Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Christmas party in a castle!

Yesterday was a busy day for Bill and me.  We paid a visit to Dog Holiday, a dog boarding facility not too far from the airport.  Zane and Arran had a good time meeting Max, the proprietor, and checking out his little playground with a couple of other friendly dogs.  We will do a test day with them on Tuesday, to see if Zane and Arran can hack staying there.  If it all works out, after we update their shots, I'll make plans to go to Austria and Italy with Bill next week.  If it doesn't work out, I'll stay home and we'll find some other place to take them.

On the way home, we stopped by the pet store where we purchased seatbelts for the dogs.  Max gave us a talking to about German law and how traveling with unrestrained dogs can result in stiff fines.  I actually knew about the dog seatbelt law, but Bill didn't.  And given how strict he is about human seatbelt use, I was surprised he wasn't more aware.  But anyway, our dogs will now be in compliance.  I picked up a couple of new toys for them, too.  Arran goes through them quickly.

My German friend, Susanne, with whom I have only interacted online so far, had told me about the Schloss Weitenburg, which is a castle hotel and restaurant about 20 minutes from where we live.  It turned out this year, my husband's company had the holiday party there.  Though a lot of people booked a room at the hotel, Bill and I decided to just come for the evening.  We ended up having a good time.  In fact, I'd say that was probably the most fun I've had at a so-called "mandatory fun" work party in a long time.

I got to meet Bill's bosses, all of whom sang his praises to me, which they didn't need to do.  I know he's awesome and very competent at his job.  The food was fairly good, too, though the main courses were served buffet style.  I didn't take a bunch of pictures because I figured it would be inappropriate.  But it was nice to meet and talk to a few of the people Bill has told me about.  One couple brought their very sweet and laid back labrador retriever.

It was interesting to observe everyone interacting and compare it to how military parties tend to be.  On the whole, I'd say contractor parties are more laid back, even if most of the people in attendance are veterans.


We tried and clearly enjoyed the local red wine...  one of the waiters caught me drinking out of a water glass and brought me a proper wine glass after we had already finished half the bottle.  

I saw a couple of people who didn't seem all that comfortable at the party.  I figured they were introverted types.  I saw a couple of people who called it a night early.  In one case, it looked like maybe the party had started earlier than planned.    

We had a salad and bread, which was served to us at the table.  The buffet offered braised duck, spatzle, goat cheese ravioli with spinach, red cabbage, seasonal vegetables, scalloped potatoes, and hunter gravy.  The dessert was especially good.  It was batter fried apples with sugar and cinnamon and vanilla ice cream.  It reminded me a little of apple fritters.  Dessert was probably my favorite part of the meal.  Go figure.  Bill and I liked the food enough that we might have to go back and try the restaurant.


The front door...  I'd love to go back during the day and see the area surrounding the castle.  It's very pretty there and the architecture is impressive.  This place obviously has a long standing history with American military folks.  There was a display case in the lobby full of military coins.  Max at Dog Holiday also had a display case full of coins.  That's a sure sign that a business is American military friendly! 

All in all, I had an okay time... although I'm hoping to find a good restaurant today.  

  

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