After we said goodbye to Hans (Saying Goodbye), we met Zoë and Heidi (cousins on my mothers side) down the street at the local supermarket. It may have been only a day trip to Holland. It may have been for a funeral. Holland may be only 3.5 – 4 hours away, but the grocery store selection is completely different!   Add in that Zoë and Heidi had planned to come for the week, for their Spring break, it made sense to meet up away from the funeral and at my favorite store – the Albert Heijn!

They arrived right as I came out with a cart filled with Dutch goodies (ontbijtkoek, gevulde koek, drop, snoep, aardappletjes, bier en Froot Shoots!).  Hugs, smiles, a couple of tears from me, saying goodbye is just hard, and we packed back into our cars for the drive home.  I took over for driving for Heidi, long-distances aren’t her favorite, night-driving isn’t her favorite, and snow?  Why was it snowing in April!??!?!

It was just what I needed. Dave had all the kids in our bus, and Heidi and I had four wonderful  hours alone. I had a chance to talk (“mijn eitje kwijt” or lose my egg LOL) and share my grief, and we remembered our Oma (Goodbye Oma; My Oma; Met Oma; My Oma. My Hero.; A Final Goodbye) and we remembered all the fun we had when we were little, and not so little. I am truly blessed to now create new memories with Heidi and our daughters!

On Wednesday I took them on a whirlwind tour of downtown Stuttgart. The snow (in April!) had finally stopped and blue sky peeked out from behind beautiful, white puffballs. We stopped by the old Markthalle and picked up some Indian spices and Turkish treats.  We ate Lángos, an Hungarian deep-fried bread topped with cheese, paprika & cream, in front of a big screen playing comics in the middle of the Schloßplatz (Castle square), had a desert of fabulous, still warm, candied, roasted almonds, and… rode the unstoppable elevator!

The unstoppable elevator (Paternoster) is in the Stuttgart Rathaus (government building) and it is everyone’s favorite stop.  Except that it doesn’t stop. Or have doors.  Hopefully my little video at the end made it into my blog post, I’m never quite sure I have the hang of technology today.


Stuttgart Markthalle


Apparently water fountains are not done in Holland. Zoë drank out of every one!


Mother & daughter enjoying some special German treats! Roasted, sugared, almonds!


Schloßplatz in Stuttgart


We were lucky to be there during the International Trickfilm Festival… but, um… ????


Posing with count Eberhard I


Zoë thinks she’s Atlas

And now, the best part of visiting downtown Stuttgart, the unstoppable elevator (officially a Paternoster).  This is a must for anyone visiting the city!