Tag: Germany

BUGA Heilbronn

BUGA Heilbronn

Right now Heilbronn is hosting the BUGA (the federal garden exhibit, which happens every other year in a German city) and I got a ticket from my grandparents for my birthday. It was so great I went twice in one week and I have so many pictures, so it deserves it’s own post … here comes the flower overload:

My parents have a year pass so my dad and I went exploring on a Sunday afternoon for 5 hours and 17.000 steps. The area is huge with all sorts of plants, educational exhibits, 2 lakes with water fountains, food and wine and cocktail booths, 2 stages for concerts and performances and of course lots of pretty flowers.

I love the mascot they have – Karl, a garden gnome. I went on a mission to take pictures with all the different Karls I saw 🙂

On my last night at home we returned to the BUGA with a mission: to see the water show. In the middle of the area they have a man made lake with lots of fountains on it and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, there is a half-hour water and light show with music. They had some special guests the day we went, so we got lucky and saw 2 shows in a row, “Der kleine Wassertropfen” (the little water drop) and “Deutsche Schlager” (German Hits). It was awesome!

Birthday celebrations part 2, 3 and 4

Birthday celebrations part 2, 3 and 4

Besides a fantastic birthday weekend, there were many more fun activities I haven’t posted pictures from, so here we go!

Afternoon tea at the Peninsula

Boramy and Tim took me to afternoon tea at the Peninsula a week after my birthday. I’ve been wanting to go so it was the perfect present. Savory snacks, little desserts, scones with clotted cream and unlimited tea – what more can you want? The food was really good and we hung out for almost 4 hours.

Girls only birthday party

A weekend after that, I had 8 girls over for pastries, cake, games and mimosas … and later pizza rolls, wine and gossip 😉 They helped me finish the rest of the eclairs and cream puffs from the baking extravaganza, so now there’s space in the freezer for another round!

Birthday celebrations in Germany

I just got back from a business trip to Germany, where I also got to spend a weekend with my family. I sent them a birthday wish list which included a family breakfast, dinner with the grandparents and a strawberry cake 🙂 All my wishes were fulfilled, yay to getting special birthday treatment!

Julia and Frank’s present was food related as well. First, they had me over at their place for ice cream, we visited Dieter the Donkey at the park and finally we had dinner together. With that dinner I got to check “Must have dish no. 3” off the list: Käsespätzle! (No. 1 and 2 are Butterbrezel and Maultaschen).

Up next: A tour of  the Zotter chocolate factory I got from friends and then celebrating with my sister in Singapore in September – she’s also taking me to an afternoon tea. Food gifts are the best 🙂

Birthday Surprise Trip

Birthday Surprise Trip

My mom turned 60 on March 20, so I flew to Germany for a week to surprise her. I arrived the morning of her birthday and she was definitely surprised, just ask our neighbor, who heard her scream 😉

We had a great day together with – in this order – champagne, breakfast, an afternoon at the spa, more champagne and dinner with my sister and Frank. Of course it also included my traditional first food of every Germany trip – a Butterbrezel. Besides celebrating my mom, I spent some quality family time with everyone and we went to Rebengluehen, a cool wine event from our local wineries, where we hiked through the vineyards while sipping wine.

Here are some pictures from the trip, including pretty German buildings and churches and beautiful German food. The pink dwarf is Karl, the mascot of BUGA, the Federal German Garden Show, which is happening 20 minutes away from our village this year! Hopefully I can visit it during my next trip.

Good bye Germany – Hello again Shanghai!

Good bye Germany – Hello again Shanghai!

After 5 weeks in Germany, I got back to Shanghai on Saturday. It was a crazy mix of work, vacation, friends & family visits and more work.

Let’s start at the beginning: The day I landed, I hosted a mini bachelorette party for my sister, we attended her wedding the next day and then 5 days later Thorben’s sister got married. We visited 2 new babies, had the first snow of the season, went to the office for a week, had 2 birthdays in our families, met friends for dinner, at the Christmas Market or for brunch, got out of an Escape room (my team was a minute faster then Thorben’s … just saying), had awesome breakfasts and meals with our families, celebrated Christmas, went to see Bohemian Rhapsody and a musical … and that was only during the 2 weeks in December.

In January, Thorben drove up to the North Sea to visit family for a few days, while I went to the office and hung out more with friends and family in the evenings. After catching up with some work at the office, I started an 8 day training course. We escaped from a Harry Potter themed escape room, just in time for Thorben to catch his flight to Shanghai the next day. Actually, we escaped after only 37 minutes, like the amazing wizards and witches we are 😉 LUMOS!

In the evenings, I took it a little easier in my final 2 weeks: My sister and I had a spa day and went to an ice hockey game (Mannheim won!), I met a few friends and former colleagues and finally had a good bye dinner with my family followed with a good bye Brezel breakfast with my mom.

And this is the trip in pictures. As always, I didn’t take enough because I was too busy having fun … and eating … and somehow acquiring so much stuff I needed 3 suitcases to fit everything. Oops.

See you soon, Germany!

5 Great Things About Visiting Germany

5 Great Things About Visiting Germany

With 2 Germany trips within a few weeks from each other I’ve neglected this blog quite a bit, sorry to the 3 people still reading! 🙂

I got back on Monday so it’s time to get on with the blogging. Here is my Top 5 of why visiting Germany was awesome.

1. Seeing Family and Friends

Obviously the best part of visiting. I forgot to take pictures because I was having too much fun. So thanks to my sister for making us take that one 🙂 And yes, that’s a castle in the background. When in Germany …

2. Butterbrezeln, Maultaschen und Käsespätzle

There are 2 Paulaner and a couple other German restaurants and I’ve never been to one of them (with the exception of the Christmas market and a cheese fondue event but that doesn’t really count as German food). I don’t really miss German food in Shanghai that much, there is a lot other great stuff to eat. So far I’ve really craved Maultaschen once, and then we just made them ourselves. However, when I’m home I love eating my way through all the delicious regional food we have and the goodies my mom makes.

3. Driving

Flying down the Autobahn at 100 mph is fun and somehow very relaxing. I wouldn’t want to drive in Shanghai but I love it in Germany. Unless you’re stuck in a massive traffic jam around Stuttgart of course 🙂

4. Drinking the tap water

Back in Germany we almost never bought water, just drank it straight from the tap. It’s super easy, tastes good and is almost free (important for me as a Swabian 😉 ). In Shanghai we don’t even use the tab water for cooking, so it’s just a nice change.

5. Long summer nights

The sun doesn’t set until 9:30, so I never noticed how late it was getting. These extra 2.5 hours of daylight are fantastic and something I miss here. Eating ice cream in the dark is also fine if there’s no other option 🙂

And I guess views like this also don’t hurt:

Though my trip was great, I’m happy to be back in Shanghai now, especially since I was greeted with perfect blue skies and relatively mild temperatures (only 33°!) and low humidity. I’ll back in Germany again a couple more times this year so until then I’ll be eating dumplings, meeting Shanghai friends and enjoying this crazy city that has become our second home.

Surprise visit!

Surprise visit!

I just got back from a Germany trip this morning at 7 am. Why I thought it would be a good idea to fly all night and then go straight to the office I will never know 😉 But it was definitely worth it!

The visit was to surprise my sisters who celebrated their birthdays together last weekend. I managed to plan a visit almost 2 months ago and to keep it a secret until I arrived … which was pretty hard! To sum it up, they were definitely very surprised when I showed up 🙂 We were very busy having fun but manged to take one slightly blurry picture together.

Besides the birthday party I also met up with friends and old coworkers and we invited both my grandparents over for a barbecue – they didn’t know I was visiting either :). Last Monday was Dragon Boat Festival so I used the chance to hang out with my mom all day, eat ice cream and stock up on summer clothes – today it was 35 degrees in Shanghai.

Also on the agenda: Butterbrezel, Maultaschen, Käsespätzle, Hefezopf, Pizza from my favorite place and berries and cherries fresh from the garden 🙂 The weather was great too, I got a good fix of blue skies, sunshine and fresh air.

Time went by so quickly and now I feel even less ready for Shanghai summer. Especially not for this getting dark at 7 thing. I guess it’s good I’m going back again for business trip in a couple of weeks!