Camping Food & Fun

We got to the campsite late and had to set everything up in a hurry… and in the dark. Then, around 1 a.m., a major thunderstorm rolled over and all I could do was laugh and laugh and laugh.

I woke up with the baby around 6 a.m, and everyone was still sleeping and snoring. Meanwhile, I had the baby, church bells, and the sound of an occasional barge floating past us on the Mosel. Life is good…and damp.

But good. Continue reading

Fourth of July

We were at the hospital last week when the Fourth of July rolled around. Obviously, it’s an American holiday, and the Germans don’t do anything to observe it. But the Americans do! There are usually festive events on the local military installations, and we try to do something fun at home, too.

But this year was shaping to be a bust due to the circumstances. Neither Martin and I were in any place to put something together for the kids. Continue reading

On the Road Again

Thank goodness for headphones and technology! This road trip would have been very different without ’em.

Belly-scratchin’ in the sunset.

We found a park where these two could burn some serious energy.

Our next stop is near the village of Polverigi, in the middle of Italy’s calf along the Adriatic Sea. There are rolling hills and many sunflower fields like this one across the street from where we are staying.


Go Here. Eat This.

Pic of L and J in front of the restaurant where we stuffed ourselves silly in Alberobello

If you haven’t been to the Itria Valley in Italy, we highly recommend. We wish we scheduled extra days here. There is so much to explore, drink, and taste, for both kids and grown-ups.

For our fellow ex-pat friends, check out the discount flights to Bari or Brindisi. There are roundtrip flights for less than 100€ throughout the year.


This was her reaction when her Dad said she’s giving her Grandpa Larry some competition as the family’s food disposal system. Before this, she cleared four veggie courses, her main course of roast beef, part of her Dad’s meat rolls, and the rest of her sister’s pasta and cheese. We have no idea where it goes. Ahhhh, the metabolism of the young!


We visited the only two-story trullo house, Trullo Sovrano, in Alberobello. It is a museum showing how life looked in there in the 18th-century. Today’s “tiny house movement” clearly came from here centuries ago.

There’s a theory that people were skipping the mortar to avoid higher taxes. This appeals to Martin’s quest for a discount.

Another theory says people went without mortar so when the taxman came to inspect the property, the roof and walls could be quickly dismantled.

Property? What property? There’s no property here.



Family Dinner

EVERYONE is coming over for dinner today, so it is all hands on deck to help prepare the feast. One cousin is making the pasta, another two carried up an extra table, there will be veggies and meat, and pastries…I skipped breakfast today.


Aeolian Islands

Exploring the Aeolian Islands today by boat!

When you are on an island volcano that reeks of sulfer, you order for breakfast the brioche and granita, which is a sweet roll with flavored melted shaved ice (like margarita mix) and cream.

Martin didn’t budget for a yacht, so we chartered a paddleboat with a slide attached for 15€ an hour and paddled out around the bay where the kids got to splash around water so clear we could see the fish and rocks down below.

Swimming with Tante Bärbel in the bay. That’s the active volcano Stromboli in the background.

Another view of the bay. The black sand is soft and fine and hot as hell. It’s been entertaining watching the crazy few (kids and adults) run from their towels to the water with no shoes or flip-flops.

This boy insisted on dragging the roller suitcase all over the island. It made him feel grown up and professional. He didn’t realize his big sister was behind him gently lifting it above all the steps and curbs.

She also snapped this picture.