Summer Days in Cologne, Germany
I loved to wake up early and walk to the neighborhood bakery for fresh bread, which conveniently opens at 6 a.m. everyday.
I was always excited when my favorite bakery associate was working. Not only did she greet me with a smile, she also sang Neil Diamond's, "Hello Again!" I quickly learned that there is a bigger selection the earlier you arrive. I love to arrive early and try something new. I perfected the point and nod ordering technique which always made my family laugh when I told them about it. We loved everything we tried from the pan de chocolate to the rye buns sprinkled with whole grains to the fresh pretzels. I also enjoyed ordering delicious coffee.
My family was usually up by the time I returned and we'd sit together on the back porch to enjoy our delicious bakery surprise.
After breakfast the kids and I leisurely got ready for the day and often relaxed in our back yard while we waited for our turn in the shower. The kids also colored and wrote in their journals.
Later in the morning, the children and I would head out for our daily adventure. We tried to do something new every day, we often took long walks just to explore our area and see what we could find. We found parks, interesting stores and restaurants, coffee shops, parks, playgrounds, the Rhine, even a second hand clothing store. Some days for a bigger adventure we headed into the center of Cologne to visit the Cathedral, Rhinepark, zoo, a pool and to shop.
Like most locals we shopped at Kaiser's, the local grocery store, several times a week, partly because our refrigerator was small and partly because we enjoyed being out and about. One of our favorite lunches were pretzel sandwiches we also enjoyed bratwursts, caprese salads and pizzas. Our grocery list often included knoppers (a square candy with layers a wafers, creme, chocolate and hazelnuts), dill yogurt dressing that we put on our vegetables, and natural yogurt in a glass jar.
Many days we enjoyed lunch at Steak and Grillstube. Since my husband is European he typically ate his main meal at work, we tried to eat our main meal at lunchtime as well. We'd enjoy the daily menu because when you can't read or speak German the menu isn't very informative! Somedays we loved our food and other days we were completely surprised that we had actually ordered the food that was in front of us! For example I was so excited for lasagna day, but it turned out to be salmon alfredo lasagne. Another favorite activity was supporting our local ice cream shop. Who can resist delicious Italian gelati for only one euro! We tried flavors like pinu pegnuin, mango yogurt, hazelnut, stracciatella, and my favorite tiramisu!
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