Sunday, July 31, 2016

A "two dog night" in Riquewihr, France... part four

We took another stroll around the city last night, after we enjoyed drinks at the hotel.  I got more photos of the picturesque environs and the dogs enjoyed another long stroll.  I think Zane got a little more than he bargained for with this trip.  He seemed a little sore this morning when we got up.

After we took our walk, we had dinner at a very touristy but pet friendly restaurant with an extensive outdoor seating area.  Restaurant Au Relais de Riquewihr is a large place that seems to cater to tourists.  We opted to eat there because of the dogs.  Our friends the super blond Dutch kids were also there with their parents, as well as a couple of American women who had a little boy with them.  The Americans were obviously familiar with the staff.


Bill posing for a photo again.

The waiter, a man with a wonderfully engaging personality, was chatting with the Americans as if they were friends.  We later discovered the Americans had come from Ramstein.  One of them was in charge of outdoor recreation at Ramstein and really looked the part.  She was super fit.  She came over to talk to us and let her little boy pet Zane, who was begging for pieces of my chicken and Bill's white pizza.

The dogs were doing great at dinner until a lady with a dog came over to a nearby crepe stand.  Arran saw the dog's feet and it was all over, even though he'd been around other dogs all day.   He let loose with a loud bark.  Zane joined in and for a couple of long minutes, the two of them proceeded to draw a lot of attention to us.  It was kind of embarrassing.

The food at Restaurant Au Relais Riquewihr was decent and, I think, very suitable to people with kids and, of course, obnoxious dogs.  However, when I used their bathroom, I couldn't help but notice the strong smell of stale urine.  In a restaurant, that's definitely a turn off.

The funny thing is, that smell took me back to 1980, when my parents moved us to Gloucester, Virginia, a then very rural county in southeastern Virginia.  I was then eight years old.  I made friends with a couple of girls who lived on the same dirt lane I did.  They were from Oregon and their mom was divorced from their dad.  They lived in a trailer that always reeked of stale human piss.  They moved maybe a year later and I never saw them again.  I had pretty much forgotten about them, but that smell of pee just brought it all back.  It's crazy how smells can spark vivid memories.

Anyway, our dinner came to about 52 euros including a carafe of wine and sparkling water.  Bill tipped the friendly waiter handsomely for tolerating our loud dogs, even though he originally brought me the wrong order (beef and fries).  It looked really good, though.  Also, it may be worth mentioning that this restaurant has a mister for those steamy summer days.  They turned it on to amuse the little American boy who was visiting.  Later, we watched his mom kiss the waiter on both cheeks and say she'd see him in September.  Oooh la la!


White pizza for Bill...with mushrooms, blecch!  They also had flammkuchen.  We shared a 50ml carafe of a local pinot noir.  It was a decent wine, though maybe a bit overpriced.  


Chicken skewers for me.  These were a daily special prepared with lots of lemon... maybe a hair too much for my taste.   But the frites were fabulous.  They reminded me of frites from Belgium.  This dish also came with a salad and bread, neither of which I had room to eat.


This fountain had lots of goldfish in it.







I was curious about this little stand.  I think they were selling homemade apple juice.



We went to bed early last night and left lovely Riquewihr right after breakfast.  It was stormy and rainy this morning and our dogs were a bit tired.  Zane, in particular, seemed kind of sore from the walking.  Our drive back to Stuttgart was totally uneventful and took a little over two hours.  It's hard to believe that a place with such a different vibe is so close.  

We'd call this trip a success and I'm already starting to think about making these one night trips more of a regular thing.  I need to get out more; the dogs could use the practice in being out in public; and who knows if and when we'll live in Europe again?  We made the mistake of not seeing enough when we lived here the first time and I don't want to do that again.

In any case, I highly recommend Riquewihr and I hope we can go back, stay a little longer, and see more of the area.  It really is beautiful there, very tourist and pet friendly, and so close to Stuttgart.  I'm so happy we ran off to France this past weekend and I hope we can do it again very soon!

These photos were taken as we were departing...  











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