Mandatory fun at Heiliggeist…

Okay, actually, it wasn’t really mandatory fun… It was highly encouraged fun.

Bill’s company allocated funds for a holiday party that never happened due to hectic schedules. So, last night’s gathering was basically what would have been the “holiday party”. I don’t always enjoy Bill’s work parties, because they’re often about people “talking shop”. They also involve set menus. Such was the case last night.

But the party was held at Heiligeist, and we ate there before, during the height of the pandemic. Because of COVID, we ate outside. Luckily, the weather was good on that day. I was curious about the interior, as the building restaurant occupies was built in 1236 and was originally a hospital. But the interior looks very much like a cathedral. Also, I knew Bill wanted to go, and he doesn’t like to go to these events without me. And finally, until last night, I literally hadn’t left my neighborhood since the day after Christmas!

Arran had a better week, too. One of his lymph nodes is still swollen, but his energy and appetite are still fine. The vet called to check on him, since he had a rough week last week. Bill was happy to give her a positive report. After extensive “beagle proofing”, as Bill puts it, we were ready to go.

Fasching is about to commence, starting February 16th. I noticed a lot of people in Mainz dressed up in costumes. Next weekend, it will probably be pretty wild as there will be parades and parties aplenty. In 2019, we ate lunch at a restaurant in Wiesbaden and got MOONED by a reveler. Actually, he mooned the entire dining room. Yes, I got pictures. The post I wrote about it said it was our “first taste”, but I probably should write that it was our first taste of fasching in Wiesbaden. Of course we encountered the celebrations down near Stuttgart, too.

We were a little bit early to last night’s festivities. Bill wasn’t sure about how bad traffic would be. It turned out it wasn’t so bad at all… and once again, I had forgotten just how close to Mainz we are. We really should spend more time there. It has a very different vibe compared to Wiesbaden, which is more of an elegant, grand town. Mainz is more of a dynamic college town.

Originally, we sat at one of the large tables in the middle of the dining room. It was mainly so we could get out of the way of the busy wait staff. But then I realized that I don’t like sitting in the middle of the room. I spotted a small round table on the side, which was a little more secluded and offered a better view of everything… especially the bar area. 😉

Bill’s co-workers trickled in, and soon there was a large crowd in a very cavernous restaurant. I knew they planned to have a trivia contest, which would make it hard for people to hear. As the evening wore on, and the libations flowed, that is what came to pass. We decided not to stay until the end, because we were both kind of tired (especially Bill) and concerned about Arran. Arran did fine, save for a minor lapse in house training.

The food was pretty good, although it wasn’t very hot. We all had charcuterie, pumpkin soup that was a little spicy, and a walnut brownie cake with vanilla ice cream. For the main course, we had a choice of salmon, lamb, or the vegetarian dish, which I believe was eggplant. I didn’t get a good look at it, although Bill’s colleague, who was sitting with us, had that. I had the salmon, which came with a very interesting black rice and broccolini. Bill went for the lamb, which had cauliflower and some kind of Parmesan dumplings. Bill liked the cauliflowers and dumplings more than the lamb.

Here are some photos… We have plans for another outing tonight, this time with one of Bill’s old Army buddies, who is now his boss/co-worker. Going out twice in a weekend! It’s like the good old days! Before long, we will be coming up with some actual travel.

After we left, we walked back to the entrance to the parking garage, which was locked. So we had to take a stroll around the massive building to get to our car. And because we entered from a different way, it took some time to find it. But we were eventually successful after our discovery mission. In all, it was a good time.


Art in Breckenheim…

We’re leaving tomorrow for our Stuttgart dental/edge of France odyssey… I am looking forward to seeing some new things, even if it does mean wearing a fucking face mask for a few days. Hopefully, the dental visit will go okay.

In the meantime, I got some pretty photos from some children’s artwork that was put up in our little village over the weekend… I’m not sure what the occasion was, but it was nice to see these pictures done by the local tykes. (ETA: Our local Facebook group announced that this was a contest. Winners were announced today.). Maybe it has to do with Carnival. I remember how, a couple of years ago, we got mooned by a drunken kid who was celebrating Fasching. That was before the COVID-19 nightmare, though.

For the love of God, get vaccinated!

The other day, we ran into some kids from the local elementary school, dressed in their Fasching costumes. One little girl asked if she could pet Noyzi, who was obviously wanting to say “hi”, but still too shy to stand still for a pat on the head. He’ll get there. I’m continually amazed by how sweet and kind Noyzi is, in spite of his humble beginnings. He loves people, and other dogs… He even loves Arran. I have noticed how kind and considerate he is to the old man, even though Arran is cranky towards him.

Speaking of the dogs, they are now wanting to be walked, and only being somewhat patient. So I will wrap this up and get on my way. Stay tuned for some honest to God new fresh content on this blog VERY soon! I can’t wait!

ETA: Here are a couple more photos…

It’s so nice to see sunshine again.

A full moon over Wiesbaden… our first taste of Fasching.

I have a confession to make.  Although I have, at this writing, spent six full years in Germany, today was the first time we experienced a Fasching celebration.  And we experienced it quite by accident.  I didn’t know this was going to be going on today, probably because I’m not very religious.  Wiesbaden, to my knowledge, is less religious than Stuttgart is.  Actually, what I do remember of Baden-Württemberg at this time of year is that people dress in costumes, as an American celebrating Halloween might, but the costumes are kind of scary and macabre.  Or… at least that’s what our parsimonious ex landlady told us before she started hating us.  I had heard that in other parts of Germany, such as Bavaria, the costumes are more funny and lighthearted.  Since I haven’t really hung out in any Fasching celebrations before today, I can’t say for certain.

A nice first picture for the display.  Most of the others are a lot raunchier.

To be honest, Bill and I usually do other things when Fasching is going on.  I do remember seeing the tail end of celebrations, as people walked by in their costumes.  It looked like fun… but until today, I never experienced it firsthand.  I’ve also never been to New Orleans, let alone Carnival.  This tradition is a mystery to me.  I have led such a sheltered life.

We went to downtown Wiesbaden for lunch, before a trip to the commissary to stock up on junk food before Bill goes TDY next weekend.  I got a first inkling that it was time to Fasch when I saw a little kid in a dragon costume.  Then I noticed all kinds of other costumes, worn by people of all ages, but especially the young.  I got loads of pictures.  Feast your eyes.

The first costume I saw.  It was relatively tame.  The main drag was shut down for the parade, which was pretty epic.


We saw lots of flamingos.  This was the first.


I felt like I’d run into the characters from the Wizard of Oz.


I still haven’t stopped in this store, where the world’s biggest cuckoo clock supposedly is.  I thought the biggest one was near Triberg.  I’m sure only the Americans care.

It seemed somewhat sedate… just lots of people in costumes milling around.


Yeah… not so exciting… yet.


Except for this music shop… I need to explore it on a day that isn’t Sunday.


Things were heating up here.

It had started to rain and it was getting close to the witching hour of 2:00pm, which is when many restaurants shut down lunch.  There was a lot of street food available and plenty of booze, but I wasn’t really wanting sausages and shots.  I suddenly remembered a really nice Thai restaurant we tried in October, when we came to Wiesbaden looking for housing.  Chookdee Thai is right downtown, next to the Wiesbaden Town Hotel, where we stayed the first time we visited Wiesbaden.  When we visited then, we sat outside, because we had our dogs.  Since it was raining today, we went inside.  That was a good thing to do for many reasons.

Chookdee Thai was mostly booked today.  It has a small, but very beautifully decorated dining room. We had to sit in the area where you have to shed your shoes.  That meant climbing over a platform like area.  It was kind of cool, if not awkward.  We had to inconvenience the people sitting next to us, since Bill couldn’t get to his seat without climbing over the ladies at the next table.

You take off your shoes if you sit at one of the traditional tables.  They have slippers, but we didn’t bother with them.


The walls were covered with this.  It was beautiful.


Bill decides on lunch.  He had shrimp pad Thai.  I think I might have even seen our new landlord in costume while we were eating.  He has a very distinctive expression on his face.  He usually looks amused, which is a relief to me.


Really… a very nice place.  This was taken just before 3:00, which is when they pause until dinner.


Of course, Fasching is a time when people go a little nuts.  There’s a lot of drinking and dancing, especially among the young.  They had live music and I saw lots of kids with homemade potions in big plastic bottles, no doubt loaded with cheap alcohol.  And a whole bunch of them decided to congregate at the outside table in front of our Thai restaurant.  This place is actually kind of in an alcove/alley way.  I wouldn’t say it’s in the thick of Wiesbaden’s main square.  But it seemed like every high spirited hooligan decided to party in front of Chookdee Thai, much to the chagrin of the restaurant’s proprietor, who looked a bit pissed as young man after young man pissed in the corner between a parked van and a wall, in full view of the patrons.

The dude in the hat was dressed as a cow.  He encountered another cow while we were having lunch and the two of them started “milking” each other’s udders.

The sly looking pirate was the first guy who whizzed in front of us.  He looks devious, doesn’t he?

And these two aliens cracked me up.  I saw another impressive guy in a Spiderman costume that left nothing to the imagination.  I was impressed by how well he wore it.


Lunch came.  I had fried shrimp with green beans, garlic, rice, and garlic sauce.  It was all served family style and delicious.  I must admit, the show outside made our meal all the better.

Yummy rice…

Shrimp pad Thai.

Fried shrimp with green beans and steaming hot garlic sauce with cilantro.  Tasty and filling.


I kept watching the kids outside and took photos, because I’m tacky… and the cow dude apparently noticed.  He got on top of the table outside and mooned us.  I got several photos of his bare ass, which was surprisingly hairless and zitless.

Yeah… a little “courage”…

Mounting the table.

Getting in position…

I always seem to be at the right place at the right time, don’t I?

Wow.  I actually got a few pictures of this, but these were the best of the lot.  After he mooned us, the guy got down and basically took a bow.  Most everyone in the restaurant was dying laughing.  The German lady sitting behind me was quite amused that I got photos.  She showed them to her family, which included a couple of young kids.  Germans can be remarkably uptight about some things… but when it comes to nudity, they let it all hang out.


Anyway… that was about the end of lunch, so we finished up and split.  I do like Chookdee Thai under the best of circumstances.  Today was just an unusually entertaining day to eat there.  I walked around a bit more and got a few more pictures before we headed to the commissary.

Gonna have to check this out.

Love was in the air…

Especially brotherly love.

These folks had the right idea.

So did they.

I’ve heard the parade in Mainz is tomorrow and it’s supposedly even wilder than Wiesbaden’s is.  I don’t how I managed to miss this every year.  It’s quite the shitshow.  I do enjoy German style fun.  I don’t enjoy German style anal retentiveness.  But this goes to show that Germans can let their hair down, too.

And it was reassuring to know that they were very well prepared if someone had an “Unfall”.  Germans are serious about their fun… and if you get into trouble, they’ll help you out.  And then they’ll probably lecture you.

I got a kick out of this classic Mini Cooper parked near our new fangled (10 year old) one.

As for the commissary, it was its usual self, complete with the remnants of someone’s dump on the ladies’ room floor.  Why do we keep going there?  Because I’m an American and I need my Cheetos… and not just the one sitting in the White House.


President’s Day Weekend in Regensburg… Part 7

Bill and I were not that hungry on Sunday night.  That huge lunch we had at Fürstlichen Brauhaus was sticking with us pretty well.  Still, we wanted to try one last brauhaus before we left on Monday, so we visited Regensburger Weissnbrauhaus.  When we entered that place, it looked a bit familiar to me.  The reason it looked familiar was because it used to be part of the Johann Albrecht chain.  Bill and I enjoyed some brews at the Hamburg location of Johann Albrecht just last month.  The Weissbrauhaus had very similar tables and a bar that looked a lot like the one at the chain restaurant.  However, it is evidently now an independent restaurant.

A very handsome and friendly bartender came on duty at just about the time we sat down.  Bill and I spent a very enjoyable evening chatting with this fellow, who said he was from the East and had come to Regensburg with his wife to study at the university.  He told us that the restaurant had been operating as a brauhaus since 1620.  We told him that was the year when the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.  Of course, he probably already knew that!

Over the course of a couple of hours, Bill and I tried all four beers they had on draft, as well as a couple of shots of schnapps.  Toward the end of the evening, we decided to share a wurst plate.  It was actually pretty perfect.  There were just enough sausages for both of us.

The bartender seemed surprised by my ability to put away so much beer.  What can I say?  It’s in the genes.



Sausages, pickles, and kraut!


As I was eating the pickles, I remembered the Duggar family and how much they like to eat pickles.  I asked the bartender if he’d ever heard of JimBob and Michelle Duggar and their brood of 19 children.  He said he hadn’t.  So I proceeded to tell him about the Duggars and watched his eyebrows raise as he considered how two parents could possibly raise 19 children.

I’m sure that guy listened to us speak about a lot of nonsense, but he was a very good sport.  The food was good and the beer was fine.  We rewarded him for his attentiveness, then went back to the hotel for our last night.  I slept fine until about 2:00am.  Bill woke up and had a coughing fit that was loud enough to totally activate my brain.  I wasn’t able to go back to sleep after his fit was over, so I stayed up and read news articles on CNN and played with Facebook.

When Bill woke up at his usual time, he apologized for keeping me awake.  Later, we got up and went to the konditorei across the street and sat at the same table we were at on Saturday.  We enjoyed a very nice and inexpensive breakfast as we enjoyed our last look at lovely Regensburg.  Then we went back to the hotel and Bill repacked my bag Army style.

He rolls up everything neatly so it fits better.  I have no patience for such things.

We checked out of the ACHAT near the cathedral and made our way toward the train station.  We got there early, so we had enough time to visit the mall adjacent to the station.  We stopped at a little cafe and enjoyed a couple of Viennese cappuccinos.  Vienna is definitely on the list of where we want to visit while we’re living here again.  Maybe this was a sign of what’s next in our travel adventures.


Our train ride back to Stuttgart was totally uneventful.  We didn’t share space with anyone and a kindly train conductor even said we could switch compartments if we wanted to because the one we were in was a bit cold.  It was alright, though… aside from a couple of cute kids burning off energy in the corridor, we were completely unmolested on the ride home.  After a quick lunch at a Thai place in the Stuttgart train station, we were on our way to pick up our dogs at the Hunde Hotel Haase.

Actually, getting to the Hunde Hotel turned out to be a bit of a challenge.  We ran into a parade in honor of Karneval, which caused us to have to detour.  It was fun to see everyone in their costumes, though.  I was reminded that our landlady had told me about how Fasching differs between Bavaria (where she is from) and Baden-Wurttemburg.  In Bavaria, it’s supposedly fun with lots of cute costumes.  Here, it’s a lot of people dressed like witches.  I don’t even pretend to know much about Fasching, though I do remember the parades and costumes from the last time we were here.

The dogs were delighted to see us.  After we paid for their stay, we went home where everything was normal except for the huge estimate I got from the dentist for fixing my baby tooth issue.  Hopefully, that won’t cause us to have to quit traveling for the time being!