Reunited with France… and it felt so good to be back! Part nine

Sunday morning, we woke up more than ready to head home to Germany. I missed Noyzi and Arran, even though I generally enjoy it when we have a chance to take a break from the dogs. I saw so many cute dogs in France, including a couple of European styled beagles that made me want to get one of my own! Of course, I won’t be doing that until we are down to one dog again. Arran doesn’t share well, and even after about 18 months with Noyzi, he only barely tolerates him. And Noyzi is a very kind and considerate dog.

We went down to the Stammtisch to find our usual breakfast. The day prior, the breakfast lady had thought we were leaving and asked us if we wanted to pay. We had to remind her that Sunday was our day of departure. I got the impression that maybe people don’t typically stay at the Auberge au Boeuf for several nights, as we did. But actually, there’s a lot to do in the area around Sessenheim. It’s not too far to get to Strasbourg. Nancy and Metz aren’t as close as Strasbourg is, but we could have visited there if the mood struck. Of course, the Alsatian wine route, south of Strasbourg, isn’t far, either. Neither is Baden-Baden, the great German spa town.

As you can see by my posts, we did manage to find several cute and diverse eastern French hamlets. It occurred to me that north of Strasbourg is more diverse in appearance than the southern area is. Over the past few years, Bill and I have visited Alsace more than anywhere else in Europe. We almost completely missed Alsace the first time we lived in Germany together. I’m so glad we’ve had the opportunity to explore this unique, historic, and beautiful part of France. We really enjoyed visiting Sessenheim, Soufflenheim, Haguenau, Bitche, Obernai, and Saverne! Each place was different and had its own special vibe and history.

It’s not lost on me that my unexpected and unplanned lifestyle as an “overeducated housewife” has come with certain perks. If I had done with my life what I had planned to do, I might have managed a visit to Paris or Lyon… or maybe to Nice again. Those are all lovely cities, but they tend to be teeming with Americans. Thanks to Bill’s work with the Army, I’ve had some great opportunities to see “the real France”, as it was put by a British man who owned a wine shop in Cluny, France, which we visited in 2017. Cluny is a very nice city in Burgundy and we loved our time there. But I would not expect too many Americans to go, especially not from the United States. That was where Bill ate pig intestines! Talk about a typically FRENCH experience!

Anyway, we enjoyed our last breakfast, but it was time to go home. We loaded up the car and I paid for everything with my credit card– about 1600 euros ($1800 approximately) when all was said and done. That was for four nights in a beautiful suite, breakfast for two every morning, three bottles of wine, four apéritifs, and two nights of sumptuous dinners for two. Parking was free. I feel good about stimulating the local economy.

On the way out of Sessenheim, we stopped at a nearby Boulangerie/Patisserie to get some French pastries. Bill got several beignets, two pain au chocolats, and a kugelhopf. It was a lot for just the two of us. Fortunately, the kuglehopf has kept well in the fridge. I wish he’d gotten some croissants, too. French croissants are better than the locals ones we can get.

The drive back to Wiesbaden was totally uneventful and took about two hours. We had no traffic issues at all, and the weather was fine. I had to laugh on Sunday night, as we dined on Popeye’s Fried Chicken from the food court on post. It’s crazy that we went from five star dining to fast food in less than 24 hours.

I would not hesitate to book Auberge au Boeuf again. Next time, I hope we can try their Stammtisch at lunch or dinner, and if the menu has changed, I would definitely be up for another grand gourmet experience at their restaurant. We’ll see what the future holds! Below are are few last photos from our most recent adventures in France.

If you’ve been following along with this series, thank you so much for reading. My travel blog has been dying, thanks to the pandemic and moving to a new platform. I hope this series will be the first of more to come in 2022! Wish us luck!


“Looking for trouble” on President’s Day weekend in Robert-Espagne, France… part two

As I mentioned in part one, Robert-Espagne is in a rural area.  We passed some pretty country on the way there, as well as the larger town of Bar le Duc, which is about 12 kilometers from Robert-Espagne.  If we’d had another day, I would have liked to have walked around Bar le Duc.  It looked like a pleasant city.  As it was, we probably should have stopped there, if only to escape the late afternoon sun’s glare, which was blinding both of us.  We could have also sampled “Bar le Duc Jelly”, which is a preserves made of white currant or red currant fruit preserves.

Welcome to France!


We saw lots of wind farms and wide open fields, where battles were fought over one hundred years ago…

And we saw Spock selling McDonald’s french fries…

I took this picture in downtown Bar le Duc, because it reminded me of downtown Farmville, Virginia, where I went to college. Of course, it’s a French version of that town.  One of my college friends agreed with me.


On Friday night, we were a little too tired to go hunting for a restaurant.  There is a hotel in Robert-Espagne and it does have a restaurant, but we didn’t try it.  In retrospect, maybe we should have.  Bill ended up walking to a convenience store near the house, where he picked up some wine, chocolate, bread, and a couple of other things.  There’s a bakery and a butcher in the neighborhood, besides the tiny convenience store, but that’s about it.

We got a good night’s sleep, since this house is equipped with very comfortable beds.  In fact, I was surprised by how good the mattress was.

The next morning, we had beautiful, spring-like, sunny weather with really nice temperatures.  Bill walked to the bakery and brought back the most delicious croissants ever!  I would go to France if only to eat croissants.  No one else comes close to making them the way the French do.  I hope we remembered to bring the leftovers.  I wanted Bill to get more this morning, but today was the bakery’s “Ruhetag”.  Bummer.