The Week in Review

6 Aug

Ah, Friday…It SO doesn’t feel like a Friday in my world.  More like a vacation Friday where all your days have kinda run together and it doesn’t really matter if it’s weekday or weekend.  Only in my case, it means John’s off until 9a Monday morning!  Woohoo!!

So, where did we leave off?  Ah, yes, our arrival and our apartment.  Well, folks, there’s been a whole lotta learnin’ going on since then!  Talk about being outside your comfort zone, this is it!  You know how usually when you travel to foreign lands (at least in our experiences in metropolitan areas of Italy, Spain, Mexico, the islands, etc.), most things (signs, menus, brochures…) are bilingual with one of those languages being English?  And how most people know at least enough English to communicate with you efficiently?  Yeah, so here, not so much…or at all.  Just about nothing is written in English and just about no one speaks one iota of English.  This causes one to perpetually feel ‘lost.’  What a challenge!

As a side note, I was a Spanish major in college.  And while my conversation skills at this point are most definitely ‘rusty,’ I can still understand and speak enough to get by in Spanish-speaking locales.  Reading and writing it is even easier.  And by similar romance language default, I can muster my way around Italy, too.  To put a label on it, I’m one of those ‘language people.’  Or so I thought- this German stuff is a whole new can of worms!  Jeez!

On the flip side, not having things translated means that you have no choice but to translate it, learn it and commit it to memory yourself!  I have one helluva German Phrase Book (Sam, you’re the BEST!) that lives in my purse and a cell phone with the internet for anything not in the book!  Ha!  Just in the last 4 days, I’ve probably learned at least 30 words and 5 grammar rules! Take that, crazy language- you’re mine to conquer over the next 3 months!  One day I’ll have to do a post solely about language…

OK, so on to the more fun stuff!  God must’ve been smiling on Tuesday, my first full day in Stuttgart, because John ended up only having to work for 2 hours, so he got to go exploring with us.  The 4 of us made the trek down the hill- the city sits in a ‘bowl-like’ valley with city center being at the bottom of the bowl- to Schlossplatz, one of the most famous squares in Germany, known for it’s ‘grandeur and spaciousness.’  For those of you Lowcountry folks, it looks so much like Marion Square but 100 times bigger and with majestic, OLD buildings around it.

Schlossplatz

Right now, they're setting up for their annual 'Sommerfest,' thus all the tents 🙂

With Wednesday, came John’s return to work- *sigh*- lots of rain- *sigh*- and much cooler temperatures (not that it hasn’t been a helluva lot cooler than home from Day 1- days around 72ish- but I’m talking a high of 57 today!)- *sigh.*  Mind you, at home, that would’ve meant walking dogs all day long in the rain and cold.  But here, it could mean nothing other than mine and the pups’ first PJ DAY!  That’s right, I threw on my sweats and slippers and, with the exception of several nearby potty and play excursions, the 3 of us milled around the apartment all day long!  We did some LPS work (yes, I’m still running a business from afar), wrote a little on the blog, watched some Hulu (great website to get American TV!)…Good day.  Don’t judge. 🙂

Max and Dulcie always love a good PJ Day.  I think they’re loving it even a little more at the moment with all of these windows. They can easily spend an hour on the couch- sitting, standing, sleeping- all while looking out the window.  Yes, they really do fall asleep while propped up on two legs watching the neighboring balconies!

On high alert...

Guarding both posts...

Asleep on the job...yes, BOTH are actually asleep and snoring! And yes, Dulcie is using Max for a butt pillow.

Which brings us to today…my first solo venture out into the city!  And I must say, I’m so impressed with myself!!  Ha!  First, with trusty Map Book in hand, I navigated not one, but BOTH, train systems- including three changes each way and the city’s largest hub!- to make my way to the other side of the city.

Our train stop…

Oh, that’s my stop!

Stadtmitte Station, headed to Calwer Strasse...

After a quick lunch- yes, I finally found a delicious, organic, lots of veggies cafe!- I walked the shopping district, mostly just taking in the sites.  Whole streets designated for pedestrians only- no cars, no bikes, just LOTS of people and every store- from Dollar General equivalents to Louis Vuitton 🙂

Finally, as I was headed back to the S-Bahn to take me home, I saw a beautiful church in the distance.  Upon further investigation, Score!, it’s open to the public.  Quick pit stop for me.  Even better, an old British lady had just dropped her English-language pamphlet (helpfully provided to her by Best Western Stuttgart) on the ground!  Guess it goes back to the old, ‘One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!’

Well, it turns out there’s a reason that particular church caught my eye…It’s apparently THE landmark of Stuttgart!  Called the Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church), it’s the oldest church in the city, built in 1170 (restored in 1945 after being partly demolished by an air strike at the end of WWII), and it has the tallest spires in the city at 61m (200 ft.)

How would this not catch your eye when you walk out of a shoe store??

The inside was even more grande…

More than 100 noblemen and clergymen (and their wives) are buried here…

Tomb of Count Ulrich I and his wife, Agnes

Well boys and girls, that seems like more than enough for today!  We’re going to start calling it a day- yes, we’re old people who are going to get into our PJs at 9p on a Friday! Don’t judge 🙂 – but our excuse is that we’ve got an early morning tomorrow.  Thomas, Party of 4 is headed north to Heidelberg for the weekend!  ‘Til next time, tschuss (pronounced, ‘shoos’)!  See, told you I was getting the hang of this whole German thing! 😉

One Response to “The Week in Review”

  1. Earline Williams August 6, 2010 at 9:04 PM #

    Pictures are great. Thanks for all the wonderful news.It seems like I am there with you.
    Love Grandma

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