UK, here we come!

21 May

That’s right, we’re headed to London for this long weekend! We’re so freakin’ excited! I guess you could say this is our ‘splurge trip’ this go around in that we’re flying instead of driving and that we’re staying 3 nights instead of 2. We’ve wanted to visit England- London, in particular- for forever, but for whatever reason, it just hasn’t worked out…Until now! We got a great deal on some quick flights, so we’ll be there this afternoon in time for dinner. Staying in the heart of the city and with plans to meet up with not one, but two, friends while we’re there! Can. Not. Wait! Tune in Monday for all the deets!

OK, so I realized that I forgot to ‘Keep It Real’ in my last TWO posts, so that means you’re in for a triple treat this morning! Ha! It actually works out well for me as I’ve got plenty this week to fit the bill!

Keeping It Real 1: Back to the bike thing. Remember how I kept it real in this department a few weeks ago? How, for some absolutely bizarre and ridiculous reason, people here will not step out of the way if you’re approaching on a bicycle? Yeah, well, it’s still holding true and it still pisses me off more every single day. Unfortunately, the same is true for cars. If their light is green or your crosswalk signal has even thought about changing to red, they’re going. End of story. The only saving grace is that I’m getting more and more practice on the bike and my skill level is now approaching off-the-chart territory. Or at least a little better than an elementary schooler. Whatevs.

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Me on the bike vs. just about any German

Me on the bike vs. just about any German

Keeping It Real 2: This is one I can’t quite figure out. So, there are lots of food rules here. Like no preservatives, no GMOs, no additives, no artificial colorings, etc. Lots of these ‘we’re super health-conscious’ things. (And yes, I still love all the food rules here just as I mentioned a few weeks back.) But here’s the conundrum. You’re all about being healthy, yet you still smoke more as a population than I’ve ever seen! Short of maybe the Italians- those folks like their tobacco, too. Seriously, Germans smoke while they’re walking down the street, while they’re riding their bicycles (refer back to KIR #1- how do they do it?!), while they’re eating (blech- yep, you’re eating your potato dumpling as you’re simultaneously inhaling 4 clouds of that mess)…It’s just mind-blowing. I just want to ask them if they realize that by not spraying the foods they eat with pesticides but ingesting it directly may not have been completely thought through…

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Keeping It Real 3: And a good one! I actually meant to post this one on Monday after we’d been to two festivals in one weekend and have read about several more coming up. Germans LOVE their festivals and we LOVE them for it! The best part is that they don’t need to wait for a fancy reason to celebrate. Nope, any reason is a good reason!

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Hehehe. That last one cracks me up every time. Anyhoo…We’ve been having another good week here in Wiesbaden- the weather continues to be just the slightest bit chilly of perfect. No complaints from us as long as it’s sunny and not frigid!

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Dinner on Italian Row...

Dinner on Italian Row…

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Turns out that Bavarian Meatloaf is comparable to a huge slab of fried bologna. Good, yes. Meatloaf, no.

Turns out that Bavarian Meatloaf is comparable to a huge slab of fried bologna. Good, yes. Meatloaf, no.

This kind of cream cheese is considered a regional delicacy, so we'd been wanting to try it. Meh. Not our thing.

This kind of cream cheese is considered a regional delicacy, so we’d been wanting to try it. Meh. Not our thing.

We really, really, really like biergartens...

We really, really, really like biergartens…Especially when they have playgrounds!

The highlight of the week was probably our trip to the Opel Zoo on Tuesday. Founded in 1955, Opel is the second largest zoo in the state (the Frankfurt Zoo that we went to a few weeks ago being the largest) and is home to about 1400 animals. It operated as a research reserve for many years and that’s still very apparent. In fact, this is one of the neatest zoos I’ve ever been to. I would almost describe it as a cross between a zoo, a safari reserve and a petting zoo. It’s nestled on a beautiful wooded hillside (wish I’d known this before we went as I totally didn’t plan my shoes accordingly…) with many of the animals roaming free. There are stations throughout the park to purchase feed and fresh produce to feed them as you go. There are several areas where you’re free to go in with the animals, which is always a treat. And as a bonus, Opel had one of the nicest, largest playgrounds I’ve ever seen. Like anywhere. It was awesome and definitely a highlight of my girl’s day 😉

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A huge indoor ball pit with slides, jump platforms...

A huge indoor ball pit with slides, jump platforms…

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Can you spot the castle overlooking the zoo? Complete with the German flag flying high...Neat!

Can you spot the castle overlooking the zoo? Complete with the German flag flying high…Neat!

And yes, the new-to-us Belle princess dress is still the hit of the week. (Thanks again, Heather!) It’s all we can do to get it off for bathing and public outings. Heck, why even fight it unless you have to? Ha!

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Before I go, today marks two years since I last hugged my sweet Max. I just have to acknowledge that. Those of you who know me well know that Max and his sister, Betsy, were my whole world…My first soulmates…My first children…Two of the greatest loves of my life. Their passings were the two most difficult, darkest times I’ve ever known- I was forever changed in those two instances. Not a day goes by that I’m not reminded of my dear Max- of all that he brought to my life, of how incredibly blessed I was to have known such a great love…And while I may not be able to see him anymore or kiss his sweet face or nudge him when he’s snoring so loudly the windows rattle, I know he’s here. He is always here with me. I can’t wait to see him again one day.

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And with that, I’ll part with you for now…No, I’m not trying to end things on a sad note- just gotta keep things real! Neve is super excited to go on the ‘tiny plane’ to London this afternoon. (She was having a hard time distinguishing between the ‘big jets to take us home to South Carolina’ and one that will just take us a couple hours away, so we came up with ‘tiny planes’ and now everything makes perfect sense 🙂 ) Have a great holiday weekend!

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3 Responses to “UK, here we come!”

  1. Eleanor May 22, 2015 at 11:18 PM #

    Sure you are having a wonderful time. Those blue eyes are something else. Gorgeous! Great blog as usual. Have fun!

  2. Robin May 22, 2015 at 5:10 AM #

    Your eyes and Neve’s are exactly the same color in the last picture. Beautiful family picture of the 3 of you. Have a great time in London. Hello to Sandy, Simon and Sabrina from SC.

    • Erin T. May 22, 2015 at 10:05 PM #

      I thought that was pretty neat, too! Something she gets from me 🙂 Enjoying our weekend here- wish you were with us!

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