I Blinked…

22 May

…and time zoomed past me! You know it’s a good sign when you haven’t posted anything in a week- it usually means that you’ve been busy! And busy we have been! My mom was only here for 12 days this time, which meant that we had alot to fit into a short amount of time! But y’all, it was the best two weeks. Seriously. We had the best time doing a whole lotta nothin’ and there couldn’t have been anything more perfect for my soul. Needless to say, I’ve been in a bit of a funk since she left yesterday, so what better time to sit down and look through pictures- and share our memories with all of you!

So, we decided before she even got here that we didn’t want any big plans during the two weeks. I wanted the company and she wanted to be part of our everyday life, so those were our goals. We walked Neve to and from school, we cooked dinners, we walked (a TON), we shopped (yes, for both groceries and clothes 😉 ) and we played tourists a bit here in Stuttgart. I kid you not- it was just like having a vacation, but with all the good stuff (relaxation, fun, doing new things) and none of the bad (packing, traveling, spending all your money!) Ha! I totally recommend it! ❤

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An old shot, but you can see the TV Tower from our yard- that’s it jutting into the clouds at the end of the crane arm.

When we lived here for a minute back in 2010, I’d done my own little excursion to Stuttgart’s landmark, the Fernsehturm, aka the TV Tower. It’s visible from just about everywhere in the city and is in every skyline photo you’ll ever see. Well, apparently they closed it back in 2012 for a three-year-long renovation and it just reopened a few months ago. Neve absolutely loves it (she tells folks we live right next to it, although we’re actually about 10 miles away at least, but yes, it feels pretty close when you look out of our windows- see pic above!), so I knew I needed to time my next visit so she could go with me. And what d’ya know, she had a day out of school while Mom was here, so it was the perfect day to visit!

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Pretty neat to see our building from that far away!

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We were boneheads, though, and didn’t factor in elevation and wind when we chose not to take our jackets to the top! BURR!

Remember how I was just writing about how neat it was celebrating two birthdays (mine and John’s brother, Mark’s) in less than a week? Well now we got to have our third one in about a month! What better place for Mom to ring in 39 than Germany, right?! Look at this Birthday Girl, complete with a Dunkelweissen and Veal Saltimbucco! Then back to the house for my latest healthy, vegan creation, Pineapple Dream Pie 🙂

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Another thing that I’ve been wanting to do since we got here was a tour of downtown Stuttgart. Y’all can probably tell by now that I’m a closet history buff, that I love the stories that places tell, and that I spend alot of time researching stuff just for shits and giggles. 😉 And that’s definitely been the case here, but there’s only so much I can teach myself- and only so much German I can translate! Ha! Well, a few weeks ago, I came across a walking tour…that happens to be given by an American! Sarah is a fellow history buff originally from California, but has been here since early 2011 with her husband who is a civilian engineer just like John. She offers private and group tours, either for downtown, a few of the suburbs and the surrounding wine vineyards. Mom and I had the best walking tour with her, learning all kinds of neat facts about the city, its history, its buildings, etc…Awesome!

For starters, Stuttgart is actually one of the younger cities in Germany and it wasn’t until a few hundred years ago that it grew to be a significant player whatsoever in terms of power, economy, etc. In the beginning, it was nothing more than a walled farming town. Specifically, it had a booming horse breeding market, thus it’s name which translates to ‘Stud Farm.’ Neat, right?

Stiftskirche

Stiftskirche- the first church in Stuttgart. It was completely destroyed during WWII and rebuilt in 1955. The outside was done to match the original. Today it’s a Lutheran church with a large, active congregation.

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The inside was done in a very modern style. The organ is known as one of the best in the world. It was installed in 2006.

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The building to the right of the church is the Fruchtkasten (Fruit Box), one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city, first mentioned in 1393. It was used to store and process grapes for wine- wooden ramps were put from the ground to the arched windows to roll barrels. Stuttgart is one of the only cities in Germany to drink more wine than beer. In fact, wine used to be in such abundance that this building used it in the mortar instead of water! 

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The famous Paternoster, the never-ending and never-stopping elevator, in Stuttgart’s Rathaus (Town Hall). These used to be very common- until people realized how dangerous they can be! They were banned decades ago, but the citizens came together and filed to get this one registered as a national landmark. And here it is. The right side goes down, the left side up, and the whole thing is in constant circular motion, so you just hop on and off whenever you need to. And yes, we rode it 😉

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There’s more to this square than what meets the eye. Below the cobblestones is an old WWII military bunker. After the war, many people lived in these bunkers temporarily as they rebuilt their destroyed homes. After this period, the bunker was turned into The Bunker Hotel and operated as such, with 100 beds, until 1985 when it became structurally unsafe. Today, the city offers one night a year, The Long Night of Museums, where visitors can go into the hotel that is still decorated in its 1970s splendor, letting time do its thing…And yes, we will most definitely be on one of those tours before we leave here!

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The old jail, built into the outer city wall. Today, a fancy restaurant.

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Probably my favorite thing learned on the tour. These are bronze plaques embedded in the sidewalk. We walk by them- over them- all the time. They’re all over the city. But we never knew their significance. In the 1960s, there was an artist who discovered that the house he was living in was previously the home of a Jewish couple who had been taken violently in the night to a concentration camp. He hated that he had never known that and thought that other people may feel the same way. So he set out on what would be his lifetime’s project- locating these houses all over the city and creating plaques of acknowledgement. Each plaque has the names of the people who lived in the homes, along with the date they were deported, to which concentration camps they were sent, and the dates they were murdered. So for example, the house we were standing in front of belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Leiter. They were taken in 1942 to Theresienstadt Camp and were murdered in the camp on September 29, 1942. The artist chose to put the plaques on the ground (as opposed to on the houses) because he felt that people would have to bow their heads to read them, a sign of respect. Foot traffic also helps to keep them polished. Since it began over 50 years ago, artists all over Europe have continued the project and today, there are hundreds of thousands of plaques all over Europe.

So yeah, even though we didn’t go anywhere or do anything particularly snazzy, we definitely stayed oh-so-busy and we definitely had a fabulous time. The only bummer was how quickly the time passed- and I’m talking like ‘blink and it’s gone’ time passing. *Tear* But that’s the thing about good times and good people and good memories- that’s how you know they’re the best- because you’re so busy living and loving that you don’t have time to will time to slow down. You just savor and basque and smile. Yep, I’ll take it. ❤

Feel free to stop back by tomorrow for a lovely little Weekend Mash-Up as we have had the BEST weather and have once again, taken full advantage. Of course.

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3 Responses to “I Blinked…”

  1. Georgia May 24, 2016 at 1:20 AM #

    Great fun time

  2. Eleanor May 23, 2016 at 1:23 PM #

    I knew this visit from your Mom would be very special in each and every way! Cherish all the memories. Love you. See you in June! Yea!!!

  3. Robin May 22, 2016 at 8:30 PM #

    I had the BEST time visiting with Erin, John and Neve. It really just renewed my soul. As Erin said, we made no special plans but every moment was SO special. I will cherish these last 2 weeks forever.

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