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Heidelberg & Triberg, Germany October 29, 2008

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I’m catching up on my blogs here at 4 in the morning….I’m a little bit jet-lagged and a lot sick to say the least so the transition home has been rough.

We started in Heidelberg, where S and A go to school.  It was everything I imagined it to be.  I felt like it should be a dreary, rainy, fall day everyday and it was for the most part.  The town has the old side and the new side and we did pretty much everything to do in old Heidelberg – in a whirlwind tour.  We walked on the Philosopher’s Way, saw the alte brucke (old bridge), the Heidelberg Monkey, the castle, the Haupstrauss (sp), and even took a solar powered river boat tour.  We ate a lot of German food which was much better than expected and I discovered the Back Factory.  They have these really good pizza pockets that I enjoy for breakfast along with my vanilla cream filled sugar donut.

We also went to Triberg.  The town looked a lot like Main Street in Park City.  The difference was that this is where they make Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks and Black Forest Cake.  I really enjoyed the fake Black Forest cake but the real deal had a little too much liquor in it for my liking.  I learned a lot about cuckoo clocks from a master carver and it’s quite interesting.  If you are ever interested in purchasing an authentic cuckoo clock, let me know and I can tell you what you need to look for.

Overall, I really liked Germany and am excited to get the opportunity to go back and really explore.

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Oh How I Love to Eat October 28, 2008

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So as many of you know, I love to eat.  I have eaten my way through Germany and Italy over the last two weeks and it was fantastic.

Jagerschnitzel & Spaetzle

Jagerschnitzel & Spaetzle

We got to Germany Tuesday and went to eat some schnitzel. (That was my prime mission for my entire visit to Germany and I accomplished it fairly early on)  We went to the roten ox restaurant.  (I’m sure that S will be correcting me on that one.  But I’m sparing myself embarrassing spelling errors)  I had Jagerschnitzel and spaetzle and this delicious salad.  It had all sorts of vegetables and real German potato salad.  I learned today what one of the vegetable salads is…At least I think I do.  I think the white unknown was a celery salad.  I also had Heidelberg Hefeweissen with my meal.  At just the temperature I enjoy it.

The food wasn’t quite what I expected from Germany.  It was better.  I don’t know why I was expecting plain, bland food but everything I had was very good and it comes in these enormous portions.  A certain co-worker would have been impressed with my leftovers each night.

Maultauschen

Maultauschen

We had one night at the ‘really good restaurant’ and my mom had the clear winner of a dish.  It was called maultauschen (sp??).  It is the specialty dish of Heidelberg.  They are these delicious little vegetable and meat filled dumplings baked in butter and cream topped with melted cheese.  Amazing.

While in Triberg I had a tasty dish as well.  I’m not sure what the German name is but the English translation is gratinized veal.  Basically a little cheesy veal dish

Our last afternoon there we went to the restaurant that A describes as sub-par but you get a lot of food and it is cheap.  It was definitely two of the three.  8.50Euros for so much food but it was really good.  We all had the schnitzel, tomato soup, salad, and french fries.  I’m still amazed at how much food showed up at our table.

Now on to Italy…..

Gelato…I love gelato and I think I had at least a dozen new flavors.  I still can’t pick a favorite so I’ll continue to try new ones.

We had quite a bit more time to eat my way through Italy.  I was rather disappointed in Tony’s.  I had such high hopes for the best lasagna in the world and his restaurant has gotten really busy in the last couple years and I feel like the quality has gone down a little bit.  It was still good.  Just not as good as it used to be.

I can’t even remember most of Rome.  I had some spicy pasta one night that was good.  And I had some chicken and spaghetti one night too.

walnut ravioli

walnut ravioli

Florence is where I like to eat.  We went to Borgo Antico in Piazza Santo Spirito.  They have this delicious spicy spaghetti but I opted for something new this time.  Ravioli di patate.  So Good that I actually went back and had it again before I left.

A favorite from last time was the walnut ravioli from Za-Za’s and it didn’t let me down.

We even had a couple fancy meals with meat.  I had a balsamic steak one evening that was quite good.  I should try to make the blueberry balsamic myself.  One night at the fancy restaurant I had a steak and ‘spicy’ vegetables.  I’m not sure if something was lost in the translation but they were not spicy.

All in all, I successfully ate myself through a couple countries.  There were no missed meals and amazingly enough I could always eat more.  I learned how to make some pretty good pasta and stuff so I will continue to eat the way I am enjoying to right now.  Come over and try some if you want!

Lack of Pictures October 20, 2008

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I know I have promised pictures but I forgot my cord so I do apologize and will do it when I get home.

However, things are good here.  We have been in Rome all weekend and are heading to Florence tomorrow.  Germany was very nice….rainy and brisk like fall should be.  I would definitely like to go back and have the chance to see more.  We have seen everything possible in Rome….and I am tired.  Ready for a break.

Food has been pretty tasty.  Though Tonys was not as good as I remembered it …. that was very sad.

Dumpster Diving in Deutschland October 15, 2008

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Today was quite the day….Just like it sounds like it might have been.

I have some favorite things about Germany….the first is that it is dreary and overcast just like I imagined it to be.  And the second is that it is fall.  I know I’m an odd one at times.  But it really is a picturesque little town.

Today we did everything Heidelberg has to offer to a tourist.  We walked on the main street, had pastries for breakfast, walked the Philosopher’s Way, ate lunch, toured the Heidelberg Castle, took the riverboat tour, went to the church, explored the kitsch souvenirs and then ate dinner.  I have had my schnitzel and my weissenbier and a pepper steak tonight.  And a sample of some sort of cinnamon parfait.  Now I just need an apple strudel to make my trip complete.

The adventures really began after the church – dumpster diving.  S & A are missing a few things in their apartment.  One happens to be an oven and the other is a television.  While walking along this morning with S, we saw a large toaster oven….gold to her….but we couldn’t carry it at the time.  Then on the walk back from the church we saw a television on the side of the road.  A immediately grabbed it along with the appropriate cables and then we pass the other pile of discarded home furnishings and the toaster oven is still there.  Of course we had to grab that as well.  So the happy campers are now the owners of a television and toaster oven which surprisingly enough both work.

pictures and more to come later….

Europe Page October 8, 2008

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I added a new page today.  It’s a summary of the European itinerary (roughly) for the next couple weeks.  I’m very excited for my trip.  I will post a ton of pictures there for everyone to see.

I’m excited about a lot of things but mostly to eat.  Many of you know how much I enjoy food.  I’m even moody when I don’t get it at regular intervals.  I’ve never been to Germany and I’m not quite sure what to expect in the food department.  I know that I like schnitzel but strange foods can be intimidating so hopefully I’ll learn about something new.  Otherwise I can eat the same thing for every meal.  (Similar to the jamon y queso everywhere we went in Spain and Portugal)

On the other hand, I know that Italy will not let me down.  I’m going to eat at Tony’s in Rome as many times as humanly possible while we are there.  They have the BEST lasagna ever.  I’m excited for the cooking class in Florence, too.  When I get home, I should know how to make something amazing.  Prepare yourself.