Sunday Walk – Jug Bay

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After last week’s Super Summer Friday with a smashin’ 26°C and porch gatherings until midnight, a polar vortex came blowing down from the Arctic and wrapped us in a thin sheet of frost. Yikes! It was raining a lot too! Almost a whole day, unheard of in these parts. But today was sunny and even though a mere 3°C we didn’t want to spend all day inside and headed on out to Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary on the Patuxent river, about a forty minute drive from home. We saw bald eagles, ospreys, cardinals, titmice (yes), red-bellied and red-headed woodpeckers, herons turtles etc. We missed the beavers though, I hear the only come out at night.

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Make Winter Great Again

The Great Snowfall of 2016 started on Friday around 1.30pm. It is now Saturday night, 10pm, and it has not yet stopped. On the verge of cabin fever, Karl and I decided to brew up some Glühwein earlier, with the help of a bottle of Tempranillo (part of our snowstorm supplies) and some mulling spices, fill it into a thermos and head on out into the stormy night. We’re in a state of emergency, no cars are allowed on the street other than plow trucks, so the whole town was a pedestrian wonderland. Here’s some pics from our walk – click for a slideshow or to enlarge! It was amazing.

Winter Sunday

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We woke up to utter grayness this morning, turned back around once, twice until finally ready to get up. What greeted us behind the living room windows was a scurry of snow flakes. Naturally, I got all excited. Then the coffee ran out. What else would you do in such a situation other than bundle up and go on a two mile walk to the local coffee roastery, taking advantage of the snow and get some fresh air? It didn’t stick, by the way. We walked through pretty neighborhoods and along one of the rare bike paths until we arrived at a nondescript building nestled in a corner off a main road that holds Ceremony Coffee Roasters.

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Inside, the incomparable smell of freshly roasted coffee, a cute little café/store with coffee accessories (French Presses etc.) and in the back, a bigger room with the actual roaster.

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It wasn’t our first time there, but I hope tit provides you with a long awaited new glimpse into our lives as well as an example of the things Annapolis has to offer other than pretty historic buildings and amazing water views. Karl and I are actually (mentally) constructing a food tour off the beaten path for future visitors. More on that (maybe) soon …

Gobble Gobble

Unser Lauftreff (eigentlich ein Vorbereitungstreff) kulminierte heute im Cold Turkey 10k, einem 10km-Lauf etwa zwanzig Minuten mit dem Auto entfernt von hier. Der Kurs war recht hügelig, und da ich die letzten zwei Wochen Probleme mit meinen Knöcheln hatte und entsprechend so gut wie gar nicht gelaufen war, hatte ich meine Ziele im Vorhinein auf die Ursprungseinstellung zurückgesetzt: ins Ziel kommen. Es war kalt, lange Hose, Handschuhe, langes Unterhemd unter dem T-Shirt, Mütze. Am Ende steckten Handschuhe und Mütze im Hosenbund und die Ärmel waren oben. Es waren knapp 200 Läufer am Start, und in einem Wort: Ziel erreicht. Konnte die Sache entspannt angehen und entspannt durchlaufen und hatte viel Spaß und wurde stolze sechste in meiner Altersgruppe. Karl hat nach der ersten Meile ein bisschen angezogen, kam dreieinhalb Minuten vor mir ins Ziel und begleitete mich auf meinem Schlusspurt (in kleidsamen T-Shirts unserer Gruppe).

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Zur Belohnung gabs ein ausnahmsweise richtig schönes und weiches Langarmshirt, meinen neuen designierten Schlafanzug, danach zu Hause ein heißes Bad und einen entspannten Sonntag mit einer großen Portion Nudeln. Am Donnerstag ist Thanksgiving! Wir fahren nach Delaware bzw. Pennsylvania und freuen uns auf vier Tage Wochenende.

Billy Goat Trail

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This weekend’s hike took us to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park where can be found a rather rocky hike that at times resembles a climb – hence the name Billy Goat Trail. It lead us and some friends along the Potomac river, over large boulders and up steep cliffs; beautiful views abound. It was pretty crowded, but that didn’t really bother me; since it’s highly popular I figured we wouldn’t be alone on the trail. I will say that while fun, it was also a painful experience. You see, on Saturday morning we had a 5 mile race which went well, but at a price. My ankles were rather sore and on Sunday pretty much every step hurt. Oh well, nur die Harten kommen in den Garten. It was a gorgeous day, weatherwise, not too warm, not too cool, sunshine aplenty. So an active weekend on this end with good food, good drinks & good company.

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Weekend Roundup

Not much has been happening around here lately – which is kind of enjoyable. The weather is gorgeous these days, I finished the short stories I was working on and we joined a running club. Apparently I need organized physical activities or it’s not gonna happen. Yesterday we started with an 8 am run with said club, followed by brunch with friends in DC. Afterwards, Karl & I took a stroll past ye olde White House down to the Museum of Natural History where we found ourselves overwhelmed with the sheer volume of exhibited items, info boards and stuffed animals.

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So we just took a casual stroll past the elephant (entrance in all DC Smithsonian museums is free, so no waste of money here) and I got myself a pair of beautiful earrings at the museum shop. Karl picked up his bike that he had fixed at a DC bike shop, then we went back to Annapolis for dinner, a movie and ice cream (the former two at our house, the latter one downtown). I was beat at night, in bed by nine.

Today, Sunday, we also got up early for a hearty breakfast (breakfast potatoes = best invention of all times; I added some of my homemade Creole seasoning which I acquired a taste for at the beach house) and then drove up to Sugarloaf Mountain Park, where we were meeting up with some people for a hike.

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We hiked around the mountain for about four hours and finished with a stop at the local winery, where we tasted some Maryland-made Pinot Grigio (not too shabby). Back in A. we checked out the Fall Festival that was being held at Maryland Avenue, just around the corner from our apartment. In the back you can see the State House, Maryland’s parliament buildung.

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As per tradition, this Sunday night will end with a bunch of pizzas. May your weekends have been blessed with a variety of toppings of your choice.

Summer vs. Autumn

In der roten Ecke: Anna “Sommer” Höfflepöff, in der blauen Ecke: Karl “Autumnal” Hurzenplutz.

Whenever I mentioned that my favorite season was summer over the past couple of years, K would always with respond with an “Are you serious? Autumn is so much better, the air, the leaves etc.” and I was like, yeah, right, and the greyness without end and the nasty rain and the early darkness. Who would ever prefer that to weeks of sunshine, greenness, ice cream and no socks? Case in point, I have not worn socks once since I got here. So in the past, we politely agreed to disagree on this one.

Turns out, this argument was a mere matter of perspective. When you grow up in summers like this one here in Annapolis, where oppressive humidity is the rule and not the exception, where the sun stings on your skin as soon as you step outside, where you start sweating like a mofe without even moving and where you cannot picture how to survive without air conditioning, let alone find a minute of sleep at night in your apartment, I can see how you might lean towards another season, where it is also mostly sunny, just more bearable and with lower humidity. When we were hiking in Catoctin State Park a couple weekends back, we crossed paths with another hiker who cheerily exclaimed “Isn’t it just wonderful for August?” I smiled politely and nodded, having no idea what she was talking about when she said “for August”, since the weather was just perfect and all I would expect from a day in late August – in Germany. Upon consultation with my husband, I found out she was referring to the nice, warm temperatures and lack of humidity that were unusual for this time and place of year. Well, longitudes and latitudes have changed and I actually find my nordic self anticipating – gasp! – autumn. Annapolis, by the way, is just about on the same longitude as Sevilla, Spain – the hottest city in Europe. That should give you other nordic natures over there an idea. If this fall is anything like what I I have been promised, that is not as much greyness, way more sunshine and agreeable temperatures that will actually wanna make you move your butt, I might be swayed. At least while I am here at 38° 58′ N76° 30′ W.