Fasching Time Again


The only thing I can think of to describe what Fashing is probably would be similar to Halloween with a bunch of drunks putting on a circus show. The one thing that is really cool is there is an ‘assigned’ costume to each town based on that towns history or back story. Toblerone’s town costume is the Rooster!


Last year was my first Fashing or “Carnival” and it was an incredible experience. Three…very long days…of drinking and dancing in a chicken costume. If you missed the experience last year, please click here to go read about it.

This year I was dreadfully ill but managed to make it out for the small parade and see the giant tree get put up. This tree is also similar to the May tree (Mai Baum) and the one they place for Christmas too but it was fun to watch them put this up as if we were in the 1500s. Very old school but keeping with tradition. My most cherished memories so far in Germany are those I’ve spent relishing in their traditional and stripped down holidays. Sadly, the US is much too commercialized and I’m really loving this easy paced life that doesn’t have much to do with money and such. But THAT, my friends, is a topic for another day!

So, we watched the mini parade, people handed me drinks of champagne and schnapps as they passed by, and the costumes were sweet and creative. For the parade, the different clubs (Music, Dance, Sport, etc) picked a theme or costume that is outside of the usual “Rooster.” Take a peak at a few!












Another year of really fun times with the crazy Germs and their weird traditions! However, I wouldn’t want to be experiencing any other place at the moment. (Except Ireland but still trying to work the husband into that idea!)







And now it’s lent time and I’ve given up alcohol. 11 days without! Phew! Glad to know I’m not an alcoholic after all this!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

It’s Ok To Be A Wino For A Day

By definition, a “Wino” is someone who drinks alcoholic beverages in excess. I suppose most of us have been there at one point or another so I’m saying it’s ok! Just don’t make it a habit, but of course PLEASE go and enjoy St. Pat’s Day for me! They don’t celebrate it here so I made up for it already. 🙂

This past weekend Toblerone came up with a great little getaway for us. I know you’re thinking it must be some cute romantic place in France or possibly in Italy. Oh no, my friends, this would be in the next “state” over to the wine country to participate in a wine marathon. In Rhineland-Pfalz there is a ridiculous amount of personal “wineries.” What do I mean by that? Well, quite literally, many households in each town of this “state” grow their own grapes and make their own wine. So it’s completely normal to go into a stranger’s home and drink their wine at the dining room table with them. Some even have fancy little “wine cellars” set up. Their basements turned into a winery full of giant machines and tubes.

For me it was a little strange at first to be walking into people’s homes but I’ve seen crazier things in Germany (Note: Karneval.) The first lady we went to is no longer making wine since her husband died but she’s adorable and her house smelled like sugar and cookie dough. And it was during this particular visit that I realized I will never really learn German. It’s impossible. Her dialect was unbelievably difficult to understand even Toblerone had a hard time understanding her.

I think I should mention that the house visits are not part of the wine marathon. Oh no…this was the pre-tasting in fact. We went to another house and there the clock ticked without us knowing and the world became a little more fuzzy. Naturally.

After several glasses of wine we walked…ahem…stumbled around the streets covered in grape vines and to a restaurant nearby where waiting for 4 minutes felt like 4 hours. We were STARVING. Toblerone, the genius that he is, couldn’t wait anymore so he went to just “check out” the buffet but I sat there with camera in hand counting down…5….4….3…2…….1….*click* He dipped his little finger in the mashed potatoes!!! HI-LARIOUS! You can’t tell me that’s not the greatest picture ever! Caught in the act – I call it! 🙂 I can hear his mother now – calling him a farmer (aka redneck in our language!)

Anywho so after that we had to go to sleep for a bit, we were not going to survive the marathon if we didn’t! Besides the splitting wine headache really did me in! Around 8pm or so we made our way through this gorgeous little town to the town hall. It was so quiet on the streets and the lighting was weird, I felt like I was transported back to Jack the Ripper days.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When we get to the town hall it’s packed with young and hot people. I about died. I don’t know where they all came from because well…I’ve lived here for one year and have seen maybe 2 people who I consider really gorgeous and here – It was like a flood of them! I mean girls had long hair (which I don’t see often) and the guys were tall and really handsome. It was so weird!!! Not that it matters I was just really shocked. Clearly, I’ve been living in a hole.

So the marathon was from 6pm Saturday to 6pm Sunday. 24 hours of drinking, bands, and food! It was awesome! Except by 1:30am we could no longer continue and needed sleep. We’re lame and old – I realize this. The following morning was atrocious as we tried to recover. More so for Toblerone than me but we survived. We stopped quickly at a castle (since there are probably 5 or 6 within a 20 mile radius) and hit the road back home. All in all it was a great time and an incredibly beautiful place. It’s creeping up to possibly my top ten places – easily. We’re going back in May, who’s coming with me?!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

It’s Be-A-Crazy-German Day During Fasnet!

Well…I’m alive…and that is all that matters right?

It all started last weekend with a 3 day festival celebrating the culture and the traditions of each town.  There is a great website that I found that explains what each town’s costume means and the story behind the founding of this however it is in German and a bit spotty once translated to English.  The website is here and if you feel up to it, translate and see what it’s all about but more so, check out the costumes for each town. There are only a few towns on this page but these are all within the same area/region that we live in.

I was part of Toblerone’s hometown which is called Renquishausen. For them, the traditional garb is the suit of a Rooster and there are also women costumes which are of old maids that carry baskets full of eggs (or shots of liquor!). I was a Rooster this year but opted out of the terrifying mask – see below! I’m not quite sure why all of the masks from each town is so frightening! Some are really scary!!!

The story behind the Rooster costume goes back to the 1800’s where the men of this town would breed their roosters and be able to supply easily to Nobels and others.  Somewhere along the line there was a famine and their stock was wiped out clean. This becoming the crescent for their town and the story behind the costumes!

The 3 day party was crazy fun but mostly, I LOVED the parade. There were more than 40 towns (over 4,000 people) that joined in this parade and then went to party hardy in a giant tent afterwards. Check out some of the pictures in my slideshow below and let me know what you think!! They have some crazy imaginations! For each town there is the band, the dancers (which are dressed like cowgirls), the town crescent costume, and the old maid/witch costume.

This weekend is continuing with mamy celebrations but in everyone’s individual town. This is the time when people will come around dressed up in costumes (any costumes of their choice) and never show their faces and talk in weird voices. They will push you out of the way and go inside your house and drink your alcohol! This happened to us last year when a swarm of bees and beekeepers came into the house and forced us to drink honey liquor! (ok ok…the real truth…I wasn’t forced!)  Actually, see a picture for yourself from last year. I had been in the house for maybe 5 days so the place was a wreck and boxes were everywhere as I had just arrived!

Also this weekend each town has a giant fire and this symbolizes the old tradition of burning a witch and leaving behind winter. The welcoming of Spring!

Enjoy the Freak Show!!! :-))) (Note: I was drunk-ish and standing facing directly into the sun because it was -20 below so the pics are a little light, sorry!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Things I’m Having A Hard Time Living Without

I can certainly live without things but I would prefer NOT to…and here are my reasons why. I encourage you to pay close attention, take notes, tie a ribbon around your finger to remind yourself that you all have it really good back in your own home countries. My life without the following feels incomplete BUT I do have backup, luckily which counter my complaints of course!

I’ve got exactly 30 days  as of today until I land on the mushy ground of America. Put me there RIGHT now! Now that I’m getting down to the finish line, I’m getting excited and overly worked up about the fact that the East Coast is indulging in delish Fall treats and I’m stuck in a place that doesn’t know what Starbucks Pumpkin Latte is or what a Pumpkin Pie is. HELP!

1. Gossip Girls 

You all know just what I’m talking about. A night were you get all dolled up, put on the greatest pair of stilettos you own, a new dress, and the works and you meet your favorite girlfriends out for sushi dinner and gossip for ages over Martinis of every kind. The more you knock back the more stories and emotions flow. Finding out about which idiot brought their mistress to their own wedding only to divorce their wife a few months later, or the trashy girl from high school that has way too many kids with way too many different men, or maybe it’s the latest crap your ex is up to. Although none of that is important but it’s just stuff to talk about and we all can relate. We talk about our relationship problems in a “safe” area (bars are always so loud they swallow and hide your words forever) and every guy that tries to hit on us only pushes us to band together and give him a nice glass of icy glare with a splash of the cold shoulder. Why?? Because it’s god damn GIRLS NIGHT OUT, Bitches!!

           Remedy: So how to we fix this little problem? Easy…FACEBOOK. Everyone, including myself, writes all sorts of personal stuff on The Book nowadays and not only can I stalk my girlfriends (yes, I admit) I also lurk behind my laptop to see who’s having a baby, getting married, breaking up, divorcing, being annoying, biting their nails, wearing bad outfits which include visors (STOP IT!), and who is overly obsessed with their special someone (this might be me). Thank you Facebook for feeding me with the gossip I need to sustain myself until I get back to the states for a visit!  Speaking of Facebook….please go to my Blog Page and like it. And if that is too complicated, on the right hand side here there is  button to “like” it as well. THANKS! 🙂

2. Martinis

Pomegranate, Very Dirty, Chocolate, Apple, Apple Pie, Banana Split, Cosmopolitan, Flirtini, Gingerbread, Gummy Worm, Key Lime Pie, Kiwi, Hello Kitty, Melon Ball, Watermelon, and Pumpkin (DAMMIT!)

These are all things we are aware of. Those girly drinks (and some of them MAN-tini’s) that are FABU and absolutely mouth-watering. I used to partake in these tasty bits quite often back in the states…trying every one on the menu if necessary. If I asked for a Martini here….Do you know what I would get? Actual Martini & Rossi. This is like a strong wine or so I’m told. I’ve never had it because I’m boycotting. Here’s the situation, I’m DYING to make all the Martini’s I love for people here so they can see how awesome it is. They see them in the movies and Sex and the City shows…it’s just unfair. Anyway, I would LOVE to make these but there are no such things as flavored vodkas, think Three Olives Brand or other special liqueurs like the Pumpkin Spice that I need to make the Pumpkin Martini. Lord have mercy….this is going to be a long few years without those babies.

I’m positive as soon as I get back to the states I’ll be throwing those back like Homer does to his donuts or cookie monster to his cookies…or is it vegetables now?

Remedy: WodkaBull – aka Vodka RedBull…..AMEN. Of course they also have wineries up the ying AND the yang and a realllllly good bottle of wine costs about 8.00 Euro…that’s like $11 bucks and some change. Can’t beat that!

3. Care packages

My mom was always giving me stuff and sending me home with food from her fridge (leftovers are the BEST). We would go shopping together all the time and hang out, have a Panera Bread lunch date, all sorts of mommy daughter bliss. When I see my mom on Skype, it’s just not the same. I can’t hug her. I miss my best friend. End of story.

Mommy and Me

Remedy: As there is no replacement for that kind of hole in the heart, Care packages are fantastic!! Or cards. Or letters via snail mail. All of this is great. When I get the box the first thing I do is look at my mom’s handwriting…I would recognize that anywhere. Then I open the box and smell the inside. I know what you’re thinking but I’m always hoping I can smell a bit of home in there. As I look through all the things I imagine her buying them and thinking of me. It’s such a nice surprise. Each little thing, even if it’s just a sticker or a lollipop, it means the absolute WORLD to me. And….to be able to read instructions or the packaging in English is a treat too.

4. Streaming Music

You know those moments where you’re angry because your download is slow or for whatever reason your favorite homepage isn’t working? Yeah, that’s how I feel every day. As the majority of you are participating in the newest fads such as Spotify or the older one Pandora….I don’t have access to these. Nope. Not at all. Germany has some weird problem with streaming music and this has caused me some very serious heart palpitations! Even YouTube is complicated and most of the time as you all post the coolest new videos on Facebook I can’t watch them. “This video is not allowed in your country.”  Listen here Maestro…this isn’t my country however as an American citizen I think I should have the right to watch whatever I want whenever I want. Who do I have to bring down?

Remedy:  Stereomood. This is fantastic for me. For those of you who are new to this fad – it’s uploaded music from other users and categorized under a certain mood. So when I’m feeling like sunshine, I head on over to the sunshine channel. When I feel like punching babies in the face, I head over to child abuse channel. No that’s not a channel option but you get the idea.  It’s my savior. Although most of the time the music annoys me like mosquitos buzzing in my ear, at least it’s something. The possibility of hearing new music excites my loins.

5. Televise My Life

No really….give me a reality show.

Here we have massive amounts of channels on the TV and all sorts of shows I know back home. One problem…they are all in German. I do try to pay attention sometimes but most of the time it’s annoying and I give up. We have the British version of CNN and BBC which is great but can bore me very easily once they get on their kicks about the financial outcome of the world and all that nonsense. I couldn’t care less. I’m focused on my own financial situation…can’t possibly care about everyone else.

Remedy: There is a God and she seriously knows just how to please me. She has granted me with free streaming video of the latest shows the day after they air. Indeed, I can find this on services such as Sidereel or XBMC (Thanks Bro!). This plays a giant part in my life. I couldn’t go a day without knowing I had access to Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and many other terrible Reality shows.

6. Vanilla Extract

For those of us that bake we know the importance of  Vanilla Extract. It’s like the piece to the puzzle that can never go missing otherwise it makes the entire puzzle look like crap. Get what I’m saying? In Germany there is no such thing. I keep trying to figure out how they make their cakes but I’m dumbfounded. When I realized there was no such thing as Vanilla here I about died. They have some sort of really oily based, almost buttery type of Vanilla flavoring in tubes but this is not the alcohol smelling Vanilla we know. It does NOT work. I was once on the verge of disaster without this stuff…and then…..

Remedy: I make everyone who comes over here (old colleagues and the like) bring Vanilla Extract with them. Our last buddy that stopped in brought me two large bottles of it (Thanks to his wife) and I’m happy as a clam. I can bake till my heart’s content without crying about it.

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Vacation In The Alps: Day Five – Mellow

Obviously, this didn’t start with day Five so if you haven’t read day one, two, three, or four…you can do so now to find out what there actually is to do while in the Alps 🙂 

Day Five:

It’s the “going home” day but not before we did a few things of course! I was definitely feeling relaxed at this point and think the vacation was altogether quite a success. We made sure every day was packed with something fun but didn’t over-do it (except for the princess day which was NOT fun!)

Again we had champagne breakfast in the room to end the vacation right of course! We sat outside and enjoyed the moment. The early morning with alcohol rushing through your system. AMEN!

Granted we “slept in” until 8:50 which is rare. We don’t ever sleep in too long, especially that long! Before we packed up our stuff to head out for the day I took a little dip in the pool again. I couldn’t get enough of that. I really need to invest in one of those puppies!

We headed back into the town of Oberstdorf to search for hiking boots.  I needed to prepare for a hiking trip in the Alps in Austria at a later date so it was needed to get them now to start wearing them in! I got a great pair for 170 Euro I think it was and a darling pair of red plaid rain boots to frolick around with Harley in! 🙂 The dude at the store threw in a pair of hot pink socks for free…Thank you very much! 🙂

We walked around only a little bit more and found ourselves at the Schnapps museum. So, this is liqueur…German schnapps are seriously high proof and are a type of distilled alcohol with a slight fruit flavor or what not. Schnapps is intense. I tried a few that were Beer flavored (weird), Blueberry (Awesome), Raspberry (awesome), Spices – think Jaegermeister (disgusting), and many others.

After we had a good buzz going, I bought a little a special wine for when my family comes for Christmas and off we went back home! Arriving to my super clean house was amazing. All we did was unpack and recover from recovering. 🙂

Thanks for coming along on our vacation with us! 🙂

Until next time, Readers!! :-))) xoxoxoxoxoxo

European Way of Life

I’ve officially been here three weeks and a day. Can’t believe I’ve survived this long without knowing much of the language. Gooooo me! There are some vast differences (obviously!) between the US and Europe but adjusting to the Europeans way of life has luckily come easy to me. I’ve come to love the way they live and now understand why they are healthy, yet more vibrant and carefree about things. When we were in the US, Toblerone adjusted to our way of life and he loved it at times but there were definitely moments, I could see it in his eyes, he missed home. I now know why.

Going to the Deli section in the US is good but you get your ham, turkey, or bologna. You might get some pre-marinated steaks or chicken and call it good. Here in Germany, the meat section is a place of pride. It’s like a candy store…in a fleshy kind of way! I’m not a huge meat eater but I don’t knock it either. I can remember over the years every time, Toblerone asking me,  “One day I want the meat right off the animal, completely raw! Can you taste how fresh that is???”  Actually, I can’t…or should I say couldn’t. Now that I’m here, all I ever eat is meat or bread that is prepared that day or at that moment.

There is this butcher that was kind of enough to talk to me in English and he explained what each of the meats were that I pointed out in curiosity. He also told me that he comes from a long line of butchers in his family. I asked him how long they had been in business. Wait for it….wait for it, Americans. Since the 1400’s. That’s a LONG time. Can you imagine, first of all, knowing where your family came from and then being a part of this family business that has been around for hundreds upon hundreds of years! Thats amazing to me. We don’t have history like that in the US.

Mmmm…Breakfast!! 🙂 ——————————>

Along with eating fresh meat and fresh bread, these people are some of the most active that I’ve ever seen. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m lazy. Give me a day off and all I want to do is lay down in bed, watch movies, do a puzzle, nap…but not here. Everyone has the mentality to get up and do things. This isn’t a place to sit around and be lazy. There are walking trails EVERYWHERE and they connect into each town most times. There are always people – old, young, families, couples, teenagers, etc., getting out and getting active! Most times I see a lot of people rollerblading, biking, or using their very questionable Nordic trekking sticks. Shown here:

If you don’t have these fancy walking sticks, then you’re a nobody here. Also, it you aren’t active, then you’re pathetic and a waste to society. Ok…thats me just rambling and my feelings about what they think of me when I’m still walking around in my bathrobe at 3pm, inside, cleaning…lol. Whatever, I enjoy my workouts via computer, for now. Thank you very much!

Alcohol is clearly a big thing here, but they don’t make it into a big thing. Americans do. We freak out if a 16 year old is chugging down gallons of vodka but here it’s so casually accepted. You can have a glass of wine with your parents when you’re young and as you get older, you choose your own path. I’ve noticed that no one is excessively drinking or what we know as “binge-drinking.”  I kind of get it now. I think had we grown up in a culture where you aren’t desensitized from alcohol then you learn to control urges and not feel as if it’s some taboo thing. When I was younger, I drank to fit in, then when I hit the drinking age, I drank to have a good time, now I drink with dinner or socializing.

I do know many younger people here 21 -23 years old and they aren’t talking about drinking or getting out to the nearest club to get smashed every weekend. In fact, they prefer, at that age to sit and talk and have a glass or two of wine. If only I was that sophisticated at that age.  They are all also VERY serious about not drinking and driving. They have insane laws here if they catch you drinking and driving. Tobi and I drank a beer in the car, thats legal, but if your blood alcohol level gets past a certain point and you get pulled over, prepare to suffer SERIOUS consequences. Whenever we are out drinking, we always decide early who is not drinking and you get the finger pointed at you if you drink more than two beers without water in between. Alcohol free beer is also quite classy here.

I think this may be where all these crazy mixing ideas came from but they mix everything together here and it’s actually quite good! Here’s a few items that I’ve come to love and order on the regular:

Spezi – It’s cola with orange soda mixed. Quite amazing and is my new favorite!

Apfelsaftschorle – Apple juice mixed with carbonated soda water. It’s pretty good, although it’s the closest I can find to apple juice which is my favorite thing in the US. Not too big on the carbonated crap.

Radler – This is a lager beer mixed with lemonade. It’s actually pretty good and a good summer drink.

Gespritzter – Cola mixed with beer. This is seriously SO good. For those of us that want to drink beer and don’t actually prefer the taste, this is amazing. I tried it after a long day at the Christmas markets with Toblerone’s Tante (aunt) and couldn’t get enough! It’s like drinking coke!

Wine – they mix everything from cola to sparkling water or sprite with white wine. It’s pretty good, but not a favorite.

Along with the crazy drinks, there are crazy cakes (we’re talking 12-14 layers people) and amazing family get togethers. I can not let this one go without being mentioned. When you get invited for dinner, you are with the entire family. Everyone crowds around the table, talking, wine, great food served by course rather than all at once. Dinner finishes and dessert is licked off the plate and you don’t move from that point. You sit for another 2 hours or more and talk, tell stories, laugh, get angry, laugh again. It’s a cool set-up. I cherish these moments because this is not a custom in the US.

Spending time with the family is good, however, going to the Spa with them is NOT ok! I have yet to experience this, I’m terrified of seeing Uncle Frank wagging his willy around. Yes, my friends, nudity is accepted…and also co-ed in spas. You sit down for a nice relaxing moment in the sauna and BAM! men and women, all shapes and sizes are flaunting their goods like there is no tomorrow. Maybe I’m a prude, but growing up, this is not a custom we are clearly used to. Toblerone is dying to go to the spa with me every day and I can’t bring myself to go. I’m shakin in my boots to think about the idea of having to see this! Oh these Europeans, they never cease to amaze me…which I thought would be impossible. I’ve done it all, I thought, but oh how naive I truly am!

The Architecure is amazing but not whats inside. I’m sure eventually, I’ll get over my body issues and insecurities and give it a try….blindfolded. This place shown below is amazing. It’s in a town called Bad Aibling near Munich. You can participate in many very interesting attractions such as listening to underwater instrumental music, hot chocolate massage, 20 minute water symphony (a water show) from the comfort of a bean bag, or a scented sauna. How could I not want to make naked friends at this playground? I forgot to mention…it’s CHEAP! It’s just not fair….not fair at all.

More on my first German lesson later. Stay tuned, readers! It was quite interesting! 🙂