Monday, July 20, 2015

Mom's visit part two...

Today, we decided to go to Esslingen.  Bill and I went there around Christmas last year and thought it was cute.  I had been wanting to go back, but it's not close to where we live and traffic can be a major bitch.  I thought my mom would enjoy it, since it really is a nice little town.  

We got a bit of a late start.  It was almost one o'clock when we left the house and we knew that a lot of places that serve lunch would be closing at two.  Because of that, we decided to eat at Brauhaus Schoenbuch in Boeblingen.  I've been there a few times, so I was a little disappointed to be eating lunch there today.  I always like to go to places I haven't been so I can post a review of the food and service.  But the Brauhaus was convenient, since there's plenty of free parking and I knew we wouldn't have to worry about getting there too late for lunch.

It was a bit cloudy and looked like it might rain.  Even if it didn't rain, my mom, Bill, and I are very light skinned people and have a tendency to get sunburns.  I had forgotten sunscreen.  So we decided to eat inside instead of out in the biergarten.  My mom got a bit hot as she enjoyed the lasagne that was being offered during lunch (it was delicious, by the way).  She was fanning herself when an older German lady approached Bill and actually touched him on the face as she told him in German that it was too hot for my mother to be sitting in the dining room (even though she and her husband were sitting at the table behind us).  At first, I didn't quite understand what she was saying because, besides not speaking or understanding German very well, I could barely hear her.  But then it became clearer, especially when I saw the unmistakable look of disdain on her face.

My mom and I laughed about it, especially when the woman kindly told my mom how cute her bedazzled t-shirt was.  Bill acted like he didn't understand her, though he eventually did.  But then I turned around and noticed her scowling disapprovingly at Bill and me.  It kind of pissed me off, mainly because my mom's comfort level was none of her goddamn business.  My mom would have been hot regardless of where we sat and she is certainly no invalid.  She can tell us where she wants to sit and would have had no issue doing just that.  I was also irritated because Bill is one of the kindest, most attentive men I know and it doesn't sit well with me when some woman who doesn't know him presumes to publicly chastise him, especially in front of his wife and mother in law.

It may be a common thing among Germans for perfect strangers to publicly correct other adults, but this American thought it was very rude and strange behavior.  I usually try to go with the flow when I am abroad, but I can't help being an American.  There are some things about living here that I may never get used to.  All I have to say is, that woman is probably very lucky I didn't understand her that clearly when she was speaking to him and that I can't speak German worth a damn.  She may have very well have gotten a talking to from yours truly.  But then, I'm not necessarily known for being polite myself.  The first time we took a cruise, we left out of Norway.  I yelled at some elderly Norwegian women when they almost knocked me over trying to get on the ship.  It's probably a good thing I don't practice social work.


Rathaus



A pretty view of the main platz...


Mom said this looked a bit crowded...

Anyway, after lunch, during which we all ate too much, we got in the car and headed for Esslingen.  We didn't stay too long... just long enough to walk a ways through the town, near the rathaus and cathedral, and past the Kessler sekt store.  As we walked over a bridge over the Neckar River, my mom said "Okay!  Let's find some coffee or ice cream or something."  She was tired and wanted to sit for a bit.  So we ended up at Sommer, a restaurant/cafe/bar in a park in the heart of Esslingen.


Bill enjoys a cool drink, outside where it's cooler.


We sat down and watched kids play with the drinking fountain near the cafe.  Bill commented on the kids, male and female, running around with little to no clothes on.  In the United States, this would be considered weird among many people.  There, people think there are pedophiles lurking on every street corner.  Here, it's just very normal.  I think it's refreshing that children's innocence is preserved and celebrated here.  The kids were having a lot of normal kid style summer fun and no one thought anything of it.

Mom ended up ordering a macchiato, which was too hot for her.  She didn't want a schorle, ice tea, or a beer.  She also wanted to dump some of her euro coins, since they were too heavy for her to lug around.  She noticed a elderly gentleman sitting in a wheelchair, seemingly out of sorts, and said that had my father lived much longer, he probably would have been in a similar state.

After we finished our drinks, she was ready to go home.  It was just as well, since it was about 5:00 and traffic was starting to back up.  On the way out of Esslingen, we stopped at the Kessler store and picked up some sekt.  I managed to hear some strains of the organ from the cathedral.  My mom was a church organist for over fifty years, so she listened, too.  Then, as we got on the road and Bill missed the exit for the A8, I used my super sensitive human compass skills to get us there after a short detour.  Who needs a GPS?  Not me.





Near the Kessler factory...


A pretty view of the Neckar in Esslingen.

We passed a violin shop on the way into town.  


And a typically funny German ad...


As well as some interesting art.  I probably would have liked to have done some shopping in this place.


This thing actually waved...


Another pretty shot of the Neckar and Esslingen.




A few shots of the Kessler store.  Bill and I will have to go back and do some tasting. 



Love German print ads.  These were for a theater.


I almost got creamed by a biker just before I took these shots.  I didn't see or hear him until he'd almost run me over.



Goodbye, Esslingen.





  

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