correct

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.