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We stumbled upon a wine stand in Hochheim…

Because I run a food and wine group on Facebook, I often find wine fests, food fests, and other food and drink related stuff, which I share with people in my group. Last weekend, we went to Limburg, which we might not have done if not for that group and my realization that having it encourages me to go out and see Germany instead of sitting on my can at home. I was kind of hoping for a similar discovery today, as there are two wine fests going on that I know of, and probably more if I were to do a deep dive into the calendars of communities around us.

I knew that a couple of the wine fests looked like they would be open at 5:00, since that’s when they opened last night. However, this was not stated on Facebook, nor was it the rule last weekend. So Bill and I decided we’d go to nearby Flörsheim’s wine stand, mainly because it’s super close to us, but also because we had never been there before. I decided that because we’d never been to Flörsheim, I was curious to see if it was “cute”, especially since it’s on the Main River. Maybe we missed the cute part of town, but to me it looked boring and suburban, and aside from a few interesting looking churches, I saw no reason to hang out there, especially today. The weather today is PERFECT… almost no clouds, and about 77 degrees, with a pleasant breeze.

We ended up driving past where the fest was to be… and clearly later in the day, probably in about a half hour as I write this, they will open up and people can sit at a table overlooking beautiful vineyards and sip wines from the region. But we decided that it wasn’t absolutely imperative that we go to a wine fest, so we ended up in very cute Hochheim, which is a town just a few miles from where we live. We went there in late 2018, when Bill first arrived in Wiesbaden. His boss at the time lived in Hochheim, and had arranged a wine tasting and holiday dinner. The boss has since moved on, but the town is still adorable, as evidenced by today’s photos. We need to spend more time in adorable Hochheim, especially when they have wine stands. We stumbled on one today! Below are a few random shots of Flörsheim that I took from th

When I think of Flörsheim, I think of shoes. In the USA, that was a brand name of shoes, especially in the 70s and 80s. Google says Florsheim (no umlaut) is still around. I don’t know if there is a connection. If there is, I saw no obvious evidence of it.

Anyway, we went through Hochheim on our way home, and noticed there was a wine stand going on, so we decided to stop, walk around a bit, and later, try some wine… And now I know that we need to visit this town more often, since it’s very close to us, super cute, and full of wine tasting opportunities. Seriously… where has Hochheim been all my life? See below to see how cute the town is.

We spent probably a good 90 minutes or so, quaffing whatever. Bill was good, and had a schorle (wine and sparkling mineral water) and a glass of grape juice with sparkling water. I, on the other hand, decided to abuse my liver. I tried a lot of what they had. We left when it was getting closer to 4:00pm. The dogs needed to be fed, and it looked like things were winding down. Several people brought their dogs, and it was just a really pleasant day.

I got the sense that the people at the wine stand were locals who knew each other. I enjoyed how the biker ladies, all in matching t shirts, welcomed one later joiner. It was all fun, convivial, and I felt very safe and welcome there. Once again, I thanked Bill for bringing me to Germany to live. It really is a nice place to be, especially these days.

The Limoncello Spritz, by the way, is easy to make. One part limoncello, one part Sekt, finish with sparkling water, and rub lemon on the rim of the glass. Garnish with lemon. It was even served with ice, which is a rare thing here. Very nice!

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farms, Germany, restaurant reviews, road trips, wine

A beautiful afternoon in Wiesbaden, preparing for our vacation!

We had beautiful weather in Wiesbaden yesterday, which was great, since it was Saturday. Bill wanted to visit the ADAC office downtown to pick up a vignette for Switzerland. I’ve written a few times about the vignette system that many European countries use to help pay for their high speed roads.

Some countries, like France and Italy, use tolls. Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, among other countries, use “vignettes”, which are stickers one can buy at gas stations near borders, at ADAC, via mail order, or at the borders themselves, that entitle a person to drive on the roads. Swiss vignettes are unique in that they’re good for about fourteen months at a time, if you time it right. You can buy the vignette for the following year in the late fall– say late 2021– and it remains valid until the end of January 2023. But we didn’t buy our vignette at the end of last year, since we haven’t been in Switzerland since last summer.

When we go to a place that requires a vignette, Bill will usually get it ahead of time at ADAC. This also gave us a reason to go into town and have lunch. Wiesbaden was alive with people yesterday, folks enjoying the sun, running last minute errands before Easter, and just having a good time. Wiesbaden is so festive, especially at this time of year. I especially love the buskers– guys playing songs on guitar like “Ev’ry Rose Has its Thorn” (which I hated when it was popular) and guys playing “La Vie en Rose” on the accordion, which is a lot more European.

The weekend market was in full swing. I thought about doing some browsing, but then remembered that we’ll be going away soon. So instead of buying stuff, we just looked and I took some photos. Every time I start to think that living in Europe is getting too inconvenient, I’m reminded of why I love living over here. There’s always something going on, especially in a pretty, vibrant town like Wiesbaden.

I was planning to find us a nice place to eat lunch, but we ended up at Five Guys! Why go to Five Guys when we could have gone to any number of other places? Well, it was getting close to 2:00pm, which is when a lot of restaurants stop lunch service. Five Guys is quick and the restaurant was not busy. It had also been awhile since our last visit. I noticed that this week, even fewer people were wearing masks, although some folks were still abiding by the recently dropped COVID-19 rules. Five Guys still has the plastic barriers up around its booths, which I figure they’ll keep from now on, in case the rules come back… which they probably eventually will.

After lunch, we decided to go back to the Market Square and have a glass of wine as we watched the weekend market shut down. Below are a few photos from our day. After we were finished in Wiesbaden, we came back to home, stopping by a nearby Hofladen for some eggs for today’s Easter breakfast.

The farm has a little shack where you can pick up what you need and pay on your honor. I love that about Germany. We don’t have as many farms up here, as we did in Jettingen. This one is very close to our home in Breckenheim.

I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday… and if you celebrate Easter, I hope it’s a joyous celebration. I plan to finish my puzzle and read. Sounds like a usual day!

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Beautiful Biergarten (and wine stand) weather!

Ahhh… I love September in Germany. The first time we lived here, it was from September 2007 until September 2009. We were in the Stuttgart area. I remember flying over here from Virginia, where it was still hotter than four hells, a warning from a former neighbor still in my head. She’d told me it would be much cooler in Germany. Sure enough, I soon found myself on Panzer Kaserne, at AAFES, buying a cheap suede jacket that made in China. It lasted five years before I tossed it out in Glasgow, Scotland, because it had a big rip in it.

Seven years ago, we moved into our second German home, located in lovely Unterjettingen. I still remember the smell of fermenting apples and the sight of the trees gently turning gold as the month progressed. And now, here we are in Wiesbaden, where the weather is just PERFECT. It was about 80 degrees today, with lots of sunshine and a cool breeze, promising that very soon, the weather would be more like it is in Germany the rest of the year. 😉 Although, I have to admit that global warming has changed things here, even since 2007.

Anyway… I might have been tempted to vegetate and drink in the back yard. Bill decided he wanted to go out. So at about 12:30, we dog proofed the house and set off for Wiesbaden. Bill wanted to check out the park behind the Kurhaus. I don’t know how we’ve missed it for the past almost three years we’ve lived here, but we have. Today, we discovered a lovely oasis, where paddle boats can be rented, picnics and sunbathing can be enjoyed, and beer can be consumed at the 1907 Lounge, a Biergarten that is affiliated with Benner’s Bistronomie, where we had lunch a few weeks ago.

Below are many photos from today’s outing. I think they mostly speak for themselves!

It was getting close to 4:00pm, which is when Arran and Noyzi eat their dinner. I was loving the weather, but not the cigarette smoke. Also, because Wiesbaden’s COVID cases are on the rise, new restrictions are in place. Everybody has to show that they’ve been vaccinated, tested negative, or recovered from the virus. Of course, medical masks are required, too. They’re a bummer, but people cooperate.

That’s one thing I like about Germany. Nobody enjoys wearing masks, but people do it without causing a ruckus. And, when the threat is no longer, they won’t require masks anymore. Nobody pretends they’re more or less virtuous for complying with the health measures. The masks aren’t political, nor are the vaccines. People accept that this is about health, not politics, and there’s a minimum of fuss. I expect that if and when the pandemic peters out, Germans will enjoy being mask free if they want to be. But until then, people simply do what they’re supposed to do, mostly without getting violent or obnoxious. It helps to have a lot of cops around, of course… and here, the cops are generally not belligerent or violent unless they have to be.

On many levels, I’m so glad we’ve been able to be over here for this particular time in history. I will always be grateful to Germany for being kind to us Americans who don’t want to raise hell and just want to get through this crisis with our lives and health intact.

I’m glad we went out. It’s nice to see Germany functioning again, and people out and about. It would be a crime to miss this wonderful weather. I’m sure we’ll do something similar tomorrow.

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