Women's World Cup A-Team

Jeremy and I are leaving tomorrow morning to meet up with the rest of the A-team for a cross-country  Women's World Cup extravaganza here in Germany. 

Yep, we fight crime, drink beer and cheer cheer cheer for the U.S. team. This promises to be an epic road trip. If only we could stuff Jack Kerouac in the trunk ... 

And as an added bonus, (and a excuse for folks to actually comment on one of our blog postings) we are offering a free buddymollys T-shirt (or you can pass on showcase 1 and opt for a surprise gift), to the person who comes closest to guessing the number of kilometers our total road trip proves to be - but there are rules, (there are always rules ...) 
You must comment on the actual blog page, not facebook, and again it's in kilometers (because we're european now.) Closest guess wins, Price is Right rules apply, but please, no 1 km guesses. 

Hint: It's a 10-day, 7-city tour. Vielen GlΓΌck! 


Whining for wine

A few weeks ago Jeremy and I hosted a party, inviting 12 of our favorite whinos over to dine, converse and sample some of the finest wine Germany has to offer. 

Plus it gave us a good excuse to raid the cheese section at our local grocery store. Amongst the top 5 favorites were wasabi, pesto, cranberry, red pepper and stinky.

Germany is, of course, the land of beer, but they do dabble in the sweet nectar as numerous vineyards exist in the country, (mostly in the West). 

The “wine guy,” as we affectionately call him, is a large German man with a thick accent. He brings over about a dozen bottles for everyone to sample, and then offers the opportunity to buy them – by the case. (Think Tupperware party, with booze.)

Mr. Wine speaks broken English and frowns upon any attempt at humor (which makes the evening all the more hilarious).

He began the evening by telling us the real reason people drink wine – for good health. (If you answered to get drunk, to make other people prettier or to lower inhibitions, you would be wrong, as were most people at the party.)

The evening was one of our finer parties, (pinkies up!) with good conversation, food and vibes floating around the living room. It was the kind of evening you get so caught up with that you forget to take photos. You go to bed feeling inspired and wake up with a "healthy" headache.

And like the old saying goes, “never go to the grocery store hungry” - same goes for wine. Never purchase wine when you’ve sampled a dozen bottles - a few weeks later you may end up with a year’s supply … 

or a really fun Saturday night, depending. 


Ich bin ein Hamburger

Last week, while the weather was still primo, my work sent me to a weeklong German-American seminar on the outskirts of Hamburg. The seminar was a good mix of history, politics, and economics, and the diverse crowd kept discussions interesting.

Molly flew up later in the week and we painted the town (to include the Reeperbahn) red.

Although Hamburg is considered a city and a state, the most fascinating part for me was the fact that it didn’t even get a mention by Rick Steves. Despite being heavily bombed in World War II, the city is gorgeous – built on sprawling canals with its back up to two lakes, the inner and outer Alster. With loads of trees and parks but still a grungy edge to it, it feels like the lovechild of Berlin and Amsterdam. 

Before Molly arrived, I visited the Minatur Wonderland, which is the world’s largest model train. I never really built model trains growing up, but this place was ridiculous. I don’t even know where to begin – the excruciating (and sometimes hilarious) detail was insane. This video is a good summary and the narrator rocks (thanks, Manute!)

We stayed at the apartment of Molly’s friend Courtney, who moved to Hamburg nine months ago from St. Louis. Unfortunately, we never had the chance to hang with Courtney because she was back in STL for the entire week, in part filming the ultimate 2011 winning 48 hour film project movie. 

We totally dug her 'hood though, which she said the residents bust bottles and keep it just dirty enough to keep the rent low. (genius!)

In addition to cruising through a few flea and farmer’s markets, we caught some live music at the Cotton Club, did some urban hiking in the warehouse district and soaked up some much needed sun. 

We can now say we're Hamburgers, have been Berliners and by next Friday, we'll be Frankfurters.