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My husband, Bill, has been trying to get me to go out and do stuff for some time now. I kept demurring because I didn’t want to hassle with all the new rules. It’s just as easy to stay home and play with my new guitar. Bill finally insisted yesterday, after we wasted the day drinking beer in the backyard and waiting for a package to be delivered. He booked us a table for 1:45pm at Villa im Tal, which is one of our favorite restaurants here in the Wiesbaden area. I must admit, he didn’t have to try too hard. I’ve been denying him for weeks and it was only fair.

We got kind of dressed up for our outing. Bill dressed like he was going to the office. I put on a dress and some jewelry and fixed my hair and face. It’s the most dolled up we’ve been since I can’t remember… or, it’s the most dolled up I’ve been, anyway. Bill decided to drive my Mini, since it needed some road time, especially since it was just serviced. We arrived right on time for our appointment, dutifully donning our paper masks, and a delightful and familiar waitress named Petra led us to our outdoor table. Much to our amazement, she said we didn’t have to wear masks at all! Apparently, the rules in Hesse changed again very recently. We didn’t even have to put them on to go to the restroom, although we did see a few people wearing them and the waitresses all wore clear, plastic shields that covered their mouths, but not the rest of their faces.

So I put my mask in my purse; we sat down at a table and ordered a bottle sparkling water to share and a glass of champagne for me. It was time to celebrate eating normally at a restaurant, which we hadn’t done since March. After Bill filled out a form with our contact information in case there’s a coronavirus outbreak and we need to be contacted, we were handed our laminated menus, which are definitely the norm nowadays, and we made our choices… Below the pictures of a glorious meal, both in terms of taste and of sheer normalcy!

All told, we spent just under 180 euros before the tip. Bill left a generous tip for Petra and her colleagues, too, because they really showed us a lovely time. We definitely took dining out in restaurants for granted when we could do it regularly, and it was such a pleasure to be able to sit outside at a nice place– not in our backyard– and enjoy seeing other people. I was very happy to enjoy the hospitality, once again, at Villa im Tal, which is located in a beautiful, wooded, location. The food was, as usual, excellent, and the service was top notch and delivered with a smile . I think we love this place for very good reason, and it was so good to be back. I hope this trend of not needing a mask will continue for awhile.

I am feeling so grateful to live in Germany right now, for so many reasons. As much as I loved it here last year, this year, I love it so much more. Today’s outing was a huge morale booster. Villa im Tal is a classy restaurant, but they do cater to children as well as well-behaved dogs. Someone brought their sweet female pooch with them and she never made a peep. Petra brought her a big bowl of water.

Next weekend, we’re off to the beautiful Rhineland Palatinate area of Eifel for a long weekend. The hotel where we’re staying has an award winning restaurant. I look forward to returning and reporting on that adventure, too!

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