Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our First Expedition

Today Jeanine and I and Betty and Ella (Betty and Joe's super cute 6-month-old) made an expedition (as my great-aunt Rhoda used to say, and she knew expeditions, having been to Nepal in 1931), to Lichtenstein Castle, a 19th-century structure built by the nephew of the King of Württemberg. I rather like the culture of excursions in Swabia; although the people are all sporty, they don't seem to like to exert themselves too much -- in contrast to the outdoor culture in, say, Utah. So after the tour it was time for lunch (though being the middle afternoon, around these parts the occasion really called for cake), followed by a mini walk around the grounds. Recovering from frostbite and on one of the longest hiatuses from running in 5 years, I think I'll aim for more such excursions. And perhaps we'll join Easy Sports Fitness, the name of which perfectly captures the aesthetic. (It's either Easy Sports Fitness or Clever Fit. I mean, is there a gym in Europe without the cheesy English name? Today on the drive through Reutlingen we passed one called McFit.)

Regardless, I don't think today's expedition, topped off with Schweinebraten, burned off much of Joe's famous Käsespätzle mit Zwiebeln (see below) combined with Nuremberg sausages, the closest I've seen here to the iconic American breakfast link (unfortunately I didn't have a camera to do justice to the combination). Importantly, I think we served to bridge cultures at this dinner. The director of Jeanine's lab and his wife are about as fun and worldly as any people can be, having lived and taught in the States and Korea and Switzerland, but even they still suffer from the stereotype that Americans don't have good beer (imagining that Sam Adams is the height of our craft). So it's not surprising that I was served a beer, Zwiefalter Exclusiv, that brags about doing away with hop bitterness. As if German Pils are bitter!

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