• 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

    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…

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  Germany

    STANDARD GOVT ISSUED STAIRWELL

    One of the options we were given for housing when we arrived in Deutschland was the standard government owned off post multi-story design house with the spiral child wiping out staircase. On the face of it, it’s kind of blah, like many of the features in the home.  But like so many things in life–and life itself–it’s what you do with it that matters most. While enjoying a post-Christmas Christmas party at a friends house I spied this nugget looking up her staircase. Oh, I was in the stairwell after having just comforted Eva from wiping out on the stairs.  Kids love to walk down the inside of the spiral…

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

    LAUNDRY UPDATE

    Though I was not there when the United States Government delivered our United States Government owned washer and dryer–on loan for the next three years–I do know Jules asked if they could be stacked. Sure they said. But what they did not do was attach a bracket between the machines ‘cementing’ the stacking. The result is exactly what you see.  I just pray I don’t have a full ‘tumble dry’ that leaves a dent, or even a hole in my bathroom floor.