anecdotes

There’s a good chance we’re going *somewhere* this weekend…

The main barometer as to whether or not we’re going to be able to go somewhere is whether or not we can get our dogs spots at the Hunde Hotel.  Bill sent them an email asking if they had any space for the upcoming Columbus Day weekend and was advised that they did.  So, as long as the dogs are appropriately vaccinated (we need to reacquaint ourselves with the shot schedules here in Germany), we should be able to break away for a couple of nights.

I want to do this because I want a change of scenery, but I also want the chance to have the dogs try the Hunde Hotel before we go back to the States for a week next month.  I don’t want to have any problems with Arran getting in trouble like he did at Camp Bow Wow in San Antonio.  I doubt he will have as many problems here, mainly because the Germans don’t do things the way Americans do.  We have used this boarding facility before with dogs who were less laid back than the ones we have now.  We never had any issues.  But it would be best if we were close by, in case Arran has issues.  I don’t expect Zane will have any problems at all.  He loves people and other dogs.  Arran, on the other hand, can get very moody and crabby if he doesn’t have time to himself.

Zane and Arran

Another potential issue is the fact that our cars have temporary plates on them.  That’s fine in this area because the local cops have no doubt seen them on lots of American cars.  Other cops should know what they are, but there’s no guarantee.  Bill took his car to get inspected yesterday and it needs work done before it will pass.  My car is being inspected today and I expect it will pass.  If it does and we decide to drive, we will drive it.  But we also don’t have our international driver’s permits yet.  It’s not a huge deal to get one, though it will require getting passport photos done and visiting an office or two… and whether or not we can do that before the weekend depends on whether Bill can break away to get it done.

We had international permits last time we were here.  They were good for one year and we never actually used them or renewed them when they expired, though we did drive to other countries.  However, if you get caught without one, you can end up with fines… or so I’ve been told.  The USAEUR license that we get is only good in Germany.

We may end up taking a train somewhere, which is just as well…  Train rides can be fun…  or they can be a nightmare, as we discovered in France back in May!

We flipped a coin last night to decide where we should go: France, Germany, Belgium or Switzerland.  We flipped three times and Belgium was the winner.  If we go to Belgium, I think I’d want to take the car.  That way, we can bring back some beer.  Last time we went to Brussels, we went by train.  It was fun, but it took several hours to get there.  Since we no longer have the luxury of four day weekends, time is more of a premium.

Although Belgium won the coin toss, we may just go somewhere in Germany.  There are still a lot of places I haven’t seen yet.  And once our cars have the appropriate license plates and we’re completely “legal”, we will be within a couple of hours of France and Switzerland anyway.

Anyway, I hope to make a new discovery this weekend!

ETA:  My husband has just informed me that my car passed inspection and has appropriate plates now.  Just have to get the Toyota squared away now.

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Another outstanding meal at Saveurs 209…

Yesterday, I was really bored and wanted to go out to dinner.  I thought about all the new dresses in my closet and how badly I needed a new Facebook profile picture.  I usually replace my profile photos when I put on makeup and look presentable.  Bill came to my office and asked if I’d be okay with burgers for dinner.  I blurted out, “I want to go out!”

Bill looked a little chagrined.  I think he was thinking about the cost of a nice meal and the fact that he’d pulled the ground beef out and didn’t want it to turn.  Bill asked where I wanted to go out and I said I wanted to go downtown… perhaps to Saveurs 209.  I saw Bill cringe as he considered the traffic involved with going downtown.  Then I said, “I want to put on a dress.”

Bill and me, dressed to the nines…

Bill relented and made reservations.  I got all pretty.  We went downtown and much to my delight, when we stepped into the restaurant, were immediately recognized!  The last time we went to Saveurs 209 was for Thanksgiving!  I told our host, Sylvain, that we’d been meaning to get back to their restaurant.

We were seated and proceeded to enjoy a wonderful authentic French meal for the third time in San Antonio.  Here are some photos from our delightful dinner!

Bill peruses the menu…

I had a glass of champagne– Piper Heidsieck, to be exact.  Bill ordered a very nice chenin blanc to go with our seafood heavy meal. The wine had a strong mineral taste, kind of like a chablis.  It was a good choice.  We enjoyed very fresh baguette bread with equally fresh butter…  

A velvety smooth chilled gazpacho amuse– avocado, green pepper, green onion, cucumber and, I would swear lime, though I didn’t hear that mentioned in the list of ingredients.   It was very refreshing!

My asparagus salad.  It was served with Parmesan cheese and San Daniele Proscuitto.  I love how this salad looks, but it also tasted very good.  The asparagus was firm and flavorful and the Parmesan and prosciutto added a delicately salty flavor.

Bill was eyeing a fish soup, but I talked him into the Comte cheese soufflé, which came with a small salad with walnuts and vinaigrette.  I would have ordered this myself, but cheese is kind of a hit or miss thing with me.  Very strong cheeses are a turn off.  I’m happy to report that this starter was delicious… not too strong and very comforting.  I would order it if it’s available during our next visit (but I bet it won’t be– they change the menus frequently!)

For dinner, I had lobster with green peas, tomatoes and mint pesto.  The lobster was very generously portioned and delicious…  It was garnished delicately with roe.  The mint and peas complemented the lobster very well.  I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes, but the two included with this dish were flavorful and succulent.  They also added a dramatic dash of color to the dish, making it look like a work of art.

Bill had halibut with asparagus and roe…  I tasted the halibut, which seemed delicately poached.  It was tender and moist, cooked to perfection.

Dessert!  Bill ordered for me while I was in the restroom and I ended up with a dreaded lava cake…  Actually, it was a nice dessert, served warm with vanilla ice cream.  I have nothing against lava cake, except that everyone is doing that now!  I was hoping for a chocolate biscuit with raspberry ganache and chocolate chips.  Oh well… I didn’t refuse the dessert!  Bill had a very interesting streusel with strawberries and pistachios.  

 

Bill and I finished with a round of espresso.  We basked in the afterglow of a delightful meal.  Afterwards, we chatted a bit with Sylvain, telling him how much we love Europe and that we hope to be there next week.  Where exactly we’ll end up is still “up in the air”, but there’s a good chance we could go to France.  If we do, this meal will make an excellent kick off to our vacation.  In all, our meal cost just under $200.  It was definitely worth every penny.  Bill tipped 20%, which brought our total to about $240.

I also told Sylvain that if Bill doesn’t get a job soon, I might have to approach him for a job waiting tables!  I was half kidding.  His eyebrows raised when I told him about my experiences working at The Trellis, restaurant that for over 30 years, was owned by Marcel Desaulniers, a French American chef who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  I told him how stressful it was to work in that place, because we learned how to serve food properly.  It took me a long while to get it right, but I finally did… and now, thanks to Marcel, I appreciate good food and good service.  And thanks to Europe, I appreciate the fantastic unhurried experience one can have at Saveurs 209.  If we can’t live in Europe anymore, we can at least enjoy European people.

I think Saveurs 209 is probably the only authentic French restaurant in the San Antonio area.  It is also the only “nice” restaurant Bill and I have visited three times.  And if we don’t move out of the area, we’ll definitely be back.  If you are inclined to dine on French cuisine and you happen to be in San Antonio, I highly recommend Saveurs 209.

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18 months for pissing on The Alamo!

Don’t mess with Texas!

A man who peed on The Alamo got sentenced to 18 months in prison.  Back in April 2012, 23 year old Daniel Athens of El  Paso, Texas took a whiz on the landmark and just got slapped with the time and a $4000 fine.

I have to wonder if Athens was drunk when he made this faux pas.  He was spotted by a ranger who happened to see him in an area that was not intended for the general public.  He probably would have been better off jumping into the San Antonio River from the Riverwalk and relieving himself there.

Best find a restroom before you hit the Alamo…

 

While I know it’s not good to deface national monuments, I think this punishment is a bit extreme and not all that beneficial to society.  I think it would have made more sense to fine the guy and make him clean up the area around The Alamo in 100 degree heat.  Now he’s going to go to prison and the prisoners are going to ask him what he’s in for…  “Pissing on the Alamo” probably won’t get him much street cred.  In all seriousness, this could damage this guy’s future.  Yes, it was a dumb mistake, but I think in the grand scheme of things, he could have done much worse.

But then, I’m from Virginia and Virginia is for lovers…  😉

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Lunch at Grimaldi’s at the Shops at La Cantera…

Yesterday, Bill and I went shopping for some new work clothes for him.  After a successful trip to Saks Off Fifth, we went to the Shops at La Cantera, which is a huge upscale shopping center where I happen to see my dentist.  Bill had heard about Grimaldi’s, a New York pizzeria style chain in a few states.  They have a coal fire oven there and it’s been awhile since we last had decent pizza.

When we got to Grimaldi’s, it was very busy.  They gave us a “beeper” shaped like a slice of pizza and told us to stay in the area.  We went next door to Teavana, where a very aggressive salesman proceeded to try to sell us a complete tea set.  We did end up going back and buying some tea from the guy, even though he was really pushy!  They had a lot of nice samples there.

Bill looks hungry…

We each ordered a glass of wine, which came to us in little carafes.  Mine was an unexciting glass of Sangiovese that was priced at $10.  Bill had a glass of Super Tuscan for $7.  I think his was better for the money spent.  

 

We ordered a large regular pizza with spinach, red peppers, and Italian sausage.  The crust was really thin and the sauce was a bit bland.  Still, it was pretty decent compared to some of the other pizza I’ve had in San Antonio.  Grimaldi’s offers white pizza (no sauce) and pizzas with pesto instead of sauce, too.

I was ready for pizza.  After two slices, we packed up the leftovers.  You can get a small or personal pizza if you prefer it.  I like sharing with Bill, though.

For dessert, we split a piece of Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake.  It was very nice; not too heavy and a delicious chocolate cookie crust.  The plate was drizzled with Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup.

 

Our waiter was very friendly and attentive and we got good service.  Our bill came to about $49 before the tip.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad experience, though it doesn’t come close to our experience at Dough.  We need to go back there sometime soon for some really great pizza!

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Our afternoon at Big Hops Gastropub, San Antonio, Texas…

Bill decided he wanted to go out for lunch today, so off we went to the brand new Big Hops Gastropub.  Prior to opening the Gastropub, Big Hops was known as a “growler station”.  You could go there and fill up on exotic craft beers.  Bill heard about them opening a restaurant and decided we needed to check it out.

First impressions…  We seated ourselves at a table and I immediately noticed the great music.  They were playing classic rock, which goes great with American craft beers.  Everything here in is on draft and from the USA.  But don’t come here looking for Lone Star or Shiner Bock.  These beers come from smaller breweries.

Bill checks out the computer monitor for beer choices.  There are two of them on the walls.  Some say they are hard to read, but we didn’t have any trouble.

The menu.

A shot of the beer menu on the wall.

My first beer.  This was a Schwarzbier from Live Oak Brewery.  Quite nice!  I like the little beer keg glass, too.

Caedmon’s Ale from BS Brewing for Bill…

The waitress talked us into these insanely delicious Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Curds.  They were $10, served with house made ranch dressing.  Sinful and addictive as hell.  We did bring about a third of them home.

Bill’s Korean BBQ served on a steam bun.  It had cucumbers and pickled cabbage.  He liked it.

My Tinga… Basically chicken in a spicy sauce with onions, cheese, tostadas, and a side of sour cream. I couldn’t eat all of this.  It was very spicy and I had filled up on the curds.

Bill’s Odell 90 Schilling Scotch Ale.  He wasn’t that impressed with this…

Prairie Ale’s Vanilla Noir… $10, served in a snifter, and 12.5% ABV.  Positively awesome!  I am loving Oklahoma’s Prairie Ales.

Someone got cute in the ladies room…  Not me.

My third beer… a Deschutes Black Butte Porter.  This was a nice way to cap off our first trip to Big Hops.

We left with two 32 ounce growlers.  

Enjoying the Stone right now…  We spent about $100, including the two 32 ounce growlers, lunch, and lots o’ beer.

All in all, we really enjoyed visiting Big Hops.  We had a good server who knew the menu and the beers very well.  She was laid back and not stressed and I was impressed that she knew about Prairie Ale’s Bomb, which is fucking fantastic.  The atmosphere was not all that exciting, but I did like the beers on offer and the music– nice mix of heavy metal and classic rock with a few TVs showing sports.  The food is good, but be warned that there’s not anything on the menu that is vegan friendly.  Vegetarians might also be challenged.  Big Hops doesn’t take American Express and is discontinuing a couple of items on the menu.  Still, I think in time, this is going to be a very happening place in San Antonio.  I bet we’ll be back.

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Our trip to Blue Star Brewing Company in San Antonio…

If you read today’s Overeducated Housewife post, you know that last night Bill and I met up with one of Bill’s former co-workers and his wife.  Bill and I had been wanting to try Blue Star Brewing Company near downtown San Antonio.  A friend of ours from Houston who is into craft beers kept telling us to try it.  So we finally took the plunge last night…

This is a photo of the front of the restaurant…

 

Blue Star Brewing is in a small artsy community.  I noticed a couple of other bars/restaurants nearby and art galleries.  We didn’t take the time to go exploring, since our companions were going to be joining us.  Upon entering the restaurant, we were asked if we preferred indoor or outdoor seating.  Since it was a beautiful evening, we opted to sit outside.  We sat at a picnic table with a nice view of the Riverwalk.

The menu.

 

We perused the menu while we waited for our friends.  There were several tempting looking dishes being offered.  Blue Star has a number of burgers that are made with bison and beef.  They have salads, barbecue, some Tex/Mex inspired dishes, and other comfort foods.

A Raspberry Geyser

 

The first beer I tried was the very refreshing and somewhat low boozed Raspberry Geyser.  It had 3.8% ABV.  This beer is no doubt popular with the ladies as it doesn’t taste much like beer.  It’s more like a Belgian lambic.  I found it very refreshing and it was probably my favorite beer of all those I tried last night.  The waitress did offer to bring me a taste before I ordered, but I decided I’d take a chance.

Bill’s Flying Pig Extra Pale Ale was a hit.  It was crisp, refreshing, and hoppy.

Our friends arrived as we were enjoying the first round.  We ordered hummus to snack on while we decided on dinner.  The hummus was good, but the bread was a little hard.  I was worried about eating too much of it because I just had a crown prep done and didn’t want to break my temporary crown… or any teeth!  More veggies would have been nice, since there was a lot of hummus, but not much to eat it with.

My second beer.  This was called Close Encounter.  It’s a sour beer made with prunes and tamarind.  Bill was put off by the prunes, but it was a nice beer that came in at 4.8% ABV.  I would have liked a bigger glass.  A snifter is fine with a really strong beer that knocks you on your ass, but this didn’t seem to warrant the small glass it came in.

I had fish and chips.  The fries were good– garlicky with just enough salt.  The fish was fine, though it doesn’t rival anything you’d find in England.  It arrived to me a little cool, as if it had sat for a bit.

Bill enjoyed his pulled pork sandwich.  I didn’t taste it.  

 

I also tried the Texican lager, but forgot to take a photo of it.  That’s just as well, since I thought it was the least interesting of all the beers I tried.  It arrived to my table with almost no head and was a bit on the watery side.  At 4% ABV, it’s not too strong… but I didn’t think the flavor was all that inspiring.  It makes for a nice hot weather beer, though.  It will probably rehydrate you better than a boozier beer will.

The stout was yummy!

I wasn’t so put off by the Texican to skip trying the Spire Stout with dessert.  This stout went very well with the chocolate cake.  In fact, I probably should have just had two stouts and skipped the cake.  It wasn’t all that great.  Bill had the cheesecake, though, which was nice.  It wasn’t too sweet or super heavy, which made it pleasant on a warm March evening.  In all, the bill for Bill and me came to about $83 before the tip.

A couple of quick shots of the inside of the restaurant.  I was trying not to be too conspicuous.

The bar area looked inviting.  

I enjoyed the snarky signs posted around Blue Star’s parking area.  You can park yourself or use the complimentary valet.  We used the valet.

 

Blue Star rents bikes or you can take one of the ones the city rents.  I’m impressed with San Antonio for copying Europe and offering public bikes.  I would have probably enjoyed a Riverwalk stroll too, if we hadn’t already been out for a few hours and our two dogs didn’t need a pee break.

When we got home, there was a big truck parked outside our house.  Not two minutes after we entered our dwelling, the doorbell rang.  It was two Hispanic guys who were probably looking for the previous tenants.  They weren’t threatening.  Probably were hoping for a crash pad.  It made Bill nervous, though.

All in all, last night was a lot of fun.  I’d go back to Blue Star Brewery, though there are other craft brewers whose beers have impressed me more.  Also, while service was friendly and accurate, it was a bit on the slow side.  But we weren’t in a hurry and we weren’t rushed, so I can overlook that for a Saturday evening.

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Silo Elevated Cuisine… Alamo Heights

I recently purchased three new dresses.  Why I purchased them, I don’t really know.  I don’t really have a need for them, since Bill and I don’t go out on “dates” that often.  They are a little too sexy for a workplace, not that I plan to be in one anytime soon.  And if Bill doesn’t find a job, we will be too poor for dates anyway.  But anyway, we did decide to go out last night, so I wore my new navy blue dress.  I looked like this…

Yes, there was a little retouching on this photo.  Other than that, though, it’s all me.

 

We decided to try Silo Elevated Cuisine in Alamo Heights.  Silo also has a second location on 1604 Loop, a big road not far from where we live.  Alamo Heights is apparently the original location.  The other one on 1604 is in a rather upscale strip mall, while the Alamo Heights location is in kind of a yucky part of San Antonio, right before you get to the nicer, older neighborhoods.  One thing I immediately liked about Silo was that there was plenty of free parking.  Valet parking is also available behind the building.

We got a little turned around.  Silo is at the rear of the building, but there’s also a small plates restaurant called Nosh at the front that is probably owned by the same folks.  I actually liked the looks of Nosh and would happily try it one day.  They had lots of Belgian beer, which always impresses me.  We passed through Silo’s rather cool but mostly unattended bar area to get to the restaurant and met a pretty hostess who checked us in.  To get to Silo’s dining room, you have to take an elevator up one floor.  I guess that’s why they call it “elevated cuisine”.  Cute.

The dining room was a bit dimly lit and I could hear some cheesy music playing over the sound system.  I would have preferred something a little more avant garde or dynamic or even new age.  A man met us at the elevator and seated us at a two-top right next to a table for four.  I noticed Silo’s dining room is kind of small and there aren’t a lot of intimate places to sit.  Booths are in short supply.  No matter.  Bill and I wouldn’t be doing anything naughty anyway.  I got a view of the open kitchen and the wait staff, while Bill got to watch people coming on and off the elevator.

Our waiter’s name was Barney and he was obviously practiced at his craft.  He delivered his specials perfectly from memory.  I was silently applauding him, since I used to struggle with that when I waited tables.  Bill ordered a bottle of wine and I asked for a glass of champagne while we perused the menu.  At around this time, the lights kept going up and down.  I told Bill that at the restaurant where I once worked, when the lights went down, the prices went up about 50%.

I love getting a little bottle of champagne…

This was the wine Bill selected.  It was okay, though not particularly exciting.

 

Silo has a prix fixed menu that offers two courses for $29.  You can get a third course with a $3 supplement.  It’s a pretty good deal, since several of the dishes on the a la carte menu are available.  Bill and I decided to skip the prix fixe menu, though, and try something more adventurous.

I started with a spinach salad.  It had a sherry vinaigrette, raspberries, dried apricots, and applewood smoked bacon.  It was garnished with “crispy brie”, which was really just a fancy name for a cheese stick.  I really enjoyed the brie, though I wasn’t all that impressed by the way the salad was presented.  It was like a pile of leaves with layers of stuff under them.  It tasted good, though, and is keeping me regular.

Bill had the soup of the day, which was a white bean with bacon and Swiss chard.  It was very good, though it reminded me a little of Bean with Bacon soup.  Note the bread, which was outstanding.  There was wheat and some kind of cheese bread in there.  Yum!

For dinner, I had a pork shank with green chile “mac n’ cheese”, spinach, and some kind of creme fraiche.  This was way too much for me to finish, but I was impressed with how it fell off the bone.  It was garnished with a tasty cherry sauce which complemented the meat very well.  I look forward to enjoying the leftovers later.

 

About halfway through our meal, three ladies sat at the four top next to our table.  I could see they were eyeing our entrees.

Bill had the special, which was lamb.  It came with mashed Yukon gold potatoes, carrots, and spinach.  I don’t like lamb much, but I tasted his and it was very tender, smokey, and flavorful.  If not for the slightly gamey taste all lamb seems to have, I might have preferred his dish to mine.

For dessert, I had vanilla bean cheesecake.  It was absolutely delicious… not too heavy or dense.

Bill had the signature “toasted coconut pie”, which had a crust made of Belgian chocolate painted macadamia nuts.  It was really yummy, though I think I liked the cheesecake better.  It wasn’t as sweet as the coconut pie was.  Bill said Barney “didn’t oversell it”.

As the ladies sat at the table next to ours, a couple at a four top on the other side of us were telling their waiter what they did and didn’t like.  The lady sounded as critical as I am.  😉

Outside of the restaurant.

We spent about $185 before the tip.  Barney gave us outstanding service, so Bill tipped him accordingly.  I thought Silo was worth the money and would definitely go back.  It was great to get out last night.  I hope we can do it again soon.

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Old West Burgers, San Antonio, Texas…

I decided I wanted to go out and try a different burger joint today.  Bill and I decided to go to Old West Burgers in the Shavano Park area of San Antonio off the 1604 Loop.  I had noticed this place from the car last time we drove past that area.  It has a very simple Web site which is pretty much just the menu, but I had read some reviews of the place that made it sound appealing and different.

We walked in at about 2:30pm and a friendly guy behind the counter welcomed us and asked how he could help us.  I said we’d never been there before, so he gave us a quick lowdown on what they had to offer.  They specialize in burgers and offer everything from the regular beef burgers to chicken to even vegan varieties.  They also offer salads.  I really wanted a burger so I ordered the guacamole burger ($7.99), while Bill got the jalapeño burger ($7.99).  All burgers come with fries, but if you want to pay a little more (99 cents), you can get tater tots or sweet potato fries.  Bill got regular fries but I got the tater tots.  Then we each ordered beers.  Old West Burgers has a pretty good selection, especially of Texas beers.

I had a Santos…

Bill had a Ballast Point IPA…

Nice bar area overlooks a pleasant outdoor seating area… There’s also a playground for kids.

Huge projection TV!

Modern country music blared over the sound system as we looked around at the spacious dining room.  There was only one other couple sitting in the restaurant, so our food was up pretty quickly.

Guacamole burger with tater tots… It was absolutely delicious, juicy, with excellent homemade, fresh rolls.  The tater tots were also very good.  I struggled to finish the sandwich, but was feeling good when I was finished.

Jalapeño burger had a cheese and jalapeño bun, also homemade, as well as jalapeño peppers on top.  Bill pronounced it outstanding.

A view of the back wall.

The shopping center where this place is located… 4553 N.W. Loop 1604 

Bill and I could definitely see ourselves going back for another burger at Old West Burgers.  The service was fast and friendly and the burgers were very satisfying.  I especially loved the buns.  It’s not so easy to get there, but it was definitely worth the trip.  I think Chester’s Hamburger Company has a better beer selection, but I definitely preferred the burgers and fries offered at Old West Burgers.  I’m glad I got the urge for an outing!  Looks like they also have events.

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Camp Bow Wow…

ETA: I no longer recommend Camp Bow Wow.

Zane and Arran had their “test” at Camp Bow Wow in San Antonio yesterday.  This test involves a three hour trial, where staffers determine whether or not the dog will be suitable for “camp”.  Indeed, the dogs are referred to as “campers” and come home with a little certificate that shows they passed the test.  Zane and Arran are pretty easygoing dogs and they’ve been boarded a few times.  They did fine at Camp Bow Wow and are all set to stay there while we attempt our hop.

Hopefully, we’ll have good luck and get to go somewhere interesting.  But when Bill and I travel, interesting things usually happen.  The last time we took a hop, we ran into a flash mob in Luxembourg, as well as a high school band from Munich.  A drunk man was trying hard to “conduct” as the band played in the gazebo in Luxembourg City.  The funny thing is, we went to Luxembourg in 2009 and never expected to ever go back there.  We went back in 2012 just by chance.

We also went to Salzburg, Austria and got caught in the rain… and delighted a local restaurant owner when we stopped in for lunch and came back later to get out of the rain.  We passed the time by drinking lots of Austrian beer.

Anyway, I do feel better about leaving the dogs now.  When we lived in North Carolina, we had a great place for the dogs and I knew they took great care of them.  I think Camp Bow Wow, while a touch on the corporate side, has good folks working there.  The dogs obviously had a blast there yesterday and were pretty much knocked out for the night.

Knowing they are taken care of makes it easier to have a good time on our trip.

I still don’t know where we’ll go.  I have a feeling we’ll start our trip in Germany, though it’s still possible we’ll go to the Azores at least for a couple of days.  I’d be delighted if we ended up in Spain or Italy… though I am still a little Italy-ed out.  Half the fun and excitement of this upcoming trip is the prospect of where we might go.  For all I know, we could end up going to the West Coast or even Hawaii.

Here’s a word on Space A…  A couple of years ago, I joined Dirk Pepperd’s Web site for Space A.  It was free until very recently, when Pepperd moved his site to a new location.  Free memberships are still possible, though for either $29.95 or $39.95 for a year, you can get enhanced access to the site and you can use it as often as you need or want to.  If you have a free membership, you don’t get full access and are limited to a certain time limit per month.  I got a premium subscription because I think the site is worth it.  It’s full of very useful information and time and money saving tips.  Of course, it’s only for people who can use Space A travel.

Anyway, as the time draws nearer, I will post more… hard to believe I could be recovering from jet lag in a week.  Here’s hoping something interesting happens.

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advice, dogs

Looking for a new dog kennel…

If we go on this military hop next month, we will need a new place for our dogs to stay while we’re gone.  When we lived in North Carolina, we used Sandhills Pet Resort, which was a great place for them.  The people who worked there took great care of our dogs.

Now that we’re in Texas, we have several places to choose from.  I have sort of narrowed it down to two places.  One is Four Paws Inn, which is near where we live and economical.  The other place is Camp Bow Wow, which is a franchised place.  It’s more expensive, but appears to be more comfortable.  It’s also near the airport, which may be a good thing if we stay here, because I don’t think we’re going to keep living where we live right now.  But we will always be going to the airport, right?

I’m actually feeling kind of nervous about leaving them, even though they usually do fine when we board them.  Mother-in-law has offered to take care of them, but I think that may be a tough thing for her to handle.  She has told us she plans to quit her job, since they have pretty much told her they want her to quit and she’s not making much money there anyway.

Really, all she would have to do is let them go out, feed them, clean up after them, and make sure they don’t run out the front door or counter surf something dangerous.  But she lives on the other side of the city and has her own cats to take care of.

I really want to take a trip, but I don’t feel ready to go anywhere yet.  I’d rather put the dogs in a kennel for a brief stay before I leave them in a new one for a couple of weeks.

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