• Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  ExPat,  Germany,  Travel

    Rothsee

    Being a kid from Vermont I seek the water.  I grew up swimming in lakes, ponds, swimming holes, brooks, rivers, streams, gorges, and quarries. Here in Hohenfels I’m looking for those same water opportunities for my children. That’s why on a sunny day with temperatures in the 80s, Hunter (11), Eva (9), and Acadia (7) and I jumped in the car for the 80 minute drive to Rothsee.  Had we taken the Autobahn the drive would have been 60 minutes but what’s the point of racing to a place where you are trying to relax?  Why not take the backroads?  Indeed.  And the drive was beautiful. Just before arriving at…

  • Army,  Children,  Europe,  ExPat,  Germany,  Spouse,  Travel

    Thinking About Living Overseas?

    Maybe you thought about living overseas before you had kids. Maybe you thought about living overseas before you were married. Maybe you thought about living overseas before you stopped dreaming. What this piece is not about are those Facebook and Instagram posts you’ve seen from your friends stationed or living overseas where the entire family is standing in front of the Eiffel Tower or in the Neuschwanstein Castle upon which the Disney castle is modeled (see featured image). If living overseas was filled with those type of moments every second of every day, then who wouldn’t want to live overseas? No, this piece is about the little adjustments we as Americans must make every…

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  Germany,  Travel

    Castle Brunneck

    The beauty of living in Hohenfels Germany is the ability to daytrip to a magical location or locations and sleep in your own bed at night. Our day started with a wakeup at 0800 for the children (Hunter age 11, Eva age 9, Acadia age 7) and a departure time of 0830.  Departing thirty minutes after wake up was only possible with a quick stop at the Rewe in Hemau to grab fresh pastries and bread.  Jules and I appreciate living in Germany where you can stop in any town and and find a great bakery. In America, we don’t think twice about traveling 3-5 hours to visit children or…

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  Germany,  Travel

    Castle Bechthal

    Just a short 17 minute drive from Burgruine Brunneck in Bavaria Germany are the ruins of a 13th century Irish castle.  Well not exactly but this is the most Irish looking castle we have seen during our one year of living in Deutschland. This was the second leg of our three castle day trip and had we driven straight from Hohenfels, the journey would have been 70 minutes one way.  The drive is beautiful and will feel less than one hour. The quickest route through Google led us down extremely narrow roads which I enjoy so that was a bonus.  The approach to Bechthal is unlike any other castle ruin. …

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  ExPat,  Germany,  Travel

    My Piece on Travel For The Army Wife Network

    There’s an old saying in real estate. Location, location, location. When you arrived at your current duty station, you and your spouse went house hunting to buy or rent and understood the importance of location. Location to schools, location to parks, and location to post. But for those of us with wanderlust, it’s also about location, location, location. Either we are reminiscing about the locations we have visited or planning for the locations yet to come. My colleague Tiffany is one of those infected with the travel bug but recently discussed living in the time of COVID-19 as an American in Italy unable to travel, let alone leave her apartment. It goes…

  • Army,  Germany,  Spouse

    ARMY WIFE NETWORK INTRODUCTION

    While standing with my wife in a social military setting the question is inevitably asked: “So how long have you served?” When my response is, “she has served since 2016,” with the emphasis on “she,” you can see the confusion on their face as they try to process what I have just stated. It doesn’t help that I cut my own hair using the No. 2 attachment, generally keep my face clean shaven, and run marathons often enough that my 48-year-old body is still in decent shape. I look Army. But I’m not the active duty spouse in our relationship, nor have I ever served in any branch of the…

  • Army,  Europe,  Travel

    Malta–our Florida

    WORST CAR RENTAL EXPERIENCE EVER  When I was in my twenties I traveled months every year for the Close Up Foundation using rental cars, hotels, and planes.  When I was in my thirties I traveled months every year for Associated Builders and Contractors  using rental cars, hotels, and planes.  And when I was in my forties I traveled months every year for General Dynamics using rental cars, hotels, and planes.  In all those years, I never had a worse car rental experience. Our RyanAir flight from Nuremberg arrived in Malta on schedule at 10pm.  The airport is equivalent to a small to mid-sized American airport. We left the Hertz car…

  • Army,  Europe,  ExPat,  Travel

    Eleven Equals Ireland

    Our trip to Ireland corresponded with Hunter’s eleventh birthday and Jules and I allowed him to plan much of the agenda.  Unfortunately Ireland in February is low season and most tourist attractions close early and some even close for the winter months.  This helped slim down the agenda somewhat but still forced Hunter to make choices. The 150 minute flight from Munich to Dublin touched down at approximately 1430 leaving just 1.5 hours to visit highlights in Dublin as most places close at 1700 during the winter months (accounting for the commute to town). DRIVING ON THE LEFT  This also included the time required to drive into Dublin.  Now I…

  • Europe,  Germany

    UVM’S THE CHANCE

    As I walked up the stairs of our local brewpub on the Naab River, the cold air hit me straight in the face.  Cold because I had left the relative warmth of the cozy low ceiling eating area but also because it was 32 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I turned at the top of the stairs and headed for the Herren Room (or Men’s Room…it helps that the other option is Damen and I can remember dames from Turner Movie Classics).  As the door swung open the temperature did not increase one bit. As I approached the urinal I looked over nervously towards the stall where the cold porcelain toilet sat.…

  • Europe,  Germany

    MALLS – DEUTSCHLAND STYLE

    Crazy, but the mall fifteen miles from our house is always packed.  And that baffles me.  Malls in American have been on such a steep decline with their empty storefronts and low foot traffic are depressing dinosaurs. Not so in Deutschland (this photo was purposefully taken just after opening to avoid having many people in the shot). Part of it is Amazon and how they are driving all Americans, not just those that use Amazon, to do more and more shopping online.  Germany is Amazon’s number two market but Amazon.de is not the same in matters of convenience. But part of it I think are the store offerings.  As detailed…