Truth be told, our first Christmas away from home wasn’t horrible…in any sense of the word. We did a great job of keeping ourselves busy with Christmas activities to stave away the sadness.
Ok, so I did get a little teary eyed when I heard Alabama sing “Christmas in Dixie” on a Pandora station Christmas Eve, but that was my only slip up! Of course we missed being home like crazy, but D and I had a lovely time starting new traditions and spending Christmas just the two of us. We did a whole lotta eating and a whole lotta relaxing. It. Was. Glorious.
On Christmas Eve, Eve we took a day trip to Rüdesheim, a quaint town right along the Rhine River.
We bought a few bottles of wine at the little shop at the end of this alley…adding to our ever growing German wine souvenir collection. One fabulous thing (among many) about Germany and wine selling is that you can almost always taste the wine before you buy it! No wondering if the bottle you picked is worth the 8 euros…the wine seller will pop a bottle and let you taste for yourself! That’s practically unheard-of in the states. I’ve often bought a bottle of wine (probably because it had a cute label) and after suffering through one glass, down the drain it went. I’ve never wasted a bottle here. Gotta love Germany!
After a few mugs of glühwein, we decided to make a pit stop for lunch. There were little to no food stalls (that were appealing, at least) in this particular Christmas market, so we opted for a festively decorated restaurant called Gasthaus Winzerkeller.
We’ve had the pleasure of eating lots of German food over the last 6 months and this place is definitely near the top of our list. The food was PHENOMENAL. Most notably, the Riesling soup. That’s right. My favorite beverage of choice simmered with mushrooms and cheese and ladled right into an adorable soup bowl. Heaven. We’d had a similar wonderful soup at a recent holiday party and never thought we’d get to feast on this delicious soup again, seeing as we were served dinner that night from a set catering menu. Imagine our surprise when we found it hiding in the sweet little town of Rüdesheim! Soooo good!
We both got schnitzel with fries (seriously, fries here taste SO much better than ones back home…like McDonald’s quality ALL THE TIME. Of course, I’m partial to McD’s fries). We also ordered 2 different kinds of schnitzel to try. Mine was called Zigeunerschnitzel and was a traditional pork cutlet covered in a sautéed pepper and onion tomato sauce. D went for the Zweibelramschnitzel (try saying that 5 times fast!) which was also a pork cutlet, only it was covered in onion sauce. Both were insanely good.
After our filling lunch, we meandered around the Christmas market for a little while and then ended up taking a walk through a vineyard. Granted, the vines are grape-less and hibernating, but the views as we topped the hill were amazing. We will definitely be back for a visit this summer. There’s LOTS more to see and do!