Brad and his best childhood friend, Richard, reunited in Einsidelerhof. This is the lake where they went camping and chasing girls.
Brad was very excited to show me where they used to play in the woods, the bomb holes left from WWII, the castle ruins. Also where the gypsy camp was and where the "Strasse Queens" would stand and tease the boys as they walked by.
The river boats coming from upstream would slam on their brakes, and let the back end of the boat flip 180 degrees by the current until they could move into position facing back upstream.
Live music with Richard's friends' singing, "Country Roads." (The Germans can turn any song into a beer drinking song). Fireworks over the river, shooting out of the castles on the hills, and for a finale -- waterfalls of fire coming over the castle walls.
Driving home at 2AM, we ran out of gas on the Autobahn. As we coasted slower and slower, Brad asked Guenter, "Was ist los?" And Guenter quietly replied, "Der Auto ist kaput." Had to wait over an hour for a tow truck, then had to fit 10 people in the cab of the tow truck. So much laughter.
Maria lit a candle for Jennifer and I at the church.
Hearing the church bells ring out every day.
Buying a paper cone of fresh apricots from the farmers market.
They have bakery trucks for home delivery.
Each city has it's own symbol. This fish is for Kaiserslautern. They decorate the manholes with them.
On Friday night we sat outside a cafe on the cobbled street, talking with everyone, while Brad and Richard drank meter bier (literally, a meter of beer). Out of the corner of my eye I saw some more of the family coming to join us. I felt so much a part of the family and fun.
Spending time with Richard's girlfriend, Jennifer, a genuine person with a warm heart.
Brad told Maria that riding on the badly paved streets was a "German massage." She thought it was funny.
A day on the Mosel River--a dream come true. Lunch on a deck overlooking the view as the sun came out. Riesling wine for lunch. Meandering the old cobbled streets of Bernkastel.
Sunday lunch outside at St Martin beside the fountain. Chicken, wrapped in bacon, with wine sauce and grapes and a side of rosemary potatoes. A meal never to be forgotten.
Tasted little Mirabellen, tiny golden plums.
One night for dinner we had cheesecake, plum tart, and strudel. The next morning for breakfast we had cheesecake with jam. They seem to eat nothing but schnitzel, bratwurst, ice cream and pastries.
Advice from Richard: If a wild boar chases you, run downhill. Their legs are too short in the front to run downhill.