Arran is everywhere…

We had good weather yesterday, so Bill and I decided to go to Wiesbaden for lunch. I had a few places in mind where I’d like to go, but they were all pretty crowded. We ended up at Scotch N’ Soda, which is an Irish pub that is popular with the American community in Wiesbaden. In retrospect, I realize there’s another Irish pub near there that we have never visited. Maybe we should have gone there… but we were destined to go to the place we knew from prior visits.

One reason we like Scotch N’ Soda, besides the fact that they have a lot of scotches, is that they don’t take a midday pause. We have a tendency to get started late on the weekends, especially on Saturdays. But as it turned out, we were well within the bounds of the lunch hours when we arrived. A lot of people were sitting outside, because it was relatively warm and sunny. We went inside, where there were several tables available.

Bill ordered us a round of beers, and I looked up and noticed a reminder of Arran… We have twice been to the distillery that makes Arran Malt whisky, and it’s a good product. We didn’t have any yesterday, but it was a reminder that our dog, Arran, will always be popping up in unexpected places.

Arran’s memory lingers.

Lots of people were watching rugby on the televisions while Bill and I enjoyed comfort food. He had cottage pie, and I had fish ‘n chips with mushy peas. I actually got the small portion (one piece of fish)– they also offer medium and large. I couldn’t finish it. In fact, we didn’t even eat dinner last night. Say what you want about British and Irish food, it does stick to the ribs!

Before we got to Scotch N’ Soda, we walked around Wiesbaden a bit. I noticed something I’d never seen before. There’s a really cool city model near the main drag. Four years, we’ve been living here, and we never saw it before yesterday.

This was constructed in 2010 and even has Braille translation. I’m always struck by how pretty the city of Wiesbaden is. It’s so graceful and genteel, compared to Stuttgart.

And no visit to Wiesbaden would be complete without a photo of the Evangelical Market Church in downtown Wiesbaden. It is such an imposing and beautiful structure. Every time I see it, it takes my breath away.

To see this huge, majestic church in person is an experience. It always makes me feel small and insignificant. Maybe that’s the point… to remind Christians of the vastness of God. I’m not particularly religious, but I can appreciate that sentiment.

Well, it’s our first weekend without Arran… and we do miss him. This is the first time since 2002 that we haven’t had a beagle in the family. Noyzi is a wonderful dog and we love him very much, but he’s definitely different on many levels. It’s hard to get used to not having a warm doggy body on the bed with us. Noyzi probably would oblige, but he’s really too big to share the bed, even though it’s a king.

On the other hand, there are some things about Arran I won’t miss… like the fact that he was never 100 percent housetrained. He was good about 90 percent of the time, but we had to watch him, especially at night or in the early morning. Sometimes he had a habit of relieving himself on my rugs, rather than telling us he needed to go outside.

On Friday morning, Arran actually DID alert me, even though he could barely walk, and he did his business outside. But as recently as a couple of weeks ago, I found a big wet spot in his favorite place. Noyzi, on the other hand, almost never goes potty in the house. He’s always been like that, even when we first got him. It’s a definite plus!

I don’t know if or when we’ll get another beagle. We do love them… but they can be rascals, and they require a lot of diligence to make sure they don’t get into trouble. On the other hand, they’re cute, snuggly, friendly, and hilarious. And they’re also not quite as common in Germany as they are in the southern United States. I have noticed they’re much more popular here now than they used to be, though.

I suspect our next dog could be another Eastern European or Balkan immigrant… and smaller than Noyzi is. We shall see. For now, I think we’re going to enjoy having a little more freedom. It’s time to start planning a vacation. I definitely need one, and this blog needs some fresh material. So stay tuned for that.


New improved fish n’ chips at The Auld Rogue…

Bill and I visited The Auld Rogue for the first time in ages this afternoon.  In fact, today we also went to the PX and Patch commissary for the first time in ages.  I like The Auld Rogue because I like Irish pubs, but I wasn’t in the mood for a sandwich today.  So I ordered the fish n’ chips.

Last time I had fish n’ chips at The Auld Rogue, they were okay, but the breading seemed like it was made of crumbs rather than batter.

Old style fish n’ chips from a few months ago…


I like my fish n’ chips made with batter, so I didn’t order them again at The Auld Rogue– until today.  I got a bee in my bonnet and decided I just didn’t want a cheeseburger because even though The Auld Rogue has okay cheeseburgers, they aren’t cooked the way I really like them.  Bill was okay with a cheeseburger, so that’s what he had, along with a Guinness.


Superior fish n’ chips, the way my ancestors would have made ’em…

As you can see, the fish and chips looks different now…  It seems to have been made with a batter instead of crumbs.  It was much to my liking!  I am proud to say I ate the whole thing, except for the salad.  I’m not one for being healthy.

Bill digs in…

He’s not watching the game… 

After we had lunch, I decided I wanted some whisky.  I ordered a large dram of ten year old Arran scotch.  I let Bill try it.

Down the hatch!

And this was his reaction, though I thought it was so funny I had to ask for a caption…

I really like the way fish n’ chips are being done at The Auld Rogue now.  I’m probably late to the party, though, because I think the last time we visited was a few months ago.  We got out of the habit of going shopping on Sundays sometime during the spring.

We just missed the concert that was going to start at 2:00.  I would have liked to have stuck around for awhile, but we needed to get some food and get home to Zane and Arran, our two troublemakers.  I bought them new toys today.  One was a Kong puzzle that has to be tipped over to dispense food.  Zane got the concept right away, but Arran didn’t.  He was still trying to chew on it a little while ago.  I may try feeding Zane with it when he’s being picky about food.  You wouldn’t think a beagle would be choosy about dinner, but Zane is.

We had beautiful weather today.  I was finally able to put the top down on the Mini and annoy people with my music.


Another visit to The Auld Rogue…

I seriously think The Auld Rogue could end up being a regular stop for us when we do our Sunday shopping.  It’s convenient to Patch and Panzer, has good service and food, and a great variety of beers.  We went there yesterday at around 2:30 or so because we were hungry.  Yesterday also happened to be our 12th wedding anniversary.

Bill and I enjoy a round.  I had a Murphy’s Red and he had his usual Guinness.  A couple had an adorable, sweet, and well-behaved golden retriever with them who came over to say hi.  I wish our dogs were calm enough to go to restaurants.

Bill had Shepherd’s Pie, which was very good, but huge.  I wouldn’t have liked it because it had mushrooms in it.  Bill did note that since it was served with fries, he got two servings of potatoes.  I guess to a guy with as much Irish blood as Bill has, that’s not a bad thing.


I had fish and chips.  I enjoyed the chips especially.  They were just about perfect.  Once again, I eschewed the spare ribs in favor of something else.  I’ll get to them eventually.  The fish was good, though the breading was less batter and more bread crumbs.  It was very enjoyable and the portion size of the fish was about right.  I still had plenty of fries and salad leftover.

And because it was our anniversary, I had a large pour of Oban 14 year old scotch…  It was quite nice.  8 euros for .4cl and worth every euro cent.  Smaller pours go for 4 euros.

As we were having lunch, I got caught up in watching a rugby game on one of the large TVs.  I don’t usually enjoy watching sports, but I think I could get into rugby.  Ireland and Georgia were playing, which made it especially interesting for me.  Since I once lived in Armenia, I used to live near the Republic of Georgia.

I think the bartender recognized us.  He may have spotted us as new regulars.