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

    Naab River Rope Swing

    If you’re old enough you remember those Mountain Dew commercials where the 20 somethings swig their Mountain Dew while swinging into a body of water on a hot summer day, you’ll appreciate this swimming spot on the Naab River. For those not familiar with the Naab, some days it’s warm, some days it’s chilly, and some days its off the coast of Maine chilly.  Your best bet is to make sure it’s sunny and hot and if it’s one of those days where the water is Maine cold, well at least it will be refresing. The drive from Hohenfels to Duggendorf is approximately 25 minutes and the town is just…

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

    Etterzhausen On The Naab

    Just down the road from Kallmunz and before you get to Nittendorf is a swimming spot located in Etterzhausen on the Naab River. For those not familiar with the Naab, some days it’s warm, some days it’s chilly, and some days its off the coast of Maine chilly. I still haven’t figured out the cause for this variance. Back in New England you may find the swimming waters slightly cooler following a rainstorm. The rain would elevate the water levels and cause more movement (think rushing brooks) which would allow less time for the water to pool and heat on sun drenched afternoons. We had passed this swimming spot numerous…

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


    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,  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,  ExPat,  Germany,  Travel

    Kallmunz Castle Ruins

    In anticipation of moving to Germany I scoured the internet for tips on how best to prepare for the move from one culture to another.  Among the internet resources I found was a military spouse blog that used a featured image that became lodged in my head.  Living in America at the time, it looked like a German fairytale.  There was a seemingly medieval bridge in the center of town, castle ruins high above the town, and charming structures dotted throughout the town.  I would revisit that blog after living in Germany in a hotel 25 minutes away only to realize that village was Kallmunz.  I have hiked the Kallmunz…

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

    Hohenfels Castle Ruins

    Located in a small historic village in Germany….okay, wait…all villages in Germany are small and historic….lies a castle ruin set upon a rock rising high above the town below. The town I speak of is…..Hohenfels.  Which translated to English literally means high (hohen) rock (fels).  Bet you didn’t know that.  And if you are stationed in Hohenfels chances are you have never visited the Hohenfels castle ruins. Just prior to writing this piece, I tried unsuccessfully to convince two friends who were PCSing back to America to join me on the hike to the ruins.  I knew they had not visited the historical site so I begged them to join…

  • 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,  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…

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


    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.

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


    I recall reading somewhere about a spouse stationed in Deutschland who found herself back in America for a visit.  She was driving along the interstate and realized she was doing 100 m.p.h.  She was shocked because she wasn’t trying to speed. Before living here I wasn’t sure how someone could be shocked to find themselves driving at 100 m.p.h. and not know it.  I recall the first time I hit triple digits on Bolton Flats–where most Vermonters living in the Burlington area obtain this feat for the first time.  I certainly knew I was driving 100 m.p.h. But like so many other things in Deutschland, driving is just a completely…