Hallo! My name is Kelly. I grew up in New Orleans, LA. I married my husband Billy in Oct 2000 in N.O. We have three children and have moved from Abita, Springs, Louisiana to Stuttgart, Germany. This is something we have dreamed about and it is our first expat experience. I hope everyone enjoys reading about our adventures because I am very excited to share.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mom's visit/Thanksgiving

Actual Dates of this event: November 17-November 29

I am starting this blog all over again:( apparently this new blog doesn't pick up where you leave off if you close the app, the old one did.  Sigh

So after 6 months of living here mom finally arrived for her first visit.  My mom used to live in Furth, Germany because my dad was stationed in Nurnberg.  She has not been back since she left 43 years ago.  There were a few things she wanted to re visit, such as Nurnberg, her old apartment building, Rothenburg, and Garmisch.  We had been to all those places except Nurnberg so we were excited to see something different.  One thing about living in Germany, every village is like a trip, they are all unique and offer something different.

The day mom landed we served her, upon request, the German sausages and brotchen.  Delish!! We have this part down to a science.  The breads here are the best.  It was an ok day outside, cold and a bit cloudy but not awful so after lunch we headed to Rubble Hill.  I have spoke of this in other blogs, it is the highest point in Stuttgart and is a hill made from the building debris from the war.  Very sad when you think about it but a must see in Stuttgart.  We hiked up Rubble Hill and enjoyed the views, even though a bit cloudy

We then took her to the base for some Starbucks and so she could see the boys' school and what the PX was like compared to when she was here.  Very very different!!
There was a Saints game on that night, I think against the 49ers so mom and Billy stayed up to watch. This was like a 40 hour day for her. Of course I slept, I can no longer do that, not with kids.

The next day (Monday) the kids were at school and Billy at work so we headed to Rothenburg.  We packed our yummy sandwiches and had a great day.  We shopped, I got my first German smoker and we had a nice traditional German dinner, goulash suppe of course.  Then we went on our tour with the night watchman, this is the best tour ever and I wish everyone could do it.  Unfortunately for my winter visitors it is not daily in the winter:(
 My smoker, the wine one.

The next day we hung around here and she was able to eat lunch with Blake at school.
I have a picture but cannot find at the moment:/?

On Wednesday we took the train into Stuttgart.  We went to the market and had Chinese food for lunch, not very common here.  We shopped and visited the beginnings of the Stuttgart Christmas market where Mom was able to try her first gluhvein, hot mulled sweet wine, served at all the winter markets.  May not sound appealing but it's actually pretty good.

That night we attended Blake's Boyscout bowl a thon.  This took place at the bowling alley on Base where we spend a lot of time.  Everyone loves hanging out here, the pizza is really good and the atmosphere is great.  We had a great time that night.

The next day was the big trip to Nurnberg and Furth.  We were actually able to find her old apartment.  It looks quite different, it was red brick with cobble stone streets.  Interesting because on the edges of the pavement you can still see the cobblestone.
This is so neat to me because never in a million years would I have ever thought me or my kids would ever be standing in the place my parents lived so long ago in Germany.

While in Nurnberg we also visited the Nurnberg Trials Museum.  Words cannot say how neat this was.  You are given headphones and each section has a number, so you go around to the different areas you are most interested in and listen to that piece of history.  I think the neatest part of this was the courtroom.  This is he actual courtroom where the trials were held.  Known as Courtroom 600.  This courtroom is still open today for criminal trials but thankfully the day we were there nothing was going on so we were able to go in and sit while we listened to excerpts from the trials.  What a great history lesson this was.

After this we went for a nice German dinner of schnitzel and goulash suppe and Kurbis Kreme suppe.  My favorite!

On Friday we woke up, packed the car and our sandwiches and headed to Garmisch, the Bavarian Alps, for the weekend.  We had been there in the summer but this would be a whole new experience.  Originally we were hoping the kids could take ski lessons and then were informed the slopes would not open til the following week.  A few days before going I saw a post saying they were going to open while we were there, but NO.  That was disappointing until about 1pm Saturday when it began snowing and never stopped.  It was so beautiful.  We took mom to the Gorge we fell in love with over the summer, she started it but chose to turn back But we did have a nice lunch on the walk.

That night we had dinner at an authentic Slap dancing restaurant, very entertaining and delicious .

After dinner we went to the lodge, across the street from our apartment and us 3 girls sat by the fire with hot chocolate and played on our iPads while the little boys went to the arcade and the big boy visited the little casino.

The next morning we went to a beautiful brunch.  It was not only delicious and relaxing but beautiful to look outside and see all of the snow.  After brunch we headed to a mountain where Billy and the kids could go sledding, Billy says this was the highlight of the trip:)
Our view during brunch

A typical Bavarian home
This was our apartment.  Along with the following pics
He apartment was perfect and very German.  Only down fall was no wifi:(((
Bella has a pink waterproof coat with a flannel plaid inside:) she was so adorable

Back home in Stuttgart on Monday we took mom to the Ritter Sport Chocolate Facory to pick up some yummy treats for her friends back home

On Tuesday we cooked ALL day making all the Thanksgiving specialties, we hosted Thanksgiving at our home for a few friends in the area.  Tuesday night we realized at other than doners, mom had not eaten in our town.  We tried to take her to the popular Brauhaus near our house but it was overly crowded.  We wound up at this super quaint little German restaurant that was very good and had a charming atmosphere minus the American music in the background:)

Wednesday was moms last ReAL day to do anything since we were having people over on Thursday so Wednesday morning we boarded the train for the town of Esslingen.  This is an adorable medieval German village about 25 minutes away.  We enjoyed their Christmas market where we had gluhvein, sausage on brotchen, homemade waffles and crepes.  Oh, and my favorite here.....sauerkraut with spatzle(noodles) and bacon.
This was my first true Christmas market and I have to say I love them.  It takes away the commercial aspect of the holidays and brings out the festiveness.  The holidays seem to be much more laid back here.  Don't get me wrong people goto malls but not like in the states.  They give smaller and less commercialized gifts here.  I LoVE this!!!!! And tonight, December 5, Kris Kringle comes and puts candy in the kiddies shoes that they leave outside their door:) very traditional

After this wonderful daytime Christmas market we grabbed Billy NAND the kids and headed to the Christmas market in our town.  Ours was a much smaller one and is only open for that weekend, the villages try to help each other and not create so much competition.

On thanksgiving we had friends over and celebrated.  It was a nice day with great food, we were glad to have mom here with us.  The holidays will be good but very different this year with no family, the only bummer about being so far away.  
On Friday morning after dropping mom at the airport we came home and slept all day.  It was a fantastic trip and we can't wait to do it again.
Rachel and Donna, brace yourselves it is COLD!!!!!
Tomorrow Billy and I head to Amsterdam with our friends Debbie and Luke who are living in London.  We are celebrating Billy's birthday, his last year in his 30's:/
Sorry for all the details but I wanted mom to be able to look back on this and not forget things.
Have a great weekend!!!!!!!


  1. So much fun!!!! Glad she was able to visit, I bet she loved it! Can't wait to see you (and kill our sickness) in Amsterdam!!! Puh-haar-TAY!!!!!

  2. Love your blog! So you glad you guys had such a great visit and you were able to see a glimpse of you Mom's life. Very neat! Can't believe I will be there in 2 months. YAY! Have fun this weekend. Hi Debbie :)