Yesterday, we had a rare busy Saturday, as we went out for business and pleasure in TWO different nearby cities. There was a time when we were younger when accomplishing this would not have been so notable for us, but COVID kind of took the wind out of our sails and made us enjoy being homebodies more. Bill often needs to rest on the weekends. But sometimes, we do manage to get out of the house. Yesterday, we went to both Wiesbaden and Hofheim.
If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you might know that in a couple of weeks, we are planning an epic vacation. We will start with six nights in Norway– two nights in Oslo and four in Bergen. After we do the Norwegian land based part of our trip, we will fly from Bergen to Stockholm, where we will spend one night prior to boarding Regent Seven Seas Splendor. Our week on the ship will include stops in Helsinki, Finland, Tallin, Estonia, Riga, Latvia, Visby, Sweden, Liepaja, Latvia, Ronne, Denmark, and finally, Copenhagen, Denmark, where we will disembark. We’ll spend two nights in Copenhagen, then fly home.
We plan to be away for about two weeks. Although one of those weeks will involve a cruise, it’s still a lot of luggage hauling as we make our way around to the different places we’re planning to visit.
Since about 2011 or so, Bill and I have been using Red Oxx bags almost exclusively. I like them for their handy compartments, tough construction, and beautiful colors. Bill also likes the fact that the company is in based in Billings, Montana and was started by veterans. We have a whole bunch of Red Oxx bags, and we’ve used them for a whole lot of traveling…
On this trip, I’m going to be celebrating my 51st birthday. I’m not getting any younger, and my back is not what it used to be. Red Oxx bags do not come with wheels, meaning that I have to carry them. I typically use a Sky Train convertible backpack, which I’ll use on this trip, too. And when I go on big trips, I also use the Beanos Duffel bag, which can hold a lot of stuff, but isn’t the easiest thing to carry. It can be very awkward. I decided that for our upcoming trip up north, I wanted a bag with wheels.
Often I’d shop for such an item online, but I decided that I wanted to actually touch and pick up what I was buying before I made a final decision. Luggage is one of those items people tend to keep forever, and I didn’t want to be stuck with a “lemon”. I told Bill I wanted to go to the Karstadt Galeria in Wiesbaden to see what kinds of luggage they were selling. The Galeria recently announced that they were closing quite a few branches of their department store. Wiesbaden has had two branches, but soon will just be left with the one we visited yesterday at the Mauritiusplatz.
Bill was a little hesitant. He’d made a 7 PM reservation at Ariston Greek Restaurant in Hofheim. I looked at my watch. It was about 1:30 PM. 😀 I love my husband very much, but he has a tendency to be a bit neurotic sometimes. I guess he was afraid I’d dawdle in the store, and we’d miss our reservation or– horrors– arrive there late!
I said, “It’s just a fucking dinner reservation! Are you really telling me we don’t have time to go into Wiesbaden hours before dinner?”
Bill admitted I was right, so off we went to our fair host city. While we were at a light, Bill was getting annoyed at a guy who was in the wrong lane and had turned on his blinker.
“You’re gonna make me miss my light, buddy.” Bill muttered.
“We’re NOT going to be late for our reservation, Bill. Going out to dinner is supposed to be FUN!” I reasoned.
“You’re right.” Bill said.
I remembered we were going to be passing the Globus Hypermarket, which is kind of like WalMart on steroids. It’s a bit closer to where we live. I said, “Maybe we should just go to the Globus. I bet they have luggage.”
Bill disagreed with my ideas about the Globus, but finally relaxed about the time. We got to Wiesbaden and parked the car in the Market Garage, which is not where we usually park. It’s closer to the Galeria than our usual place is, although the store also has its own parking garage.
As soon as we walked in, Bill spotted the luggage section, which was actually pretty large. I was immediately drawn to the Samsonites, which of course, were priced “top of the line”. But, just to do my due diligence, I looked at the other suitcases available. It had been a long time since I last shopped for luggage with wheels! I was surprised by how lightweight the bags were.
I ended up choosing a pretty marine blue Samsonite. I wanted to look for new towels, too, but Bill seemed too nervous, so I told him I’d get them another time. 😉 He would have obliged, of course, but he was making our shopping trip more complicated than it needed to be. What I really needed for now was the suitcase, and we accomplished that mission. I got some pretty cool photos outside of the store, too…
We went back to the car and Bill paid for the parking. When he got back, I said, “See? We have plenty of time. We could have had lunch!”
Bill said, “You’re right. Do you want to go have lunch?” Then he said, “Shit, I’ve already paid.”
“No, let’s go home to Noyzi.” So we went home, and started watching Amazon’s docuseries, Shiny Happy People. I’d already seen it, but Bill wanted to watch it, too. That kept us occupied until it was time to go to Hofheim for our dinner date.
The last time we tried to visit Ariston Restaurant, it was early March and everybody was out and about. They had no tables. Remembering that experience, Bill made a reservation. It was not necessary last night. Ariston was having a pretty slow night! Still, we decided to eat out on their tiny patio, and enjoy the pleasant June weather. It was about 70 degrees out and sunny. I had a Gyros Teller, which was gyros, souvlaki, tomato rice, t’zaziki, and salad. Bill had the Bifteki Teller, which had gyros, bifteki, pommes, t’zaziki, and salad. We also had a small carafe of house wine, our usual sparkling water, and for dessert, a round of Pils beer.
The very kind lady who looked after us was so nice. Bill gave her a generous tip on the bill, which was around 60 euros, and she touched her heart as she thanked us. It’s been too long since our last Greek food fix. When we lived in Stuttgart, we used to go to Greek places all the time. We don’t have as many Greek restaurants up here, though… We seem to eat more Italian food now. Not that that’s a hardship!
After dinner, we headed back to the car, and I took a few more photos. Hofheim has sort of replaced Nagold as our “go to” town for casual recreation. It’s not quite as pretty as Nagold is, but it does the job. Likewise, I think we think of Mainz as our replacement for Tübingen, even though they aren’t that much alike, other than both being university towns.
We didn’t know it, but Ariston has parking available. We probably should have parked there, but then we would have missed out on the pretty walk through Hofheim. It’s a very nice place in the evening. We need to go there more often.
I’m not sure what we have in store for today. The weather is beautiful again, though… Maybe we’ll venture out. Maybe we won’t.