Sunday, May 29, 2011

1 hour 45

I am so proud of my darling Zev. This morning he ran the Stuttgart Half Marathon. It was the perfect day for it too; 73 degrees Fahrenheit and beautiful blue German skies. Zev has trained very hard for this run and ran an excellent time; his PR to date (1:45). He looked great afterwards too and had so much energy left! I played photographer today and am glad that I did because I am battling a terrible cold that has left my nose all red like Rudolph (the red nosed reindeer ;-). Here are some highlights from the morning! Enjoy...
1. My gorgeous boy before the run. He ran in the "yellow" team (based on his time) and looked perfectly color coordinated (in my opinion) in his yellow shirt and yellow sunglasses. I am sure he didn´t plan it that way ;-)
2. His name and number. In case he forgot his name. 
3. Portaloos anybody (notice what is going on in the background)? Remember, this IS Europe! Ha
4. Seems that Stuttgarters never pass up an opportunity to make a political statement (the population is VERY politically active here. Very "green" and liberal.) The signs on these men´s shirts are protesting the "Stuttgart 21" project, which is a project to modernize and expand the central train station and make Stuttgart more of a hub. It involved cutting down trees though and that never goes over well...A proposed solution is the "Stuttgart 21" project.
5. Pink socks. This was a male runner too. I like the color actually.
6. The Polizei were helping clear traffic. I like the female officer´s white beret.
7. And they´re off! First off were the hand cyclists followed by the roller bladers.
8. Here comes my boy!
9. He was so focused and I was trying to snap pictures as quickly as I could, that he almost missed seeing me until I shouted his name!
10. The local firefighters even came out for a look.
11. Victory is SWEET!
12. Showing me his prize.
13. Checking to make sure it´s real.
14. Home bound with his new "Mein Lauf" commemorative shirt.
15. Getting all high tech. Zev´s run mapped out on his special Garmin GPS watch.
Well done, Zev. I am so proud of you!

We have a special shout out to Uncle Johnny, who is celebrating his 50th birthday today! Happy Birthday, Uncle John. Here´s to many more to come...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

German friends

One of the best things about moving bases/ places/ countries every 3 or so years, is getting to know the awesome "locals." Zev and I still keep in touch with and visit the people that we became close friends with at each base including Glenbrook, Australia, Montgomery, Alabama, Shreveport, Louisiana (hi Leslie!) and now Germany.
German people are nice, however even Germans will admit that they can be a little distant/ stand-offish until they get to know you.
A lot of Americans complain that they have never been invited to a German´s house. Germans seem to like to catch up in a public place such as at a festival or in a restaurant. Nonetheless, we were happy this past weekend to get invited to a birthday party for one of my friends from my law classes at uni, Philipp, at the home that he and Laura (also a fellow law student) share.
We met their family, had some delicious homemade potato salad and then some apple cake and enjoyed just hanging out with our "German friends". The crazy thing is, I didn´t get a picture of the birthday boy, Philipp! Here am I with the lovely Laura.
I look forward to the friends we will make at our next posting! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Darling Buds of May

May has been a fun month, a busy month for Zev and I, but a fun and beautiful month nonetheless. The flowers are blossomming (which is wreaking havoc with poor Zev´s sinus´) and the birds are chirping and everything seems bright and plentiful and beautiful. I seem to recall poetry the best in the season of Spring. A lot of poets wrote Odes to the season of Spring as well as the other seasons. One of my favorite poets is Keats and one of my favorite poems is his Ode to Autumn (which although is not Ode to Spring), has some beautiful alliteration and imagery. So the point is, that Spring has been a beautiful time to catch up with friends and enjoy the outdoors. Here is a collection of pictures to show you what we have been up to. Enjoy the Spring!

1. Esslinger Weinwandertag

2. Dinner with Adele, Romain and their beautiful baby girl, Manon

3. Visit from Australian Leah!
In case you were wondering where the line of this post is from, it is actually from one of my favorite TV shows growing up called The Darling Buds of May. It was a British show set in the countryside in the 1950s and features a lovely, young Catherine Zeta Jones. The line is also from a famous Shakespeare Sonnet, Sonnet 18. And now. Some Shakespeare.

Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Running in lederhosen

Last night we joined our dear friends, Hans and Gena, at the local "Frühlingsfest" or "Spring Festival" in Bad Canstatt (next town over from Stuttgart).
This year, we all had the traditional dress (called "Trachtenmode" here) to wear, and I must admit that Zev looked pretty dapper in his lederhosen! (Look at those legs!!) He looked so cute.
Poor Zev got to try out running in those thick, tightly sewn leather pants, when I realized at the bus stop that I had forgotten my uni semester pass at home, and he gallantly ran back home to get it for me. I love this man. 
We were definitely not the odd ones out though. About half of the girls I saw wore dirndls and about a fifth of the men wore lederhosen.
It was such a fun evening. We met at 4pm and sat inside a traditional beer tent just enjoying the sunshine and company. We even took in a "haunted" roller coaster ride, which was really a cheesy but funny slow train ride with some "scary" masks and people popping out. I must admit that I "may" have screamed in surprise a few times. I don´t do so good on scary rides, or scary movies for that matter.
We then headed to another traditional Austrian "village" (like a beer garden), where we sat and talked and listened to the traditional Bavarian music and watched people go by.
We left at about 9pm; before the festival got too crazy. It was nice to be in bed at a reasonable hour!