It’s party time because Bill is home!

Bill got home at about lunchtime yesterday. It was so nice to see his fuzzy face– he has grown a slight beard since last week. We went to the wine stand last night and talked to a few people. Noyzi came with us and was a little agitated, but every time we go to the wine stand, he’s a little less freaked out. He went up to our friend, Hannah, and gave her a very proper hello. She was delighted by how happy he was to see her.

We met a couple who just moved to Breckenheim, though they didn’t come from far away. We told them about how we used to live near Stuttgart and they said what a lot of Germans say when we tell them about our Stuttgart connection…

“That’s a very SPECIAL part of Germany…”

Indeed, it is. The dialect is different; people can be extremely tight with money; and they can be very anal retentive about Kehrwoche– that’s the communal routine of cleaning up common areas in a building or a neighborhood. Up here in Hessen, people seem to be a lot more laid back. It’s probably because this area is a lot more international.

We stayed at the wine stand for a little over an hour, but when it started to get crowded, we decided to move on. Below are a few photos… just a few, mind you. It wasn’t super exciting, although we did enjoy meeting the new folks, and appreciated that their English was excellent. The wife said she works at the airport and had a rare three day weekend! I mostly got photos of Bill’s hairy face, and Noyzi behaving himself.

Today, we decided to go to the Street Food Festival in nearby Hofheim. Those are always fun, and different towns have them on different weekends. Next weekend, we could probably find the same fest in a different place. Right now in Stuttgart, the big spring festival is happening. That’s definitely more fun and rowdy than the street food fest is, but we still had some live entertainment to cheer us, and lots of food from different places– from Ethiopia to Venezuela…

The band was kind of fun. They were playing songs from the 50s and 60s, mostly. Unfortunately, they had some issues with their sound. The mics were too close to the speakers, resulting in a very unpleasant tidal wave of feedback. You could easily watch people cringe as the metallic, electric shrieks emanated from the stage. But they eventually got the sound system straight, and they were better… entertaining, at least. Meanwhile, we enjoyed Venezuelan cheese empanadas, barbacoa pork tacos, and churros, washed down with pilsner. I got a few clips of the band, along with some “witty” commentary…

A very friendly elderly lady sat with us for a short while as we enjoyed “street food” to the American songs of 50s and 60s, interpreted by Germans. They also did a few in Spanish. I love how there are so many fun events in Germany… and we never have to worry about gun toting maniacs.

As we were finishing our churros, I noticed the skies were getting cloudier and the wind was picking up. It was getting chilly, too. I told Bill I wanted to see if anything was going on by the Wine Chalet, in a nearby parking lot. The Wine Chalet is a permanent thing, but it’s outdoors, on the outskirts of where Hofheim has its weekly market on Saturdays. Sure enough, lots of people were enjoying wine, listening to a dreadlocked Black guy singing Sting songs. We decided to have some wine… or, I had wine, and Bill had sparkling grape juice. The guy was pretty good, even if he was basically doing karaoke.

Mid glass, we were asked to move the table to another area. Bill had to help the guy who made the request, who seemed to realize mid move that we were Americans. He thanked us in English, after speaking German the rest of the time. I don’t mind being taken for a local. I take it as a compliment.

We got home at just before 4:00pm, just in time to feed Noyzi. We stopped in the Edeka to pick up some wine, because I think we’ll enjoy the rest of the evening…

It’s great to have Bill home again. He really makes me smile, as you can see… For some reason, when I try to smile alone, I look completely deranged. With Bill, I only look half crazy. ūüėČ

I dunno about that beard, though… We’ll see how long it survives.


He’s back in town!

Last night, as I was about to go to bed, I found Bill’s flight on Dulles Airport’s Web site. ¬†When I discovered his flight, he was somewhere over Kansas City. ¬†I watched the flight until it landed at Dulles, then went to sleep. ¬†When I woke up this morning, I found his departing flight to Frankfurt. ¬†At about 5:00am local time, he was just off the coast of Ireland. ¬†His plane was scheduled to land by 8:05am, but he got in about a half hour early.

He was at home by 8:30am, which was a nice improvement over our Stuttgart days.  When we were living near Stuttgart, it took about an hour to get to and from the airport.  We now live about 20 minutes from the Frankfurt Airport.  Not only did his bags not get lost, but he was able to get off the plane and come home, rather than connect in Frankfurt and fly to Stuttgart.

Needless to say, the dogs were delighted to see Bill!

Zane was actually the first to meet Bill at the door, but when we sat down to coffee, Arran had to get some snuggle time. ¬†He came over and nudged his head under Bill’s arm for a hug. ¬†I definitely wasn’t the only one missing Bill this week.


There wasn’t a lot of food left in the house, so we decided to have lunch at Little Italy. ¬†It was our third visit there and I booked the reservation through OpenTable.de. ¬†Our reservation was for 12:30pm, but we were a little early. ¬†The friendly proprietor didn’t mind. ¬†We were the first ones in the restaurant, but it was only a few minutes before the place started to fill up. ¬†We proceeded to have a sumptuous 120 euro lunch that lasted about 90 minutes…

I started with a glass of prosecco… first alcohol in over a week. ¬†I probably should have stuck with the bubbly, as this was very nice.


Then, the friendly proprietor sold me on the special appetizer he was selling.  He said it was the last one.  Basically, it was fresh ravioli stuffed with cheese, pistachio nuts, and lime.  It was delicious!

Bill went with the burrata, which is a northern Italian speciality. ¬†Cherry tomatoes, sweet onions, balsamic vinegar, and very fresh, mild, “buttery” cheese… ¬†I don’t even like cold cheese, but I will definitely eat burrata, which is the Italian word for butter. ¬†That’s pretty much what it’s like.


I had a salmon filet with a side of pureed celery and a ginger butter slathered on top… ¬†I paired it with a peachy white wine. ¬†My guess is that it was pinot grigio, although I’m not certain. ¬†

And Bill had the “Wolfbarsch”, aka sea bass. ¬†The sea bass in Germany isn’t like the sea bass I’ve had in the States. ¬†It’s not quite as decadent. ¬†But his fish went beautifully with pureed aubergines and fresh peppers.


Finally, we had dessert. ¬†I had a “colonel”, which was lime sorbet served with a bit of Absolut Vodka infused with lemons. ¬†If I’d wanted to, I could have have mango or cassis sorbet. ¬†The proprietor brought out the chilled bottle of vodka and poured it over the scoop of refreshing sorbet. ¬†It was a bit cold outside for this, but I wanted to try a dessert I hadn’t yet had at Little Italy. ¬†Bill had the best panna cotta ever. ¬†The first time I had panna cotta, it was rich and creamy. ¬†Every other time, it was like milky jello… firm and not creamy. ¬†At Little Italy, the panna cotta was like it was the first time I ever had it… rich, creamy, buttery, and delicious. ¬†Next time, if there isn’t an enticing special, I’m having that. ¬†It came with Johannesbeer (red currant) puree and mangoes.

I finished up with a double espresso.


After lunch, we went to the commissary to get something for dinner tonight.  We were in and out of there quickly.

I usually like to try different places whenever I can, but Bill is understandably tired from his long journey and we have yet to be disappointed at Little Italy. ¬†I think it’s going to become one of our go to local restaurants. ¬†The food and service are always excellent, and like we did the first time we went there, we even chatted with a single lady sitting by herself. ¬†She was intrigued by the burrata.


Hopefully, that will be the end of Bill’s TDY trips for awhile… or, at least I hope I can go with him on the next one. ¬†I hate sitting at home alone all week. ¬†I will admit, he was a sight for sore eyes. ¬†And now that he’s back, he’ll probably want to rest his…