Christmas Markets are one of the aspects of Germany I missed the most while back in the states. We took advantage of the opportunity and saw just a handful this year. I believe had our kids been well, we would have squeezed in a few more. But in light of all the sickness that has passed around our family, I’m happy with those we did get go see, even if we only went to two as a whole family.
Kelley Barracks – the season opener!
The little kaserne on which we live hosted a Christmas market and so to kick off our Christmas festivities we braved the rain and walked around AFRICOM’s parking lot, and enjoyed dinner from food trucks. I have to say, so far, my favorite food truck USAG has on rotation is the Korean food truck. Her food is amazing and she is absolutely a joy to interact with. However, we met a strong contender at this Christmas Market… “Dray’s Taste of Texas.” I actually found this guy on Facebook to find out when he’ll be back. Turns out they’re opening a restaurant in Ulm. I may have to insist on a date night to Ulm in the near future!
We saw lots of familiar faces, some more familiar than others.
You know you live at a rank-heavy duty-station when the Grinch is a Two-Star General. Anna was not impressed… she flat-out told him, “You’re wearing a mask!”
And just to show she was dressed to the nines under all the layers of warm clothing, here she in her pretty dress:
Strasbourg, France – This market is so big we may have missed an entire section. We were looking for specific foods but never really found them. Either French Christmas Markets focus much less on food than German markets, or we missed the whole food section. Don’t worry. We got full, and enjoyed our time, but we have to say, the crowds were unbelievable. It was one time we should have taken the Ergo and not the stroller.
Check out all the cute bears!
Mittenwald – Matt went to this market while he was in Garmisch leading a marriage retreat. I believe Hayden tagged along and the other two teens stayed at the hotel.
Nuremberg – This market was EXTRA SPECIAL because the boys’ youth pastors were in Germany visiting their kids, so we met them there for a reunion. What a treat to sit with them again. They have hearts of gold and we are POSITIVE that one of the main reasons we were sent to Fort Hood is so that the boys could be shepherded by these people for a very important season in their lives.
This was the Family Truckster’s first long-distance test, and I was disappointed that Carson was not feeling quite well enough to go with us. I was disappointed in that for a variety of reasons, the biggest was that he missed seeing Steve and Martie.
Not Christmas Market related, but after we went to the Nuremberg market we drove to the middle of nowhere, to the BIGGEST music store I’ve ever seen. Bailey got his Christmas present from us and Parker got to try a Saxophone for the first time. The staff member who showed Parker the ropes was amazing! Thomann for the win!
Esslingen – Date night! Yep! Just Matt and I went to this market and, while I know the kids weren’t up for a market that night AND Matt and I needed a date, I hated they didn’t get to see this super-awesome market. It was the cutest market I’ve ever been to and had a medieval portion that had unique items and activities for kids. We will definitely take them back next year!
This was the first time I tried Eir-punsch. I liked it but couldn’t finish this entire glass. It’s stout! I’ll stick to Glühwein.
Stuttgart – Okay, I shouldn’t say this, but I didn’t really expect much out of this market. I was wrong! It was HUGE, very well laid out, and each stall was decorated so beautifully! It was the prettiest market we have been to.
This is what may happen when you ask a random stranger to take your family photo:
This is the best we could do in order to get the sign in the shot!
Here is what made Stuttgart’s market stand out. Check out the roof-tops of the stalls! They were themed and so very elaborate.
There are so many markets we didn’t get to see this year, so they’ll be on the top of the list next year! Until then, I’ll be looking forward to Easter Markets!