Baiersbronn in the Black Forest– Bareiss Style! Part six

We woke to steady rain on Saturday morning, which was a real pity. Friday night, when we were at the bar, fueled by fine food and cocktails, Bill and I gave some thought to paying a visit to the Allerheiligen Wasserfalls… yes, I know I misspelled it in German. In English, they are the All Saints Waterfalls. Bill and I discovered them in June 2018, when I read a blog by a Dutchman who had come to Germany to see waterfalls. We were enchanted by the falls, and I wanted to see them again, as the leaves are about to change, and the hotel is only a few miles away. But I didn’t want to see them in the rain.

We were also a bit in need of recovery after Friday night’s wild bar escapade. I think we’re getting to be too old to be carousing in the bar at all hours. Of course, children are allowed in the bar at Hotel Bareiss, which personally, I don’t necessarily agree with. I did see one cute little chap who appeared to be bonding with his dad, only to have his fun interrupted by a woman who showed up later. She went into the Smoker’s Lounge for a few minutes before coming back for a Whiskey Sour.

Because it was raining, I figured there would be a bunch of people at the pool, too. I wasn’t in the mood for that, so we decided to give housekeeping a chance to fix up the room while we checked out the library. When we got to the library, it was also full of people. So we went to the lobby, which was probably a better decision, as I got to ogle all of the dogs who were staying at Hotel Bareiss. There were some really sweet ones there, all of whom behaved impeccably. This hotel is the only one I know of that actually has a dog shower, where people can wash their pooches if they get dirty on a walk.

Dog shower!
The “dog shower”.

We also decided to have lunch at the Dorfstuben, which is a traditional restaurant in the hotel that serves hearty Swabian delights. They play accordion music while you sit in a quaint little stube with farmer painted furniture, enjoy local wines and beers, and eat food that will stick to your ribs. There was a lady in there– she appeared to be a grand dame– who seemed to know everyone! People were stopping at her table, hugging and kissing her. We later saw her in the bar, and she was getting the same familiar treatment there. I don’t know if she’s a member of the Bareiss family, or just someone who comes to the hotel a lot. Maybe she’s a local celebrity! She did seem like a very nice lady, though, and obviously has a lot of friends. Bill called her the “Grand Dame”.

Below are some photos from our delightful lunch at the Dorfstuben:

I know I have some Facebook friends who read these blog posts. I want to make mention of an incident that occurred the other day that really perturbed me. As you can see in the above gallery of photos, I had trout for lunch. It was fried, and served with tomatoes, lemon slices, and almonds, as well as oil. Fresh trout in the Schwarzwald is a real treat, if you like fish. Hotel Bareiss does it very well. They even have a restaurant that is dedicated to serving trout dishes. The restaurant, which is off site, is called the Forellenhof Buhlbach. We visited there last year, so we didn’t go this year.

I shared photos of this lunch with friends. A couple of people commented on the fact that the trout was served whole. I think Americans are grossed out by being served whole fish. I know it was hard for me to get used to when I lived in Armenia. I would buy whole fish from Lake Sevan, that might or might not be cleaned beforehand. I always cut off the head and tail before cooking it, because I don’t eat the head. Some people do eat it, though, and this is how the fish is served over here. Anyway, I got a couple of pretty rude comments about my lunch, which was absolutely delicious, by the way. A couple of people remarked that they don’t want to be “looked at” by what they’re eating. Understandable, although it might be even more jarring to realize that when you cut off the head, you’re decapitating the poor fish!

The worst comment, though, came from someone who said it looked like someone had vomited on the plate. Seriously? Even if that was true, it’s not an appropriate thing to say about someone’s lunch. Especially if they obviously enjoyed it, which I did, and you consider yourself a friend of theirs. That fish was cooked perfectly. When I reacted with an “angry” orange emoticon, and the comment, “That is not nice.” The person came back with an even worse comment.

So I felt compelled to post a request to everyone who was offended by the sight of a cooked, whole fish prepared „meunière“ style to either keep scrolling, or X out the photo without comment. It’s sad that I should have felt the need to do that, since one would hope that would be simple manners learned in childhood. I don’t have the best manners myself, but it’s a well known fact that it’s not nice to “yuck on other people’s yums.” Tastes differ, and we should respect that. I’m legitimately horrified when people post photos of mushrooms of any kind, but especially the ones that grow wild. I have an actual phobia of mushrooms. But instead of imposing my tastes on someone else’s social media posts, I simply hide the photo and move on.

In my friend’s defense, they did come back and apologize and delete the comment. I was so irritated, though, that I just deleted the photo. I had already seen the comment, so the damage was done. Yeah, I know I sound oversensitive, but that fish was brilliant. I feel like a true friend would be glad I enjoyed it, instead of leaving rude remarks about what they think it looks like or what they think are my poor choices in lunch dishes.

That lunch left us so full that we skipped dessert, though they did bring us cookies while Bill drank espresso and I had a beer. Afterwards, we went back to our room, where there was a mysterious vase of water waiting. We ignored it, and I laid on the bed and tried to read my latest book. Soon, I was fast asleep, enjoying a very nice nap, lulled by the sound of the rain.

Saturday night’s dinner was a “gala”. We soon found out the reasons for the vase on the coffee table. I was going to dress casually, but when we ventured down to the hotel foyer, I noticed that the Bareiss family was there handing out roses to the ladies, and chocolates to the men. Obviously, this was to be a formal dinner. We went back to the room, and I put on a dress and some jewelry. Then, we sat down at our table, where there was a vase waiting for the pretty pink and white rose and a lit candle. The buffet table was shut down for Saturday night, as we were going to be enjoying a beautiful dinner. Below are some photos:

By the time dinner was over, we were both pretty exhausted, so we went straight back to the room and promptly crashed. But not before I put my rose in the vase that was waiting for it. I brought the rose home, and it’s now on our table to enjoy until it needs to be composted.

holidays, housekeeping tips

The last day of 2021… (cross post)

This post also appears on the main blog, since I have different readers there. The featured photo are cookies brought by our landlord.

I’m getting a late post up today. I was actually thinking of taking off the last day of 2021. I didn’t have anything earth shattering on my mind that I felt compelled to write about. Bill had the day off, and we were both kind of tired. Bill was especially tired, since he never gets a full night’s sleep. So I worked on reading my book, and he took a nap. Later, he’ll fire up the fondue/raclette grill set I got him for Christmas, and we’ll try it out. He’s already used the new hot tea pot I got him. He’s drinking tea as I write this.

Bill and Arran, preparing for tonight.

Arran took a nap with us, while Noyzi tried to steal my brand new fuzzy slippers. I think he thinks they’re small animals. I might let him take them, but he’s already eaten a couple of toys. The emergency vet is the last place we want to go tonight.

I managed to accomplish a couple of other chores, too. After I worked on trying to rid the toilet of limescale and calcium stains, I went on and bought some citric acid, as well as cleaning soda and salt. Today, I tried the acid on a really terrible hard water stain in the shower that I’ve never been able to get rid of. I poured the acid on the stain and, wouldn’t you know it? That stain was gone in minutes! There’s no trace of it. I think it’s a wonder drug. It’s hard to believe it’s taken seven years to figure this out. Vinegar is good, but citric acid is the bomb! And it’s cheap, too!

I also climbed up on a stepladder in the shower and knocked the calcium off the shower head jets, so the nice rainfall spray won’t squirt all over the place anymore. Now, the new shower head is as nice as it was in September, when it was installed.

I heard that fireworks weren’t supposed to be sold in German stores again this year. Like last year, the government wants to discourage people from setting off fireworks, because they don’t want people getting hurt and needing to go to the hospital, thanks to COVID. I suspect there will be fireworks, anyway… Germans are law abiding people, but they love fireworks on New Year’s Eve. I think that’s pretty much the only day they are allowed to be set off, at least by the regular rank and file folks. I seem to remember that there were fireworks last year, despite the ban on them.

Our New Year’s celebrations are usually pretty boring affairs. We spend them much the same way we spend any night at home… listening to music, drinking wine, and talking.

I’m hoping 2022 will be a better year for everyone… although 2021 wasn’t, for me, a particularly bad year. I’ve had worse. But this COVID-19 shit needs to be fixed. Hopefully, 2022 will bring us some breakthroughs.

In any case… I want to offer sincere thanks to everyone who’s been reading my blogs. This main site, in particular, has really taken off this year! In the past month or so, I’ve had an explosion in traffic. That really does my heart good, and makes writing this blog worth the time and effort.

The travel blog has been somewhat less trafficked this year, but I can understand why. I haven’t been traveling as much… nor have many other people! I’m sure the traveling we have done may even be a downer for some folks. I know some people suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), and it can be depressing to look at other people’s travel posts when travel is so potentially risky and definitely stressful. I am very grateful, though, that we finally managed to go to Croatia. I hope we can visit again. There are more places I want to see. And with any luck and maybe God’s grace, if you’re into God, that is– maybe COVID-19 will be more under control by this time next year.

I’m still making music, too… Been getting better with my guitar skills and can even play some songs. There are some times when I find myself playing things completely spontaneously. I still have plenty of learning to do, which is a good thing. And I’ve also found someone to collaborate with on YouTube, too, which is very rewarding. Maybe I’ll put up a new song or two, now that I have new gear. Maybe I’ll try to learn bass guitar and banjo, too… if the virus continues to spread, I might have to do something else to pass the time.

Well… I don’t have much else to say, except…

I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year’s Eve, and a very fortuitous New Year’s Day… and 2022!