21 May 2010

A Sunny Weekend

Hello again. It has been raining here for what seems like weeks!! It makes me want to....huhm, procrastinate? The forecast calls for 4 days of sunshine! whoo hoo! Last week I was the recipient of a beautiful new bike and a bike trailer for the little people. We went out one day after school and got drenched b/c I lost my keys and we were searching forEVER for them. They were at the police station. I had actually left them in an office I had visited. Haha. Back to the bikes....Hopefully we will have the nice weather promised to go on a trip! I am thinking maybe to the Vogelstang lake. It is about 2 miles on the trails. The only concern is the uphill to get over the Autobahn. My fingers are crossed that I make it without embarrassing myself having to get off and push the bike and kid in tow.

There are amazing bike trails around Mannheim and Germany in general. Every place that we have visited has them, and they are extensive. I am thinking that you could pretty much get anywhere you want in this country on bike/trek trails. Germans take their health a lot more seriously than Americans. I have a map of the Rheinland-Pfalz area, but am unable to find one for Baden-Wurttemberg. That will have to be my mission. The Army's OutDoor Rec center usually have them, but the services in this community are seriously lacking. Not only have there been many cuts to programs all together, but the ones that remain are limited, have absolutely no customer service (bowling alley), or they just don't care about our families anymore. I digress.

We might just pack a lunch and go explore. That is one of my favorite things to do. You never know what you will find when you aren't looking. I want to find my way to the Neckar River. The confluence with the Rhine is right here in Mannheim. One trip on my must do list is to bike the whole length of the Neckar. It is more than 200 miles, but will make for a great vacation adventure. That will take some more planning. Maybe more on that next time. I hope everyone reading this has a fabulous weekend!! Tschuss!

10 May 2010

Whoot Whoot for the internet!

Hi! I am so thiankful that the internet is working in my apartment again. 4 days is a long time. I had a wonderful weekend. My guys started swim lessons on Saturday. The oldest wants to be on the city swim team, so he needs technical instruction. My little one is just getting used to the water. He cried all morning not to go, then he cried not to leave. I think we have a convert!

On Sunday I had the pleasure to bring a group of women to a spa in Bad Orb. Evelin of Evelin's Wellness Paradise is a wonderful lady who went out of her way to make sure we were happy. The site is in English or German, and she speaks fluent English (as does her staff). I typically do not care for spas, but she has changed my mind. It was so relaxing and rejuvinating. It was such a treat.

Bad Orb is not too far away from Frankfurt, maybe half an hour. It is a spa town. Any city name in Germany that starts with 'Bad' means that it is a spa/wellness city. i.e. BADen BADen. There is no industry, and it is a small town. There are three natural springs here. There is also a new thermal pool (also fabulous). It is the Toskana Therme Bad. When you check out the website, look to the right column and click on 'Sprache/Languages' if you do not speak German. There was a framed NY Post article about the bad. Everyone enjoyed the pools. The Sauna is mixed male/female and is all nude.

If you want to have a weekend getaway, Evelin has packages for couples that includes the spa, a bed and brakfast room (with a private bath), breakfast and a dinner. I this is an incredible deal. You could spend the weekend, and go home with no more stress. It is worth the drive. Evelin has been hosting Americans for more than 25 years. Tuchuss!! Jill

04 May 2010


Louisiana is my home. It is where I lived for 2/3 of my life. No matter how many times I have moved or how far away I am, it is home. I grew up in the coastal region by  Texas in Lake Charles. I had plans to move back in Nov of 2005, but a hurricane derailed that. Now there is a catastrophe in the gulf. This shook me immensly. I know a few people who work offshore, and this is something that just isn't thought about. It is something that you file away in the back of your mind, but you never actually think that it will happen. Lake Charles has a lot of industry...oil refineries, plastic plants, lots of chemical plants. When I was about 18 I was working in a Waffle House, and there was an explosion at an oil refinery about 5 miles away. It shook the windows. It took a few minutes to think about the refinery. I believe there were no fatalities.

About the gulf. What is the long term effect of this mess? The map of the projected spill goes from Corpus Christi to the Atlantic. It hurts my heart that this has happened. Venice, Louisiana is a commercial fishing town. That is all that people do there. What are their livelyhoods going to be now? How will they survive? What about the children? What about the fishermen all the way in Hackberry? How will this effect them and their families?I hope that the industry takes a hard look at itself.  I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. I don't think that we will ever understand why this has happened, but there is a lot to be learned. I just don't even know what else to say.

03 May 2010


Hi! I am a mother in a typical American family (wife, husband, 2 kids and a dog). We recently relocated from Savannah, Georgia to Mannheim, Germany. This was some what our decision. We have lived here, in Mannheim, before. We always have considered this to be our home. I am a Southern Belle (maybe). He is a Yankee. This is the first place we lived after our marriage.

I am a SHAM (Stay at Home Mom) for the time being. I want to be able to bring my kids to school and pick them up as well. So far we have been blessed enough to have this situation. I try to earn money when I can. I am a tour gide (I am bringing a group of women to a Baden Baden spa on Mother's Day!!), mystery shopper, and ebay seller. Not really much. I am always on the look out for great oppertunities. If you have any ideas......

I feel fortunate to be able to live abroard. We get to walk where history has been made. Not only will my children get to learn about what happened in the past, but we can actually go to the place. Our first 'history trip' will be to the St. Avold (France) American Cemetery on Memorial Day. I am so excited.

I can not be certain of the 'topic' of this blog. Does it have to have one? My thoughts are a mish-mash of a lot of different things. I want to write about my life, as an American living in a foregin country. Good idea?? Hopefully! Any suggestions are welcome!!

Tschüss (Bye), Jill
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