EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Monday, September 28, 2009


Image by beaunoOktoberfestse via Flickr

Yes, it's that time of year,

OKTOBERFEST, that is! Time to get ready to

squash yourself into the next train that arrives and join

the other 27,000 passengers headed for the same

destination as you. Wait, did I say passengers? Well..

they are riding the train... like you... but they are clearly

identifiable OKTOBEREST goers. Notice the girls are

all wearing braids and have those big heart shaped cookies hung by shoelaces on their necks and

the men have those red and white checked shirts with those silly looking

capri leather pants. Oh, and the knee socks! Now that's something you don't see everyday!

And when was the last time you saw a man wear a cap with a feather on top? Or suspenders!

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld answers a...

Ooops! OK, I'll give you that one. Sorry, Larry.

It's like a pre-Halloween costume party out here...24/7. You just can't escape it.

I was at KFC getting a coffee today and was greeted by a buxom waitress wearing the traditional

Bavarian dirndl. "Hey", I said to her in perfect English. "Aren't you supposed to be wearing that

at OKTOBERFEST? "Nine," she says. (But I know I spelled it wrong.)

The mini-skirt/dirndl is an interesting combin...

People here are just a bit mad at the moment. No one is in a serious mood. It's all about the

beer, I reckon. The news says the rides, food stalls, and game booths have taken in less sales

than in years past, but the beer tents are doing a spectacular business.

Atta Way! The economy sucks, so why not drown our sorrows?? Belly up to the bar boys,

it's gonna be a bumpy road ahead....Prost!

It may be OKTOBERFEST, but the Egyptians had it right: "A mouth of a perfectly happy

man is filled with beer.--Ancient Egyptian Wisdom, 2200 B.C

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Monday, September 21, 2009


My return flight is Wednesday back to Munich. I've already expanded from one suitcase to two for the trip back. No matter how I try to condense, I always end up taking back far more than I brought. I'm not sure how that works, but it's a ridiculous amount of stuff that obviously wasn't that important in Germany since I've done quite well without it for all of these months.

I've been so tempted to toss in my mix master with the pasta maker and bread hook, but it would practically exceed my weight limit alone! I've tossed in Ceylon Tea from our local Mediterranean store, some dried sage for the tea from my daughter-in-law, from Jordan, a backup laptop, lots of Advil, and the gifts from my children for my birthday in August. These items take up one large suitcase by themselves.

I hope the dried sage doesn't resemble anything else that's dried, but illegal!

I've started knitting and crocheting and I've got a stash of yarn skeins to smuggle back and a load of "How To" books. I've got a couple works in progress and I've managed to finish a few projects during my extended stay in the states. Judging by the length of time it took me to complete a couple of beanies and scarves, this new hobby may be more time consuming than surfing the net.

Of course, you can't come back to the states without doing a fair bit of clothes shopping. I've decided to bring the new garments back to Munich, and leave the summer ones behind here in the states. That switcheroo should buy me some valuable real estate in the large suitcase. Hubby's swim fins must go in the case, much to my dismay. But, you never know when you're going to need them--I guess...

Jewelry, camera equipment, books, and new laptop must go in the carry on. There, I think I will have enough room. Despite all of my plans, I know I will come up short. I could always wear the fins if need be.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Just read that the BP gas stations in our hometown are not accepting credit cards for gas. Dozens of stations reportedly are not allowing customers to swipe their credit cards . There isn't much more information than than that at the moment. I'm curious as to why they are insisting on cash. Don't get me wrong, I'm the biggest proponent of using cash and a diehard member of the , "If you don't have the money, you don't need to be buying it.," club. But there's something unAmerican about refusing the option of credit.

Now, in Germany, especially the small towns, it's quite common for a vendor to insist on cash. But I've never come across it in the U.S. To categorically deny the purchase of gasoline to people unless they pay in cash is a bit scary to me. Are things that bad that the gas companies must insist on cash? Isn't a debit card the same thing as cash? Are they being denied also? Has anyone come across this where you live?

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Two of my grandchildren, Wadiah and his sister, Nardeen, are rapt in concentration as they go about determining which leaf to set their blue plastic frog, Jumpy. Although they both are aware that Jumpy is not a live frog, their child play had my full attention and had me wondering about what exact age, do we, as children, lose the magic of make believe? It is such a gift and we tend to take it for granted. When does that naive, childlike quality that allows us to believe anything is possible and nothing is impossible, disappear?
Last night I went to see the movie, Hangover. There is a character in the movie, Alan, who is the brother of the bride and who is invited to go with his sisters' fiance and his buddies to Vegas for the bachelors' party. Alan is described by the other characters as being like a child, although he is savvy enough to learn how to count cards out of a textbook and win $80,000 at the blackjack tables. But the writers have captured his innocence in lines like these spoken with a deadpan expression:
Alan: I’m sure you get this a lot, but is this really Caesar’s Palace?
Hotel Clerk: What do you mean?
Alan: Did Caesar really live here?
Hotel Clerk: No
Alan: Didn’t think so
Another character, Stu, ends up getting married himself to a stripper the night they are in Vegas for his buddies' bachelor party. The next morning he learns that the ring he intended to give his fiance, one his grandmother had kept from the holocaust, is now on the finger of his new bride, the stripper.....
Stu to his buddies: "She is wearing my grandmother's Holocaust ring."
Alan: "I didn't know they gave out rings at the Holocaust."
I know, silly humor, but I love it, the pure innocence of it! I find pleasure in listening to the children talk and connecting the dots to learn where their information comes from and how they apply it.
Bill Cosby and Art Linkletter both did a show called, "Kids Say the Darnedest Things," highlighting the double entendres and naive remarks of children. There were a lot of embarrassed parents during the showing of these interviews, but far more laughs and nods of parents who quietly said a prayer, "By the grace of God go I."
My grandchildren are very creative, as most children are, in their play. Their Mimi loves to play along and wander down the mysterious trail of their imagination wondering where it will lead....and knowing that their childhood, sadly, is limited.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I'm back in cyberspace and just in time to share our adventures in Los Cabos with you. To the uninitiated, Los Cabos is a supremely situated resort area on the southern tip of the Baja Penninsula in Mexico. Long a sleepy little fishing village, John Wayne and Bing Crosby discovered it in the 50's and well that was the end of the sleepy little fishing village. Ranked one of the best locations for deep sea fishing, whale watching, snorkeling, scuba diving, and spa vacations, Los Cabos is a popular destination for all and even for the stars. Many people have found this idyllic spot on the globe and while it can be crowded during the winter months, fall is virtually tourist free leaving the resorts open to time shares and owners.
Hubby was anxious for the big waves after Jimena, but found only about three days of swell large enough for him to boogie board on Cerretos Beach near Todos Santos. He found plenty of opportunity to swim and bask on the golden beaches near Cabo.
Together we took in our fair share of Vitamin D and tequilla! But it is the draw of spiritual and physical renewal that always keeps us coming back. My spa mornings matched his surfing mornings and we were able to meet up for a light lunch and an afternoon of relaxation; just what a great vacation provides.
Pueblo Bonita Sunset resort offers many spots for the soul: hot tubs on your private balcony, hammocks under the palm trees, and secluded coves and romantic vistas. One could get very used to this kind of life.
Here is a photo of the villa we stayed in overlooking the Pacific. It doesn't get much better than this which is why we treasure our stays in Cabo. For us, it's our little slice of heaven on earth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Crap...the external hard drive that contained thousands of photos from the past ten years is fried and can't be salvaged. I erased the files from my computer. It hardly matters as the computer died too. I should have had a back up CD. I've learned my lesson, backup, backup, backup!

On to more shopping. At this point I'll be spending a lot more than I imagined. Now my only wish is that the hard drive from my dead computer can be saved and transferred to the new one, should I find one. If not, all is lost.

Again, lesson learned.

Crash and Burn

RIP.....my laptop died.... I've had two disasters this week now. First my external hard drive decided to die and now this. I'm using my son's computer in the U.S. to blog while frantically searching for a replacement. Since I photo shop now, I'll have to upgrade a bit to accommodate it. Oh, the inhumanity!

What laptop to choose? I had my husbands' old Dell for ages and now there are so many more things to consider: battery life, Wide Screen, Wireless, Blue Ray, Cameras, ATI Video, HDMI outputs, etc., etc.

Once, all we cared about was basic email and occasional surfing. Those days are long gone. Now we play games, edit photos, show movies and listen to music downloads with external speakers. When will it all end?

I'll be back soon to blog yet again. Please keep me in mind and pray that I make a wise choice. When it comes to technology, I'm clueless!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Cabo San LucasImage by Hello Daly via Flickr

We're very excited to revisit one of our most frequent playgrounds, Cabo San Lucas. Our plane takes off in just under two hours and by evening we will be on the beach, margaritas in hand, watching the Baja sunset.

Sunset in Cabo San Lucas

This will be our sixth trip to Los Cabos in less that six years. I can safely say it is our most favorite place to vacation. We love the lifestyle, the weather, and Steve loves the surf this time of year. I guess I should say, right after a hurricane! Big waves make for lots of fun!

We're trying a new resort this time. I'll give you the scoop after our week there. It's hard to beat Fiesta Americana and the Hilton where we usually vacation. This year we waited a bit too long for the booking and chose another resort. Crossing my fingers it measures up

Cabo is well known for its pristine beaches.

I've packed three books, my knitting and crochet, and lots of sun screen. We have our fins, sandals, swimsuits and my camera all packed away. I may not blog for a week (or who knows, I just might). The weather will be a mid- 80's, low 90's--very nice beach Cabo San Lucas.

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Friday, September 4, 2009


Where did the time go? Five years ago our son, Shane, and his wife, Luna, had twins, a boy and a girl. Their birthday was earlier this week and we were able to have a family birthday party with them during our visit home in Ohio.

For the next 15 days, the twins will be the same age as their older brother who is also 5. On Sept. 18th, he will turn 6. The children are 11 months apart.

Here are some photos of all of the festivities.

Birthday girl, Nee Nee, smiles while eating her Birthday Pizza. (Notice the pizza sauce on her cheeks, :-)

Nee Nees' twin brother, Simo, preoccupied with eating his ice cream cake.
Silly Papa! He's a monkey! Didos' favorite animal!

Mmmmmm, Baba bought Baskin Robbins ice cream cake! Yum!

It's a Barbie World! For Nee Nee, that is....
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Nee Nee watching the family enjoy their celebration.

Happy big brother, Dido, with his monkey mask and balloons.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pictured above is my son with his oldest son who just started kindergarten today. I had the opportunity to share this special occasion with my grandson on my visit back to the states. He is waiting with his "Baba" for the school bus to come to their home. I don't know why his finger is up, but it usually means he has something important to say to one of us. Here is Dido posing for a picture his mom is trying to take on her i-phone. He was quite anxious to get on the bus and expressed his impatience at the delay over taking his photo.

Settled in the bus, with his backpack on his side, Dido (who just lost his first tooth ever) is ready to start his first day of school.
Best wishes for a wonderful school year, my sweet grandson. Mimi hopes you have lots of fun and learn many new things about your world. This is the start of a great adventure!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Remember the little cat that just wouldn't leave our screened in porch? Well, she was a mama and look what she delivered three days ago! Four little kittens are burrowed deep in a nest under our bushes in our front yard. The two white ones (with black spots on top of their heads) are on top of two totally black ones.
Now, how to keep the kids from learning about the new arrivals! Until they are a few weeks old, they will stay put. Then, mom and four offspring will be making a trip to the Humane Society. I hope they find a good home.