The weather was so beautiful yesterday. It was about 74 degrees, sunny, and breezy. I was actually a bit tempted to just sit in the backyard and enjoy music and the gorgeous weather. But it was Friday night wine stand time, and pretty soon, those will be ending for the winter. So we got Noyzi and went down to the Dorfplatz, walking down some steps at the church’s community building, because someone is building a house next to the narrow alley that leads down there and they have the alley blocked off.
We decided to sit on the other side of the Dorfplatz last night, because someone beat us to our usual spot and they had a dog with them. Noyzi is very friendly to other dogs, but he can be kind of noisy and fidgety. So we found a spot on a bench and enjoyed some wine in the late summer September sun. Noyzi got to meet several dogs and their owners, including one dog that looked a bit like a setter or a pointer. I think they would have had a good time frolicking if they’d had the opportunity.
A good time was had by all… and then when the sun went down, we went back to our house and had burgers. Unfortunately, we had a slight mishap last night that required a middle of the night laundry run. But then we slept in until about 8:00 AM. I haven’t done that in ages!
I’m not sure what we’ll do today. Once again, the weather is perfect. I love this time of year, and I appreciate living in a little village where we can have these fun evenings with our neighbors. It’s always fun watching Noyzi blossom into the dog he was meant to be. He’s so sweet and gentle, even toward little dogs. He met a couple of them last night, too, and was very good.
Regular readers might have noticed that I didn’t write anything in the travel blog yesterday or Saturday. It was mainly because we didn’t do anything noteworthy until last night, when I reminded Bill that he’d wanted to take an anniversary trip in November.
Our anniversary is November 16th, and this year, we wanted to do something exciting. I would have wanted to do something special for our 20th anniversary, but our sweet Arran dog was dying of cancer and we didn’t want to board him. So we ended up taking him and Noyzi with us on a trip to our beloved Ribeauville, France, a beautiful town not too far away that is different enough to be a getaway. We love Alsace, but we’ve been there so many times… This year, we definitely wanted to do something different.
Bill sent an email to our regular boarding facility and confirmed that they had space for Noyzi. Then I got out our trusty champagne bucket, which we often use when we want a little fateful help choosing a place to vacation. I went through the paper slips from past drawings, removing any that we’ve already done or will soon do, and any of those that would not be good for a visit in November. Then I had Bill draw from the bucket…
And the winner was…
ARMENIA!!! And Georgia… but I don’t know if we’ll make Georgia on this proposed trip, because I think we’d need more than the week we’ll probably have for this journey.
Now… it’s not yet engraved in stone that we’ll be going to Armenia. Bill has to get the days off, first. And then I have to figure out the logistics of the trip. Also, I’m still a bit worried about my gallbladder exploding. But Armenia did finally win a drawing, and it’s time we visited. It would be special and different. Bill can finally see where I lived for twenty-seven crazy months of my young life, and if he likes it, we can come back and see the regions.
So, today I will be researching places to go, flights, and the rest…
I haven’t been to Armenia since I left in August 1997. It’s changed a lot! A lot of street names have changed; there’s been a lot of construction and demolition; and in all, it looks like a much nicer place. It also looks a hell of a lot more expensive than it was back in the 90s. I found one luxury hotel that is charging about 400 euros per night. Consider that my first apartment in Yerevan was $50 a month. My second was an unheard of $100. No Armenian would have paid as much for either place, but I got the American rate. 😉
Anyway… wish me luck.
Below are a few photos from this week. See what I mean? Not much has been going on. Bill was away, and I had a cold. At least there are still some pretty flowers.
Happy Saturday, y’all. It’s cool and overcast today, and Bill is preparing for another TDY in Bavaria. I’m not sure what we’ll do, but it looks like the weather may not be optimal. We’ve sure had a mild summer this year… lots of rain and temperatures that weren’t very oppressive. I’m grateful for that. Coming from Virginia originally, I know what it’s like to feel like you need gills to breathe. We have had a few warm, humid days this year, but it’s really not been too bad at all. And pretty soon, after next week’s warm spell, it will get chilly and Fall will truly be upon us.
When Fall arrives in Germany, so do a lot of fun harvest related festivals. But, at the end of October, the wine stands end… I always find that sad, because the wine stands are a lot of fun, especially for Noyzi. We went to the one in our village last night, and Noyzi got to work on his social skills, make new friends, and enjoy a change of scenery. I got some photos of our fun.
You’ll notice there are also election candidates’ signs, which I took photos of a couple of days ago while walking Noyzi through the Dorfplatz. It’s always interesting to see what German politicians focus on when it comes time for elections. The first five photos are from a couple of days ago, while the ones with Noyzi and sunshine were taken last night.
Noyzi was a bit excited at first, but after about 45 minutes, he settled down. He also got to meet one of our neighbors, who was understanding when we explained that Noyzi is from Kosovo, which isn’t a very dog friendly place. He was abused before we got him, so he gets nervous around men. However, he’s come a LONG way, and calms down quickly when he realizes that someone is being friendly. He loves people, and he LOVES wine stands and Biergartens.
Something funny did happen last night. There’s a somewhat young looking couple in Breckenheim who sometimes attend the wine stands. They have two little kids. One is obviously a girl, but the jury is out on the other child, who is still very young. I thought it was a girl, but Bill thought it was a boy child. I guess we’ll know soon enough.
Anyway, the children’s father is a very gentle looking guy… kind of short and slender, with a beard and shoulder length blond hair. He actually looks like a shyer, younger version of the husband half of a LDS couple I knew when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the mid 1990s (they were my colleagues, not missionaries 😉 ). Every time I see this guy, I am reminded of Jason from Armenia. Both men are very “granola” looking, although by now, Jason is probably twice the local guy’s age.
So, this local beaded guy was wearing a down vest last night, as he was shepherding his small children. I was admiring how very patient and attentive he was toward his kids, playing with them, and making sure they didn’t get into any trouble. The children got a bit close to Noyzi, who was a little spooked. He doesn’t spend a lot of time with little kids, although I’m sure he would enjoy them if he got to know them– as long as they didn’t make too many fast moves.
Bearded guy comes up to Bill and asks in German if Noyzi minds children. Bill told him in German that Noyzi is friendly. I looked up at the beaded guy and immediately noticed that he had a baby doll hanging out of his vest! I was immediately charmed by that! What a great dad! Obviously, he was being a good Opa to his little girl’s baby. It was very cute, and my respect grew by leaps and bounds as he herded the children away from Noyzi.
There were a couple of other kids climbing up on the chest where the chess pieces are kept. Our Dorfplatz has a chessboard built into the brick floor of the village square. The kids were picking the grapes that grow in one corner of our Dorfplatz. Nobody seemed to mind… it looked to me like the grapes were about to turn into raisins, anyway.
We also saw our neighbor’s mother, a lovely, elderly matriarch who, I fear, is starting to suffer from the troubles that come with aging. We hadn’t seen her in awhile. She broke her leg a few months ago, and then seemed to be dealing with some confusion. She looked like she’s lost some weight, and I noticed she didn’t speak to us in English, as she had been up until around April or so.
I saw the same thing happen to our old Greek restaurant owning friend, the late “Mad Scientist” of Entringen, down near Stuttgart. He used to speak perfect English, having spent years working as an engineer in Canada. Then he moved to Germany with his second wife, learned German, and opened his restaurant. When we met him in 2007, he was married to wife number three, and joked about Barack Obama.
When we came back to Germany in 2014 or so, he was noticeably slower and spoke English less fluently… and then he couldn’t really speak it at all. I was sad when I read about his death in 2020. He was a good friend to us. I’m glad we were able to come back to his place, Agais, a few more times when we moved back to the Stuttgart area.
Anyway… we had a good time last night, didn’t stay too late, or drink too much. Noyzi was very good, and I don’t think any of us offended anyone. I love the wine stands and other community events in our little village. People are very relaxed and nice here. The wine helps! I feel grateful to be a part of it.
Below is a short video I took of Noyzi, who was grinning and having a great time, as always!
Well, I don’t know what we’re going to do today… I’d like to go do something fun, preferably somewhere we haven’t been. Our motivation is lacking lately, though… I guess that’s what happens when you live somewhere so long that it starts to feel too familiar.
My “street dog”, Noyzo from Kosovo, sitting on the rug next to my computer, striking a pose…
First thing’s first. I’m happy to report that my left eye is back to normal now. It only took a few days, rather than the couple of weeks predicted in the articles and videos on the subject of subconjunctival hemorrhages.
I was going to make one of my usual music videos yesterday, having discovered the wonderful Peggy Lee last week. Well, I shouldn’t say I “discovered” her, per se… I had heard of her. I just never bought much of her music and listened to it intently. That changed last week, when I covered her version of “Blue Moon”, a song I never really had much affection for, until I heard Peggy do it.
After I did a version of Peggy Lee’s cover of “Blue Moon”, I came across her song “He’s a Tramp”, from Lady and the Tramp. I haven’t seen that move in decades, but I am a committed dog lover, and I loved Peggy’s sultry purr. I decided to try it yesterday… and since my eye was only about 90% healed, I had Noyzi from Kosovo star in the video. I happened to have a few candid Noyzi clips from around the house… I thought it would be easy to throw them in a movie made on my new computer. Well… I was wrong. But I did manage to make the video on my older laptop. Below is the end result.
It was sheer luck that his wiggly butt matched the tempo of the song. It was hard to manipulate the clips on the laptop, since I don’t have a magic mouse for it. I need to research how to fix the settings on my computer so I don’t have the same issue adding clips to my videos on the desktop machine in the future. I think it has something to do with permissions. Whatever it is, it’s a highly annoying problem, especially when I just want to make a quick video without a lot of fuss. I wish I were more of a technical guru.
Here’s a fun factoid. Noyzi loves watching videos, especially if they have any type of animal in it. He will watch animals of any species whatsoever, but he especially likes watching other dogs. When I played the animated version of “He’s a Tramp” just to hear how Peggy Lee did it, Noyzi came in and stood next to me. He was watching the video of Peg, the shelter dog, singing about the Tramp who broke doggy hearts with no compunction.
I wouldn’t say our Noyzi is really a “tramp”. He’s actually the best behaved dog we’ve ever had, in spite of his being a “street dog”. He’s clean and very quiet, and never has accidents in the house. He doesn’t get into the trash or break into the basement. Most of the time, I barely know he’s here. He loves people, car rides, other dogs, and seeing and doing new things, and he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. I just thought his cute little tail wag would be perfect for that song! And it gave me an excuse not to put on makeup for my weekly music video.
By the way… my guitar playing is coming along. I might even be ready to do a guitar video soon. I just have to iron out some technical issues first.
Yesterday, Bill was supposed to Skype with his mom. He didn’t do it, because I complained to him that I wanted to go out and do something on Saturday. And yet, we didn’t end up going anywhere yesterday… it was hot and muggy, and nothing was appealing.
Today was different. It was hot and muggy today, but we decided we wanted to go out, anyway. The Birkenhof Hofladen has a 24 hour fridge that people can buy produce from. They also have a Biergarten called the Bembelschänke, which is a really nice venue for drinking beer, eating pretzels, and pondering life. It’s a dog friendly place, so Noyzi came with us. Boy did he have fun! A Bembel, by the way, is a pottery wine pitcher found in these parts. This is German wine country, after all.
When we arrived at the cornfield, we walked Noyzi toward the entrance, where we were promptly greeted by a gorgeous dog who obviously lived at the farm. I think he might have been a “Swissy”. He was very much “Johnny on the spot” when we arrived, meeting us at the gate, and checking out Noyzi with his hackles raised. Noyzi, of course, just wanted to play.
The lady of the farm came out and claimed her dog, whom she said was two years old. She yelled at him to sit and he ignored her the first couple of times before he complied. He and Noyzi traded a couple more sniffs, then parted company as she took him inside.
Bill and I chose a shady spot in the Biergarten, which wasn’t very crowded at all. We ordered a couple of beers– an amber for him, and a weizen for me. Noyzi was nervous, but he eventually calmed down a bit as we enjoyed a “cheese bread” plate for Bill, and Spundekäs with a pretzel for me. I was impressed by how beautifully the food was presented.
The Bembelschänke offers a variety of beverages– wines, beers, soft drinks, and non alcoholic juices. I was actually really tempted by the lemonade, which looked very refreshing. The food choices are somewhat limited to snacks, but that’s okay. After you enjoy a round or two, you can visit the 24 hour fridge and load up on farm fresh goodies. I took a video for Bill’s daughter. She’s never had a chance to live abroad.
As we were finishing up our second round, the lady of the farm came over with a big bowl of water for Noyzi. I could tell she was a bit smitten by him. I think the feeling was mutual, as he went right over to her and gave her a snuggle. I was glad to see him so comfortable with someone he doesn’t live with 24/7. Noyzi really likes women, and he’s come such a long way from the scared pooch he was in 2020, when we first brought him home from Kosovo. He was very well behaved at the Biergarten, aside from taking a little while to settle down. I think if we go back, we’ll be welcomed warmly… especially by Noyzi’s new friend.
One of the young waitresses said, when she saw Noyzi, “Mein Herz.” Or something to that effect. The lady of the farm said he was very “Hübsch”. It was clear that he made a very good impression. I do love my beagles, but I’ve got to admit that Noyzi the street dog sure is better behaved and easier on most levels. He works very hard not to offend, and he mostly succeeds.
Anyway, we were very proud of him. It was a hot, but lovely, afternoon. The mood at the Biergarten was perfect– not too busy and very warm and welcoming. I hope we can do it again soon. And the bonus is, we scored some nice goodies for home!
Last night, Bill and I decided to go to the wine festival in downtown Wiesbaden again. This time, we were going to meet some of his co-workers, who had reserved three tables at one of the wine stands. They did the same thing last year, only the festivities started a little bit earlier, so most of our time celebrating was done in the daylight. This year, the decision was made to start the party at 7:00 PM, rather than 5:00.
When we arrived at the Weingut Lamm Jung tent, Bill spotted his boss and his boss’s wife, along with another co-worker. I had never met the co-worker before, but she made quite an impression with her enthusiasm for Riesling and a certain brand of wine called Bickelmaier that she insisted was better than what was being sold at the Lamm Jung tent.
There was live entertainment. I heard a band doing Queen covers, but they were so far away and it was so noisy that we couldn’t really hear the music very well. I was sitting there shocked by how crowded it was, especially in the wake of the pandemic. But then, we were there, just like a lot of other like minded people, enjoying the atmosphere. As Katie Wenger on YouTube reminds us, COVID-19 is still out there, but I guess the sickness is not as terrible as it was last year…
For the most part, we had a pretty good time. Most of Bill’s co-workers are fun loving folks. No one was extremely obnoxious– not even me— although Bill did end up wearing part of a bottle of Riesling that was dropped on his pants. I noticed one German guy playing ball with what appeared to be his grandson. He kept throwing the ball, even though it was a pretty crowded area. I was amazed that he was able to keep doing that for so long without hitting someone with the ball.
We stayed for a couple of hours, and then decided to go home to Noyzi. I think there was also a wine stand in our neighborhood, but we didn’t attend. I think Noyzi was really hoping we’d take him with us, but I’m absolutely certain that the festival would have been too much for him. He needs to visit a few more Biergartens before he’s ready for a prime time event in downtown Wiesbaden.
Here are some photos from last night’s festivities… The wine festival is definitely a big event! Some people dress up for it. I didn’t… Good thing, since I wore part of the spilled bottle of Riesling, too. Bill didn’t drink a lot of wine because he was driving, and because he didn’t want to upset his newly extracted tooth socket. He’s very much a typical Cancerian… big on nursing himself and his loved ones. <3
I love how these events are orchestrated. There’s no beefed up security, nor are there steep entry fees. People just come together to enjoy wine and boost one of the area’s biggest industries. Most everyone is well behaved and behaves responsibly. The events are pretty family friendly, too, if your family doesn’t mind a lot of wine drinking and smoking. But I saw a lot of young kids there, having a good time with their elders, who were enjoying the local wines. It was a lot of fun.
The last fifteen hours or so have been rather eventful. First off, last night the two day Breckenheimer Dorfplatzfest began. Ordinarily, last night would have just been a regular wine stand night, but the local culture club held its annual festival. So basically, it was like a supersized wine stand with beer, food, and live music. They had brats and burgers, along with fries (pommes) and wild potatoes with tzatziki.
Our neighbor and multi-talented veterinarian, Dr. Konrad Blendinger, was there with his pop ensemble, providing entertainment as friends and neighbors gathered in the village “square”. Dr. Blendinger plays guitar and even wrote a song about Breckenheim, which he sang last night. When he’s not playing music, Dr. Blendinger is well-known for his prowess in breeding dogs. Like, he’s world renowned for it– and people come from all over for his services. I even caught him admiring Noyzi when we brought him to a wine stand. Noyzi will never be a father, though. 😉
Bill and I had a pretty good time, although we were joined by an older German couple who didn’t speak English. There were also a few women there, one of whom was one we met on prior occasions. She asked us where Noyzi was. We left him at home, because we figured it would be too loud and busy for him. She nodded her approval.
We impressed them with our ability to enjoy wine, then they brought over some guy who spoke Russian. I spoke Armenian to him… 😉 I did so to be funny, not because the Russian and Armenian languages have anything in common. Of course, I didn’t expect him to speak Armenian, and I’m actually glad he didn’t, because I have forgotten a lot of it myself. I guess I just get tired of people assuming all Americans are monolingual. The guy got up and walked away. 😀 Oh well.
I also had occasion to use the new toilet that was installed last year. The fest was canceled last year because it was being built. As you can see from the photos, it’s pretty snazzy. This time, no one walked in on me, either. They put up directions in German and English!
I got some photos and videos of the festivities.
We had a good time, but unfortunately, I overdid the wine quite a bit. This morning, I look like I got in a fight. Oh well…
As if having a hangover wasn’t bad enough, Bill greeted me with the news that there’s an issue with our washer. I bought the washer brand new from Amazon.de nine years ago next month. For the past couple of years, it’s been in decline. There’s a problem with the door sensor, so that it doesn’t close properly unless you bang the shit out of it. This morning, Bill tried to do a very light load and the cycle quit at about five minutes.
I drained the machine, which made a big mess… then I determined it was time to buy a new washer and dryer. Our dryer is functioning, but it has an annoying squeak that I can hear all the way upstairs, and it’s just a very no frills Turkish model that is too small and isn’t that great.
I spent the last hour or so agonizing over which brand to buy. The washer we have now is an LG, and it’s not bad… and I know how to use it, for the most part. But I wanted to get one as soon as possible, so I ended up buying a Siemens washer and dryer. I figure if they turn out to be smart devices (and I think they are), I’ll only have to download one app. Plus, I could get them delivered on the same day. Hopefully, they’ll work out fine. I paid a little extra for the delivery guys to hook everything up and take away the old appliances.
These new machines are quite a bit more expensive than the old ones were– naturally. I think I paid just over $1600 (about 700 euros each, before VAT and delivery) for the pair, whereas I see I paid about 600 euros for my old dryer (no longer available) and 370 euros for the old washer (which I now see is also no longer available and gets poor reviews– it probably didn’t when I bought it). But I think they’ll be easier to use, and they’ll hold more. I got the 9 kilogram size, instead of the 7, which is what I’ve been using. I would have liked to have gone for the biggest one they offered, but doing that would have significantly reduced my choices. Also, we have to make sure we can get the appliances through the doors and down into the basement.
I mainly decided to buy the models I did because they got mostly good reviews, weren’t super expensive, and could be delivered as soon as Tuesday. I do a lot of laundry, so this is a good thing. The bigger size should make it easier to do laundry, too. I think I got a condenser dryer, which will be a new thing for me. I tried to find one that vents, because that’s what I’m used to, but they didn’t seem to have them available. So, now I get to learn how to use a condenser dryer.
I’m already feeling a lot better than I was earlier. I took some Advil and ate breakfast, which helped a lot. The Dorfplatzfest starts up again at 2:00 PM, but I’m not sure if we’ll go today. Bill is talking about brewing some beer… and I sure don’t want to start tomorrow like I’ve started today.
In other news, we have some pretty wild flowers in our backyard… They came from the bee bombs I planted a few months ago.
October is approaching, which means it’ll soon be time for us to visit Stuttgart again for dental cleanings. We had originally booked the dentist for October 3, but that’s a holiday in Germany. Our dentist’s receptionist later called and rescheduled us for October 2. That got me to thinking about potential travel opportunities after the appointment. It occurred to me that maybe we should get out of the country for German Reunification Day.
As is my habit, when we go to Stuttgart, I’m making some tentative plans to go somewhere. Taking a side trip after seeing the dentist kind of lessens the trauma of the experience, even if it does kind of add to the cost.
For the past couple of years, when we’ve seen the dentist in the fall, we’ve gone to Baiersbronn, in the Schwarzwald. It’s a picturesque area, with many good restaurants and things to do. This year, as much as I like the Black Forest, I think it’s time to do something different. So, after our Hundepension confirmed that they have space for Noyzi, Bill and I started talking about where we might go for our dental side trip. Stuttgart is kind of an advantageous area, as it’s not too far from France, Switzerland, Austria, or even the Czech Republic.
We had originally wanted to book Noyzi starting on Sunday, October 1, but the dog hotel doesn’t do check-ins on Sundays. So that means we have to bring him on either Saturday or Monday, giving us a couple of days in the Stuttgart area.
When we stay in Stuttgart, we often book the Wald Hotel, which is a favorite lodging of ours. But while we like the hotel, we also enjoy other towns near Stuttgart. So, for our upcoming visit, I proposed staying in either Esslingen or Tübingen– two very pretty towns we both love that are near Stuttgart. We already know Tübingen very well, since we used to live very close to it during our first German stint. We’ve only been to Esslingen a couple of times. We decided either would be fine bases other than Stuttgart. To choose where we should go, we flipped a coin. Esslingen won, so now I’m looking for good lodging options in and around that area.
Then, we decided to plan where to go after the cleanings were done, since we’ll have a few days to burn, and the following weekend is a US holiday. We did another coin flip. First, it was between Austria and Switzerland. Switzerland won, so we flipped again between Switzerland and Germany. Switzerland won again! Then, we did one for Switzerland and the Czech Republic. That time, the Czech Republic won.
I’m happy about the results, because we haven’t gone to the Czech Republic since 2018. We used to visit the Czech Republic pretty often when we lived in Germany the first time, but we’ve been neglecting it lately. I’ve been very interested in visiting Brno, among other places… I am hoping to find some more art for our walls.
So… that’s the plan for our next big trip for now. I’m going to look for a place in Esslingen and/or its environs. Then, we’re going on a road trip to the Czech Republic, to show off our nice, clean teeth. Should be fun… Maybe this will keep me busy while Bill is in Bavaria this week, doing his TDY duty!
I really hate it when Bill travels for work without me, but at least we no longer have a dog with cancer to take care of. And our sweet Noyzi has really bonded to us. I suspect the week will be pretty peaceful. I do enjoy trip planning!
I wish I could write about something fun today, but Bill is busy preparing for his trip. I thought maybe we’d go to the Hofheim Wine Fest this weekend, but I just didn’t feel like it yesterday. My stomach was bothering me, and I didn’t want to upset it further with too much wine. We stayed home and hung out instead, which is always a pleasure. And… of course, I drank beer and wine, too. So much for babying my stomach, but at least I didn’t have to put on a bra.
The featured photo is the actual quarter we flipped to come to this preliminary decision… We’ll see what we actually end up planning, as even coin toss trip plans are subject to change… Heh heh… I said “change”! See what I did there?
Edited to add: After searching for a place in Esslingen, I ended up deciding to a book a hotel in Tübingen, after all. It’s one we’ve been curious about for awhile, as we’ve eaten in their restaurant a few times– Hotel La Casa. I got an apartment for three nights at a pretty reasonable rate.
I didn’t get a chance to write about last Friday’s wine stand, because I was too busy blogging about our big trip up north. It was an unusually fun wine stand, though, so I figure I might as well offer a quick post about it.
Last Friday night (July 7th), it was really hot outside. We got there early, having brought Noyzi with us. I was thinking we’d have a couple of glasses of wine and go home and have some of the cake I baked for Bill’s birthday. We managed to snag a seat under the tent, which was really nice.
After a short while, our landlord’s wife showed up with some friends. We ended up hanging out with them for awhile. I like our landlord’s wife. She’s a very nice person, always friendly and kind, and she refers to us as her neighbors, rather than her tenants.
I ended up telling her that I am a singer, and she heard a couple of my songs, including one I did for Bill on the occasion of his 59th birthday. She warned me about the upcoming dust we would be experiencing this week, as all of the windows were replaced in our house.
Indeed, this week was a real challenge. I wrote about it in the main blog, and because it was largely a negative experience, dealing with local craftsmen who were very ill mannered, I’ll leave that part out of this post. But anyway, it was a nice time bonding with our neighbors, all of whom are very nice.
The wine was good and the company was excellent… and best of all, Noyzi had a blast. He’s really getting the hang of the wine stands. Below are some photos of Bill’s favorite– Blackout Cake. I think we still have some left. Maybe I’ll have some while he shops for a new battery for my car. He’s finally getting around to fixing it today.
And below are a few photos from the wine stand… They’re pretty much the same photos I always seem to take. But not all wine stands are created equally. Last week’s was very good! COVID-19 has made me realize how much we enjoy the community events in our village. We sure did miss the wine stands during the pandemic.
I may not be good for much… but I can bake a mean cake, and sing a nice song. Below is the song I did for Bill’s birthday. He loved it!
In one week, we’ll be in Norway, starting our long awaited two week vacation. Believe me, we’re ready to go. But, for the time being, we’re still hanging out here in Germany, enjoying the sunny, summery weather. I love the mild temperatures and sunshine, but it does have a tendency to make our house a little “clammy”. I think German houses just have a tendency to hold on to heat, which is great for most of the year. In the summer, maybe not so much…
In any case, we had a wine stand last night, so we decided to attend. And now that Noyzi has been to a few of them, he insists on attending, too. I will admit that last night, I was kind of thinking that maybe I’d rather stay in. But Bill was in the mood to mingle, and apparently Noyzi was, too. He made LOTS of new local friends last night.
As we were about to turn to go down the hill, we ran into a German kindergarten teacher named Susie whom we met a few weeks ago. She has an Italian former truffle hunting dog named Billy. She didn’t have Billy with her last night, but Noyzi still recognized her. After saying hello, she walked slightly past us. Noyzi started dragging me down the hill, barking enthusiastically. He wanted Susie to pet him! LOL… I’m sure she thinks he needs schooling, and we probably shouldn’t encourage this. However, it legitimately was an adorable sight, especially since Noyzi used to be terrified of strangers.
I know Noyzi was extremely happy to see Susie, but I also think he knew the wine stand was going on, and was super excited to go to it. It’s like a whole new social aspect of his personality has come out. I think Noyzi likes going to the wine stands because they are held in a familiar place, and he knows some of the people and dogs who attend. Last night, he was more relaxed than he has EVER been in public. Several times, he sat and even laid down on his own.
We talked to several of our neighbors, and met a few new people, including one guy who was wearing a t-shirt advertising a specific brand of African beer that Bill likes. The combination of the beer t-shirt and the guy’s attraction to Noyzi ended up being great icebreakers. It turned out the guy was German, but had lived in Kenya for years. He and his wife live in Breckenheim now, which is a bit safer than Kenya is. Apparently, his mom is a Kenyan citizen now, and she and her husband own a coffee farm. There was a lot more to the conversation, which eventually devolved into a discussion of global issues and the troubling American mindset that we agreed probably comes from people never traveling outside of the USA. I genuinely enjoyed talking to the guy. Maybe we’ll see him again.
In the midst of our chat, we also watched the children of Breckenheim happily playing. A local guy had them gathered around at the church, where he told stories. Later, a cat visited, and was completely unfazed by Noyzi. I watched a little boy climb up a sign pole and was amazed by his upper body strength. We could hear Billy barking for Noyzi, since Billy’s owners live in a house right by our Dorfplatz. And we also saw our next door neighbor’s 85 year old mom, who was finally walking without her cane after having broken her leg earlier in the spring. She was looking good.
Noyzi charmed the owner of the local pizzeria, an Italian man named Fabi who used to work with dogs in Romania. He very kindly brought out some water for Noyzi, as well as some meat. When Noyzi finished drinking the bowl, Fabi brought out some more water and treats. Noyzi was delighted, and I could see that he was enjoying making friends with so many people. He really is a very lovely dog who enjoys interacting with all people and animals. All of our dogs have been special to us, but Noyzi truly is a unique soul. He’s a true canine ambassador!
I took lots of pictures…
We really do enjoy the social events in our village. Unfortunately, we’ll miss the next wine stand, which I believe will actually be the wine festival that they had in September last year. But the good news is, we’re missing that event because, by the 23rd of June, we’ll be in Sweden, boarding the Regent Seven Seas Splendor, and taking a weeklong cruise in the Baltic Sea. So, stay tuned to see the travel blog become an actual travel blog again… at least for a few weeks! 😉