Stuttgart Christmas market 

Last night we spent the evening in downtown Stuttgart at the Christmas market. We started with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant but made sure to get dessert (chocolate covered fruit) at the market.  The Christmas market is full of booths with food, Christmas decorations, and lots of things you could buy as Christmas presents. It’s a great place to get handmade ornaments or other traditional German decorations like nutcrackers. The only downside of going on a Saturday night is the crowd – it was packed!

   

This market is one of my favorite parts of Christmas here, I’m so glad we were able to go before heading home for the holidays!

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Zermatt, Switzerland

Hi there! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!! We were home relaxing and eating lots of yummy food 🙂 We headed to Switzerland last Friday with some friends to check out Zermatt and do some skiing. We took the train there and it turned out to be a great decision. Last year we got stuck in Switzerland after a snow storm and we couldn’t make it over the mountain passes. Zermatt does not allow gas powered cars, they only have electric taxis, but it is completely walkable (we didn’t need a car the entire time we were there). So even if you drive you have to park about an hour away and take a train to the top of the mountain. We got there on Friday, relaxed, and went out to dinner. Then we were up bright and early on Saturday to hit the slopes! Skiing at 10,000 feet was definitely an amazing experience!

We spent Saturday night recovering from the mountain and cooking dinner at our apartment. I was excited about how much muscle memory I had on the slopes, I expected to need a lot more time to get back into it but after an easy beginner run I was ready to head over to the intermediate runs for the rest of the day! No major falls and everyone came home in 1 piece 🙂

We trained back on Sunday and got home late in the evening. We had some Thanksgiving left overs and relaxed.

Yesterday I tried my hand at something new, I had been wanting to try it for a while but was never sure what I would make. I used a sharpie to make a homemade Christmas platter using a cheap Ikea plate, you bake it in the oven to „set“ the marker so it won’t rub off. Here is a before, during, and after shot. I think it turned out really well and I can’t wait to use if for some Christmas cookies!

We are going to the Christmas market downtown this weekend, it was one of my favorite things about spending Christmas here last year so hopefully it is just as good this year!

Have a great weekend!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy thanksgiving y’all!! We are gearing up to cook our (second) Thanksgiving meal this afternoon. The dining facility on base hosted one yesterday and it was delicious! They had everything you might want for thanksgiving including shrimp cocktails and suckling pigs! We are trying to keep ours small because we leave for Switzerland tomorrow for a skiing adventure and won’t be around to eat many leftovers.

Here is what we have been up to in the last 2 weeks:

We had some professional pictures taken by another military spouse who has her own photography business. You might have seen some of the pics on Facebook, here are a few of our favorites:

 

Last weekend we went to Triberg in the Black forest (I recently posted about it when I went with Leah) to hunt for a cuckoo clock and to show Glenn the waterfall hike! We were able to do the full hike this time – last time the top half was closed, and we found the exact cuckoo clock we were looking for! It started snowing while we were there and it was beautiful! We hiked, ate lunch in one of the older German restaurants in the town, and shopped afterwards. 019c5f09f9ee1d44828fc17c4c333a9d963ffde21f

Above is a picture of Triberg, it is a very old town in the Black forest and the original home to cuckoo clocks! If you look in the background at the farthest treeline that is almost hidden that is where we hiked up. Below is a similar cuckoo clock to the one we bought, we can’t put ours up here without putting a bunch of cement screws into the wall so it will probably stay safely in its box until we move back to the states.

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I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!!

The rest of Leahs trip and a race!

Sorry this took so long to post! Here is some fun from Leahs trip 🙂

Triberg Waterfall

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We headed into the Black Forest for some hiking and to check out the cookoo clocks. Triberg is the home of the original cookoo clock. They have everything from small and understated to oversized and very intricate. We will definitely be making a trip back to get one before we leave Germany!

The next day we ventured down to Switzerland to see Rhine Falls

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We spent the morning walking the trails around the falls, looking at souvenirs, and we ate lunch at a cafe overlooking the falls. Later that day my travel buddies took the train from Stuttgart to Munich to finish out their trip. I am so glad I was able to see them while they were here!

Last weekend was the final race for the cross country team! We participated in a community 5K on base. After a little mix up in registration (they forgot to register coaches when they registered the kids), I was able to run under someone elses bib number. I placed as the first overall female in the race with a time of 20:46! That is a PR for me so I was really excited. The timing system (both primary and backup) failed so they were not able to do awards after the race but I did get to pick up my medal a few days later 🙂

We spent this last weekend relaxing and enjoying the beautiful fall weather. I was able to get in a longer bike ride, that might be the last one for a while since the temps are starting to drop. We also got some professional pictures done! We got really lucky because the weather was supposed to be rainy all morning with cloud cover in the afternoon, but it turned out partly sunny and warm. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Our next trip is to Zermatt, Switzerland with some friends in a few weeks! It is supposed to be beautiful and have great skiing!

Have a great week everyone! XO

Weekend in Paris!!

AND LEAH IS HEREEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leah came to Europe to travel through France and Germany and I was able to meet up with her and her friend in Paris for the weekend! I took the train from Stuttgart to Paris and it was super easy to get there, find the apartment, and then head out to meet them near the Louvre. They did a lot of planning before hand so I tagged along with them to some awesome Parisian activities. We stayed in an apartment close to the Eiffel Tower which was a prime location and we were able to easily access everything we wanted.

We spent Friday afternoon walking through central Paris and checked out the Catacombs. There was a pretty long line but it was definitely worth it! They were built after the cemetaries around Paris were full and they needed somewhere else to place bodies so they moved a lot of bones there. We couldn’t believe how close you could get to the bones, they were not enclosed or protected at all. Here are 2 pictures, the bones were stacked in walls made from mostly long bones (femurs, tibiae, ulnae, etc) with skulls placed in rows across.

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After the Catacombs we relaxed under the lights of the Eiffel Tower. We took food and wine and spent the evening people watching and admiring the lights on the Eiffel Tower- it lights up every hour! (I tried to post a video but it won’t let me upload the file so a picture will have to do!)

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On Saturday Leah and I did a 5 mile run around Paris where we saw the Arc de Triomphe, Avenue des Champs-Elysees, and a palace. After that we headed to a cemetery where quite a few famous people are buried, we saw Jim Morrisons grave, but Oscar Wilde is also there. There were also quite a few large mausoleums where families of wealth were buried. Below is Jim Morrison’s grave:

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We spent the afternoon checking out some of the famous Parisian Chocolatiers and seeing the Notre Dame Cathedral. We also saw the Moulin Rouge, but we didn’t go in that one!

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On Sunday we went out for bruch because you can’t have a trip to Paris without crepes! I had 2- 1 savory and 1 sweet, the picture is Nutella and caramel sauce!

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Then we took the train back to Stuttgart! Stay tuned for my next post about our last few days in Germany!

What we’ve been up to lately

Hi y’all! We have been pretty busy the last couple of weeks – some traveling, some oktober festing, and some skydiving (the hubs, not me!). Here are some pics and updates from what we have been doing recently.

We headed to Garmish in southern Germany last week for a few days for a team sponsored retreat. They have a military base there with a nice hotel/lodge..I say nice but it is actually pretty similar to a lot of stateside hotels which are very nice in comparison to a lot of similarly priced european hotels. The rooms are much much bigger, they have a pool and gym facility, and (my favorite) they have TV in english :)You kind of forget what a typical American hotel is like when you stay in a bunch of european ones.

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Then we were off to Lake Constance last weekend for the Sparkasse half marathon. After some confusion over where the packet pickup was we eventually got there right before they closed. One pretty awesome thing about racing in Europe is a lot of the races offer a pasta party the night before the race when you pick up your packet that is included in the price of your entry! The race took place on Sunday morning starting on one side of the lake (in Germany) and ending on the other (in Austria). You rode a boat from the finish line over to the start and then you run back around. It rained for the first 6 or so miles and standing at the start in the rain was pretty miserable (you had to be there 1.5 hours early bc thats when the last boat got you there) somehow every race I’ve run here has been in the rain.

I was really happy with my time, a new PR! My overall time was 1:43:02 which evens out to around 7:50/mile (fastest mile – 7:41, slowest mile – 8:06). I was really wanting a PR in this race and I trained really hard but I really didn’t think it was going to happen when we got out there and had less than stellar race conditions.

Boat to the start line

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Last night we went to Volksfest in Stuttgart (it is Stuttgart’s version of Oktoberfest since the only one called Oktoberfest here is in Munich). We had tickets in a tent for 1/2 a chicken and 3 mass beers (1 liter!) – this is the typical way the tickets work, if you don’t have tickets it is very hard to get into the tents during the evenings. There are a few different tents but they all have similar food/drinks and a band. We went with a bunch of people we knew and it was a lot of fun. We had hoped to make it to Munich too but our weekends have been so busy that it was over before we got a chance (Oktoberfest is actually from Mid Sept – the beginning of October). The whole thing is kind of like a huge county fair with food stands, rides, and games. 0108920aac8236370fda26a665d384c20ae58d8ae7

We are relaxing at home this weekend. We have a home cross country meet tomorrow but otherwise I think we’re both happy for the break! Have a great weekend!

Labor Day weekend travels

We spent our labor day weekend in Prague! It is a beautiful city and had been on our European bucket list for a while. Glenn had just gotten back from a work trip so he was pretty jet lagged, but we wanted to use the long weekend for traveling since we won’t have a lot of other chances for travel this fall.

The most memorable thing from our trip was definitely the beer spa! Yes, I said beer spa! You get an hour in a private spa room, since we went with friends the 4 of us shared a room with 2 hot tubs and a big hay bed (for relaxing after the hot tub – I think we laughed about that more than we relaxed). You also have a tap built into the tub so you can enjoy unlimited beer while your hot tub-ing! The tub was actually full of hot water plus ingredients they use to make their beer like hops, yeast, and malt. You’re not supposed to shower for multiple hours afterwars to get the maximum effect of the spa (they say the beer ingredients make your skin super soft) but I showered immediately afterwards because not everything dissolves in the water so it feels like you’re covered in sand. I still thought my skin felt softer afterwards even without waiting. Here are some pics from the spa:

In the beer tub!
In the beer tub!
The hay bed for post tub relaxing
The hay bed for post tub relaxing

We also checked out the Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral

Prague Castle
Prague Castle
St Vitus Cathedral
St Vitus Cathedral

We spent some time in the downtown area for dinner and to check out a cocktail bar. We even talked 2 bike taxis into racing so we could race our friends around the main square. I thought we were going to hit people and walls multiple times during the ride but it was really fun!

In other non-travel news I started assistant coaching for the middle school cross country team last week and so far practices have gone really well. Some of our team is running in the high school XC meet this Saturday so we will see how we do in an older field! It is so cool to see how excited they are about running!

Happy Friday everyone!