• 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…

  • 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,  Europe,  Germany

    MONEY MONEY MONEY!!

    I recall meeting a Canadian in the 20th century who mocked our currency.  It’s all two colors, there is no difference between the dollar amounts. I remember thinking at the time, at least our currency doesn’t look like it was designed by a preschool class. So here I am in Europe today.  Now I know we discussed currency in a previous post but it’s worth revisiting once again. Now why did they go and do that?  Why did they make the 100 Euro bill larger than the other bills?  See I use a Tiffany money clip (thank you Bart for your wedding party gift).  And when I lived in the…

  • Army,  Europe,  Germany

    ENGLISHIZATION OF DEUTSCHLAND

    It’s coming.  English. And yes, partly because of American culture.  The music, the movies, the politics, the economics. But more so because of their own doing–the European economic union. If you are a Romanian company and are trucking something across a borderless Europe to Espana and want to advertise your company, do you advertise on the side of your truck in Romanian?  Spanish? No, English. It is the common language across Europe. And THAT, is what’s driving English across Europe.  Go West young man.

  • Army,  Europe,  Germany

    I-89 Is My Lifeline

    I-89 IS MY LIFE LINE 20 NOVEMBER 2019 “Vermont wasn’t made for drivin’ ‘Till Ford made a truck for Vermont’ Okay, so most of you don’t know that commercial but at least G.B. does. As I drove down this typical Bayern country road I thought about Vermont country roads. See in Vermont, and America, we just widen our roads to accommodate the traffic that will pass each other once an hour. Deutschland?  They just throw some dirt on the shoulders of road with 60 m.p.h. speed limits and expect you to put your right tire on dirt as you pass another vehicle driving equally as fast.  Seemed strange at first.…

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  Germany

    TWO CONFIRMED KILLS

    There are many things I love about our 450 year old home but the mice are not one of them.  After three confirmed kills the previous week, I heard the little buggers racing through the walls above me as well as chewing the wall next to where we sleep.  Enough so that I was no longer sleeping. The next day I placed these three traps and had two confirmed kills the next day.  Guess what I did not hear last night–racing and gnawing.

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  Germany,  Travel

    THE RIDE HOME

    Not sure when it’s going to wear off, but still appreciating the drive between post and home. There were so many things to love about living in Pinehurst and North Carolina (and the kids will tell you what those are every day), but one thing that brings me much inner peace in Deutschland is a return to living in a place that has that Vermont beauty.  And Bayern (how the Deutsche refer to Bavaria) has it. There is no less than ten spots along this road where I see the perfect photograph and to my mom’s chagrin, I wait for the perfect light and then try to capture that perfect…