The Weekend :: Mandelblütenfest (Almond Tree Blossom Festival)

Weekends have become full of family time for us.  LOML has been having to work longer hours while his co-worker is recovering from a heart attack and heart surgery.  The girls and I miss him when we don’t get to see him for as long in the evenings.  We try to make up for it by doing fun family things together on the weekends.

SATURDAY

On Saturday LOML had to work in the morning, so the girls and I went to the grocery store.  I went to the grocery store.  On a Saturday at noon.  With both kids.  By.  My.  Self.  I’m not sure what I was thinking.  Since everything is closed on Sundays here in Germany Saturdays are a big shopping day.

Actually, it wasn’t that bad.  The kids both fell asleep on the ride over so I sat in the parking lot for a little bit to let them sleep.  Then I put Little E in the Moby wrap and Big Ive in the cart kid seat and headed in.  Big Ive was pretty good.  She started to get antsy a little more than half way through.  That’s when she started to repeatedly drop my list and the 50cent piece I had given her to hold.  Normally, not that big of a deal, but when I’m wearing Little E it is harder to bend over to pick things off the floor.  After a few times of that I grabbed the list myself.  But that meant I had to keep it away from Little E’s grasp and mouth.  I’m happy to report she didn’t get and paper in her mouth.

I can only imagine what the Germans thought of me with 2 little kids going grocery shopping.  They all smile when they see Little E in the Moby, but I’m sure they thought I was a crazy American.

At the bakery counter I asked for 3 preztels, in German.  ‘Drei’ (German for 3) sounds very similar to ‘dry’ and the baker thought I said I wanted dry pretzels because he heard me speaking English to Ivy when we waited in line.  He wasn’t expecting me to try to speak German to him.  It was kinda’ funny.

Driving to and from the store by myself was good.  I’m not used to these small, windy, German country roads.  They have these speed limits posted and I have no idea how anyone can even attempt that speed and drive safely.  I was definitely going A LOT slower than the speed limit.  When I get used to the van and the roads I will speed up to where I’m comfortable.  Until then, the Germans can pass me all they want.  (Only 2 have passed me so far.)

When LOML got home we took a walk to see the village goats.  This time they actually ate the pear and apple we brought.  Big Ive really wanted to feed them, but when they’d get close to take the piece of fruit she would pull away or drop it.  Then we walked around on one of the trails in our village to the little kid soccer pitch.  Big Ive kicked the ball around a small bit, but just wanted to go home at that point.  We had to walk past the restaurant to go home and she walked right in.  Maybe we go in there a little too much that she is so familiar with it.  : )  She had a little fit when we walked past her Kindergarten because she wanted to go play.  I ended up carrying her most of the way home because she was so tired.  It is so nice to see everyone getting their yards and gardens and green houses ready for spring on our walks.  Makes me smile.

SUNDAY

Sunday (the 25th) we drove over to a town about 60km away to see their almond tree blossom festival, Mandelblütenfest.  [[Side Note:  It is kind of fun how you can put 2 or 3 or 4 (or more!) German words together to create another word.  It gives you the freedom to create new words easily.  Mandel (almond) + blüten (blossom) + fest (festival) = Mandelblütenfest]]

We forgot to get an exact address for the GPS and had no idea where we were going.  That means we drove around the town for a little bit.  After a while we kept driving and got to the other side of the town and saw more and more blossoming trees and then finally vineyards.  I joked with LOML that if we follow the blossoms it will lead us to the festival.  It was pretty much true, actually.

Sweet ride parked in a vineyard.

The trees are planted alongside and between the vineyards.  We parked a considerable distance from the little village that holds this festival and walked through the vineyards.  Some of the vineyards had what appeared to be broccoli planted between the rows.  Some had rose bushes at the end of each row.  Others had none.  We didn’t understand the broccoli companion planting.  Anyone know about that?

There was a pretzel seller at the beginning of the village.  That guy picked the best spot to sell his giant soft pretzels.  I would say about half of the people that walked buy purchased at least one.  And they were good.  Truthfully, I’ve yet to meet a fresh German soft pretzel that I didn’t like.  : )

Partway through the village there was a small green area that we decided to picnic in.  LOML got us lentil and wurst soup and a mandarin orange and cream cake to eat.  That soup was fantastic.  I need to try making some lentil soup.  Big Ive had a fantastic time walking through the daffodils planted in the grass and playing with the other children.  She makes an art of trying to get away from us and LOML was always on his toes keeping watch of her and chasing her.

And life with small children is never free from public changings of stinky diapers and breastfeeding of babies.

I heard a few remarks about our big double stroller when we were out.  I’m not sure what they said, but they were pointing at the big rig and it sounded like they were surprised at the shape of it and that we had 2 kids in there.  Maybe by the time we leave Germany I’ll be able to understand a bit more of casual conversations in public in German.

The weather was amazing – nearly 70 degrees and sunny.  We drove with the windows down almost all the way home.  We drove through Frankenstein and LOML was sure to point out any Ninja Training Facilities we passed.  A detour through one town made us drive on this incredibly narrow 2 way road.  You could not get 2 cars passed one another it was so narrow.  That kind of road would never be a 2 way road in the US.

It was a really really good family weekend we had.  I’m glad we decided to get out on Sunday afternoon to this festival.

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