A brand new dirndl pic for 2017, as opposed to the 2016 one I have on Facebook right now.
Bill and I totally wanted to visit the Stuttgarter Weindorf over the holiday weekend, especially since we had no plans to go anywhere for Labor Day. Sadly, our dog Arran was not feeling well on Saturday or Sunday. He was vomiting and had diarrhea and I didn't feel comfortable leaving him alone. So we spent the long weekend mostly binge watching ER on iTunes.
This morning, we woke up to a beautiful sunny day. Arran was feeling a whole lot better. He and our other dog, Zane, took an energetic walk with Bill. They enjoyed their breakfast and neither one was throwing up or suffering from diarrhea. We felt safe going to the Weindorf.
Here's the thing, though. I had planned to wear my expensive and pretty dirndl over the weekend and probably would have felt pretty fine doing so, since I reckoned that's when a lot of my fellow American countryfolk would be there dressed for the fest. I remembered last year, we visited the Weindorf over the weekend and saw people wearing Trachten. Granted, I think they were all Americans, but we did see them decked out for the occasion. And since I don't know if we will attend the Cannstatter Fest this year, I wanted to wear my lovely blue dirndl and get some use out of it.
I asked Bill what he thought and he said I should wear it. He doesn't have an outfit himself, so all he had to do was be seen with me. I must admit, there are few styles as flattering to my zaftig figure as a dirndl is. There was even a time in my life when I wore one daily, because I worked at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia in the German section of the park. And since I blew a big load of cash on my dirndl last year, I decided to wear it, even though I knew none of the locals would be dressed up unless they were waiting tables.
We got to the festival in downtown Stuttgart and walked around. I felt a little silly in my fancy fest dress. Looking around, I caught the stares of a few Germans and they were grinning broadly.
We walked over to the area where we sat last year. I noticed the signs warning people not to climb on the arches. I'm sure the sign was there because it's been a problem in the past.
This booth was in the same spot last year...
As was this one... In fact, this was where we sat last year. This year, we tried a different restaurant.
Just before I took this picture, a slender, pretty blonde woman approached and asked if I was "Jenny". I said I was and she identified herself as a reader of this rag of a blog! I always love meeting people who take the time to read what I write! Of course, they spot us because of all the pictures of Bill.
Thank God for the WC. Fifty cents, as usual, worth every euro penny...
We decided to eat at the Zum Reussenstein booth. We enjoyed a nice dinner last year at their restaurant, so I had a feeling the food would be good. It also offered seating deep enough so I wouldn't feel like I was on display in my sapphire blue and silver dirndl with rhinestones all over it.
Bill enjoyed the view of my melons...
I tried an iPhone selfie, which turned out weird because the camera reverses everything. I don't photograph particularly well under the best of circumstances. Add wine and there is the potential for disaster! But I felt like this shot captured my silly mood.
I decided on a half duck for lunch...
It came with bread. If I had wanted kraut and/or dumplings, we could have spent three more euros for that. As it was, the half duck was too much. However, it was very tasty!
I decided to tuck the napkin into my blouse, bib style. I figured it would be more of a disaster if I dripped gravy on the white blouse than the blue dress. Although last year at fest, I overdid it and needed some serious dry cleaning services... I am grateful to add that the dirndl won't need a dry cleaning before the next time I wear this get up.
Bill went with the "Ochsenbrust", which I pointed out to him (couldn't have him ordering a cheese plate if I was eating duck, right?). It came with fried potatoes and a very nice creamy horseradish sauce. He said the meat itself reminded him more of a tenderloin than a breast of any sort.
I was quickly finished with the food, so I turned my attention to the wines. I had four of them. We started with a lovely white burgundy... the one at the bottom of the list on the picture below. It was crisp and slightly fruity and I enjoyed it immensely
But it was 8,50 euros... not cheap!
Bill enjoyed the next vino for him, a dry German red... I had one made from Lemberger grapes, while his was Salucci blend.
And here you can read in German about what we had... Mine was the last one on the page, while his was wine #2
Bill was reading up like a good boy...
and he almost had me talked into ordering the merlot...
But I decided to try a very nice and dry rose.
Bottoms up... Yikes! Another freaky iPhone selfie!
At around this time, I decided to go to the ladies room again. When I came back, a couple of the servers, also clad in dirndls, were putting down reservation notices on the tables. The table where we were sitting was reserved for 7:00pm. When she saw that I was wearing a dirndl, she requested in German that I show it off. I had been covered up with a pretty blue cashmere shawl that I bought in the Miami airport a few years ago. It happens to match perfectly, as does the lapis lazuli jewelry I bought at Novica last year. For all I know, she went in the back room and had a good laugh! But honestly, most of the people I saw today seemed tickled that I dressed up, even if it wasn't the norm. Most people were smiling at me appreciatively... or, at least I like to think they were. After a couple of wines, I didn't care.
As a last hurrah, I had a glass of sekt. It was the cheapest and driest one.
I'm proud to announce that we spent less this year than we did last year. Of course, Bill stopped at two glasses of wine because we were forced to drive to the fest instead of taking the train, like we did last year. All told, we paid about 76 euros before tipping.
I had brought a change of clothes in case I either decided I was too uncomfortable or I had an unfortunate mishap with my dirndl, like I did the first time I wore it at the Cannstatter Fest last year. As it turned out, I didn't throw up and I wasn't so uncomfortable I needed to change. So we went to the Feinkost Bohm in search of sushi for dinner. There was no sushi, but we did buy a couple of nice Scottish steaks. And I was very flattered when the guy at the meat counter asked in German if we were Germans or Americans. I was also rewarded with a huge smile from one of the cashiers as I strutted through with my sapphire colored dirndl with its silver trim and sparkly crystals. Indeed, I have come a long way from the crappy machine washable polyester dirndl I wore when I was twenty years old and working at Busch Gardens in the early 90s. Now I am festing in style! I'm still wearing polyester, but it now requires dry cleaning!
In all seriousness, I don't know that you need to dress up on a work day for the Weindorf. I had a feeling that would be the case. But I was in the mood for some fun and it's not often I get to wear my German garb, so I happily trotted it out for the lunch crowd. I think some people enjoyed the spectacle... almost as much as they did the very funny clown who was entertaining people with his whistle. I have noticed that Germans seem to enjoy people who are willing to act the fool and they are a good and very gracious audience. But if you're going to wear fest clothes and don't want to look silly, you might want to do it on a weekend or in the evening, when others are more likely to sport dirndls and lederhosen. On the other hand, you only live once... and I did have a good time attracting attention to myself, as usual! It was a treat to meet another person who has read this blog, too!
The Weindorf runs until Sunday, September 10th. It's in downtown Stuttgart and opens daily at 11:30am. If you like wine, be there or be square.