Does anyone remember that old Mervyn’s commercial? The one with the lady standing in front of the door opening and closing her hands and begging the store to open-open-open? No? Just me? It may just be an ’80’s California thing. That doesn’t take away that that lady… is me.

It’s all of us on lockdown. Open-open-open. It’s our mantra. Our burning desire for a return to normal. A slight return to normal. A chance to people. To shop. To live.

We had a brief glimpse at normality. Things opened for a whopping three days. In some areas things opened for longer, in others they never opened. For us, on base, it opened for three days.

During those three days, Christian and I escaped up to Stuttgart for an afternoon. There are some birthdays coming up and we desperately needed some perfect birthday gifts. If we can’t be there, at least we wanted to put a smile on their faces.

Poor Christian. I talked non-stop the entire drive up. It’s maybe a 45 minute drive from our house in a tiny village to the middle of downtown Stuttgart. I talked the entire time. I was so excited to get out!

My favorite garage was closed, so we parked in a new-to-me garage. Bonus, it has an amazing hidden, small, Asian store right at the exit. I was able to get a teriyaki sauce I’ve been craving, as well as furikake and lots of ramen & noodles. Already my day was perfect.

We got snacks first. Where I live delivery is not really an option. The nearest fast food is a McDonald’s about 12 minutes away. Sometimes I’ll splurge and get schnitzel from our favorite brauhaus, but mostly we eat what I cook. And what I do not cook is bao. I love Vietnamese! So of course I got a bao sandwich, to go, there is no eating in.

It turned out, despite things opening, things weren’t that open. My favorite store for pajama’s, and lets face it, I live in pajama’s, was closed. Others required an appointment, including my other favorite 4-story store. And appointments were all full. That did not dampen our spirits. We were out! It was a beautiful day.

fresh bao
my favorite store is closed
Smart. Redoing the square during the pandemic.