dogs, France, travel

A quick hello from France!

It’s already 5:00pm, and I’m just now sitting down to post on my blog. I can’t even say it’s been a particularly busy day. Last night, we had dinner at one of the few Ribeauville restaurants we’d never tried. It also happened to be one of the few places that was open right now. Our “host” says that a lot of the local businesses shut down around now, because the Christmas markets are about to start. When the markets start, they will be working very hard, so they take a break beforehand.

Isn’t that crazy? In America, you’d never see half a town shut down because of upcoming Christmas markets. But then, people in America don’t have the same concept of work/life balance as the French do. In a couple of months, a lot of them will shut down again, because it’ll be January and DEAD.

We often come to Ribeauville when it’s the low season. Although this is our sixth time here, we have only been here once when tourism was a thing. I remember we were relegated to a tiny gite, because the one we usually rent was booked. I don’t mind that a lot of places are closed, as long as a few restaurants are open so we don’t starve.

Noyzi took all day to pee. He’s not used to going to the bathroom while on his leash. Bill said it was a two minute stream. He still hasn’t pooped yet. I’m sure that’s coming soon. Hopefully, it will happen outside.

We took a walk this morning, then had a big lunch with a bottle of wine. When we came back in the mid afternoon, I was really sleepy. So I tried to read… and sure enough, I was soon in dreamland. It was a very nice nap, but now it’s dark outside.

Arran has been to this town a few times, although his last visit was in 2018. When we arrived here yesterday, he knew exactly where to go, and was leading the way. I know he has cancer, but you’d really never know it to look at him right now. He’s doing very well.

It looks like James Taylor’s show is going to happen on Saturday, so we will cut this visit short. I think it will be a good thing, if only because Noyzi will probably really need to poop. He usually gets poop zoomies before he goes. He can’t do that here. But he’s enjoying himself, and I think he’s loving seeing a new town in a different country. This is a good place to teach him how to travel. Maybe we can bring him along more often, although he really loves being boarded. Arran, on the other hand, would much rather be with us. I could tell, yesterday, that he was so glad not to be going to the Hunde Hotel.

Ribeauville is a sight for sore eyes. I’m glad we came here to celebrate our 20th anniversary. This morning’s croissant alone, made it worth the trip. I may write something more substantial tomorrow, but today, I just felt like enjoying the break and taking a nap with my favorite boys…

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blog news, condescending twatbags, dogs, rants, travel

Home again, and glad of it!

Here’s a quick post before I delve into blogging about our most recent trip to the Schwarzwald. Bill and I got home about 45 minutes ago, after a relatively peaceful drive back to Wiesbaden. Today is German Reunification Day, so almost everything is closed. The posts are open, though, so Bill has gone to the commissary to buy some food for tonight. The weather cleared up just as we were leaving Baiersbronn. What a shame we’re missing it, because there were some things I would have liked to have done, had there not been rain.

We still managed to have a good time. It was restful in the Black Forest, and it’s always a pleasure to visit. I often feel twinges of regret and bittersweetness when we’re down there, since we lived in that area for about four years. It’s too bad we left living in that area with a rather bad taste in our mouths, thanks to our lawsuit against our former landlady. But at least we can visit, and enjoy how pretty it is. Living there introduced us to some nice areas that we can now justify booking stays in when we go see our dentist in Stuttgart.

As for the Bareiss Hotel… it really is a lovely place and we had a good time. We spent a good chunk of change, but it was significantly less than what we would have spent on a cruise. And since we were there with our car, we could easily get around and not be a captive audience. Not that we really took advantage of that. Thanks to the rain, we stayed pretty close to the hotel grounds.

Bill and I both had a lot of weird dreams while we were at the hotel. I think it’s because we were both worried about Arran. I really hope he’s okay. We’ll find out tonight.

I woke up at about 3am this morning, needing to go to the bathroom. When it was over, I was wide awake, so I went on Facebook… That was a mistake. On Saturday, we had a really nice lunch at the hotel. I had fresh trout, which was absolutely delicious. However, because it’s Europe, the whole fish is served. Several people left disgusted comments on the photo I shared. I let the first couple roll off my back somewhat, but then someone said it looked like someone had thrown up on the plate.

I guess the heart means we’re going home… because that’s where the heart is.

My response was an angry reaction, and the comment “That is not nice.”

The person doubled down with more “‘yucking’ on my ‘yum'”, so I posted “Can y’all who don’t like this picture of my delicious, fresh, trout lunch just keep scrolling or X out the photo, rather than leaving negative comments? Some you are being quite rude.”

To their credit, the person did apologize and delete the comment. Of course, by then I’d already seen it and felt irritated about it. And then I just deleted the photo, because I didn’t want to read and feel the need to respond to any more inappropriate comments about it.

I hated to have to make that statement, and I’m sure some people would call me “overly sensitive” for being annoyed about that, but I was already irritated because I couldn’t sleep. I just don’t see the need to leave those kinds of negative comments. Some people were enjoying seeing what we were eating at the hotel, and obviously, I like fresh trout. I don’t necessarily like looking at the eyes and the tail either, but the alternative is a decapitated fish. In any case, a fresh trout decoratively covered in almonds, tomatoes, and lemon is in no way reminiscent of vomit. And even if it was, there’s really no need to say so. I was delighted by the fresh trout, so posting that it looked like puke is basically insulting my taste. I don’t like looking at mushrooms on Facebook, but other people do. I simply X out the photo and move on. It’s not hard to do… moreover, the person who made that comment has put up photos that I have not commented on, but surely could say plenty of rude things about if I were a less considerate person.

Maybe it’s my fault, though. I can be inappropriate sometimes. Some people probably think it’s okay to say whatever they want to me. Anyway… I’ll probably bitch more about this in the travel blog, so I’ll stop now.

For now, I’ll just say it’s good to be home… and it’ll be so good to see the dogs again. I hope Arran will set our minds at ease, but if he doesn’t, at least we can take care of him and make him more comfortable.

I’m grateful that we got a few days away, though. We needed them. And there are plenty of world events I’m ready to opine about in the coming days. So now, if you want to read about our trip, come over to the travel blog. That’s where the story will be, starting today. I hope you’re there for it.

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blog news, travel

Today was a day of rest…

Yesterday, Bill and I had some grand plans to drive out and maybe do some hiking to waterfalls. I have been missing them, since we moved to Hesse a few years ago. But we woke up to steady rain, and it continued for most of the day. We might have gone back to the pool, but I figured there would be a lot of kids there. So we left the room long enough to give housekeeping a chance to tidy up, then we had lunch. After lunch, we came back to the room and I took a long nap.

Tonight, there was a gala dinner that consisted of many courses. All of the ladies were presented with roses, hence the vase of water that was mysteriously placed in our room. The men all got chocolates. Dinner is over now, so we’ll probably go to bed early. We were up late last night after many cocktails.

I hope tomorrow, the weather is nicer, so we can enjoy the area before we leave on Monday. I have really missed our dogs, especially since this is a very dog friendly hotel. Ours would probably make too much noise, though. I am ready to see them. I’ve been worried about Arran, but we haven’t gotten any alarming emails from the Hundepension.

Bill has to go away a couple of times in October for work, which distresses me, since Arran has lymphoma. Other than the James Taylor concert in November, we have nothing else planned. Not even for our 20th wedding anniversary.

It has been nice to get away… but it’ll be good to be home. Every day, we run up more of a bill. 😉

I look forward to writing the story of this trip on my much neglected travel blog.

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Ex, LDS, mental health, travel

Home again, and ready to write up our trip to Antwerp… but first, more on the wild world of Ex.

I’m sure I could write one of my usual testy manifestos right now, but the travel blog beckons. I had a great time in Belgium. and am looking forward to sharing what I learned about Antwerp. But rest assured, I’ll be back to complaining on this blog very soon. 😉

At the very least, I can add some more complaints about Ex, who now claims that she’s a “senior dog rescuer”… but she NEEDS a puppy to train for her “severely autistic son”. And she begs for money to put up a fence, but also lacks the $12,000 she says she needs to train a dog. What will she do when the dog needs to go to the vet? How will she afford to feed it?

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, yes, she did used to have an elderly poodle named Fifi… but Fifi was definitely not better off for the experience, since #3 kicked her so hard that she lost an eye. What’s even scarier is that #3 works as a CNA. Maybe he’s better now, after twenty years. I’d still be leery of him as a healthy person, let alone as someone who needs nursing care. I hope he’s gotten better about controlling his temper.

But anyway, this is what she says…

I wish I could adopt a senior dog; I’ve always been a pound puppy mama. I cant this time. I have to find a puppy for my autistic child that will be trainable to take care of his emotional needs.

😭

I am going to put a fundraiser on PayPal!! I tried once to get help but no replies

Um no, Ex, you’ve not always been a “pound puppy mama”. And your “child” will be a grown man in three short years. You have also unsuccessfully tried to raise funds on PayPal at least twice, not just once. Give it up.

Yes, I know I sound really bitchy, but I think I’m owed. My husband is still trying to mend the relationship he and his younger daughter missed because of Ex’s selfishness and stupidity. We’re losing hope for older daughter, who is still the caregiver of Ex’s “severely autistic child”.

And she’s still stuck on Star Wars, which hardly makes her unique, but maybe if she spent less time tweeting about celebrities and more time earning money, she might not need to crowdfund.

Personally, I am LOVING the attention to detail and the explanations of the backstory of not just Obi-Wan, but Leia and Anakin… just gives us more depth the Vader’s character, don’t you think?

I never got into Star Wars myself. I know it’s very popular. Of course, I grew up with people talking about it all the time, so I am basically familiar. But if I had big goals like building a fence or getting a service dog for my “autistic child” (teenager), I would hope I’d be more focused on that.

One last thing before I move on to happier topics on my travel blog…

Aww Chris, you’re so cute. Ok, you can marry my daughter. There… it’s between you and #keanureeves . Oh wait… there is one more,. His name is on the tip of my tongue. (Will edit when I recall.)

Oh!!! Och aye!!! The third is

@SamHeughan zzzzzzzzz I’m falling asleep!!! Good grief !!

Which daughter does she mean? Her 19 year old pansexual daughter who just started college? Or her almost 31 year old daughter who has basically been working as Ex’s scullery maid? I’d be interested to know… ETA: Not that there’s ANYTHING at all wrong with being pansexual… it’s just that the daughter might have something to say about it, right? Maybe she’d rather date someone without a dick.

Meanwhile, younger daughter still feels alienated because she’s a devout Mormon, a belief system that Ex forced on the family and later abandoned. Ex now ridicules younger daughter for being a believer, even though she’s the one who made her go to church in the first fucking place! And she did that only so she could control/alienate Bill.

Yep… it’s a hell of a world Ex lives in… and I wouldn’t want to visit it. But I would like to visit Antwerp again, so I’m going to head over to the travel blog to explain why. And yes, on Monday, we did enjoy plenty of wine. In other words, it was an ordinary day, save for the flaming torch I got when I had dessert last night. 😉

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nostalgia, travel, videos, YouTube

Pan Am flight attendant training videos are so very entertaining!

A couple of weeks ago, I happened across a YouTube channel for the Pan Am Museum Foundation. Pan Am, for those who were born after the early 1990s, was a much celebrated American airline. I remember flying Pan Am a couple of times in the 1970s, when my family of origin lived in England. Everyone used to rave about the high service standards. In 1988, Pan Am’s reputation took a hit, when one of its fleet, Flight 103, was bombed over Lockerbie, Scotland. 243 passengers and 16 crew members perished. I was sixteen years old at the time. Just a few years after the bombing, the legendary airline went bust, but people still remembered it fondly.

I remember in 2011, there was a television show called Pan Am that was a dramatized series about the early years of the airline. It was kind of a cool show. I was sorry when it was canceled after one season. I also read an interesting self-published book called Pan Am Unbuckled, written by a woman who was a flight attendant for Pan Am. I’m not sure if the author knew about the TV show when she published her book, but I’m sure the show helped her pick up some sales.

The boss giving Pan Am flight attendants a pep talk.

I love to watch cheesy employee training videos, especially the ones that were made in the 70s and 80s. The Pan Am Museum Foundation has a whole bunch of these videos on YouTube, which are great for killing a few minutes and getting some laughs. Most of the videos are rather poorly acted. I can think of a couple that would be considered offensive, or politically incorrect, today. Check out this 50s era video about serving food. At one point, the golden voice narrator adopts a generic Asian accent as he describes serving Asian food.

I have never seen airline food that looks like this…
This one is kind of nice. It reminds me of those hygiene films we used to watch in school!

The videos also remind us of what flying was like in the past. Years ago, it was possible to smoke on a flight, and one of the videos even addresses how to deal with people who light up in the no smoking section! In another, a smoker is yelled at by a flight attendant for sitting in her jump seat, while she smokes a cigarette. And this is deemed perfectly okay!

I like how the passenger is calmly smoking when she gets busted by the flight attendant.
You can’t smoke here! The smoker wants to shop for furs in London, too!

And here is a video about an uppity woman who thinks she should get a free upgrade to first class. It’s really too funny! It’s hard to believe that people want to work on airplanes, especially since most of them don’t get paid until the plane starts taxiing. Yes, when they are greeting you as you board the flight, they are working for free! I did read that that policy is probably going to change, thanks to the hell flight attendants have had to deal with during the pandemic.

I fly Pan Am all the time… you need to treat me like I’m special.

The below video was less interesting to me… But it does remind one of how service used to be much more important than it is now. He shows how to serve champagne and carve roast beef, which they used to do right at the person’s seat. Nowadays, even in first class, flying feels like a lowbrow affair.

I wonder if this guy was this helpful at home.

And here’s a video depicting a rather unpleasant flight attendant confronting other flight attendants. She’s quite testy. I can’t blame her.

Linda doesn’t like a disorganized galley. There’s about to be a cat fight!
Flight attendant listens to a man who is upset about missing a connection.

It really is fun to watch some of these videos, although they are a painful reminder of how old I am. I wish I’d had the opportunity to fly Pan Am more when it was still in service. I very vaguely remember flying them to Tunisia. I think we also flew Pan Am when we moved back to the States from England. I remember their mascot was a panda bear named Pierre, and they gave all the kids cool schwag to keep them busy. In those days, there weren’t a lot of entertainment options.

Wouldn’t it be funny if someone turned these videos into a live acted comedy show? I’ve seen other people write about them, so I’m definitely not the only one who finds them fun to watch. They are also a reminder of a bygone era, never to return. And that IS kind of sad. At least we still have the videos!

Oh my… this is so SOVIET!! It’s awesome! Both the airline and the country ceased to exist in 1991.
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