I’m in Paris. Am I?

Bonjour! Petit Dejeuner with cafe au lait and a croissant on the Champs-Élysées, ehm, I mean on the Vogelsanstrasse in the beautiful West of Stuttgart.

French capital vibes & savoir-vivre in Stuttgart in Covid times.

Saturday morning. A walk in the West of Stuttgart with a baguette in my arms. A little break at the beautiful lake watching the swans.

My „Tour de France“ in Stuttgart.

We all miss traveling. Of course it’s not Paris but I discovered beautiful little corners which made me feel (for 2 hours) being in France. French charme. French vibes. French taste. French spots with Paris-Flair, Gourmet-Baguettes, Tartelettes & beautiful faces of buildings. Très bien!

„Le Tonneau“, „La Boulangerie“, „Chez Ginette“, „Pâtissier“ – more Paris or France is not possible.

Tarte au Citron – out absolute favorite.

Paris is always a good idea!

Au revoir!

At the market.

It’s small. It’s local. It’s fantastic.

Friday is market day (since home office).

It offers anything your (at least my) heart & soul need:

French cheeses sold by a wonderful French lady. It helps to dream (and taste) about France without being able to travel there.

A wannabe Italian (with bright Swabian accent) selling Italian goodies: Buffalo mozzarella bringing my mind immediately back to Italy. And chocolate truffles. Fresh pasta. And he successfully sold me „Italian Obatzda“. We had fun and lots of heart warming laughter. And his stuff is super delicious.

I also enjoy buying vegetables from the local farmers who are fun to talk to. I purchased the last kilogram of local white asparagus (we agreed on a pre-order for next week).

Olives in garlic. And fish: tuna cream. Scallops. Graved salmon… 2 fresh lemons as gift included. Mmmmmm!

Is there anything better than watching people with a coffee to go and a fish roll? Or chatting with the sellers? And finally carrying a big basket with lots of delicious goodies home?

Hello weekend! Dinner plans are made after successful shopping at the market.

On the way home a quick stop at the flower shop: margaritas in pink for the garden.

Happy weekend everyone!

Local experiment.

Get to know where you live. Inspired by a podcast. Set a radius around your home & start discovering. I promise, there’s a lot waiting for you. Latest experiment: Beilstein. 36km from home.

Pulled pork burger.

March 2021: originally a vineyard, now a BBQ drive-in selling amazing tasting burgers & wine.

And that’s how it works:

⁃ Choose any day between Thursday-Sunday

⁃ Get dressed

⁃ Be hungry

⁃ Get in your car

⁃ Choose your favorite burger & wine

⁃ place your order in the BBQ drive-in

⁃ Drive to the pick up station

⁃ Park your car

⁃ Enjoy the food, the wine & the view

⁃ Be happy

⁃ Repeat (the day after. Or the week after)

1st time: eating in the car with hubby.
2nd time: making an outdoor event out of it since we now know how it works.

And that’s the view from the BBQ drive-in parking spot.

Beilstein Castle.

In April: the BBQ drive-in turned into a Swabian “Besen drive-in”. And we are back. Enjoying delicious food & (long time not seen) great company.

Great company.
Chilly but great view.
Once per year for me: classic Swabian food.

We are back in curfew as of last night. The only way to escape: finish work on time, have an early dinner. Why not meeting friends at the parking lot for company. Making the best out of current time.

That’s the good old COVID times.

Cheers to the creativity!

China dejavu

It’s April. And cold. Winter is unexpectedly long this year. Our heating oil empty. And so is our fire wood. All of that noticed too late (awesome project management). The indoor temperature (11C degrees) is sometimes lower than outdoor (today 16C degrees). Even the dog is shivering. Brrrrr!

The options:

Take a walk outside to warm up.

Go to bed and snuggle into the heat blanket (doesn’t work so good with video work meetings. Lol).

Working dressed in winter coat (like in China not too long ago). My (Chinese) boss knew immediately what was wrong (and laughed). Ha!

I enjoyed negotiating oil prices today (passion for negotiating supplier quotes still available. Lol). Quote accepted but delivery only in 2 weeks.

Fishing out cashmere woolly jumpers from China again.

Hubby digging out Chinese heaters again (Chinese plugs not matching German plug socket though). We shared our Chinese sun instead.

Hubby cutting up Christmas tree (will never complain again that he keeps everything). Fire wood for tonight. Yeah!

Charlie not sharing the front seat.

It’s gonna be an early night with heat blanket! Don’t know how we made 3 Shanghai winters like that! Brrrrrrr!

Hang on, new idea: a weekend in the van with diesel heater (made in China).

Hey, at least the outdoor gastronomy had a guest this week. But where’s snowman’s mask?

It starts again.

Water cress

It starts again: seeding tomatoes and feeling like a Queen over the first little green pearls. Sinking deep into the lounge chair and watching the first flowers blooming. Sticking the nose into the first homegrown herbs while making dinner plans. Hello garden, we are ready (after the next forecasted little snow & rain phase).

Tomatoes!
Zucchini & flowers
The winter coat comes and goes.
Cannot decide which one…
Delicious!
Soon…
Me, watching the plants grow.

If hands are tied, you stick them in the soil in your garden. If you cannot meet people, meet your plants! No chance to plan anything since COVID, planting is very satisfying. It gives you a little bit of the missing freedom back. The freedom to plant and and be creative in your garden as you wish. Our garden was already in 2020 our safe haven and it looks like again in 2021.

On the road again

Nothing beats the feeling of freedom when you are on the road.

Bon voyage! One week ago we left towards the north of Germany where friends & family live and Covid numbers are low. We neither had a plan nor expectations. And those are sometimes the best days! We had a fabulous time.

Sunset at the sea.

Every kilometer the country gets flatter and flatter. I love the northern part of Germany. It still feels like a second home.

Home!

Carrot cake. Tiny houses. Coffee & crepe to go. Worpswede strolls (a new favorite next to Pauline: pistachio ice-cream). BBQ. Home made burgers. Walking in the rain. Alpaka on tour. Sleeping in. Thai Massage. Sunshine. Lazy time in the garden. Spring flowers.

Riding a bike. On the road again. (Online) wine & beer tasting. Chillin on the day bed with a beautiful garden view (squirrels included). Cake pops. Niece time. Sister time. Swamp walks (pretty scary in the dark). Egg hunt. Best Pistachio ice-cream ever. Practicing English vocabulary with uncle Scott. Shopping (meet & collect!!!). North Sea. Crabs & Jever. Sunshine! Chilling in the beach chair. Lighthouse. Wind turbines.

Doggie time.

Our niece to Charlie: „I love you so much!“
Every 10 minutes. Repeat for 7 days. So cute.

Girl’s night: Autokino in our camper van. Popcorn included. Charlie also. Fun nights!

Better than cinema! Treats for everyone!

Enjoying vacation, sunshine & Alpakas.

Needs a hair cut, too.

Scenic Picknick. Spring. Sunset.

Making cake pops.
Creativity is all: online wine tasting. Awesome!
Always a good idea!
Happy Easter!

Thanks for having us! We enjoyed a lot. Looking forward to seeing you very soon again!

Apples & the sea.

Another beautiful day. Another day road trip. Today’s goal: driving between the River Weser and River Elbe. First stop „old county“ next to Hamburg. Apple trees everywhere. They will bloom in about 4 weeks. I can just imagine how beautiful this will look.

Passing through „The Kingdom“.

Driving along dunes.

…and wind turbines.

Beach stop.

Another beach stop.

I could stay here forever.

PS: we love you Bulli!

Bye bye

Day trip to the German sea

Sleeping in. Finishing up the cake pop production with the girls. Breakfast. Packing and off we go. On the way to Dorum at the Nordsee.

Arrived.

Weather: amazing. Fish: fresh & amazing. Beer: cold & amazing. Kids: happy.

I love the German Nordsee. Nothing beats a fresh fish role & a Jever beer.

Nap time followed by sunbathing at the sea. Listening to the seagulls. Heavenly.

Lucky us, the sea water was high.

Watt wandern

T-Shirt weather and little sunburn in our faces. Falling into bed tired and happily. Lungs filled with fresh air for a good night sleep. Dreams included.

PS: the north is so beautiful.

Again spoilt with amazing dinner: tonight home made paella.

World press photo 2020.

Environment: Photograph Esther Horvath for The NY Times: ice bear mummy and her kid visiting the Polarstern, the expedition ship in the Antarktika.

Oldenburg. World press photo 2020, a contest existing since 1955. This year presented in the beautiful castle in Oldenburg.

The world press photo foundation supporting the condition to make journalism and storytelling possible, including the freedom of expression, freedom of inquiry, and freedom of the press.

Category Reports. Photographer Alessio Mamo for L‘Espresso. A Russian mum carrying her kid while queuing for the hospital ‚The Annex‘ in the Al-Hol refugee camp in Syria.

The need for images and stories we can trust has never been greater. Stories that matter! 150 stories today.

Category General Need: Photographer Nicolas Asfouri for Agence France-Press. Hongkong Protests in response to government proposal to allow extradition to mainland China.

Beautiful photos but also presenting difficult stories. All stories are accurate and they all matter!

Category Environment: Photographer Noah Berger for associated press. Firefighters battle the Marsh Complex Fire, near the town of Brentwood, California, USA.

This year 4282 photographers from 125 countries entered 73996 photographs to the contest. These visual photos are judged in terms of their accurate, fair, and compelling insights about our world.

Category Environment: Photographer Luca Locatelli for National Geographic. A vertical farming facility in Newark, New Jersey, USA, produces fresh vegetables in a way that uses 5% of the water needed in a field.

Impressive photos and stories. Thanks, journalists, making those stories visible!

Hope this wasn’t the only exhibition to visit this year. Fingers crossed.