Thanksgiving, Snow, & Christmas Markets

(Just fyi – my posts can be random shots from my iphone/ipad/point and shoot.)

Thanksgiving came early at the Frattalone’s. We celebrated Thanksgiving at their house with some good friends, who actually moved here from Maryland too!


Highlight of my day – making Korean Jujube tea (대추차 – dae chu cha) for the first time.

The Cardiology staff and families got together at Andy’s boss’ house for Thanksgiving. It was unusual not being with our own families back in the states for the first time but it helped being surrounded by good people. =)

Deep fried turkeyDSC_5665
The kids going for the food.DSC_5674
We are surrounded by some great cooks here!DSC_5675
Playing card games after dinner.DSC_5683
After looking around at real trees, Andy and I decided to settle for a fake one. The real ones either looked funny or like a Charlie Brown tree. So we headed to Ramstein AFB to pick one out from the BX. We also stopped by a small Christmas market outside of the BX for some lunch and a few goodies.

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Andy setting up our first Christmas tree!!DSC_5691
Job well done! (:DSC_5695
I placed our wedding cake toppers that my cousin, Patricia, made for us onto our tree as ornaments.DSC_5698
Nothing too interesting on this day except for Andy’s sandwich. We discovered that we can purchase a deli sandwich at the commissary for ~$4 that’s big enough to feed 2-3 people. (Yeah, really exciting…)
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Our first official Christmas Market!
After Andy got off work, we headed down to Kaiserslautern to meet up with a friend and some others to have a couple drinks at the market. It was tiny but an experience!

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Headed down with the Remo family to Bernkastle Kues, which is about 1.5 hrs away, to visit their Christmas market.DSC_5699 DSC_5700 DSC_5702
Gluhwein tastes soooo good when it’s freezing out!DSC_5708 DSC_5709
A house/building made into an advent calendar.DSC_5710 DSC_5706
Andy, Keith, and Gavin enjoying Kartoffelpuffer (fried mashed potatoes).DSC_5723
Our table of flammkuchen, egg nog, and kartoffelpuffer.DSC_5724
Cute little Gage!DSC_5731
My favorite Christmas Fest food – roasted chestnuts! These were a little burnt but edible.DSC_5732 DSC_5739 DSC_5743

After Bernkastle Kues, we we stopped by a nearby Christmas market in Traben-Trabach. It was a unique market that was underground in an old wine cellar along the Mosel river. Not so many knick knacks here but plenty of wine and culinary stuff.
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Although we were pretty tired from a full day of markets in the freezing cold, we decided to tough it out and stop by the Landstuhl Christmas Market for some dinner. Yep… 3 markets in one day.DSC_5769 DSC_5770
When we got home, Andy opened up door number 1 to our beer advent calendar!DSC_5771

Walked to Landstuhl’s Christmas market to grab some lunch. My lentil soup was sooooo yummy!
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Door #2 of our advent calendarimage_7 (2)

The start of a long week of snow…
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I received my Sorel boots in the mail the day before so I was ready to tackle the snow and headed out to Saarbrucken to get some Christmas shopping done. These boots are absolutely amazing. They keep my feet dry and warm in these below zero temps!

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Hilarious! I was tempted to buy it for Andy.image_1 (3)
I was headed to the gym in the afternoon when I saw this outside our front door-
I didn’t think it looked too bad so I attempted to drive up to base. Not so smart. I ended up turning right back around.
The roads here don’t get cleared up very well and it doesn’t seem like they get salted at all – at least in our area.
I was determined to hit the gym so I decided to walk to base and then met Andy at the end of his work day to walk home together in the snow since he didn’t drive to work that morning either.
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Along a trail down to our house from the hospital.image_6 (3)
Looking down at Landstuhl from the trail home.image_7 (3)
Opening up advent door #7!image_8

Early Saturday morning, we headed out to Koln (Cologne) for the weekend to visit their 5 Christmas markets. As usual, we planned this trip with the Remos and had another fabulous weekend with them.
We didn’t get to see much of the city other than the markets, chocolate factory, and cathedral, so hope to go back in the near future to see more.

DSC_5775 DSC_5780 DSC_5783 DSC_5795 DSC_5804 DSC_5812 DSC_5819 DSC_5842 DSC_5845 DSC_5858 DSC_5861Visited the chocolate museum which cost 8 euros/person to enter and was quite disappointing for the price. Although, it did warm us up.
The only part that was interesting was seeing how chocolate is made.
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This part was good too – a chocolatier dipping wafers into a pool of chocolate fondue and handing them our to visitors.DSC_5869 DSC_5870 DSC_5873 Dinner at LowenbrauDSC_5884 DSC_5890
Walking by the cathedral at night.DSC_5897
After breakfast at the hotel, we headed down to see the remaining 2 markets before heading back home.
One last glass of gluhwein in Koln!DSC_5900 DSC_5901
Smoked salmon looked sooooo good! Too bad I wasn’t hungry. I haven’t had fresh fish in so long!
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As we headed home, I came up with the bright idea to stop by the Ramstein Christmas market for dinner. Terrible idea by me because it was really small with nothing left to eat. We ended up going with the Remos to a nearby Thai restaurant which was actually pretty good! DSC_5928

Hope you guys all had a wonderful weekend!
I’ll post a new one next week after return from our trip this weekend in Bastogne!

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