We are playing musical strep at my house, we are on round two with Cole just ending, Tess just starting. This is fun. In between rounds we are knocking out holiday stuff, work, and even a couple of hours of fun on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Fun is not hard to find in Germany. Germans take work and school very seriously.  They are punctual. Complete their tasks. Live their lives with great order.  And with all that, there must be fun.  They are amazing at making sure there is plenty to do with free time. They are amazing at planning fantabulous festivals, events & markets. My only wish is to have as much free time as Germans so I can participate in all the fun!

My favorite time of year is the Christmas season.  Late November the Weihnachtsmarkts (or Christmas markets) start opening up.  Some start in November – Christmas, like my favorite the Stuttgart WeihnachtsMarkt, and some are only a weekend like my second favorite, the Kepler WeihnachtsMarket / MittelalterMarkt in Weil der Stadt.

Stuttgart is adorable, the booths are all wooden, decorated beautifully (there’s a yearly contest) and it feels incredibly festive.  It’s also a little crowded and overwhelming on a weekend… when I have time to go.  Weil der Stadt, on the other hand, is my favorite small city. It’s still surrounded, mostly, by a wall, and guarded by watchtowers and the town steeple.  This year, for the first time since I’ve been here, the town steeple was open to visitors.  Eagle eye view of our countryside.   And the sky was blue!  Believe me, it’s hard for me to share only a couple of my 100’s of pictures.

I was giddy with delight just walking up the steps to the church steeple:


This is not our village, our village is a little farther away than my eye could see, but this is what all the villages look like near me. Sometimes I just need to pinch myself how lucky I am to live here.
A Dave Story: Back in WWII, soldiers memorized the different church steeples of the villages on their “route”. This is how they could locate their position on starless nights, along with a compass, of course.


Dave took a picture of me & the kids at the top of the church steeple.  The sun was bright.


Tess loves this picture of her.  She loves the contrast of her purple hair with the old interior of the steeple.


Dane’s favorite part was the bow shooting event. There are many Schützenhaus in our area, I think it’s time to sign him up for a children’s course. Archery runs in our family, my Opa (Pierre Geelen) was a fierce competitor.


I briefly got lost from Dave & the kids and saw these amazing “Golden Snitch” necklaces. I took a picture to not forget them, after I found Dave and more money, and then forgot 🙁


Dane’s other favorite part was feeding the alpaca’s (it’s not two-headed, I promise!).  Apparently their lips are almost as soft as their fur.


I enjoyed not only the traditional Glühwein, but also a cherry mead in the mittlealtermarkt portion.


We left right at sunset.  One last beautiful view of one of my favorite places on earth, on a perfect Sunday afternoon.