vacation. fall vibes.

Vacation in the middle of corona, wave 2. We had planned to be in the south of France… well, our days off were different than planned but still fabulous. The problem: the week ended just so fast…

Castles, wellness, day trips, getting the garden ready for winter, spa, hiking, massage, trees (cannot get enough of their beautiful color change), motorbiking, home made bread, sauna, BBQing, a passed motorbike test (yeah!), sleeping in, grabbing a coffee and go for another nap, and a lot of Black Forest (my absolute favorite forest in 2020) & cooking. Of course.

Lunch in Tübingen.
Castle Hohenzollern.
Home made.
On top of the trees.
And back down.
Lunch after hiking the top of trees.

Just throw on a jumper and watch the leaves turn to rust… This could keep me occupied forever.

Don’t need anything else…
Love…
Cruising the Black Forest.
Figs with got cheese, it’s the season.
tea time.
Mushrooms in our garden 🙂

We cannot wait for more richly spiced dishes and to take things slow again while creating a cosy home. Beautiful fall.

Home sweet Home.
In love. With fall.

Ducati. Ready. Steady. Go!

Gut Ding will Weile haben // haste makes waste.

Over a year ago it all started (already).

Last year August I chose a motorbike school in our neighborhood and started visiting theory class. I was the oldest between all the 16-year olds (these days you get snickers bars & coke in class. Wow! Spoilt kids. Lol.). Only when the teacher told them I’d do my full motorbike license I was considered „cool“ (and still felt old. Lol). At that point I still was confident to pass my license in 2019…

Over a year ago I purchased my own motorbike (school bike was too big for me). I tried about 30 bikes in the shop… and it came down to 3 which fitted and my feet could touch the ground. Yeah! I love my Ducati Scrambler (in „racing yellow“).

Prachtstück.

I got my bike. I was ready. The District Office wasn’t. It took them 6 months (!) to do my driver license background check (mandatory before you can continue… yes, it’s complicated in Germany…). By that time I already had finished my snickers classes, I mean my theoretical classes.

And then it was January and I was waiting for good warm weather (>10C degrees) to start my mandatory driving lessons.

And then came corona… lockdown (until July)… schools not allowed to give driving lessons. Followed by student jam. All patiently waiting to finalize their class (poor teacher… he got a lot more grey hair since…). I also ended up in the queue. And waited. In summer I could finally start preparing for my theory test. And passed.

By that time the motorbike had been sitting in our garage since one year… Patiently waiting.

Me not so patient anymore. I wanted to ride my own bike (sitting on the back of hubby’s bike is just not as much fun).

And that sound of this machine… teacher loved it. Neighbors loved it. Examiner loved it.

And all of a sudden temperatures dropped. Unexpectedly early. But my teacher and I had a deal: passing and getting me my license this year! I froze my a.. of on the motorway (it’s amazing how many layers you can wear and still be able to move your body…). I practiced in the rain (followed by hot showers). And in fog (the teacher would start every morning lesson with „hey, good news, it’s not snowing!“).

Eventually, I finished all mandatory classes within the last couple of weeks including the most wonderful sun rises at 6:45am (cold but wow). And sunset rides with a moon as huge as the world. Beautiful! I smelt fries & Döner while passing busy roads filled with cars, bikes and people. I lost my teacher on one of the autobahn rides (got told off for that one…). And got told off again by not providing an older lady the chance to pass the zebra crossing (I’m still convinced she didn’t want to pass the road and just chilled… in fact she was too far away from crossing… anyhow. I keep looking out for chilled older ladies since and forever). I truly enjoyed every single training ride. Many thanks to the teacher and his patience.

I made it. Today was the day. The day of the final test. Temperatures got up again to 19C degrees, clouds, no rain – lucky me!

And I passed (hubby said of course you passed… you drove through L.A. before, you can handle Leonberg… I love him). I am so happy. My father happy. Brother happy. Hubby happy. All waiting for the next ride together (mummy not so happy).

I have the biggest smile on my face since 3pm. Hoping for a golden November now.

Earlier this week was probably the last ride on the back of hubby’s bike. But it was wonderful.

Guess what’s next: I need to schedule an appointment at the District Office to pick up my license. Arghhhhhh.

And we both have a dream: touring the USA again… like 4 years ago. Maybe on Indian Scouts.

Germany’s Bella Italia

No hangover from last nights beer tasting (that was good stuff!). Best weather. And, hey, it’s Sunday. The decision was made: a little road trip to Bella Italia, or „Germany’s Tuscany“, as it’s called by its locals.

We are back. Back again on the delicious German wine road. 1800 hours of sunshine making delicious wine! Agreed. We love the area: every little village is a beauty itself. Surrounded by many many vineyards including fruit plantations.

Today: wine tasting at our favorite vineyard. Successful shopping included. Stocked up again for dinner(s) & Christmas (and another potential Corona lockdown… you never know…). Anyhow, we are ready for whatever is next 😉

That’s why we got a bus!

Grapes are harvested and produced into wine. New wine.

And another reason for coming: Fall has arrived. Also in the vineyards. Beautiful!

We had a lovely trip. Now enjoying a glass of wine on the sofa. Happy Sunday!

Fall impressions

First fall impressions.

Maybe the last outdoor beer in 2020.
First leaves kiss the ground.
The best part about fall: a cozy home.
Neighbors pears.
Fall in the kitchen & the pots.
Time for cabbages again. One of many reasons why I love the cold season.
Yes! Sometimes it has to be traditional Swabian food.
Good dinner needs good deco!
What’s for dinner? I’m starving!
Raclette season is open!
Sweet surprise from our sweet neighbors.
Nature is beautiful. Always. But especially these days.

I love fall!

Oktoberfest

2020, the year in which everything is a little different. And sometimes we just can’t make it Munich. But that didn’t stop us from throwing a mini Oktoberfest. Corona friendly, of course.

Our at-home Oktoberfest wasn’t anywhere near the size of the original in Munich (I hear eight guests are easier to cook for than 7 million anyway…). We are not in Munich but in Hemmingen.

It’s not a tent at the Theresienwiese but our living room. We do not have a giant Ferris wheel and Alpine views in our backyard, hordes of strangers streaming in and out of your front door, or horse-drawn beer carriages parked in your driveway (luckily). And the biggest advantage: no queuing to enter this years party location. Or the restroom. Or the beer bar queue! And nobody has to pee in the garden. Lol.

We had delicious Oktoberfest beer.

Not only our guests dressed in beautiful traditional outfits.

We even had Lebkuchen Herzerl! Super cute.

And the coolest (and youngest) dude at the party:

Lausbub! Definitely. Super cute.

We definitely had the best guests.

At Oktoberfest in Munich, 500,000 roast chickens, 124 giant oxen, and about a gazillion pretzels are served each year…

Seasoned & beer inside: chicken dance without social distancing.
Something for everyone…

Our dinner was just as fabulous & traditional Bavarian: obatzda served on home baked sourdough bread, Haxn, Hendel & salads. And Brezn, of course.

Our menu

And desserts are all about apples:

O’zapft is!

Country hopping

Hello weekend!

The first of many long weekends until end of the year. Yeah! (you have to see the positive side, even in crisis time. I think we are getting very good at that…). And: all kids are back to school, the parents back to work. Yes! Time to finally travel south and explore the gorgeous Lake Constance. Van life with Charlie, of course!

270km of sparkling shoreline dotted with vineyards & the most charming towns. That’s Lake Constance – shared by Germany, Austria & Switzerland.

Sparkles. Everywhere.

And that’s the famous lake: huge, beautiful, shiny. Enjoying the spectacular views while having lunch.

A visit wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Zeppelin.

Lake activities.

It’s harvest time: apples, pears, plums and hops. And soon pumpkin to follow. Yam!

Yam!

Hops & villages called “beer cellar” – only in Germany.

The sun is setting down. Wow! That view… stunning. A wonderful day is ending.

Sleeping between apples & hops. Listening to the owl not far away. Wonderful & peaceful.

There aren’t many places in the world where you can visit four countries in one trip without traveling farther than a few dozen miles. One weekend: four cultures, four languages (kind of and definitely for hubby. Lol.), four different cuisines. No borders (even in corona times). Sounds fabulous! Let’s do it.

Good morning, Lindau!

First cappuccino at the market stand with fresh goat milk, followed by a second one in a beautiful side street cafe. That’s Lindau, charming with beautiful alp views.

Crossing borders all the way up to the top of the Pfaender in Austria. You need strong nerves for driving up (and later back down). But once up: hiking, catching the most beautiful sunshine on 1064m & enjoying delicious lunch. It’s a perfect Saturday with spectacular views over the Swiss Alps and Lake Constance. Stunning!

Spinat Knödel. Delicious.
Apfelstrudel.
View to Lindau.

Cruising on to the world’s sixth smallest country: Liechtenstein. Ever heard of the smallest country on this continent (we even had to google the currency & language…)? With just 37,000 residents and only 24km from end to end, this country is full of quirks and absolutely not full of tourists which makes the place even more endearing. Liechtenstein is also were half a liter of beer is called “Kübel” and where cows are walking on the main roads.

Is there any better reason to wait…

And the beer tastes best with a great view 1500m above sea level. Surrounded by cows again. Very peaceful. We spontaneously decided to stay here over night. Best choice.

Beautiful curvy roads.

Good morning, Liechtenstein!

Cruising on to Switzerland, finishing our trip around Lake Constance. We are passing the German speaking part in Switzerland where sparkling water is called “loud”.

Breakfast in St. Gallen.

“Chocolate is the answer to everything, no matter what the question is”. Oh yes, and that’s (one of many reasons) why we love (and stop) in Switzerland. All it needed was a charming waiter and ladies next table convincing hubby to dive into that chocolate mousse (he shared one bite with me… it tasted heavenly).

We had another fantastic van trip. And I have to admit we both fell in love with the tiny but gorgeous country Liechtenstein. Those beautiful curvy country roads! Ohh, I just can’t explain how beautiful it is! You need to see this place with your own eyes!

We were warned by friends: if we manage to cram all of this into a few days, we may just need another vacation to see more (or recover from the beauty) – oh it’s a hard life!

This weekend fed again our wanderlusting soul. Europe is beautiful!

…the next long weekend is coming up soon…

PS: 2nd battery was keeping up this time! Well done!

Chilling & Chili

After tomatoes there is chilies. And the combination of both is the best.

Someone taking good care of them: Charlie is chilling next to the chilies 🙂

The combination & new favorite dish – OMG soooooo good!

Home made tomatoe sauce with fresh chili and basil from the garden.

And sometimes it has to be berries from the garden.

Yam!

Love our garden & harvesting!