Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Festivals to Attend: Wilhelmstraßenfest!

Wilhelmstraßenfest is held annually on the second weekend in June in Wiesbaden, Germany. It is located on Wilhelmstraße and surrounds the Hessian State Theater. First started in 1977 to honor the reopening of the theater, it is now one of the largest street festivals in Germany! We were fortunate enough to attend the festival this year and we had a blast!

There are plenty of rides for the little ones and food and drink stands as far as you can see! We had bratwursts, thai food, and of course BIER! There was also a lot of strawberry and fruit infused prosecco which was yummy! 

It was packed! So unfortunately these people ended up in my shots of the decorations haha.

There was a ferris wheel in front of the kurhaus as well! along with over 100 craft vendors!

There were at least 4 or 5 stages where bands were playing continuously. We stopped and watched for a couple of hours. Flo & Chris was the cover band playing and they were amazing! Very entertaining, I would definitely watch another one of their shows!

Here's us being silly. We had so much fun! We wish we had known it was such a big event and can't wait to go back next year! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Travel To: Cologne, Germany

If you're in Germany and haven't been to Cologne yet, don't wait any longer! We went there last weekend to see the Dom Cathedral and it was amazing!! The first thing you see when driving into Cologne is the cathedral which towers over the whole city.

It really is hard to believe how big the cathedral is until you see it in person. The architecture and detailing is absolutely beautiful! After doing a little research I found out it actually took 600 years for it to be built! Like many attractions in Europe, parts of it are under scaffolding. 

The inside of the cathedral is just as impressive as the outside! There is a lot to see inside the cathedral with several alters and art work. The windows are all massive beautiful stained glass scenes. It really takes your breath away. Someone told us you can walk up into the spire somehow but we didn't see that anywhere but there are also things to see in the basement. The cathedral still holds services daily and there was a small service on one side of the building going on when we were there. 

Another great thing about Cologne is that it is also located along the Rhein River. The river is lined with parks where you can sit and enjoy the weather or just go for a walk. There is also a really cool water fountain area where your kids (or dog in our case) can cool off. I wish I had taken a picture of the fountain area but you'll know what I am talking about when you see it.  Here is a view of the river.

Cologne also is known for it's very own type of beer called Kölsch. We tried it and we LOVED it! We couldn't wait until dinner to try it so we bought some for only 1,50 Euro from a small convenient store type of place. 

But it wouldn't be a trip to Cologne without a stop at a local brauhaus for dinner, where we also drank Kölsch and ate some amazing German food. 

We spent most of our time in Cologne walking around "old town" and visiting the cathedral, but Cologne is also known for it's shopping! There is a TON of shopping to do if that's what your there for, especially designer things. There's a Louis Vuitton right next to the cathedral! 

Here's a picture of us enjoying our day! Have any of you been to Cologne? What was your favorite part of the city? 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Coupons and Elderly Veterans

So it turns out that the commissaries over here allow soldiers and their families to use coupons a whole six months after their expiration date. Who knew?! I have never been really in to couponing and I won't be showing up on Extreme Couponing anytime soon, but it is fun to save a little money here and there.

Recently, some women on post wanted to start a group where we can sort through boxes of coupons together and share tips and what not, so I decided to check it out.  I didn't realize how many coupons we get sent! People stateside, mostly elderly people and/or veterans, send us boxes and boxes of expired coupons.  Some of these boxes even have them organized into groups based on whether the coupons are for food or non - food items, etc.

Well, we were opening up these boxes the other day and realized that some of them even have little notes or letters from the people who have sent them. We found one that was very humbling from a man named Herb who I believe was a veteran. It was short and sweet and if I had it I would copy it on here for you but a volunteer kept it so she could send him a thank you note.  It was really moving what he wrote about sending these to us because it is important for everyone to remember that we are here for them.  (it was really way better however he worded it,  I'm definitely butchering it, sorry Herb). But I was really moved by it even if for no reason other than after going to two of these couponing events now I realize how time consuming it is to cut out all of those stupid things. Haha.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... it makes everything seem worth it when you read words of appreciation from someone back home. I am very proud of my husband for serving our country and we are super grateful for the opportunity to be living in Europe. But it is easy to get caught up in little things of everyday life and it was definitely nice to read this note and suddenly have everything put back into perspective. Thank you to everyone who supports our soldiers and their families! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pros and Cons: Living in Germany (part 1)

I thought I would make a pros and cons list of living in Germany. I labeled it "part 1" because we've only been here for two and a half months now so I am sure the list with grow over the next few years. There are also a few pro/cons because I just don't like making decisions haha.


Dog Friendly- Germany is VERY dog friendly! This is great for socializing our new puppy since dogs are allowed literally everywhere (except grocery stores I think). They can be found sitting under tables at restaurants and even inside shopping malls. All of them are very well behaved (at least that I have seen) which is very different from the dogs I see around the military housing area. I wish we had gotten here sooner so that Cooper could have been better socialized.

Festivals- There are loads of festivals in Germany. I have heard of at least one festival less than an hour away every weekend. This is great since I love food and the festivals are not lacking in the food department! And they are also dog friendly, duh.


Weather- The weather here is very unpredictable. It can be raining one minute and the next minute it can be completely sunny. It is also not as warm as I would like, though it seems to be warming up a bit. It's a very moderate temperature most of the time which is nice in the winter but not so much in the summer when I just want it to be warm all the time. (remind me of this when it is hot though since lack of air conditioning)

Lack of my favorite stores: I miss Target. Yep, mostly just Target.


Daylight- Right now it is daylight outside from about 5 in the morning until at least 10 at night. I can't decide where to put this one since during the week this absolutely sucks because I like for it to be dark in my room when I go to sleep BUT, on the weekends it's great because you can enjoy being outside for longer.

Trees and Grass- Germany is very environmentally friendly which is great and everything is so green and there are trees and flowers everywhere.... says someone with no seasonal allergies (not me).

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Time Flies

I can't believe it is already June! We have been in Germany for over two whole months already and it feels like we just got here. It's just crazy how fast time flies.

This past weekend we went to our first military ball. We had a lot of fun and it was very humbling to attend an event where our soldiers get recognized for all the hard work that they do. My husband was recognized by name by the Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe! (and this was not something where he read off a list of names or anything either haha)  I am very proud of him to say the least.

The rest of the time we ate food and drank a lot of wine and beer all while getting to mingle with other soldiers and wives. There was also some dancing after the formal portion of the night was over. We had a ton of fun and will hopefully attend another military ball in the future.