anniversary, dogs, France

Fire and Rain… in Ribeauville…

Today was our second full day in Ribeauville. We were supposed to spend another full day here, but James Taylor has caused us to leave tomorrow. It appears that his Copenhagen show went off without a hitch, which means that Frankfurt will probably be going on, as planned. So, tomorrow, we will pack up and go back to Germany and, in 24 hours, I suspect I will be sitting in a second row seat, listening to James play and sing. I know not everyone appreciates James Taylor, but he has gotten me through a lot.

Today, I thought we might go to Riquewihr, which is not even 2 miles away. But we ended up not going there, Instead, we had a very sumptuous and filling lunch, then bought some wine and goodies for Bill’s daughter and grandchildren. I would have liked to have gone to Riquewihr, only to pick up wine and maybe some Madeleines. Also, last time we were there, we had lunch in this restaurant, where I had the most delicious potatoes. I would have liked to have gone back for that… but I don’t even know if that place is open, since the Christmas markets are just around the corner.

It’s actually nice that it’s so quiet here right now, since we have the dogs. No one else is staying in the apartments, so the boys are not bothering anyone. And they’ve been very well behaved, anyway. Yesterday, they howled for about a minute before they quieted down. And Noyzi finally figured out that he needs to do his business on the leash. This was very important, because it’s the only way he can go on trips with us. He doesn’t mind being boarded at all, but I think he’s liked this outing. There is also every chance that we’ll be bringing him to the USA with us at some point, so he needs to learn that it’s okay to go to the bathroom on a leash.

This will probably be Arran’s last visit here… but one never knows. He’s been really surprising us over the past month. And this town is so easy to visit, especially when we just want a quick break from home. I envisioned a fancier holiday for our 20th, but this has worked out well. We feel at home here. I won’t have a lot of exciting stuff to travel blog about, but it’s been a beautiful visit, just the same. We’ve had lots of rest, too… and, the beauty of tomorrow is, we rented the apartment until Sunday, so there’s no rush to leave tomorrow morning.

I actually felt motivated to write a rant earlier today, but I think I’ll wait until I get home. I don’t want to shave my Alsatian wine buzz… I feel very fortunate that we have this ability, to just go to France when we feel like it, and hang out in one of its most beautiful areas. It’s a blessing, and I don’t want to spoil it with a complaint.

Today, we had sunshine, and we had rain… hence the title of this post… especially since we will (probably) be seeing the man who composed that song tomorrow night.

divorce, family

Happy womb evacuation day…

A year ago, Bill and I were in Leipzig, Germany, where we had plans to see Mark Knopfler. I had bought tickets to see the famed guitar god in 2018, and seeing him perform live had been on my bucket list for years. We also bought a brand new car last year, and went to Sweden to retrieve it. We arranged to go up there a few days before the show, and then drove the car from Gothenburg, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark, to Rostock, Germany, and finally landing in Leipzig. Leipzig is an awesome city. I would love to go back again. We happened to be there in time for their annual wine festival, which was a lot of fun.

It’s hard to believe all that has happened since July 4, 2019. I remember the day prior, Bill had a Skype call with his younger daughter. She finally started speaking to Bill a few years ago after many years of total silence. Bill’s older daughter still remains estranged. Younger daughter, on July 3, 2019, was still very pregnant and had plans to have her labor induced by July 9th. July 9th happens to be the anniversary of my dad’s death.

When Bill ended his Skype call with his daughter, he said he didn’t think she would make it to July 9th. She was obviously exhausted and looked ready to pop.

The next day, we got in our new car and headed to Leipzig. I remember sitting in the wine festival, listening to music, and watching a couple of live musicians doing their thing. I also saw a young family. Mom and dad and a cute little boy… and mom was clearly expecting a new baby very soon. I suddenly felt kind of sad, because I knew that I would never have what those people had. It was also around the time that the world learned of Joy Anna Forsyth’s (nee Duggar) second trimester miscarriage, which despite my distaste for the Duggars, struck me as exceedingly sad. Of course, she’s about to have another baby next month.

This is about as close to fireworks as we’re getting this year.

Well, sure enough, by the next day, we learned that Bill’s daughter had her baby girl on July 4th. July 4th is also the day Bill’s older daughter exited the womb and made him a father. I know he’s thinking about his older daughter today. He got to meet his granddaughter in March, and he’s already talking about sending birthday greetings for her. Beyond that, we don’t have any major plans for Independence Day. We don’t usually do a lot on the Fourth of July, anyway, but it’s not a holiday in Germany. Bill will probably grill out, like he did last night, and we’ll drink too much and listen to music. Maybe we’ll practice guitar. I got him a few accessories for his guitar for his upcoming birthday. Bill did get yesterday off work, so he spent the day lamenting that Arran destroyed a large part of his garden.

Meanwhile, I spent some quality time with my guitar, surprising Bill with a fairly decent rendition of “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison, which isn’t a really hard song to play if you’re just doing the rhythm strumming and not trying to do the riffs. I also booked us a hotel room for a short weekend break in two weeks. I was wanting to go to Gerolstein, but had trouble finding appealing accommodation in the town itself, which is known for its mineral water. I ended up finding us a place in Meerfeld, which boasts an 80,000 year old “Maar”, a kind of lake formed by an explosion. I don’t feel as anxious about this trip as I did about my birthday trip to the Therme two weeks ago. We mainly just want to get away for a few days and be out in the country. The area is in the Eifel region, close to the Mosel Valley. It’s pretty, peaceful, and there’s a lot you can do outside in nature. There’s also a nearby salt water “Therme”, which I hope to try. Hopefully, we’ll stay healthy.

I’m grateful that Bill at least has contact with his granddaughter, even if his older daughter is still estranged. She’s 29 years old today. The last time I saw her in person, she was about to turn twelve. I haven’t seen Bill’s younger daughter since she was nine. I don’t feel like I’m related to them, even though I know how much Bill loves his daughters and misses them. I’m glad I encouraged him to make the visit in March happen. Although there was a lot of crying, there was also a lot of healing done. For that reason, 2020 will never be as bad for us as it’s been for a lot of people. It’s been the year that Bill finally got to take back what Ex tried to take away from him with her toxic bullshit.

There’s something else I kind of want to write about today… and I might do it later, after breakfast. I hesitate because I don’t want a shitstorm… especially on what should be a holiday.


Off to Cologne…

It’ll be a two night trip. Going to see the Eagles for the first and probably the last time in my life. All of the bands I loved when I was young are now getting old, retiring, or dying. Last time we visited Cologne was May 2012. That time, we stayed at the Ibis next to the train station. This time we’re staying near the train station again, but in nicer digs.

I don’t know if I’ll have anything to write about while we’re gone. We’ll see what happens. The dogs are trying out their new “Hundepension”. Hopefully, it’ll be alright for them for two nights, so they’ll be ready at the end of June when we take our big road trip north.

So if I don’t write anything tomorrow or the next day, see you Thursday… probably, anyway… for the few readers who visit daily.