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Posts Tagged ‘Uttenweiler’

Monica, we found your cousins Gertrude and Paul!

July 9th, 2009 Comments off

You may recall from an earlier story that Monica, my company health insurance’s “health coach” whose mission in life is to help me lose weight and lower my cholesterol, learned that we were going on vacation to Europe. She wondered if we were going to travel through Germany and, if so, would we go to Uttenweiler?

Why?  Because, she said, that’s where the family bakery, Traub Bakery, is! And if we went to Uttenweiler, we could say hi to her cousins Gertrude and Paul.

So we added Uttenweiler to our itinerary and today we found the family bakery and met her cousin, Paul.  He was very nice (and Monica, he says to tell you hello!). But more importantly, we found wonderful pastries and baked goods that filled up our bag: a cinnamon-and-nut pastry, a cheese pastry, a cinnamon roll, cinnamon-streudal loaf and a raspberry streudel cake, plus a pretzel for the road.  I don’t think any of these items are on our low-cholesterol, low-calorie diet, but Monica will have to deal with that in her own good time.

Paul said Gertrude was at the other Traub bakery, in nearby Biberach.  He got her on the phone and she was so excited to hear about us that she insisted we visit her as well. She offered to feed us lunch. That settled it. To travel from Las Vegas to Germany to send best wishes to my health coach’s cousins was worth a free lunch!

Gertrude was as warm and delightful as Paul, and spoke better English, and she fed us well with cold-cut sandwiches. We also bought more goodies from her: three chocolate pastries (their names I can’t pronounce, but “chocolate” being the operative word).

Gertrude asked us to tell cousin Monica that Paul got married last summer, and for her to please show up at the family  reunion this Christmas season in Florida. She missed the last one, you know, and she really should be there this time.

So Monica, don’t let us down. Please travel to Florida for the family reunion! And tell Gertrude and Paul, thanks for the great baked goods!

Following the push pins across Europe

June 30th, 2009 Comments off

We leave for our European RV vacation in just four days, and we thought we’d better sit down and figure out what our basic plan of attack is once we get there. Plan of attack. Sounds like we’re planning a military assault. I’m hoping I can just pull the mobi out of the dealer’s lot without causing a scene. It’s heavier and larger than anything I’ve ever driven before. Well, there was that semi when we moved our daughter to college.

Our goal for this three-week vacation is to see as much beautiful countryside as possible, so we will immediately drop southeast out of Antwerp, where our daughter and her boyfriend live, and head east for Germany’s Black Forest, rather than heading northeast toward Berlin. We’ll cross southern Germany, through Bavaria, then head northeasterly toward Prague in the Czech Republic, then into  Poland and brace ourselves for Auschwitz. The basic route then takes us southwest, across western Slovakia and into Austria (Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck) before heading into Switzerland (Zurich, Bern and Geneva as the main targets but surely being seduced onto highways leading higher into the Alps). Then, we head back to Antwerp via Dijon and Reims, France.

We will, of course, be taking country roads versus the major highways, and targeting campgrounds outside the cities. And once in country, we’ll refer to our specific guidebooks and maps and solicit the advice of locals. In other words, we don’t know where the heck we’ll be, any given night, but probably we’ll be in the shadow of a huge blue pushpin.

We created a very general Google map showing the very basic route. It’s about 2,100 miles as the crow flies (are there crows in Europe?) but we’re assuming we’ll put in 3,000 miles or more. We are hoping, too, that the GPS doesn’t crap out, or we may end up in Slovenia instead of Slovakia.

Jeanne has been doing most of the research, and has relied heavily on what has turned out to be her favorite reference guide, “Central Europe” by Lonely Planet. She also has a lot of tabs sticking out of “Europe by Van and Motorhome” by David Shore and Patty Campbell, and is poring over Fodor’s “Eastern & Central Europe” and “RV and Car Camping Vacations in Europe” by Mike and Terri Church.

We could buy more specific guides, of course, but there is a weight limit to our luggage.

My diet-demanding health coach will be tickled pink with this news: Our route should take us to Uttenweiler, Germany, where we will visit her family’s bakery and we can say hi! to her cousins Gertrude and Paul. And pick up some streudel while weíre there.

“Be sure to stop at the Traub Bakery!”

June 27th, 2009 Comments off

My health insurance company at work assigns “health coaches” to some of us who have chronic problems. Mine include high cholesterol and weight. We talk by phone every few months to check on what kind of progress we’re making.

The other day my coach (let’s call her Monica because, well, that’s her name) was admonishing me to stay true to my diet. I mentioned that it will be difficult during our summer vacation because we’re going to Europe for three weeks.

And with that remark, the subject changed from food to food – from what not to eat to what to eat at her cousin’s bakery in Uttenweiler, Germany.

“You are going to Uttenweiler, aren’t you?” she asked. (I have no idea but, uh, sure.)

“You’ve got to go the the Traub Bakery in Uttenweiler! It’s the family bakery! My cousins Gertrude and Paul run it!” (She said everything with exclamation points.)

The bakery won’t do my diet any good, I said. “Diet? In Europe? Hey, enjoy yourself a little. Life happens!  It’s not like you’re going to sit down and eat an entire pie!”

There was a long pause.

“You wouldn’t, would you?”

She started describing all the healthy food we could at the family bakery in Uttenweiler, Germany. “Great whole-grain breads,” she said. “And apple streudel cakes. You’ll love apple streudel!”

“And please say hi to Gertrude and Paul for me!”

Our 30 minutes were up. Monica said we’d talk again in three months to see how my diet’s coming along.