Tag Archives: schlossplatz

Spring in Stuttgart

4 Apr

Hello again! I go from MIA for nearly a month to twice in a matter of days! Sheesh. I’m sorry about that. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve got something big in the pipeline- a project that’s been taking up a good bit of my time and that I’m really excited to share with all of you in the very near future. *And before some of you start jumping to (crazy) conclusions, nope, I’m definitely not pregnant, nor adding any living creature to the family 😉 But in all seriousness, it is a venture that I’m pretty damn pumped about and that I’m feeling so, so good about. I promise to share more in the coming weeks!

That being said, let’s consider this a photo dump post because we haven’t had one in a really long time! March was a really busy month around here- you already saw the Retro Classics Car Show and that we had Uncle Andy here to join us for the Bunkerhotel– but we also spent a heckuva lotta time welcoming spring, hanging out with friends, welcoming biergarten season back (hallelujah!), exploring new (to us) haunts in our city, etc.

So in completely random order, I present to you the, ‘Thomas Family Month in Pictures…’ (*warning: it’s alot, like alot alot. 😉 )

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New pants, vintage boots ❤

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The 70s called- they want their look back. Never.

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You know a carwash is the bomb.com when you have to take a picture.

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Thumbs up for new house shoes at school!

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One pup took the other pup’s treat. Can you guess which is which? Ha!

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Afterschool Tea Parties ❤

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When you’re still in a funk from yesterday, but you have to walk the city…1. Ear buds in so no one will talk to you – > No explaining that you don’t speak German. 2. Sunglasses on so no eye contact. 3. Ball cap on to erase any doubt that you’re American. Ha!

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(German) Breakfast of Champions

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Tulip Trees are my favorites ❤ (And Redbuds…)

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Sunrise from my side of the bed…

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Nothing better than homemade frozen yogurt pops after school!

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Slumber Parties ❤

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When you don’t know if it’s because you just got out of school for the day, or if it’s that it’s finally feeling like spring, or if it’s that the sun is out for the fourth (!) day in a row…You’re just…THANKFUL.

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Saturday morning farmers market ❤

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When you see one of these in your mailbox, it’s a great day. When you see 5…It’s like freakin’ Christmas! Bring on the packages!

Sunday afternoon at the Stuttgart Planetarium. Neve’s first such experience- she LOVED it.

Another Sunday afternoon at the local biergarten with friends…

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Pretty impressed with myself for creating this Stuttgart skyline…

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Beauty and the Beast in 3D ❤

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She loved this outfit she picked all by herself ❤

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Stuttgart Opera House

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New Palace

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Whew! I warned you it was alot! Ha! Thanks for sticking it out with me. I promise I’m going to try to do better this month. For now, I’m going to try to contain my excitement as my mom gets here in 36 hours!! Total last minute surprise trip just in time for my birthday this weekend (and Easter the following) and I simply can’t think of a better gift than having her here. In many ways, it’s been a very challenging season for my whole family (will elaborate on that in due time…), so having her here for just a couple weeks is a really good thing for me…and for her. Can. Not. Wait. ❤

Monday Mash-Up

8 Aug

You know it was a good weekend when you have so much to share on a Monday morning! Ha! We really did have a good weekend, with some great pictures to prove it, if I do say so myself 😉

To start things off, it was Sommerfest weekend- four straight days and nights of food, drinks, live music and just all around FUN- all at Schlossplatz, Stuttgart’s main square, just a few blocks from our house. No better place to meet up with friends for Friday Night Dinner if you ask me!

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Those clouds look pretty ominous, right?! They’re actually why we missed opening night on Thursday because it was raining so hard, but we just went prepared with umbrellas and rain jackets this time…And wouldn’t you know it…The clouds parted!

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These balloons were the coolest things ever! I’m not even kidding. We were just sitting there gabbing with friends on our blanket when right behind us, these things start inflating. WOW. So neat to watch!

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Saturday night, we found ourselves running errands in one our favorite suburbs, Boeblingen, which has the cutest little Alstadt (Old Town). One of the best things about living here is just being able to walk everywhere- so after dinner (where they gave us the most delicious fresh watermelon and (not so delicious) uzo with our bill!), we did just that. And it was lovely.

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And then came yesterday, always our Sunday Funday. The weather was absolutely perfect, the countryside was calling our names and we just had to answer. Our initial goal was to take the pups out for a good run and stretch. Y’all know from lots of my previous posts just how easy that is here- drive 10 minutes out of the city in any direction and you’ll find yourself smack dab in the middle of nature…Rolling green hills, fields tilled for planting, forests straight out of a fairytale…Well, one thing that’s super common here are roadside fields of whatever’s in season- berries, pumpkins, flowers…- with a small box for you to pay for whatever you pick. Yep, all on the honor system. Only in Germany 😉 Well, it’s sunflower and lily season and we just couldn’t help ourselves!

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‘Kasse’ essentially means ‘pay here.’ As far as you can see, little fields one after another of different kinds of flowers- just take your pick! Literally!

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Yep, she brought her magnifying glass to inspect for bugs ❤

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Little Miss Attitude 😉

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And just so you see what we ended up with…Oh if only one of us was a florist- or had even the slightest bit of flower arranging skill! Ha!

By the time we finished picking flowers, it was lunch time and John remembered this biergarten, Barenschloss, out in the woods that he passes when he rides his bike to work. So we found the highway nearby, parked the car, and starting hiking…All the while, him ‘hoping this is the way.’ Ummmm….? (And yep, I deserve a gold star in the mom department for thinking ahead and knowing she wouldn’t want to be in that dress all day!) It turned out to be the PRETTIEST wooded hike right alongside the most peaceful lake. And about a mile down the path? Yep, Barenschloss. And about 500 people laying on their blankets, throwing a frisbee, playing catch with their pups! Ha! PERFECT Sunday lunch ❤

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Popsicles with friends 🙂 (Does this log carving look like Falcor to anyone else?!)

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Sorry for all the pictures, but…We were just so many pretty picture-worthy places over the last few days! All three of us absolutely love getting to experience new things and find new places to explore. And when that happens to line up with some awesome weather, HELL. YES. 😉 (Btw, I’m ignoring the fact that the forecast is calling for rain and highs in the 60s for the rest of this week.)

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And now on a crummy note since I know alot of you are following along through me (thanks to everyone who has reached out in support!)…My dad is en route back here to Stuttgart as we speak. He so enjoyed getting to see Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, last week and really gave the hiking of El Camino his absolute best effort. But some things- and some partnerships- just aren’t meant to be. From the moment my dad and his cousin, Bill, connected in Portugal last Wednesday, it became apparent that their personalities, their ways of doing things, their goals, their values, their core principles…are just very…different. My dad is the most caring, kind, generous man you’ll meet. He’s honest to a fault and he’s so wise. And he’s fun! He would do anything for anyone, give away his last dollar to someone who had less. But sometimes, folks just can’t see how lucky they are to have such a person by their side- how blessed they are to have such a person along on an adventure of a lifetime. And sometimes, that person just reaches his limit and calls it a day. (Remember that whole wisdom thing I mentioned?) We’re all SO proud of Dad for jumping into such an adventure feet first and giving it his all every (literal) step of the way. He is a rockstar. And John, Neve and I are beyond pumped to have that rockstar here with us for the next little bit. ❤

 

It’s August, Y’all!

3 Aug

Does anyone else feel like it was JUST Christmas?! It’s so strange because in alot of ways, yes, Christmas feels like eons ago and ALOT of awesome adventures have been had since then, but in other ways, I just can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that summer is just about over- it just got here, dammit! But the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s because spring lasted an infinitely long time here (we were still in jackets the week before we headed to the States in June!) and because I know from last year’s experience that we never even got to unpack our shorts when we arrived here the third week of August. (Yep, our official One Year Anniversary is almost here!) In other words, I don’t think Germans can fully appreciate the meaning of the season! Ha! John’s been joking lately that he’s so ready for fall and crisp air and pumpkin everything and chili. I just look at him with disdain and tell him to shut his mouth. ❤

Anyhoo, just wanted to share some pictures from the last couple weeks as we’ve really settled back in here at home. Back to the farmer’s markets, taking the train instead of the car, evening walks for ice cream, dinners with our tribe…All the good ❤

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When you get home from a month away and crave the two best parts of German cuisine- sausages and fresh produce! Ha!

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When she picked out this dress, she told me, ‘Most of the kids at school here don’t wear stuff like this. But I can…because I’m from Charleston. And they would like Charleston.’ Yes, they sure would, sugar. ❤

 

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One night talking about our time in London led to the next night’s homemade British delicacies!

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After-dinner ice creams at Schlossgarten…

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Ringing in August 1…with a jacket. Yay.

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Celebrating 12 years of wedding bliss with a long overdue date night ❤

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And last but not least, we’ve had the best last 24 hours! My dad got here yesterday morning as a quick stopover on his way to Portugal to hike the famous El Camino trail. What an amazing adventure, right?! It doesn’t matter if it’s been 6 months or 3 weeks, reunions are always…

I mentioned all of this a while back, but in case we’ve got any newbies…My dad’s cousin, Bill, spent 10 months last year hiking the Appalachian Trail- solo. (I know, WOW.) When he came to Charleston in June for our BBQ, they got to talking about his next hike- in Europe- and the rest is history. El Camino starts in Lisbon, Portugal and heads north through Porto (yep, the same two cities we visited this past May, so feel free to look back at those posts!), then across the northern coast of Spain, and north again through the Pyrenees Mountains and southern France to Paris.

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Bill will hike the entire trail over the course of several months. Dad will hike until he’s ready to come back here to Stuttgart- probably 6ish weeks- or in time for Oktoberfest, whichever comes first! Heehee! He and my mom were coming all along for the Fest, so it worked out just perfectly. See how the Universe does that? 😉 My mom will meet him here next month, and then a few weeks later, Andy will be joining us as well. The WHOLE gang together again for the first time well over a year. YES. ❤

Dropping him at the airport this morning- exactly 24 hours from when I picked him up- was bittersweet. His time here was short, but it was full of all the good stuff and I think I speak for all 4 of us when I say that we didn’t want it to end…

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Dinner at the biergarten…

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But on the flip side, I know he’s going to have such a wonderful adventure with so many stories to tell when he’s through. I’m so proud of him- our whole family is so proud of him- for taking on this challenge doing it with gusto. A few years ago, he did the Race to Bermuda on a sailboat full of strangers (who came back friends) and here he is setting out to hike hundreds of miles with nothing but what he can carry. That’s my dad, y’all. ❤ We can’t wait to have him back here sometime next month to hear all about it! In the meantime, Bill has a blog that he intends to update along their way, so if you’d like to follow along, head over to MyATGuide.com. I’m sure I’ll be updating here a bit, too, but straight from the horse’s mouth seems like more fun 😉 Good luck, Dad! We love you!thumb_IMG_0516_1024

Summer is (Practically) Here!

9 Jun

Is it the weekend yet, y’all? This week is dragging some serious…Well, let’s just say I’ve been asking that same question since Monday! Ha! I think it’s because I’m in full on Countdown Mode getting ready to go HOME in less than 2 weeks! Oh my God, I can’t wait. For so many reasons. But that’s not what this post about. We’ve had some lovely weather here over the last couple weeks and I just wanted to share some pictures with you of some of our fun times. Y’all know me- keeping it real with our everyday life in between our bigger adventures 🙂

First of all, a little celebration for SUMMER!

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So back to our (mostly) awesome weather…Neve had a day out of school, so that meant we had an extra day to explore a new (to us) park that we’ve been wanting to check out since we moved here! And we got to take our friends with us 😉 The Killesberg Park is a huge urban park (smack dab in downtown Stuttgart!) that covers about 125 acres. Once a rock quarry, it was transformed in 1939 into a hosting space for a huge horticulture event and has remained as such ever since. Today, there’s still the most gorgeous flora and fauna, along with ponds, wildlife (including a petting zoo), observation towers (you can see the main one in the background of that top pic) and ginormous playgrounds. It is AH-MAZING.

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No, that’s not a real tortoise. Duh. 😉

We’ve also been taking full advantage of the biergartens and eating outside as often as we can. I think Neve lives for Friday night meet-ups with friends! Ha! And in addition to the weather, not sure if I’ve talked about it on here before or not, but Germany has ridiculously long days with the sun rising around 5a and not setting until at least 10p. I’m not kidding- you could easily read a book outside until at least 930p! So while that’s not always helpful when it comes to winding down and going to bed, it’s super awesome when you have time after dinners to walk, to get ice cream, to sit in the park and to play ❤

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What do you do when you haven’t seen your bestie in over a week?

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We sure are raising up some awesome- and beautiful- girls. Ellie is 20 months, Neve is 4 1/2, and Emmie is 6 1/2. ❤

So as you can tell, we’re basking in this glimpse we’re getting of the summer ahead. In all honesty, though, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, ‘screw it, I’m going to the SC Lowcountry in a matter of days where the weather really got the memo that it’s June and time for stifling heat and humidity!’ I may not ever have on more than two articles of clothing at any given time I’m there!  Ha! But for now, it really is nice sleeping with our windows open, meandering through the parks and not bundling up to walk to school in the mornings!

We have a buddy coming into town tomorrow just for the night and to hang out on Saturday. Matt and John work together in Charleston (and we’ve all traveled together multiple times over the years) and Matt is on travel this week and next working a few hours north of here. It’ll be so good to catch up with him and show him a bit of Stuttgart- John is really excited as he has so missed his work gang. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Weekend Mash-Up

23 May

Happy Monday, y’all! After looking at the forecast, I purposefully saved this post until today for the total irony of it all. The weather here on Friday, Saturday and Sunday was to die for. And we were outside just about every single hour possible on those days, welcoming Spring (er, isn’t it technically almost summer??)…for the third time this year. Jeez. As I type this, it’s pouring down rain so hard that I can barely see the TV Tower that I wrote about yesterday and it’s a frigid 53*F, two degrees colder than when I walked Neve to school earlier this morning. Yeah. FML.

What better time to reminisce about warmer, sunnier times, right? Yep, join me as I reminisce all the way back to this past weekend, when we ate every single meal outside, when John and I had our first date night (to the oldest restaurant in Stuttgart, btw) in months, when we strolled through the farmers markets, when we loaded up the pups and headed out to the country side to feel the cool grass beneath our feet and the sunbeams on our faces…

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Showing off her toy store find (Princess Elsa) that she bought with her own piggy bank money…

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Oldest restaurant in the city…

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Not sure how I’d get through my Sunday ride without her enthusiastic support… 😉

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Searching for the missing tennis ball…Coincidentally, in the distance on the left, you can see the TV Tower. I told you it’s pretty visible from wherever you are! Ha!

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And now here’s the silver lining for this crummy weather that moved in here since some of these were taken just yesterday: Friday we are beach-bound and headed for Portugal for 6 days! It’ll be our first time in the country and it’s one that’s been on our Bucket List for forever, so to say we’re excited is an understatement! Months ago, we decided to combine Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day all into one big Portuguese celebration. We’re staying right on the beach outside of Lisbon, so hopefully it’ll be the perfect spot to do some sand lounging (pray for good weather, please!) and some city seeing. And hopefully that means that some pretty pictures- and fun blog posts- are pretty much a given 🙂  Stay tuned!

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Spring has Sprung!

4 Apr

And yep, we’ve been doing the happy dance for days! Last Wednesday was the first day since September that we had sunshine AND temps in the mid-60s. I even texted my good Michigan friend, Sue, as I was walking to pick up Neve that afternoon that I must be acclimating because I only had on short sleeves and felt great! At home, I’m usually the one in a jacket until we at least hit 80! Ha!

So yeah, our whole weekend was about getting outside, breathing the fresh air, letting the sun hit our faces and the scents of spring wafting through our open windows. *HEAVENLY*

We kicked off the weekend at the Paulaner Biergarten with friends. Hallelujah for it finally being biergarten season again! One of our absolute favorite things about Europe! It’s a way of life here and we are ready, willing and able to embrace it!

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And of course, after a delicious German meal, you’ve got to have a little stroll, a stop off at a playground, an ice cream cone…and some selfies. 🙂

Sunday was by far the prettiest day of the year so far. It was mid-70s and not a cloud in the sky. We slept in (yay!), John fixed us breakfast (yay!) and then we through on our tennis shoes and headed out to trek around our city (woohoo!). Flowers in bloom, the fountains back flowing (they drain them empty for winter, obvs) and plenty of folks just like us looking to take advantage of such an awesome day. Schlossplatz, the main square in the city, was covered in sunbathers, picnickers, people watchers and relaxers. We claimed a perfect little spot just for us ❤

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Schlossplatz

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Afternoon snack while we’re out…

Looking ahead at this week’s forecast, it doesn’t look like Spring is quite ready to make a commitment (tsk, tsk, tease), but we’re still moving in the right direction at least! Temps in the 60s mostly (I may or may not have seen a high of 54 on day, but I refuse to talk about it!) and some spotty sun. Today was chillier, but the first thing Neve asked when I picked her up from school was, ‘Can we stop in the bakery and eat a pastry on our walk home?’ Absolutely, sweet girl. That’s one of the reasons here. ❤

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