housekeeping tips

A new era in German laundry… ;)

Exactly 24 hours ago as I write this, the Amazon delivery guys showed up with my new Siemens washer and dryer. It took about ten minutes for them to take them to the basement and hook them up, then pick up our old appliances and haul them away.

I did one small load yesterday, just to see how big the learning curve is. The dryer is a condenser version, which is a new thing for me. All you have to do with a condenser dryer is plug it in. I had balked at getting one, because I heard so many people complaining about them. However they do offer an advantage for people who live in places where they can’t access a window or dryer vent. We have a vent in this house, but for some reason, I couldn’t find a dryer with a vent system.

The first load went okay, although I’m going to have to get used to dryer cycles. The new machines are not WiFi enabled, which really surprised me. They also don’t have signals that tell you when the loads are done. However, they do have timers that show how much longer the cycle is. I love that. I discovered that if I’d gone one level higher and spent another 500 euros or so, I could have gotten WiFi capability. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that I can’t hook them into our “smart” system. That’s one less thing to break.

Today, I’m washing the sheets, complete with Calgon tabs. We’ll see how that goes. Maybe next week, I’ll do the duvet covers, in honor of the onset of fall weather, which will be here before we know it. This summer has been pretty mild… (knock on wood).

I’m old enough to remember when vaguely racist Calgon ads ran on TV. We always used Calgon in the bathtub (Calgon, take me away!), but it turns out it’s pretty good for fighting kalk (limescale and chalk deposits) and softening the very hard German water.

Ancient Chinese secret, huh? They sure don’t make ads like this anymore, do they? 😀
This is how I used Calgon.

In other news… We bought a new TV the other day, and while we were at AAFES, I managed to get a picture of the Dutch cheese vending machine. It only takes credit cards, but it offers delights such as baby Gouda, jalapeno cheese, and garlic cheese, among other enticing varieties. It’s too bad I don’t love cheese the way Bill does. Seriously, I wish I were a cheese fan. I like it melted and mild, but I can’t just grab a hunk of it and chow down. I actually know someone who strongly resembles the Dutch lady on the side of the machine.

Shopping by vending machine sure is exciting. It is interesting to see the vast array of products offered by vending machine here in Europe. I’ve seen everything from wine to fresh meat to lentils, in addition to the usual chips, candy, and soda.

I know this is a dull posting. I just wanted to update on our laundry situation, since I’ve done it so many times before. Laundry is important. Trust me… when you first move to Germany and are living in a hotel, or some other place that doesn’t have laundry facilities, you very quickly find out how much you want and NEED a good washer and dryer. Or, at least a place to hang your laundry so it dries properly and doesn’t get sour.

As I write this, I realize I vented (see what I did there) about laundry etiquette on my original OH Blogspot blog. I think I’ll repost that rant on this blog because, why not?

Anyway… I’m grateful to have my new machines.’s delivery service was excellent. I’ve got no complaints. Maybe I wish I’d taken a few more minutes to make a choice that would have included WiFi enabled machines, but it doesn’t matter enough to me to return the machines and get different ones. I’ve never had a WiFi enabled washer and dryer before, anyway, so it’s not like I’m missing something I once had. And as of this morning, they’re fully paid for, so there is that. 😉

I did at least get the landlord’s Siemens dishwasher added to our smart network…

trip planning

We now have a hotel in Prague!

We got word yesterday that Noyzi is booked at the Hundepension from September 30 until October 10. That allowed me to book the last hotel for our big Czech tour after we see the dentist. This dental discovery excursion is definitely the most ambitious one we’ve done yet. Just to recap, we’re planning:

I was actually planning to book the Aria Hotel in Prague, having seen Samantha Brown’s Passport to Europe episode about Prague. She made that hotel look like it would be such a fun place to stay! But, I changed my mind last night, when I did a search on and noticed that Hotel Nerudova was listed first, and it had great reviews. I was dazzled by the photos, but what really gave me pause were the consistently glowing comments about how friendly the service was. It’s also a family run place.

I decided to check other sites and noticed that on, Google, and TripAdvisor, Hotel Nerudova got similarly great reviews. But they didn’t have a lot of reviews, which made me wonder if they’re new. I see now that the hotel was closed during the pandemic and had fallen into disrepair until it was bought by Jan and Sarah, the husband and wife who now own it. I did read that the hotel was fully renovated in August 2022, and they only have ten rooms/suites.

According to their story, the hotel used to be known as Hotel Santini until the pandemic. The building dates to the 1500s, although the original house was destroyed in a fire. It was rebuilt in the 1700s, and renovated starting in 2002. That must have been a very exciting undertaking, as they found original features such as frescoes, wooden ceilings, and an original porcelain cocklestove.

The only thing making me hesitate was the parking situation. The hotel’s website said there was off site parking available at 15 euros per day. I worried a little about that, and would prefer a secure parking garage. There was another highly rated hotel that offered a garage, and I almost booked the other hotel for that reason. However, I just couldn’t shake the desire to try Hotel Nerudova 211. It was in my head. So, I took the plunge, and I think I booked this room.

Immediately after booking, I got a welcome message from the hotel which included information about parking. That was reassuring. I wrote back to let them know we’d be driving, and they told us to send them our license plate number and they’d put us in a registry to allow us to park near the hotel on the street. I asked if they needed the information now, or closer to October. They quickly responded that we could do it at the reception. Such quick responses are a really good sign. We had a great time when we stayed at the Old Town Hilton in 2008, but I think Hotel Nerudova will definitely be more charming, memorable, and personal, which I definitely love!

Hotel Nerudova appears to be at a very good location. It’s very close to the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and Prague Castle. As an added bonus, Bill also spotted a sex machines museum nearby. I’m sure we’ll make a point of stopping by, if it’s open while we’re in town. 😉 Or maybe we won’t, since there’s a lot to do in Prague, and it doesn’t look like that museum gets the best ratings. It looks like people think it’s overpriced for what it is. I’ll probably want to visit it anyway, though. I love weird museums.

We will probably visit one of the beer/wine spas for treatments. I haven’t had a good beer spa visit in ages, and we have never been to one in Prague. When we visited in 2008, the spas in Prague didn’t exist. We went to Chodovar Beer Wellness Land for our first beer spa experience. Actually, looking at the link I shared, it appears to be the same system used at Hotel Moorhof and Hotel Diana in Austria.

There’s another beer spa in Prague that offers a wine spa treatment. We might do that one for a change of pace. I doubt the ones in Prague can hold a candle to the beer pools of Starkenberger Brewery. Unfortunately, I think the beer pools have stopped operating in the wake of the pandemic. I’m so glad we had a chance to have that experience when they were still working. Swimming in a vat of warm beer wort is an experience I will never forget!

Anyway… even if we end up doing things that are less sinful in Prague, we’re sure to have a great time. Prague is a fabulous city on so many levels. I especially look forward to buying some new art for the house!

I think this trip is going to be so much fun! I’m really looking forward to it, probably more so than I usually look forward to travel. We always have a great time when we visit the Czech Republic, and we’re long overdue for another visit.

As for the rest of the summer, I’m not sure if or when we’ll go anywhere. I’d kind of like to go to Austria for a few days, but I don’t know if we’ll manage it. For the next three months, it looks like Bill will be doing a new temporary duty involving finance. The good news is that he won’t have to travel when he’s doing the finance job. The bad news is, he’ll probably be pretty busy. Or maybe not… He’s a multi-skilled, multi-talented man, though. Case in point, below is the breakfast he made us this morning, minus the made from scratch biscuits that were still in the oven when I took this photo.

In fairness, I did kind of teach him how to make cheese souffles. The orange juice is fresh squeezed!

Today, it’s raining a bit, so I don’t know if we’ll venture out. We’ll see. Anyway, it’s time to write a post for my main blog, so I’ll check y’all later. 😉 I’m excited about this trip, though, and I think we’re going to have a blast!

The featured photo is a screenshot from Expedia of the room I booked.

Hessen, Hofheim

Two cities, one day…

Yesterday, we had a rare busy Saturday, as we went out for business and pleasure in TWO different nearby cities. There was a time when we were younger when accomplishing this would not have been so notable for us, but COVID kind of took the wind out of our sails and made us enjoy being homebodies more. Bill often needs to rest on the weekends. But sometimes, we do manage to get out of the house. Yesterday, we went to both Wiesbaden and Hofheim.

If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you might know that in a couple of weeks, we are planning an epic vacation. We will start with six nights in Norway– two nights in Oslo and four in Bergen. After we do the Norwegian land based part of our trip, we will fly from Bergen to Stockholm, where we will spend one night prior to boarding Regent Seven Seas Splendor. Our week on the ship will include stops in Helsinki, Finland, Tallin, Estonia, Riga, Latvia, Visby, Sweden, Liepaja, Latvia, Ronne, Denmark, and finally, Copenhagen, Denmark, where we will disembark. We’ll spend two nights in Copenhagen, then fly home.

We plan to be away for about two weeks. Although one of those weeks will involve a cruise, it’s still a lot of luggage hauling as we make our way around to the different places we’re planning to visit.

Since about 2011 or so, Bill and I have been using Red Oxx bags almost exclusively. I like them for their handy compartments, tough construction, and beautiful colors. Bill also likes the fact that the company is in based in Billings, Montana and was started by veterans. We have a whole bunch of Red Oxx bags, and we’ve used them for a whole lot of traveling…


On this trip, I’m going to be celebrating my 51st birthday. I’m not getting any younger, and my back is not what it used to be. Red Oxx bags do not come with wheels, meaning that I have to carry them. I typically use a Sky Train convertible backpack, which I’ll use on this trip, too. And when I go on big trips, I also use the Beanos Duffel bag, which can hold a lot of stuff, but isn’t the easiest thing to carry. It can be very awkward. I decided that for our upcoming trip up north, I wanted a bag with wheels.

Often I’d shop for such an item online, but I decided that I wanted to actually touch and pick up what I was buying before I made a final decision. Luggage is one of those items people tend to keep forever, and I didn’t want to be stuck with a “lemon”. I told Bill I wanted to go to the Karstadt Galeria in Wiesbaden to see what kinds of luggage they were selling. The Galeria recently announced that they were closing quite a few branches of their department store. Wiesbaden has had two branches, but soon will just be left with the one we visited yesterday at the Mauritiusplatz.

Bill was a little hesitant. He’d made a 7 PM reservation at Ariston Greek Restaurant in Hofheim. I looked at my watch. It was about 1:30 PM. 😀 I love my husband very much, but he has a tendency to be a bit neurotic sometimes. I guess he was afraid I’d dawdle in the store, and we’d miss our reservation or– horrors– arrive there late!

I said, “It’s just a fucking dinner reservation! Are you really telling me we don’t have time to go into Wiesbaden hours before dinner?”

Bill admitted I was right, so off we went to our fair host city. While we were at a light, Bill was getting annoyed at a guy who was in the wrong lane and had turned on his blinker.

“You’re gonna make me miss my light, buddy.” Bill muttered.

“We’re NOT going to be late for our reservation, Bill. Going out to dinner is supposed to be FUN!” I reasoned.

“You’re right.” Bill said.

I remembered we were going to be passing the Globus Hypermarket, which is kind of like WalMart on steroids. It’s a bit closer to where we live. I said, “Maybe we should just go to the Globus. I bet they have luggage.”

Bill disagreed with my ideas about the Globus, but finally relaxed about the time. We got to Wiesbaden and parked the car in the Market Garage, which is not where we usually park. It’s closer to the Galeria than our usual place is, although the store also has its own parking garage.

As soon as we walked in, Bill spotted the luggage section, which was actually pretty large. I was immediately drawn to the Samsonites, which of course, were priced “top of the line”. But, just to do my due diligence, I looked at the other suitcases available. It had been a long time since I last shopped for luggage with wheels! I was surprised by how lightweight the bags were.

I ended up choosing a pretty marine blue Samsonite. I wanted to look for new towels, too, but Bill seemed too nervous, so I told him I’d get them another time. 😉 He would have obliged, of course, but he was making our shopping trip more complicated than it needed to be. What I really needed for now was the suitcase, and we accomplished that mission. I got some pretty cool photos outside of the store, too…

We went back to the car and Bill paid for the parking. When he got back, I said, “See? We have plenty of time. We could have had lunch!”

Bill said, “You’re right. Do you want to go have lunch?” Then he said, “Shit, I’ve already paid.”

“No, let’s go home to Noyzi.” So we went home, and started watching Amazon’s docuseries, Shiny Happy People. I’d already seen it, but Bill wanted to watch it, too. That kept us occupied until it was time to go to Hofheim for our dinner date.

The last time we tried to visit Ariston Restaurant, it was early March and everybody was out and about. They had no tables. Remembering that experience, Bill made a reservation. It was not necessary last night. Ariston was having a pretty slow night! Still, we decided to eat out on their tiny patio, and enjoy the pleasant June weather. It was about 70 degrees out and sunny. I had a Gyros Teller, which was gyros, souvlaki, tomato rice, t’zaziki, and salad. Bill had the Bifteki Teller, which had gyros, bifteki, pommes, t’zaziki, and salad. We also had a small carafe of house wine, our usual sparkling water, and for dessert, a round of Pils beer.

The very kind lady who looked after us was so nice. Bill gave her a generous tip on the bill, which was around 60 euros, and she touched her heart as she thanked us. It’s been too long since our last Greek food fix. When we lived in Stuttgart, we used to go to Greek places all the time. We don’t have as many Greek restaurants up here, though… We seem to eat more Italian food now. Not that that’s a hardship!

After dinner, we headed back to the car, and I took a few more photos. Hofheim has sort of replaced Nagold as our “go to” town for casual recreation. It’s not quite as pretty as Nagold is, but it does the job. Likewise, I think we think of Mainz as our replacement for Tübingen, even though they aren’t that much alike, other than both being university towns.

We didn’t know it, but Ariston has parking available. We probably should have parked there, but then we would have missed out on the pretty walk through Hofheim. It’s a very nice place in the evening. We need to go there more often.

I’m not sure what we have in store for today. The weather is beautiful again, though… Maybe we’ll venture out. Maybe we won’t.

Hessen, markets

A visit to Maruhn Welt Der Getränke, and our very own “chili dog” at the wine stand…

Yesterday, Bill and I decided to venture out to Darmstadt. We wanted to visit a drink market Bill had heard rave reviews about from his colleagues. He was told the place was on several levels and offered many different beers, wines, liquors, and mixers from around the world. It turned out Maruhn Welt Der Getränke isn’t quite that amazing, but it’s still a very nice drink market.

When we lived in the Stuttgart area, we used to somewhat regularly visit Heinrich’s Super Getränke-Markt 3000 in Kornwestheim (near Ludwigsburg). I was always impressed by the excellent beer selection offered at that store, and hoped Maruhn’s drink market would be similarly excellent. Having visited Maruhn’s drink market yesterday, I can now say that in some ways, I liked it better than Heinrich’s. In other ways, I think Heinrich’s is better.

Heinrich’s has a superior beer selection. It has more beers from more places from around the world. It has better parking, offers somewhat more snacks for sale, and is next to a regular supermarket. The parking garage has a public restroom, which would have come in handy yesterday, after I finished off a bottle of water.

However, Maruhn’s has a free wine tasting section, a bar, and has much nicer displays. Maruhn’s offers many more liquors, some of which are very precious and expensive. I don’t remember seeing a lot of liquor at Heinrich’s. They also have drinkware, barware, and Bembels (pottery wine pitchers). I really liked the music they were playing in the store, too, which may seem like a minor thing, but to a musical person like me, it’s quite important. I don’t think I ever heard music at Heinrich’s, which seems a lot more “no frills”, to me.

We picked up a couple of bottles of wine and some exotic beers– mostly from Scotland and Iceland– as well as some German beers. It’s been a long time since I last had beer that didn’t originate somewhere in Bavaria and taste like every other beer of that type in Germany. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE German beers. But as an American, I have gotten a taste for more exotic suds and styles that aren’t typically offered by German breweries. I used to order beer from a store in France called Saveur-Biere, but that gets kind of pricey in a hurry. Maybe I should order more, though.

Here are some photos from Maruhn’s… I think we’ll be back.

Our visit to the “world of drinks” was brief. As we were checking out, the cashier rattled off something to me in German and I was caught unawares. Bill asked her to repeat herself and she asked in German if we spoke German. Bill said in German that we only speak a little. So, she easily switched to English and asked if we needed another box for our brews. *Sigh*… Americans need to get on the bilingual train.

Noyzi was very happy to see us when we got home. I was pretty tired, though, because I hadn’t slept well the night before and woke up early. I took a nap, enjoying the perfect “sleeping weather” temperatures and sunshine we have this week. Then, afterwards, we decided to go to the wine stand, where Noyzi was on his best behavior. We made another video for Bill’s daughter, showing her the local snack delicacy that was offered last night– Spundekäs– which I’ve written about before in this blog. It’s typically served with pretzels– either hard or soft. Bill’s daughter likes learning about food, so this is one way to bond.

Below are some photos from the wine stand, and a quick video I sent to Bill’s daughter about the local snack… which we enjoyed “ohne Musik” (no raw onions on top, which make people fart– hence, the “music”). Noyzi, by the way, was better behaved than ever before! He saw his friend, the truffle hunting dog named Billy, who is much smaller than he is, and he charmed some of the locals. I wish I had a sweet, gentle, friendly disposition like Noyzi’s. It might get me further in life.

An explanation of Spundekäs

Just before we called it a night and went home to watch the excellent 2008 movie, In Bruges, again, I looked up and noticed a man admiring Noyzi. It was local veterinarian Dr. Blendinger, the man who, with his veterinarian wife, owns the vet practice where we’ve taken Arran, Zane, and Noyzi. I had never spoken to him before, although I have seen him at his clinic, which is very close to Breckenheim. Dr. and Dr. Blendinger are actually our neighbors. Their property is adjacent to our landlord’s, and our landlord lives next door to us.

When I saw him noticing Noyzi, I blurted out, “Dr. Blendinger?”

He smiled in recognition, and I said with a laugh, “We go to your vet clinic! And I know you’re a musician, too, because I’ve seen your videos!”

We had a brief chat and he invited us to the pop choir concert in July. It’s going to be held at the church.

I love this about our village of Breckenheim. People are so friendly and social! If we’re home when the concert happens, we’ll definitely make a point of attending.

Well… I have been summoned to breakfast, so I guess I’ll end this post. Enjoy your Saturday!


Rainy day parties with the neighbors…

Yesterday, our next door neighbor decided to host a gathering in her driveway. She does this every few months or so, inviting those of us who live in the vicinity of her house. She had one at Christmas time, and we all sat around in the cold drinking Gluhwein, and one last fall, which was during milder weather. Yesterday appeared to be mild, too, except for the rain that started about thirty minutes after the fun started. We ended up moving everything to her backyard.

It was a nice time. The neighbors in this neighborhood are very friendly, and everybody pitched in to make the party fun. We had tons of different sausages, lots of beer and wine, and canine company, as the neighbor’s Labrador, Tommi, was there to make sure everyone was socializing properly. I sat next to the neighbor’s mom, who speaks English, and loves Grauburgunder– a dry white wine. Our landlord and his wife were there, too. He got a big kick out of the bottle opener I bought the first time we lived in Germany when I went on a day tour of Berchtesgaden, back in 2009.

I bought this thing from a wood carver not knowing the translation. According to Google Translate (and confirmed by the landlord’s amused reaction), it reads…

Given our senses of humor, this is pretty much the perfect bottle opener for us… ETA: My German friend says I misread the above quote, which should read “If there is no more joy in the house, there is always the brothel.”

In spite of the rain, we all had fun hanging out together. I admired the neighbor’s beautiful cherry tree. Wish we had one in our yard. She also has a really small in ground pool. I suggested that Bill make chocolate chip cookies. He did, and they were a huge hit! I used to make them all the time myself, but Bill took over the kitchen. 😉

I asked the landlord who built the shelter over our patio. I always suspected it was a former tenant. He confirmed that it was. The reason I suspect was because of the way it was built. I don’t think a German would be satisfied with the “jerry rigged” workmanship. Not that I’m complaining or anything… It’s just that Germans are usually a lot more precise about such things. Then he said he knew a good handyman. Maybe he’d get him to come over and fix up the terrace.

Our landlords are very nice and quite generous people. We feel fortunate to rent from them. And they seem equally glad to have us in their house. They live next door, so anytime the house comes up for rent, they probably feel some anxiety. On the other hand, since they’re the landlords, they get to choose the people. I guess it might be more stressful for our other neighbor. But she is, herself, a landlady. Seems like most of the established people in our village own properties. Our neighbor’s mom is also a landlady.

But yes… once again, I have noticed that this neighborhood is the friendliest one we’ve ever lived in here in Germany… or really, anywhere else. We have lots of social events here. It’s definitely not like it was in the towns we lived in near Stuttgart.

Prior to last night’s gathering, we also visited the commissary and the PX. I hadn’t been in the commissary since 2020, so that was an experience. We bought some food, and I picked up some cosmetics, for the rare times I go places. Bill also bought a bug zapper, which should make our terrace more inviting this summer. Bring on the good weather! At least the umbrella I bought at the Van Gogh Alive! exhibit on Easter in Frankfurt came in handy.

This week, I’ll probably make a decision on how and where we’ll spend the first part of our Nordic/Baltic vacation this summer. Maybe I’ll go ahead and pay for the rest of the cruise, too. I know… very exciting plans. 😉


I like it when Bill shares his crack with me…


Spring has sort of sprung here in Wiesbaden. It’s still chilly a lot of the time, but the sun has been coming out more often, and it’s raining somewhat less. I’ve done a few things this week to make our backyard a little more conducive to outdoor time.

Last week, for instance, I bought us a new wine barrel to replace the one that disintegrated after the dry summers we’ve had. The new barrel looks great and smells of wine. You can see that the old barrel is clearly kaput. The barrel sale was organized via Amazon, but was brought to us by a delivery guy who had an electric lift and a dolly on his truck. It really came in handy.

Yesterday, the weather was warmer, and the sun was out, so I tried using the umbrella I bought us two years ago. Unfortunately, it is a cheap piece of crap, and the hand crank broke. Since it wasn’t a big investment, and the local hardware store, had sun parasols in stock, Bill and I went there today to pick one up. We ended up getting one for one of our balconies, too, plus granite stands, which will work much better than the water filled tanks we’ve been using.

We’ve spent the afternoon setting up the sun protection. The hardest part was getting the 50 kilogram granite stand into the backyard. Fortunately, the bigger stand has wheels on it. Even as it was, Bill had a hard time pulling the stand into the yard. That thing is HEAVY. The 25 kilogram stand was also heavy, but manageable.

Below are some photos. Our hardware store rocks, especially if you’re a kid. They have a slide, and a coffee bar for the adults! I have raved about the hardware store before, but it bears repeating. It’s so nice!

The new umbrella is better quality than the old one is, but it’s not as big. However, it fits better in the space we have, and because it’s from Austria instead of China, it will probably hold up better. I didn’t even get two years out of the umbrella we’re replacing. I just need the umbrella to block the sun in the afternoons, so I can sit outside and not go blind.

The granite stands weigh so much, but they are steadier, look much nicer, and don’t leak water like the ugly plastic tanks do. They also aren’t homes for earthworms.

Below are some photos of Bill, hard at work… I love it when he shares his crack with me. Now, we just need some flowers, and maybe some new cushions for the chairs. I even got a cute bottle opener for the outside. Just need to hang it. Taking apart the old umbrella was a real pain.

I didn’t put up the umbrella, because our sun went away… We don’t sit out there very often, but now that we have an umbrella, maybe we will start.

It’s been a rather busy day. It would have been nice to go somewhere and have some fun, but since the weather turned on us, maybe it’s just as well that we got some chores done.

Bill started sanding our table today, too, before he ran out of battery power. He bought a new sander last weekend. Once that’s done, we can stain and varnish the wooden table and chairs down in the garden and things will look a lot nicer. I think I’m turning German!

By the way… the saying on the featured photo is, “Home is where the beer is.” They had German signs, too, but they didn’t say that, nor did they have little drop boxes for the caps. That’s why I went with my native language… 😉


Weekly market in the dark…

Yesterday was Thursday, so that meant the weekly market was going on in the Dorfplatz. I also neglected to walk the dogs yesterday morning, mainly because the weather was so cold and damp. When Bill got home from work, we decided to see what was being offered at Breckenheim’s weekly market.

The weekly market is a new thing. It started in September, and now that Daylight Savings Time is over, it now runs partly in the dark. Every Thursday, the market starts at 1:00pm and closes at 6:00pm. Bill doesn’t get home until about 5:00, so now when we venture out to the market to shop for produce and local goodies, we have to do it in the dark. Last night, we brought Arran and Noyzi with us, because we didn’t feel like “Arran proofing” the house, to prevent him from raiding anything remotely resembling food while we were out.

Last night’s market was pretty sparsely attended. Or, at least there weren’t many people there by the time we got there. Bill ended up buying some shrimp and scallops from a fish monger who shows up regularly. We also enjoyed a glass of Riesling.

While we were having wine, we ran into an American neighbor, who was down there with her two kids. Meanwhile, Arran was insistently trying to get under one of the benches. Someone had dropped some bread there, and he desperately wanted to eat it. In spite of his age and cancer diagnosis, Arran is surprisingly strong and, when it comes to food, he’s very determined. When I told him “no”, he started to loudly and indignantly howl, causing the locals to laugh at him. I suppose that’s better than the scowls we usually got in Baden-Württemberg, whenever Arran or our sweet Zane (RIP) would misbehave in public.

Our neighbor had new running shoes and wanted to take a quick jog in them, so she basically told her son to hang out with us. She wasn’t gone long, but we were reminded of an incident that happened to us on a train to Nice, back in 2014. Basically, we (really Bill) got tasked to watch a single mom’s child on the train for a few hours. That was a bit strange, as the woman was a perfect stranger. Last night’s encounter wasn’t really, since our neighbor was only gone for about fifteen minutes and we had met her before. It was the first time I had ever talked to her son, though… a very bright, polite, and adorable eight year old chap. After his mom came back, he came over to us and said, “I’m going to go over there, if you don’t mind.” Hilarious!

His mom laughed and said, “I guess he really thought you were watching him.” I guess he did, since she told him to stay with us! But it was not a big deal. She was back before we were halfway done with our wine.

We had a brief chat with our neighbor, and then our landlord came up and said hello. Noyzi was pretty nervous at first, but then he submitted to petting by a couple of people. I could tell he was delighted, as his little stubby tail was going a mile a minute. Yes, indeed… I think that eventually, Noyzi will be less nervous around people and he’ll be able to join us when we’re out and about. He doesn’t bugle like Arran does. Arran likes people, but he gets tired when he’s out. He’s also loud when he wants to complain about something. Noyzi genuinely loves people, especially women. He’s just been traumatized by abuse in his past. He’s also a street dog, and they’re stealthy.

Once we finished our Rieslings, we went back home and had biscuits and gravy for dinner. Bill had a date with his Jungian therapist, while I did some Christmas shopping. A good night was had by all.

Again… I love this about living here– weekly markets, getting to know our neighbors, and bonding over dogs and wine. I suppose that could happen in the USA, but our neighborhoods aren’t usually as perfect for this kind of community fellowship. I’m glad we’ve been able to experience this… and I’m so glad we moved to Wiesbaden.


Our neighborhood market is growing!

Bill came home a little bit early yesterday so we could visit our weekly market, which started at the beginning of September. We decided to go down there and see what we could find. I was impressed by how much was being offered. The first market only had four vendors, if I recall correctly. This time, there were at least twice as many trucks with different foods on offer– meat, fish, produce, apple most and wines, ice cream, and an awesome Middle Eastern Feinkost with lots of treats from Turkey, Lebanon, and Italy. Of course, there was also wine on offer.

We decided to leave the dogs at home. Arran is ailing, and Noyzi gets too nervous around people he doesn’t know well. That was a good decision, since there were a lot of people at the market last night, and some folks brought their much better trained dogs with them. Besides, it’s hard to enjoy drinking wine when you’re holding two leashes.

Below are some photos from yesterday’s trip to the Dorfplatz. The market in Breckenheim runs from 1-6pm every Thursday.

When we got home, Arran and Noyzi were delighted to see us. I videoed their welcome. Arran seems to be feeling okay, most of the time. Today, he’s going to the vet for a biopsy, while Noyzi gets a much needed dental.

The boys welcome us home after an hour at the market.


Lunch at Hofheim’s Die Scheuer, followed by a petite French Market!

Although there’s a lot going on in our area this weekend, and Bill and I have been wanting to visit other little towns near us, we decided to stay close to home. I knew there was going to be a little French market in Hofheim today, and that would be a good opportunity for Bill to get some of his favorite stinky cheeses. We also heard that there was going to be a huge climate change protest in Wiesbaden, along with a food truck festival.

The French market sounded like it was more our speed, but once we got there, it was a lot smaller than I was expecting it to be. When I saw how tiny it was, I suggested we look in the other usual areas of the city to see if there was anything else. All we saw was the tail end of the weekend market, getting ready to shut down. Lots of people were drinking Riesling at the Wine Chalet, too.

We decided to have some lunch, then hit the French market. Today, we finally managed to try Die Scheuer. Die Scheuer translates to “the barn” (even though Google says the word translates to “the scour”). We’ve been wanting to visit this cute little restaurant for some time, but we usually get there too late, as they shut down at 2:30pm. We noticed that they got a Michelin Red Plate. After today’s delicious lunch, we can see why.

Die Scheuer has a nice shady outdoor area, with huge sycamore trees. They had also put up several large umbrellas, which was a good thing, since it started to rain right after we ordered our food. We had to change tables, in spite of the the umbrellas and tree cover. Still, it was so nice to see the rain, as it’s been weeks since we last had a good spritz. The rain didn’t last long enough, but it did cool things off a little bit.

Bill and I both chose lunch dishes, which were reasonably priced and not too huge. I had breaded, baked chicken, with sweet potato fries, and a lemon cream dip. Bill had what was called a barbecue bowl, which had a minute steak garnished with beans, corn on the cob, onions, and spicy barbecue sauce. It all looked and tasted great, especially washed down with cold hefeweizens. Service was friendly and relaxed, but professional. My chicken was very moist and tasty… and kid friendly, as I noticed the boy at the next table having the same. I have a child’s palate.

I ventured into the restaurant to use the restroom and noticed how very charming it is on the inside. The tables were all beautifully set, with comfortable looking booths. We’ll have to come back for dinner sometime. Sitting inside or outside promises a pleasant experience, albeit not a particularly inexpensive one.

After we finished our lunch plates, we had dessert. Creme brulee for me, and an apricot dish for Bill. There was a time when he wouldn’t eat apricots because it was “bad luck” for “tankers” in the Army. I think he’s gotten over that superstition. I think Die Scheuer has a pretty devoted following in Hofheim. I can see why. It really is a nice restaurant. Our bill came to 73 euros, which Bill paid in cash, along with the “Trinkgeld” (tip).

After we ate lunch, we went to the French market. Bill bought some sausages, cheese, duck spread, and macaroons. I bought four bars of lovely French soaps. I wish the market had been a little bigger, but it was perfectly nice. After the wine festival in Wiesbaden, it was fun to do something low key.

I wish it had rained longer. I hope it will start again. We missed last night’s wine stand, in part, because it threatened to rain, but never did. The wine stand was also held in a different part of our village, and we didn’t feel like looking for it. Next week, we’ll get our very first market in the Dorfplatz, and then the following week, Breckenheim gets its own wine fest. So I don’t think we missed out too much. Besides, last time I went to a wine stand, I got COVID.

Below are today’s photos…

We enjoy visiting these little markets sometimes, and it’s been too long since our last leisurely lunch in a restaurant. Next month, we are headed back to Baiersbronn for five nights at the Bareiss Hotel. I’m sure there will be many more beautiful food pics then!


Good intentions waylaid by a Stau…

We have nice weather today, and several fests are going on. I was thinking I might like to go to one in a town near us, since I knew there would be wine, food, and live music. But just after we got on A 66, we hit a Stau… that is, a traffic jam. We must have gotten to it pretty soon after a wreck, as a couple of ambulances passed us while we sat behind an endless processional of cars.

It was just after one o’clock when we hit the Stau, and about 1:45pm when we were finally moving again. We were both so irritated and hangry that we decided to just go to AAFES on post and pick up a few necessary items. I hadn’t been to the PX in many months… it’s probably been over a year. I needed to get some new makeup, because the stuff I’ve been using is probably from the pre-pandemic days. Bill also wanted to get shit bags for the dogs, and an Internet extender for the house.

By the time we were done shopping, we had spent well over $200, mostly on my cosmetics, because I don’t use cheap stuff. I usually buy Lancome, but there wasn’t any way to tell which shades things were, so I switched to Estee Lauder. Then we went to the Pizza Hut Express and got a pizza, which was pretty crappy. Pizza Hut used to be pretty good, back when you could go there and sit in the restaurant for dinner. Now, it’s kind of yucky. But it was handy to get it, since it was after 2pm, and we were both grouchy.

When we got home, the dogs were ecstatic. Noyzi goosed us both in the ass. Then I noticed a funny Carolyn Hax column in the Washington Post, about a woman who was pregnant and having to deal with her mother-in-law treating her like her grandchild’s vessel. For example, they’d go out for Thai food, and Grandma would say, “If that’s what Baby wants…”

My response was, “I’d tell her Baby would rather have a double gin martini.” For some reason, people thought that was a really funny quip. In honor of it, Bill made us gin martinis. See the featured photo for that. 😉

Below are a few photos from the highly annoying Stau. We were used to those in Stuttgart. They aren’t so common up here in Wiesbaden. Good thing we didn’t have our hearts set on doing anything special or having lunch anywhere good.

And no, I did not commit Beleidigung today, although the impulse was there. The martini was made from gin we bought from Vom Fass in Wels, Austria. We finally finished the bottle.