• 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,  Children,  Europe,  Germany,  Travel

    BAYERN 2019 PHOTO SHOOT

    27 OCTOBER 2019 So the children came back from school with their school photograph proofs earlier this year.  Julia loved them.  What we didn’t like was the price.  Crazy isn’t it?  I believe in compensating professional photographers for their work but $40 for a few wallet size hardly seems fair.  Especially when you have three children.  $120 for a few photos of the children in front of a green screen background?  Why?  Not when you live in one of the prettiest places in Europe. So I made Julia a promise. I promised to get the children dressed up in their traditional Bayern lederhosen and drindls. I promised to take them…

  • 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…

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  Germany

    AUTUMN IN EUROPE

    OCTOBER 21, 2019 We arrived 15 July and this was the first day the entire family was able to ‘take it easy’ (okay, it was the first day Jules was able to take it easy with the rest of us). We took advantage of the lazy day by taking a ten mile bicycle ride along the Naab river.  Note that Acadia is on the sidewalk while Hunter and Eva ride in the street.  Deutsche law. Some of the country roads are bicycle, pedestrian, horse only.  Some allow automobile traffic.  Regardless, you can navigate along these roads with very little traffic.  However when those few cars appear, you can guarantee they…

  • Army,  Children,  Europe,  Germany

    SCHOOL DAYS

    Deutschland represents a number of firsts for our family.  Among them is the first time Hunter, Eva, and Acadia have attended a Department of Defense school.  Like all schools there is both good and bad.   Hohenfels Elementary School is reminiscent of a small Vermont town elementary school.  Nestled among the changing autumn leaves where most people know each other because your child is in either their child’s class or they do gymnastics together or they did a library even together.  How do the kids get to school?  Why in a luxury bus of course.  No yellow school buses here.  There is a fleet of luxury buses that span out across…

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  ExPat,  Germany

    OKTOBERFEST 2019

    Spoiler Alert…..the Munich Oktoberfest takes place primarily in September.  So if you are planning to do Oktoberfest in Munich, keep that nugget in mind. The day before we went to Oktoberfest it was beautiful.  It was sunny and 75 degrees.  One of my friends messaged to say how ‘hot’ it was in the bier tents. The day we attended Oktoberfest it was not sunny and 75.  It was Blenheim New Zealand weather…rainy and miserable. Ahh, to put on those smiles after we had removed our jackets and got out from underneath the umbrella in order to take the classic Oktoberfest photograph. We had purchased tickets to the ‘Lowenbrau’ hall and…

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  Germany,  Travel

    U.S.A.! U.S.A! U.S.A!

    Americans stationed in Deutschland for decades or the ones who were posted here previously tell stories of how until recently you weren’t expected to hide your ‘Americanism’. For our own protection we are expected to keep a low profile and not draw attention to ourselves.  Understandable in today’s geo-political environment. So within this context I find it funny that our temporary license plate had ‘USA’ written in the corner.  Don’t let anyone know your American!  Now drive down the street with a license plate that says USA on it.  I’m still chuckling thinking about that temporary tag, even as I type this. Of course we don’t need a USA tag…

  • Army,  Bavaria,  Europe,  ExPat,  Germany

    TRASH-LESS SOCIETY….

    Prior to arriving in DE I had a system for rubbish in my car.  Upon arrival at my destination, I would remove any garbage that had accumulated during the errand and deposit at a receptacle where I exited my vehicle (I eschew trash bags in vehicles unless the road trip is longer than three hours in which case the offspring can generate enough rubbish to make the Indian from the 70s commercial cry again). The system does not work in Germany.  Running into the Netto or Rewe grocery store and want to throw some trash away?  Good  luck, no trash cans. On a military installation?  Sure, there’s a dumpster right…

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

    WHEN IN ROME, DON’T DO AS THE…

    Ahh…the weekly girl scout and cub scout meeting…probably the moment on post where I most feel like I’m back living in the United States. I have no idea how I don’t see any of the 10,000 American minivans I see on post, when I’m driving through the surrounding Deutsche villages off post.

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

    Garmisch-Partenkirchen

    Towards the end of my college days I spent a summer working the Alpine Slide at the Stowe Mountain Resort.  It had all the makings of a cheesy 1980s movie.  Outdoors, summer job, young people, drinking, parties, new people coming and going each week or day (the tourists). The Stowe track was concrete and the carriers were on wheels that could, could, leave the track if you took a curve fast enough.  And what a great way to end your workday (if you were working the top).  You’d hop on a ‘sled’ and ride the track down to your car! Well over Labor Day weekend we stayed at the Edelweiss…