Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve 2008-09

Awoke to a lovely sunrise this morning. As it is the last day of the year, I thought of the analogy of the sunrise and the new year. I posted a series of photos of the sunrise, basically all the same scene. Just as life is in a way, the same scene played out daily, but as with the sunrise, it changes constantly and can be so beautiful....or not. But that's the beauty of life, we get to make a choice how we are going to live it every day.
I'm usually not one for end of year resolutions, but I will make some this be true to myself, trust my instincts, live one day at a time and allow love to conquer fear.
Happy New Year!

I added photos of the fire works at midnite....and " Dinner for One"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.....

More photos here...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Christmas 2008

It's in the 50's this much for a white Christmas. But that's ok. We had the snow scenes the last weeks. Doesn't look like a white Christmas back home either..I just hope it's a good one for everyone. From what I've been reading in the news, I know it won't be for some. I guess the best thing is we can say goodbye to this crazy year soon, and hope for a better one in 2009.
I am very thankful for the year I had, even though it started really lousy. It's been quite amazing!

This weekend was spent around town. My big project was making Sauerbraten, started marinating on Thursday and made it for Sunday dinner. It was so good, see the pix here. Earlier Sunday we went for a walk in the old Freiburg cemetery, which I had not seen. And then we went up to the Schlossberg, the mountain we look out at every day from the balcony. On Monday, since it was so warm, I went back and walked up to the lookout tower, great 360 degree views of the Black Forest and the Rhine valley.
Today I just finished shopping for Christmas dinner. The town was crazy! Lines everywhere..last minute shoppers and because the day after Christmas is also a national holiday, the food stores were jammin'.
Christmas Eve and Day will be spent here by ourselves. Thanks to Claudia, Gisi will get to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas! Thank you Claudia, it arrived today. This weekend we will go to the Bodensee to visit some of Gisi's relatives.
I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year....healthy, safe and peaceful.
Frohe Weihnachten!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A week before Christmas....

One week til Christmas! I hope you've been good. And I guess it's a four day wekend for most people, that's great! Enjoy!!
It's snowing here again this Wednesday morning. Gisi told me when I first got here "it hardly ever snows in town". Well this must be the fourth or fifth time. She said this morning "the city is trying to show it's prettiest side to me". Well that's nice. It's better than just grey clouds, makes everything look so nice.
We took a drive up through the Vosges Mountains in Alsace this weekend. Saturday was a sunny, blue sky day, so we headed to the hills. We ended up going to an old silver mining town, St. Marie aux Mines, in the Val D'Argent. ( I didn't realise the Amish movement was started here) It was so pretty, the woods in the mountains were frosted with snow as we got up higher elevations. We saw a Poitou, so cute. Some beautiful photos here.
Sunday we awoke to a cloudy, foggy day. But it had snowed again the night before, so we took a walk through the cemetary down the street. So quiet and peaceful there. In the naked trees you can see Mistletoe growing. I never saw it in it's natural habitat. Apparently, it was a good year for mistletoe and you can see it all over town in the trees.
Also, I posted some pictures of the Weihnachtsmarkt, the local Christmas market that is so popular throughout Germany. This is in Freiburg. It's a good place to get some local handcrafted gifts and products. They have food stalls and Glüwein is very popular this time of year. My favorite are the Marroni stands, small roasted chestnuts.
Three weeks from today I will be on a plane heading back to New York. This time has gone by quickly, yet I feel like I've been here forever....strange. I've really gotten used to the pace here, and it should be interesting to see how I reacclimate to NY. Well, we'll think about that later. Now I'm going to enjoy the last weeks and Christmas and New Year here. I hope you enjoy them wherever you are. I will write again before Christmas...Tschüss!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Early and food

Hallo, wie geht's dir? All is well here. Funny, I'm just now really getting comfortable being here, and I have to leave in less than a month. Ain't that always the way?
The Christmas season is full on here, lights are up, the Christmas markets are going on all over the region. There's a nice one here in Freiburg (photos later this week), and we were in some towns in Alsace and in the Black Forest this weekend that had them. As a matter of fact, we wanted to see a beautiful village in Alsace, Riquewihr, but when we got there, it was overrun with hundreds of people..tour buses and cars lined the road into town. So we didn't get to spend any time there, just too many people! We did see some other intersesting things though..the town of Neuf-Breisach and it's walled fortifications, and a tiny village called Zellenberg, in the heart of the Alsace wine growing region.
It was a rainy weekend here in the Rhine valley, and we didn't realise how different the weather would be 20 minutes away. Sunday we drove up the mountains to St. Peter, and it was a winter wonderland. We went to a small Weihnachtmarkt in the village platz. We also re-visited the church of St. Peter, which was the first church we visited when I first came here in the summer. Something called me back there this weekend, and it was nice to sit there for a while, and give thanks for all that has happened in this past year.
We have been making some nice dinners at home, some local specialties, with all the great local ingredients available here. I've included a bunch of photos of our recent dinners, and how they were made. Winter is a great time to eat here, the cool weather is conducive to some of the heartier dishes. Being in the south, there are a lot of regional dishes that are not so prevalent in the northern areas. The area we're in features both Badisch and Swabisch cuisine, and Gisi has been going back to some of the food her mother used to make..Spätzle, Schupfnudeln, raw sauerkraut (so good!). And Feldsalat is in season, I could eat that every day. I made a great roast cod dish (!), and some of my favorite Italian pasta dishes, and tonight I'm making Shepherds Pie for the first time. Fortunately, Gisi likes to cook and we cook very differently. She makes more vegetarian dishes, and uses very little fat. Most of you know how I like to cook! So I have definately been eating better (= heathier), and have probably lost a few pounds. Walking and biking every day helps too! Luckily, the weather has been relatively mild, 52 today, with a few days in the upper thirties and low forties, but comfortable enough to be able to get outside every day.
Check out the photos from the past week or so here.
Hope you all have a good week...Ciao!