Thursday, March 31, 2011

For Meredith

My friend Meredith likes when I post about what I cook so I thought I would throw out one of the recent recipes I made that was pretty good. I am not a chef by any means, but I find I have to get creative with only two burners and a toaster oven.

I found this recipe on online and after two tries I think we found a winner. One to two pan meals are clutch in this household.

Penne Chicken with Pesto, Spinach, and Sun-dried tomatoes 

Getting all the goodness ready


Not the healthiest meal due to the cream and cheese used, but I get healthy points for spinach! Quick, easy and quite tasty. Hope you like this post Meredith!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here comes the sun......

When the sun shines in Germany you have to take full advantage of it and this evening we did just that. It started by leaving work at 4 (don't worry it is finals week). We fixed some snacks and poured two cold bock beers right when we walked in the door. We headed out to the balcony to enjoy the sunshine and some snacks.

The spread

Busting out the pink shirt-you know it is springtime

Sunshine makes me so happy!

Afterwards we picked up some fresh bread from the bakery and savored our first gelato of the year. We strolled back to our apartment as the sun was going down. These are moments in life that I love. Simple, but so sweet!

Hope all of you are having an awesome Tuesday!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ebbelwei Express

Every month our staff gets together for some sort of socializing activity. Usually it is just drinks and dinner, but last Friday was a special treat. We all loaded up on the Ebbelwei Express for a tour around the city while sipping on some Applewine.

Get ready here we go!

Feeling cool cruising around in this bad boy

The inside of the trolley was fully decorated like a kindergarten room, bright and colorful.

Cheers to the end of a work week!

Stopping for a potty break. The best part of this picture is obviously Justin in the background, but it was so funny how he perfectly timed that jump.

It turned out to be a great way to hang out with co-workers and we all had a great time. Maybe next we can all ride the bier bike together!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2011

It's in his blood

We headed to our neighborhood pub, Bornheim Irish, and celebrated with our friends Jameson, Guinness, Bulmers and Baileys! I hope all of you joined in on some festivities. 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TC comes to town!

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting one of our college friends, Trey. He was on a European adventure and made a pit stop in Frankfurt for a night.

Tanya hooked us up with some digestifs. 

No one's feelings were hurt after a game of Zug um Zug

Like we do with all of our guests we took Trey to the famous neighborhood restaurant and introduced him to Tanya. We fed him the best schnitzel of his life and had him try Frankfurt's famous apfelwein. Back at the pad we enjoyed a friendly game of Zug um Zug (add a tally for me). It is always great to see friends from home and being the world traveler that Trey is it was great sharing stories. TC you are welcome any time!!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Eisenach and the Wartburg

In Germany there is no shortage of castles, which can have the tendency to make one forget that he comes from a country that doesn't have them. In appreciation of said castles, we drove out to the neighboring state of Thuringia just over the former East German Border to visit the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach.

Wartburg Castle - it's been around for over 900 years and it's not looking so bad if I do say so myself. I actually visited this castle once before on my study abroad, but I'm always up for a refresher.

Detail work on the fountain in the castle's courtyard.

Elisabeth of Hungary's quarters - this gal was apparently an old school Mother Theresa who fed the hungry, gave to the poor, nursed the sick, and rubbed the feet of the tired. She also really liked mosaic's apparently.

My favorite part of this tiled room was this German eagle in all of its glory.

This is a large hall on the upper floor where musicians still come to play.

This is it...........the very room where Martin Luther hung out for 10 months during the Protestant Reformation. It was here that he knocked out a German translation of the New Testament for the first time.

Wartburg from the inner court.

After touring the castle we took a few minutes to stroll around the lovely town of Eisenach.

It was a nice little day trip from Frankfurt and a very well-kept castle. Tours are only in German, however, so prepare yourself to stare intently at the guide and nod your head in understanding wherever you see it appropriate. Laugh when everyone else laughs............"ooh" and "aaah" on command and you'll be fine.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Impromptu trip to Munich

On our way home from Garmisch we were going to stop at the famous castle of Neuschwanstein, but we realized that it was going to mean many hours on a train so we decided to head to Munich early and wander around for a few hours before our fast train home. Nothing too crazy just a biergarten for lunch, a quick visit to an art museum and of course a mass at the Hofbrauhaus. 

Pretending it was warm enough to sit outside. The sun might be shining, but it was still freezing.

Michael we love you and so does Munich!

Celebrity sighting-Conan the Barbarian in his eighties.

Very Bavarian decor

The sights of the city

For a random Wednesday afternoon in Munich it wasn't half bad. 


Friday, March 4, 2011

To the Top of Germany........and Beyond!!

So we had a week off for a so-called "Ski Break" during the last week of February and thought we'd be breaking some sort of German law if we didn't give it a shot.

We packed up lunches and took a train down south past Munich to the German alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. While you've likely not heard of this place, you should know that they hosted the 1936 Winter Olympics and they have hosted the Alpine Skiing World Championships in 1978 and in 2011 (merely a week before we arrived). So Garmisch is pretty much a big deal in this part of the world!

Actually departing Garmisch with our coworker, but you wouldn't know that unless I told you.....

the German Alps

I went with the goal of skiing for the first time in about six years and experiencing the culture of alpine skiing. Marisa went with the goal of hitting up the spas, having a massage, and basically maxing and relaxing. I was a bit nervous since it had been so long since my last time skiing, but everything went smoothly. I was able to ski with Marisa's old volleyball coach, Bond, on the first day at the main ski area, Garmisch Classic. On the second day I was joined at the second ski area (Zugspitze) by our friend from Tech, Josh K, that lives in Munich. Both days were very enjoyable with a small mishap on the first day where I forgot my goggles at the hotel, forgot to get Bond's cell number before we started, and subsequently got separated on the first run because the visibility was about 10 feet. Other than that, the skiing was decent and the views were incredible.

Ski team: Day One - Bond is showing us a preview of his award-winning flamingo jump that he will go on to use later on the slopes while I am demonstrating a stable position holding two imaginary poles with knees bent and ready to tear up moguls. Spirits are at a high here.

the crew enjoying the Gasthaus self-serve bar

Me posing in the picturesque Garmisch Zugspitze ski area on a fabulous day with my favorite type of ski lift below to the left - the infamous "T-bar"!

Ski partner for Day Two. Here's Josh K looking super-trendy and fully protected from UV rays aimed at his corneas.

It should be noted that we conquered the highest point in Germany on this trip with a gondola ride up to the top of the "Zugspitze" at 2962 meters (9,718 feet). The sky was blue and the views were worth the effort to get up there.

the Zugspitze clearly marked with a golden rod to tell you that you're looking at the highest point in the modern Germanic world (9,718 feet). Someone should mention that there are many mountains in the Rockies over 14,000 feet with no such golden rods.

Unbeknownest to me, while walking over to pose next to this sign I crossed over into Austria which apparently sits just over the ridge of the Zugspitze.

More German Alps.

Austrian Alps - strikingly similar to the German ones, but with a different accent.

One more shot with me and the Zugspitze.

The visibility was much better on day two up at the Garmisch Zugspitze ski area which meant that I didn't really need the cheesy sunglasses that I'm wearing here that I purchased on day one because I forgot my goggles at the gasthaus and was getting blasted by light snow and wind.

If you're looking for some sweet moves check out this video!

All in all the ski trip was a lot of fun and we enjoyed the town of Garmisch. I won't come back here to ski, however, because there are many other places to check out in Austria and Switzerland and the skiing wasn't as good as many places in the U.S. Perhaps we hit it on a bad year in terms of snow and the visibility left something to be desired at Garmisch Classic. I am definitely glad that we came though and I left with a renewed sense of love for snow skiing. I can't wait to go again next year!


Our new obsession

The German winters can be long and depressingly cold. If you want to make it through with your sanity intact, you've got to get creative with entertainment. For my birthday I requested the German version of the board game known as "Ticket to Ride" in the States. Marisa and I were first exposed to this little gem from the Arrowood family in Tyrone, GA. Needless to say, we've nearly made it through the winter and we've never been better.

"Zug um Zug: Europa" - ready to brighten those dark, winter days. Look for the expansion packs for Switzerland and USA!

The basic objective is to build an elaborate train track that stretches across the continent, connecting major cities and completing specified routes in order to earn the most points. Unlike some strategy games, this one is completed in around an hour so you won't have to use up an entire weekend to finish one game.

In the middle of the transportation conquest of Europe! I think Deutsche Bahn uses this game for all of their trainees.

While the Jackson's have never been known to be competitive, Marisa and I do keep a tally of the winner of each game - just for house bragging rights. At press time the current tally is: Marisa - 4, Justin - 3, Bond - 1. We'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bonding Time

Last weekend my college volleyball coach, Bond, was in town and we had a great time running around.  It started with the traditional trip to our neighborhood joint, Zur Sonnenuhr. Bond had the pleasure of meeting Tanya. It was a night full of belly laughing, great food, and reminiscing. My former teammate Alex came down from Cologne for the weekend and joined us for dinner. I felt bad for Justin having to listen to us talk about the glory days haha.

Bond was a trooper and stayed up until midnight the same day he flew in and then slept for 11 hours! On Saturday we had lunch at Alex's parents' house before heading to Saarbrucken (south of Frankfurt).

At the train station close to Alex's house. Bond striking a pose.

Reunited! Alex, Bond, me and Justin

The wintery town of Saarbrucken

This town had a ton of French influence, you almost forgot you were in Germany

More French influence with a white/pink church.

Saarbrucken's Rathaus

Just a really cool door we saw

Bond was in town for the weekend and we wanted to make sure he had a good time. So to end the trip we took him to an FSV soccer game. This is the local division two team and it is literally a 10 minute walk from our place. As you can see Bond really got into the game.


This is not the last you will see of Bond because he joined us for one day in Garmisch at the end of his trip. It was great showing him our little life in Frankfurt and seeing someone from home it always a treat. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...