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To market to market…

6 Mar

To buy a fat hog.  Just kidding.  NO hogs were purchased.  We did however take a lovely walk through town yesterday which included going to the local outdoor market.  On Saturdays there is a small market set up in town with lots of different produce and fresh meats and cheeses available.  There are also flowers, unique spices, and lots of baked goods as well.

The weather yesterday was cool but gorgeous.  Since everything is closed on Sundays it seems like EVERYONE is out on Saturdays doing their shopping for the weekend.  The town was buzzing with activity.  We took a stroll, stopping at the market (eating a few pastries) and just enjoying the sunshine.

A couple buildings alongside the market square.

Market Square

I love all the fresh produce.

spices galore


Here is some more of our walk through town:

There are so many cute little side streets.

The sky is almost the same color as the blue building!

Notice the large pretzel sign on the right.

Love the festive pendant banner!

The main pedestrian zone...bustling.

I love the street musicians. This accordion player is out about once a week!




Sporty Spice goes to the zoo

16 Nov

This weekend we took Quinn to the Frankfurt zoo!  Our German instructor was nice enough to offer to meet us there and teach us what some of the different animals were called.  Once again we tackled the train system to get there, which felt awesome.  And I should also mention that the weather was amazing.  For a November fall day, we couldn’t have asked for more.  All around a great day!

The word zoo is spelled the same in German, however it is not pronounced the same.  Here is how I think of saying the word- Pretend you’re sneezing except instead of saying Ah-choo, say Ah-ts00!  Or you could just think of the breed of dogs called Shih Tzu.  Or you could just not think of it at all since you don’t live in Germany and the zoo is just the zoo where you are.  Even better.

Anyway, here are some pictures from our day at the Tsoo.  Or the Zoo.  Whatever.


Laid back. With my mind on money and my money on my mind. (Just kidding- that probably means nothing to most of you)

Peekaboo Goat

Whatcha got, whatcha got??!

Side note- While we were watching the goats and the people feeding them there were two goats that started to fight a little bit.  Nothing major, just a couple interlocking horns and a little pushing.  You know, a little squabble to let each other know they were irritating the other one.  My guess is it was over the food being handed out on the other side of the fence.  Anyway, a couple small kids observed this and  pointed to show their mom what was happening.  Our German instructor translated her response for us: “What?  You kids fight like that too.”  Ah, some things are the same everywhere.


Giraffes. Again spelled the same but pronounced differently. I think it's like gear-affa.

Still cute no matter how you pronounce it.

Daddy and Quinn watching the gear-affa.

I personally have never seen this donkey/ zebra hybrid.

Apparently it comes from Africa and is called an okapi. I like donkey /zebra hybrid better.

I swear she's having fun.

Seehund pronounced kind of like zee-hoondt (but you have to emphasize the "ndt"...very important)

Uh-oh, one of the animals escaped!

Vogel equals bird...can't get more specific than that though

Mom and Quinnie by the vogels (if that's how you even make it plural)

Quit looking at me. Hmph.

I didn’t get the actual word for baboon.  Just affe for ape or monkey.  Close enough I suppose since I am probably at maximum capacity already for new words/ language.  General terms are just fine right now.  It’s not like I’m enrolling in zoological studies at Goethe University.  Affe works for me.

These little guys were rough-housing and it was so cute! Wish I had taken better pictures to capture it.

No Lions or Tigers or Bears on this visit.  We will have to go back.  To the Tsoo!


2 Nov

We visited Wiesbaden this past weekend.  It’s a town about 30 minutes from where we are now in Frankfurt which we actually have been to before, but we went again to do some more exploring.  It’s on the list of potential towns to look for a permanent home in so we wanted to spend some more time there driving around and getting a feel for it.  Here are a few pics from our day:

neighborhood street in Wiesbaden

Sort of random...can you tell what's in the background?

That's right...quack, quack.

Hauptbahnhof of Wiesbaden (main train station)

more train station

building in town

shot from the road...obviously.

Wiesbaden is very lovely.  It is much smaller than Frankfurt but still very much a city.  Lots of shopping ( me likey) and cute restaurants/cafes.  We’ll see if it makes the final cut!!


Happy Halloween!!

31 Oct

Halloween isn’t really big over here.  Go figure.  I guess other countries don’t encourage their kids to go knocking on other people’s doors asking for handouts.  Party poopers.   So we didn’t dress Quinn up in a costume persay but she did have a cute outfit to wear today thanks to Grammy.

"Daddy's under my spell" true!

So disciplined with her oral hygiene she brushes while eating.

It was a beautiful day so we took advantage of the lovely weather and took a walk through the neighborhood visiting a nearby park.

lovely fall trees

Somebody give me a push!

This is how we celebrated Halloween…low key, just hanging out together as a family.  Hope you all had a great day too!

McDonalds in Deutchland

17 Oct

So today we ate at McDonalds of all places.  In our defense we were borderline desperate.  We were driving around another neighborhood near Heidelberg checking things out and Quinn needed out of the car…stat.  McDonalds happened to just be there; it was a right time and right place kind of equation.  Anyway you know you’re in Germany when this is on the menu at McDonalds:

The Nuernburger

Another view...enough to make any German proud

I would like to mention that Joe ordered this…I did NOT.  Another interesting feature of the McDonalds menu here is the two types of fries offered.  We ordered what are referred to as the “American fries”

American fries

These are served with a sour cream dip on the side.  They do have the traditional fries we are accustomed to at McDonalds also.  Which interestingly, aren’t the American fries…even though they are what’s served in America.  Hmmmm.


Visiting Mainz

11 Oct

Seeing as we are still on a quest to find a place to permanently settle into, that and our social calendars aren’t exactly brimming full these days; we decided to spend yesterday in Mainz.  The city actually has a pretty interesting history which I won’t go into too much detail about.  I mean you people know how to use google if you are that interested right?  I’d rather not risk boring you to death.  But, I will say it is one of the three oldest cities in Germany and much of its inner city was destroyed by bombing during World War II.  It is an interesting mix of old and new.  There are still several historical sites and buildings in tact, but obviously much has been rebuilt as well.  We drove around to get a sense of it all and enjoy some of the scenery.  (As a side note, the leaves are changing here much like in Ohio this time of year so the foliage is quite beautiful right now.)  Anyway, after driving around a bit we got out and walked around the pedestrian market square area.  It was Sunday so all the shops were closed but many of the little cafes and restaurants were open and there were still lots of people milling about.  Which brings me to another side note- patios are open (and full) even in quite chilly weather.  Yesterday was beautiful and very sunny, but very cool.  I wished I had a jacket over my sweater and still lots of people sat outside to have their lunch, coffee etc.  Here are a few pics from yesterday:

*Warning- you are about to be subjected to my crappy (mediocre at best) photography.  After the pictures Kim took of the sites these will pale in comparison.  But, what’s a person to do??*


Hmmm a bit cut off, but this is St. Martin's Cathedral



Near the city center, you can see the cathedral in the background



part of the Mainz theater



People eating outdoors in the market square



More outdoor dining



Pedestrian market square



small church I liked


This city is located along the west bank of the Rhine river.  It was absolutely beautiful driving along the edge of the water.  I wish I would have taken some pictures of that!  There were also lots of little streets with shops etc. that I failed to capture.  We will just have to go back again!

On a mission to see a castle…

29 Sep

So as you all know my good friend Kim was visiting me all last week.  In fact, she just left yesterday morning.  Boo!  She was an excellent companion during her stay with us and really helped foster the spirit of exploring our new surroundings.  So, on Saturday we took a drive south to Heidelberg.  As we heard from a couple Germans- “This is the city all Americans love to visit”.  I can see why.  It’s the image we all have in our mind of historic buildings, cobble streets, little shops crowded close together along narrow roads, and of course…castles.  Although, once again, the castle seemed a bit elusive.  How could it be so hard to find a castle???  Well, I can’t exactly answer that for you.  But, I can tell you we did ultimately find the Heidelberger Schloss and had some fun along the way.  Here are some pictures from our outing that day:


Here is the ADORABLE little Italian place we had lunch cute and delicious!



Kim, Quinn, and myself on the streets of Heidelberg


I forgot to mention that upon arriving in Heidelberg and driving around a bit to get a sense of the town, we stumbled upon a little festival going on.  It was sort of a very mini Oktoberfest.  So there were lots of people milling about in the streets, lots of music and different food and drink vendors were set up as well.  We tasted the most delicious mulled wine while we were there.  Actually called Gluhwein, it was the perfect thing for a chilly, rainy day.


Gluhwein in these terra cota yummy.



Since Quinnie couldn't have gluhwein to keep warm, we had to bundle her up!



At last....the castle ruins.


And here are some views from the castle once we reached it.  We had to climb LOTS of stairs to get there.  How many do you think Kim??  But once we made it to the top the view was beautiful.  See for yourself:

I think you all know by now, but the pictures from our outings with Kim…well, they are all taken by Kim!  I can’t compete so I won’t even bother posting my mediocre photos when I’ve got the work of a professional at my fingertips.  Thanks Kim!!

If you want to find me, I’ll be at the backerei.

20 Sep


more baked goodies for Quinn



Just one of the many local bakeries


So, because of their prevalence and simplicity in ordering (just pointing and nodding will do) we’ve already gotten into a little habit of stopping into the bakery quite often.  In fact, I’m certain these little goodies have become a favorite of Quinn’s.  I’m just hoping she hasn’t totally forgotten about broccoli.  And honestly I’m just hoping I can get back to some form of “healthy” eating as well.  But in the meantime…we are enjoying ourselves at the backerei!

More wienerschnitzel please

18 Sep

So our time so far in Frankfurt has been a whirlwind!  On Thursday evening Joe’s cousin Todd was in town from Vienna and we met him for dinner.  Then yesterday Joe’s dad and uncle arrived from St. Louis to spend time in Frankfurt before heading to Munich and then to Vienna for a visit.  We were able to spend some time with them all last night and today.  We’ve been here less than a week and already have had visitors!  Amazing.  (My friend Kim gets in next week as well, but I’m sure there will be more posts to cover those adventures later!)  So during the last two days we have been able to hang out with family, see new parts of the city and Quinn was able to try wienerschnitzel!  She’s official.  Now her German registration papers can really be processed.  Phew.  Anyway, below are a few photos capturing some of the fun.


So Quinn really liked the weinerschnitzel, but I mean, what's not to like??



Quinn with Grandpa Gummersbach



Joe, Uncle Jim, Joe Sr., and Todd....all Gummersbachs



Quinn with the Gummersbach men



Quinn and I out to dinner tonight. What a ham that kid is.