Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Vol. 143

Wednesday Hodgepodge-Volume 143

Here are the questions to this week's Hodgepodge by our lovely hostess, Joyce, and my answers. To take part in Wednesday Hodgepodge, click on the picture below for more info.

1. What's one thing that's still the same about you as when you were young?

Lots of things. I still like animals. Enjoying learning new things. Like to write. Enjoy time with friends. Love my mommy and daddy. Am a night-owl. Some things never change.

2. What's more important--history or science? Why?

To me, this is like most comparative questions. Why does one have to be more important than the other? It's like asking if mental/emotional health is more important than physical health, or if a mother is more important than a father, or if food is more important than beverages. BOTH are equally important in life. Don't make me choose!

3. Lima, kidney, string, garbanzo, black or pinto-your favorite bean?

I like beans. Limas are my least favorite and, honestly, I only eat them when I must. I think it is a toss up between kidney beans (nothing like a nice spicy chili with beans) or garbanzo beans (they're so versatile).

4. What's something people come to your town to do?

HA! This is a silly question. Why anyone would come to this cow town? Hmmm...we have a population of approximately 500 people, one street light, one restaurant (though it is a kick-ass, real Italian establishment with awesome food), a small plumbing business and a local electrician. Our only point of interest for "outsiders" (other than the formerly-mentioned restaurant) is our old, historic oil mill. There is a mini-museum inside. It is open to the public once a month, sometimes more often in summer months. Here is a photo I took of it last year.

5. When was the last time you were in a meeting? Sum it up for us in five words or less. 

Last night. Parent-teacher meeting.

6. What special event would you like a VIP pass to attend?

Gosh! I had no idea. If the opportunity presented itself, I would be more than happy to sit down with a few writers and pick their brains. Also, a few singers/musicians would be interesting subjects to spend time with. Political figures as well. But an organized event that I absolutely wouldn't want to miss? My mind is blank at the moment. Need. More. Coffee.

7. What's one piece of advice you'd give a writer?

Write because you love to write. Plain and simple. (Yes, I know this is not very original but it is the best reason to write, isn't it?)

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

This week we ate one of the first jalapeƱos from our garden. A bit mild. We were disappointed. I also used some of our kale to make kale chips for the first time. We all thought they were tasty.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Snippets

I keep wanting to join in on Friday Fragments but never seem to be online on a Friday. So today I am creating the Sunday equivalent...Sunday Snippets. I'll be telling you just a snippet of what has been going on the past two weeks.

Last week school started. Katarina wasn't too thrilled about that.

On the Friday after school began, we went on our annual motorcycle trip with the Dorfgemeinschaft (a group that organizes town events and activities for its memebers). It rained that day (maybe because it was Friday the 13th?) However, the weather on Saturday and Sunday was better.  We went to Koenigsee. It took almost 4 hours for those of us who took the most direct routes, much longer for those who travelled the scenic route). I'll be posting about that later but for now here is one photo from that weekend.

This Friday we went to a company grill party complete with big smoker and a bar. There were tasty ribs, pulled pork, slabs of perfectly grilled beef (red in the middle, the way I like), and shrimp skewers. A lot of work went into it because all marinades and sauces were from scratch. The men did a great job. There were also a variety of salads, breads, desserts. 

On Saturday we were with members of our town group again (our Dorfgemeinschaft) for our annual bus trip. This year we visited Strasbourg, France which is only about a two to two-and-a-half hour drive for us. The weather was perfect. Again, more on that later but for now....a photo.

Today our Dorfgemeinschaft played in the annual soccer tournament. Despite being low on players this year, we managed to hold on to our second year title. Hurray!

Also, today is an important day in Germany. It is election day. We'll have to wait and see if Merkel will remain in office or if we will have a new leader (but I have a feeling she is going to win.)

That's the past two weeks in a nut shell (or in snippets). More to come later.

* * * * * * *

UPDATE: As expected, Merkel won.

Also, since I wrote about my weekend travels of varying lengths I ask this question of you:

What is the furthest you've driven for a weekend trip?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

TAOS Skybar - Schorndorf

On Monday my girl goes back to school. I don't think she is looking forward to it. Really. After 8 weeks of "freedom", what teenager wants to return to school? They might want to see friends who were away most of the summer, but other than that, none of them are eager to get back to the books, classes, tests, and the resulting decrease in free time. But so it goes.

To make the countdown to doomsday a bit more enjoyable, we spent last week in Vienna, Austria. I've got much to say about that and will have several upcoming posts covering our visit there. Right now I want to tell you what we did this evening. 

 In April a new place opened in Schorndorf. It's called the TAOS Skybar. High above the clay tile roofs of the city, you can enjoy cocktails and/or a bite to eat while enjoying a fabulous view. Unfortunately, they only take reservations for groups of 10 or more, so we got there right at opening (5 PM).  We took the glass elavator to the 9th floor.

Upon entering, the first thing you see is the massive bar which is fully-stocked for any drink you desire. The room is very cozy and modern, with cushy divans, artsy wooded tables and glass. I really wish I had taken a photo of this room but I didn't. I'll post a link to their online photo gallery at the end and if you are curious, you can take a peek.

We decided to sit outside, so we walked up the stairs to the tenth floor where there is another room that leads to the balcony.

From the glass balcony, you can see over the town square.

You can sit in high chairs facing the glass walls.

Or you can sit in the cushy chairs with wood chunk tables. We chose to sit in the front right corner facing the town square (shown in earlier photo) with a view of the Marktplatz, city hall, and other various points of interest.

Stefan ordered a dry martini and since it was a beautiful summer day, I decided to drink a Hugo. So refreshing. Katarina won't be old enough for alcohol until next year, so she ordered a peach ice tea.

Then we ordered FOOD!

Vietnamese spring rolls with soy sauce and spicy sauce for dipping 

fresh steak tartar

and a pile of grilled shrimp with aioli and another sauce
for dipping


the assorted cheese platter with a bread basket.

A few more drinks.


Decided to skip dessert.

Of course, there was also a bit of people watching from up above. This group of men was interesting. It's not every day you see a bunch of masked characters walking the streets at night in Lederhosen.

Yeah, okay. So I actually added those masks to the pictures. A girl's gotta have some fun, right? The original photo was nice, but this one is so much more interesting.  Don't you think?

Katarina thought it was pretty cool when an old plane flew by.

I'm not much of a person for old planes. I like other flying things, like dragonflies and birds. So when a bunch of swallows starting swooping in circles right above us, I got a kick out of it. They seemed to be enjoying the weather and the wonder of their wings. I spent too much time watching them and only got a really bad shot of one swallow. Blurry. And tiny. And it sort of looks like the photo of the plane. Oh, well. It was fun watching them.

Afterwards we took a stroll through town.

It was a nice evening. We plan on going there again some time.

If you would like to see more photos from the TAOS Skybar in Schorndorf, CLICK HERE to visit their photo gallery.