Five Things

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Happy Friday! I have been thinking a lot this week. Especially about being free and relationships. Was there a time in your life when you felt free? Was there a time when you were entirely yourself? Many are in relationships that make them comfortable. Maybe, maybe not; sometimes more, sometimes less. Do you do something you really love? Let it be work, family, relationship or marriage. Are you pretending you are happy or are you really 100% into what you are doing? I think everyone should be! I have experienced many times that most people hide their true feelings and pretend they are someone they are really not. Sometimes just to please others, sometimes just to shine. Some give their entire attention to others but forget themselves along the way. I think it is important to say what you really want; say what is on your mind without holding back. This does not mean to hurt people; even though sometimes you might feel like your really would love to. You can tell anybody anything in a polite way to bring your point across. And express yourself without worrying so much what the other person might think. Try to have no fear. Many are afraid of people’s reaction but why? Because you cannot predict it, you cannot plan what they are going to do or say. Don’t we all want to plan everything always? Sometimes it is important to let go.

What have we been up to?

Reading: These days I am getting mentally prepared to join my husband in Congo. We have everything done but the visas which “should not” be a big problem. I am currently reading “Radio Congo” by Ben Rawlence. I also finished “City of Thorns” by the same author. If you are into non-fiction and want to read about war stories in Africa, Human Rights Watch and his work, he is your author. He shares a lot about the United Nations on sight so reviews will follow soon. I also review Ingrid Betancourt’s latest novel “The Blue Line” which I love so far. I know her personally so it makes me enjoy reading her work even more. I want to add one more book that had been on my bookshelf for some time and it was so awesome that I finished it already. “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert.  (see Book Review here)

Writing: I obviously love writing and I am very serious about this blog. It is this commitment and enjoyment that makes me write every single day. This makes me happy. This is truly me and what I always wanted to do. I literally live my dream. So I have this idea of writing a book. Two ideas are on my mind. One fiction book and a book for children. The idea of self-publishing on my blog is an option but I am not sure yet. I am waiting for the 10K to start I guess hahah

Watching: I have mentioned that I love Sarah Silverman. She is an amazing comedian. Now things changed and she is playing a woman who suffers from severe depression in her latest movie “I Smile Back”. It is playing in my favorite movie theater Angelika New York now.  I want to see it so badly. Hopefully soon! I love red wine so I re-watched this great documentary “Somm”.  (while drinking a glass or two of course) It is about four wine stewards who prepare to take the most difficult Master Sommelier Exam. Amazing movie/documentary.

Looking forward to: My son finally getting over this cold he has. He is still coughing badly but we are on the road to recovery. I am also looking forward to my husband coming back home next week. Yay! I am so grateful to have him in my life. We will be traveling (as usual), eating great food and simply enjoying time together as a family. It is a good feeling to know that you have found someone you can call your best friend. Someone who you can talk to anytime, tell everything and trust no matter what. Unconditionally. Je t’aime mon amour.

Footnote: We have been Trick or Treating on Halloween. My son’s and my first Halloween really. Here you see him with my best friend Agnes. He did not let go of her hand. These two just have a special bond. I love it!

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Thank you for reading my blog.

Oh Canada! I Love Thee

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Oh Canada! Have you ever been to Canada? In this article I want to share why I love Canada so much. On the picture above you can see how proud I was after ordering food in French at a Tim Hortons in Quebec. We spent four days at  Les Chalets du Lac Grenier in Quebec/Montréal last month. My French is good enough by now to survive. Awesomeness!

I fell in love with Canada after my first visit because it is so great. In Canada, I have been to Newfoundland, to Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Chicoutimi (yes, this is a city) and to so many other places that I can truly share some insight about this awesome country.

The main focus of this article will be Toronto; simply because this city is amazing and it is a special place that my husband and I discovered together. We have been back there several times since.  We stayed at a tiny hostel the first time because the trip was all about walking around and exploring and not enjoying a beautiful hotel room. 😉 It seems we explored the entire city while walking, which was great. I remember my feet hurt but then again they always do because I never wear the right type of shoes. (according to my husband) We took so many pictures, ate awesome food (Check out this café at Kensington Market for breakfast/brunch or lunch) and did most of the touristy things. I loved the CN Tower for sure.

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Yep, this is me, approximately four years ago with short-short hair, sitting on the glass floor all the way on top  (553m/1,815 ft) of the CN Tower striking a Yoga pose. And it was winter – it was a cold winter 😉

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Many say that Canada is just like the United States but it is not true. Not for me at least. There are all kind of differences that made me fall in love with Canada and enjoy it so much as soon as we cross the border every time. The first thing I noticed was that the people in Canada are so friendly. You know, heartfelt friendly – not fake friendly. Everyone is just so nice. No New York attitude and not everyone has the face down looking at a smart phone (is it so smart?) or avoiding eye-contact.  People look at you! The other thing I noticed was how clean Canada is. Coming from Germany this was not a something new to me. Germany has rules for everything and one big thing is cleanliness.

Take the subway in Toronto and compare it to the Metro in NY. You know this nasty smell when you take any subway in Manhattan? This nice mix of feces, dust, dirt and urine? Yuk! In Toronto – clean! It all seems to work over there.

One more place I would like to share is  The St. Lawrence Market. This place has everything a huge farmers market has plus more. You can easily stroll around for hours. Of course I have to mention that my husband and I bought real wool cardigans at one of the stands and I thought it would be enough to wear that when we stepped back outside. Note to self: Whenever it is below minus 20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) you don’t go out with just a wool cardigan on! Of course I got really sick but this is another story.

It probably sounds like I am exaggerating but with Canada it was love at first visit for me! I am looking forward to our next visit which is actually just around the corner. When you visit Toronto for the first time it can be slightly overwhelming because there is simply so much to take in.

If you plan a visit to Toronto, this website is pretty amazing. Also, feel free to ask me anything about all my Canada travels. You will find nature at its best!

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Thank you for reading my blog. 

News!

Hello!

I worked for a long time to get a translation option for this website running and it is finally done. We live in this diverse world and people speak so many languages. I see it daily when I go to the playground with my son. The plethora of languages spoken there is amazing. Even though English is the language everybody speaks world-wide and somehow understands, I believe it is a nice option to offer different languages and to read my blog in the language you are most comfortable with. I have to tell you that it is not the best translation but good enough to understand what I am trying to say. 😀

Simply click on the Translate button to your right and chose your preferred language.

Have a great day!

My take on: Homeopathic Medicine

I would like to share my take on Homeopathic Medicine today. I am by far no expert but I know a little about Homeopathic Medicine and this is what I will write about. You can make your own decisions after. The book I read to start my studies on Homeopathic Medicine is:

My aunt recommended this book written in German and I read it, highlighted things and took out of it what I think is useful for me and my family. There is just so much to learn about this you guys! Insane! The other days I shopped at Whole Foods. As I wrote, unfortunately I got crazy in there; especially in the Homeopathic Section of the store. I found out about Boiron. I never heard about this company before. What I would love to do  is to give you a little overview on homeopathic medicine and share some of the products I use. For myself I ordered this one just to have a reference in English.

 

What is homeopathic medicine?

It is a therapeutic method that uses deleted substances to relieve symptoms. As simple as that. There are usually no chemicals added to the active ingredients which are from plants, minerals or some animal products. Homeopathic medicine has been around for more than 200 years.

What are the benefits? 

The benefits are that they are natural and they work with you body not against it. They don’t cause sleeplessness or drowsiness and you cannot overdose on them. However, you do have to be careful as well. You cannot just take 10 of those and 15 of those, sort of. You have to study and learn about it and get yourself familiarized with these methods. This way you can self-medicate yourself naturally. When you have the first sign of sickness you start taking the medication. For example I feel my throat is itchy and I might get a cold I am taking Phytolacca decandra. It sounds all weird but when you read about it more you will be fine and understand.

How are homeopathic medicines presented?

Usually there are specific indications  and directions on how to use them. They are available as tablets, gels, creams, ointments etc. Just go to the Boiron Website for a start!

What’s with all the dilutions?

I asked myself the same question and here is a quick answer. If you have a homeopathic medicine, let’s say a 30C. It is not stronger than a 6C but the difference is the level of action. You usually take a 6C for local symptoms and a higher 30C is more for fever, sleeplessness, rashes etc. According to Boiron “The ’30’ indicates that the source material has been homeopathically diluted 30 times. The ‘C’ stands for ‘centesimal’ and indicates that each of o the 30 dilutions was made of the real of 1/100”. 

How do I take homeopathic medicine? 

It usually says it on the tube of the medication but the most efficient route of administration is under the tongue. No water, chewing or swallowing.  You simply take the dosage prescribed on the tube or by your doctor. Do not rinse your mouth after taking the medication. For example some of the medicine you have to take are five pellets every 15 minutes for 1 hour. Sometimes also 5 pellets 3 times a day. “As a general rule for  self-medication, increase the frequency when the symptoms are sudden and acute; decrease the frequency with improvement”.

There are just so many homeopathic medicines out there! How do I know I chose the right one? 

As I said, you have to read a lot about it before starting self-medication. You might feel better very quickly if you start the treatment at the onset of symptoms, especially in acute conditions. All products come with product labels so you can read up on the direction of use. In any case, if the symptoms persist or get worse you should see a doctor anyway. For anything chronic you may have you want to see a homeopathic health care professional and your treatment may require different dosages. You might also need more time before your conditions improve.

These are the Homeopathic Medications I have used:

Arnica (Cream/Gel/Tablets): Muscle pain, swelling from injuries, bruising

Belladonna: For High fever of sudden onset

Ferrum phosphoricum: Low or mild fever; also first symptoms of a cold or flu

Kali iodatum: Colds with frontal sinus pain (I used it for my son when he had a cold. He was fine after two days!)

Phytolacca decandra: Sore throat with pain radiating to the ears

Sulphur: Skin rashes, also after vaccination

Zincum metallicum: Leg cramps

Silicea: Fatigue and irritability, also after vaccination

Sepia: Mood swings  – Hello, all you women out there! 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts on homeopathic medication. Are you familiar with it? What do you take? Share your thoughts!

Update: I just received information on Homeopathic Medication from Firma SEHES: You should not take Homeopathic Medication before or after you brushed your teeth! Also, if you drink coffee or smoked you should wait at least 30 minutes before you take Homeopathic Medication. Otherwise it won’t have the desired effect. It is important to add that initially your symptoms could get worse. It is important that you know the basics about Homeopathic Medication before self-experimenting.

Auch ganz wichtig. Es kann zur erst Verschlimmerung kommen. Und die ist manchmal nicht ohne.Thank you for reading my blog. 

Toys my son loves these days

Happy Halloween !!! Do you have some plans for today? Are you dressing up? Trick -or -Treating? My son and I will be hopefully spending the afternoon/evening with my friend and her sister + family. My son is not feeling too well still. He has a cold now after all the vaccination madness and is sneezing and coughing his way through the day. Poor little guy! I hope he feels better today. Whenever he is sick it is obviously also tougher for me. I am fighting the cold like a trooper so far. I hope I stay healthy. I will share some tips on getting yourself through the cold/flu season hopefully without getting sick. So far it works for me.

Have you read my recent post on my son’s birthday? If you have, you know that I bought him this toy because he was so in love with it. It turns out that this toy is made in hell! He takes this “fun driver” wherever we go and it is so loud and annoying. I am not allowing it in the car anymore while I am driving because it is too disturbing. It made me think the other day while this toy was blasting in the living room and I was barely able to keep my sanity, how people can create something like this! It must be made by someone who does not have kids and who does not know how annoying it is to have a toy this loud. My son does not have too many toys  and he is fine with it; simply because the pots, pans and bottle opener (“Mama loves wine!” – don’t all mom’s love alcohol?) in the kitchen are so much more interesting than anything else. This toy however; wow, insanity! No more words added or needed. On all the mothers out there: DO NOT under any circumstances get this toy for you kid(s). Unless  you want to have this nervous twitch in your right or left eye that only stops when the kid is in bed. I warned you! 🙂 

On the other hand, I have discovered this really awesome company, Melissa & Doug (one company in Wilton, Connecticut). They make wooden toys and much more and my son and I love it. For one reason it is great because these toys do not make any noise!  On their website you will find product information on what they use to create these toys; what type of “chemicals” (which are actually very good in comparison to plastic toys mentioned above) and where it was manufactured. I love that my son is still able to use his imagination while he plays with these toys and can build and re-build things. They also offer an Affiliate Program if you would like to review their products. I also want to mention that Melissa & Doug offer toys for children with special needs like, picky eaters, speech and language problems, toys to train cognitive skills as well as fine motor skills and many more. So do check out their website if you are searching for awesome toys for your child. I will share what we currently have and what my two-year old son plays with these days. 

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Chuuuuuggington… chugga chugga chugga chugga… holy shit. So, yes, my son loves it. I hate it but who cares right?! 

I was always a big advocate on “Anti-TV for kids”. However, there is a time when I just turn a show on for him. Simple as that. Whenever I need to get something done, or need a moment to myself. So we discovered Chuggington. The creators of this show must work closely together with the person who invented the “Fun Driver”! Guess what? If your child is obsessed with Chuggington and you just cannot take it anymore, switch to Thomas and Friends. This is so much cooler and you won’t have the eye-twitch anymore. You can purchase the trains, train tracks and other fun parts! No more Chugga chugga Chugga shit! 😉 My sister Diana gave me this tip. Thank you! <3

Thank you for reading my blog. Let me know what kind of toys your children play with. 

Five Things

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This is cartoon-me on the couch! haha! The weekend is around the corner. I don’t get this awesome weekend feeling because I am not back at work yet. What I did have was a major homesick flash and this is why I published my recent post. It is weird, but to call a place “home” is strange to me. I am not home here in Connecticut either. It is just a transition of sort and okay for the time being. I am happy here; but not as content because my husband is not with us. And of course it would be nice if my family would be close by. My son and I have the beach, friends, the playgrounds, our daily activities of shopping, exploring the area and each other. But honestly, what I miss the most is having time for myself without worrying what my son is up to. I know that when he is sleeping at night he is fine. (Not so much now that he is sick from the stupid vaccinations he received but usually he sleeps right trough the night). But I am never alone without this feeling of constant responsibility, you know.  It is tough sometimes. I wish I could just be at a library or bookstore and read and enjoy “ME-TIME”. Or a nice massage or mani/pedi… you know, stuff women do! So my nights are literally planned thoroughly.  I have a couple of hours to do everything I need to get done. Maintenance of this website, writing, reading, emails and researching. So you want to know what we did all week? Stay tuned. 

Enjoying: My son. He and I were sick most of this week so we have spent some time together on the couch. I was able with the help of some homeopathic medicine to not have this cold break out entirely which is great! This stuff really helps me. I will write about it soon. I almost got nothing done though; especially maintenance on my website. The WPML plug that is supposed to translate my articles is not doing what it should do. I don’t know how to fix it and I officially surrender to WPML. If you know this stuff or know anybody who knows please let me know. Also, I just thought it is more important to spend time one the couch with my son; watching Chuggington and Peppa Pig than reading or writing. <3

Watching: This awesome interview with Patti Smith. Okay, I am officially obsessed with Patti Smith but she is just so awesome. Do you know the painter George Seurat? Do you know this painting? 

Let me enlighten you. The painting is called “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by the painter George Seurat. Sunday in the Park with George is also a musical than I am watching and re-watching because of the awesome soundtrack. The musical is about Seurat painting his masterpiece and the people in the painting throughout the music. A Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte by George Seurat is literally on of the greatest paintings in the world. The painting depicts people gathering on an island at the Seine and the musical goes beyond all this by simply describing her lives. The play is about commitment to painting, art and love. Seurat is famous for connecting dots to create art. Take a closer look at the painting above. All tiny dots! 😉 

Purchase this video on iTunes or Amazon if you enjoy this! Writing this reminded me how much I adore musicals. It is something special to see people acting in front of you on a stage. “All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women are merely players” – William Shakespeare. One of my favorite musicals hand’s down is Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town”. 

Reading: These days I am still reading “City of Thorns” by Ben Rawlence. It is just not a simple read and I have to re-read many pages. I am also reading “The Five Times I Met Myself” by James L. Rubart and  “I will see you in Paris” by Michelle Gable as an ebook. I don’t really like ebooks. Do you like them? I just love to have a book in my hands. A real book with pages and this book smell. (only book lovers will understand). Today I received “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo. I guess I hopped on this bandwagon after all. Having read so many books on decluttering ones life and home and minimalism, this was the last one I haven’t read. I finished it today at the beach. 

Exploring: The Mall with a two-year old without a stroller. Well, let me put it this way – it is hard and difficult! All I wanted to get was a winter jacket for myself and a cup of coffee. Sounds simple but it was not! All he wanted was to go up and down the escalator and elevator one million times with no interest in anything else really. I got my jacket finally but it was not a pleasant experience. Trying on a piece of clothing while he climbs everything possible and takes down whatever he can grab is not the best shopping experience. Trying to endure the looks of the personnel in the store I finally paid for my jacket dragging my son out of there while he screamed. Note to myself: clothes shopping for myself in peace with a two-year old simply NOT happening. At least not peacefully and sane! 

Planning: Halloween trick or treating at my friend’s house and neighborhood in Carmel/New York. So far my son looks like this: 

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The funniest part about this is that he thinks he is a butterfly. Well, I guess that works out fine no? “Whatever he wants to be he can be”, my sister said.  😉 

Thank you for reading my blog. Happy Halloween and have a great weekend!

Homage to my Hometown Coburg – or Your little Insider-Guide

Hello out there! A reader asked me recently if I could write a post on Coburg with insider tips so it would make his trip to my beloved hometown easier! Of course I can and I loved writing this article! 

I look outside the window and it is raining; it is cold and nasty and usually this is the time when I miss “home” the most. Home! What do I even consider home when I am  constantly traveling this beautiful planet with my family? Home is where my heart is, but my base is definitely in Coburg, Germany. I love this town because it has everything I need and a bit more. But to realize and appreciate all this I had to leave first. I moved to Munich and when this became boring I needed a new challenge and I ended up in New York City. 

If you ever want to spend a vacation in Bavaria/Germany with good food, Bratwurst and beer, read on. My initial thought to bombard you with history details but I will just send you to this page for that. I want to focus this post entirely on places to visit, attractions, accommodations, and of course food and restaurants. If you have questions feel free to send me an email! 

You arrived safely in Coburg and want to know what to do next? 

Where to stay: Some friends of mine stayed at hotel “Goldener Anker”  which is in close proximity to the market place and in walking distance to the main attractions and one of the best hotels in Coburg. Obviously I stay at my parents’ house so I don’t need accommodation 😉 You can trust my friends on this one! 

Information Center/Tourism: This page is very helpful to find your way around. Under Service&Info you can find maps to download, guides and calendars with current events. 

Places to visit: You want to see one of Germany’s largest castles? Visit the Fortress Coburg! 

The Fortress had been built in 1225 and Martin Luther spent approximately six months there while he translated the Bible into German. There are three museums you can visit that display great exhibits.You will see Martin Luther’s room from 1530, the Armory, old master paintings, an amazing collection of coins, prints and drawings, and the highlight – their collection of Venetian Glass (famous worldwide). Never miss the view from one of the towers to appreciate the lovely smooth hills of “Coburger Land”. Also, sure you explore the Hofgarten (the park and garden) surrounding the fortress. There are just beautiful paths to walk and explore and a huge playground for kids. See what is currently displayed at the museum here. If you are into castles you will love Coburg. There are just so many. Visit Ehrenburg Palace (a former Franciscan Monastery) or Castle CallenbergCastle Rödental is so beautiful too. I spent a lot of time in that park with my son this spring and summer.

Things to do: What else is Coburg famous for? Well, according to my father it would be hand’s down: THE Coburg Christmas Market. Okay, he is right! It is the best thing to do in December and the Glühwein and Honey-wine (“Met”-debet) is just the best. You have a plethora of food, sweets, handcrafted thingies and attractions for kids. My family and I have tried several christmas markets but there is none like the one on Coburg. Trust me! 

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If you visit Coburg in the summertime you can enjoy the Samba Festival in July. It is not a little dance party, cocktails and some naked skin! Coburg is actually referred to as “Europe’s Capital of Samba” and it is true!

When you are at the market place, try the world’s famous Coburger Bratwurst. 

It is also knows as “Coburger” and you can buy one of these right at the market place at a little stand that is there year-round. I am a vegetarian but I get myself a Bratwurst once in a while. Yep, that good! So what it this Bratwurst? It is a 10-inch sausage made from pork and beef. They put raw eggs in it as a binding agent and a lot of seasoning. Salt, nutmeg, pepper… you name it! The secret why it tastes to good is that it is grilled over a pine-cone fire. It is a tradition to get your Bratwurst at the market place at this one Bratwurst-Stand. 

After you visited the Castles, the Hofgarten, strolled around some more and had a Bratwurst, I think it is time for some reading. There are two places in Coburg to find great books, good coffee and cake and just browse. One is The SunnySide close to the market place. They serve awesome coffee, breakfast or snacks and have a great selection of books. It is a place to rest, think, have good conversations with Patrick, read and drink a cup! The other bookstore I want to mention is Riemann Buchhandlung.  This bookstore is literally at the market place and has a nice little café and a good assortment of books. Check both out for sure! 

What? You are hungry again? Okay, let’s go to this little café and have another cup of coffee and a sandwich that keeps you going until dinner. Café Sorgenfrei is famous for Latte Art by Benjamin Reimers and has nice brunch/lunch options. 

Now you walk around some more and explore all the stores Coburg has to offer before it is time for dinner. Walk all the little side-roads and paths and see the tiny stores that are so awesome! You should also take a walk to the Coburg State Theater. The theater is beautiful and a gem in Coburg. If you are into fairy tales, musicals, operas or ballets, this is the place to go to see a play. They offer a variety of shows and have an awesome program. Check out their website here. 

If you want to relax you definitely should go to Aquaria. This amazing pool in Coburg offers many ways for you to unwind and have a SPA day. Sauna, massages, fitness, and in the summertime an outdoor pool. If you are into sports or want to see a Volleyball or Handball game, Coburg has two great teams. My godmother said that I cannot send this article out without mentioning the Glass Museum in Rödental. She is right! Go check it out! 

For dinner I can recommend Tie Restaurant which is mostly vegetarian or vegan. They do have some meat-choices as well. Great food, great ambience. If you are into Tapas and more, check out Bar Celona.  My friend Sylvia recommended “Cosmo’s tapas & wine”. They are currently working on their website, so here is their Facebook link. 

Are you getting tired or are you up for a last drink before it is time to go back to the hotel? 

Check out Sonderbar! (Hey Judith!) Sonderbar has great food, cocktails, and usually live music; sometimes even during the week. This place is more of a Hipster place but great to end a day and have one more drink. I hope you enjoyed this little Coburg Insider Guide. Let me know if I forgot to mention something. Leave a comment below or send me an email through Contact! 

Thank you for reading my blog. 

Homage to my Hometown Coburg – or Your little Insider-Guide

Hello out there! A reader asked me recently if I could write a post on Coburg with insider tips so it would make his trip to my beloved hometown easier! Of course I can and I loved writing this article! 

I look outside the window and it is raining; it is cold and nasty and usually this is the time when I miss “home” the most. Home! What do I even consider home when I am  constantly traveling this beautiful planet with my family? Home is where my heart is, but my base is definitely in Coburg, Germany. I love this town because it has everything I need and a bit more. But to realize and appreciate all this I had to leave first. I moved to Munich and when this became boring I needed a new challenge and I ended up in New York City. 

If you ever want to spend a vacation in Bavaria/Germany with good food, Bratwurst and beer, read on. My first thought was to bombard you with history details but I will just send you to this page for that. I want to focus this post entirely on places to visit, attractions, accommodations, and of course food and restaurants. If you have questions feel free to send me an email! 

You arrived safely in Coburg and want to know what to do next? 

Where to stay: Some friends of mine stayed at hotel “Goldener Anker”  which is in close proximity to the market place and in walking distance to the main attractions and one of the best hotels in Coburg. Obviously I stay at my parents’ house so I don’t need accommodation 😉 You can trust my friends on this one! 

Information Center/Tourism: This page is very helpful to find your way around. Under Service&Info you can find maps to download, guides and calendars with current events. 

Places to visit: You want to see one of Germany’s largest castles? Visit the Fortress Coburg! 

The Fortress had been built in 1225 and Martin Luther spent approximately six months there while he translated the Bible into German. There are three museums you can visit that display great exhibits. You will see Martin Luther’s room from 1530, the Armory, paintings, the Art Collections, Coin Collection, Documentation Collection, Glassware Collection as well as current exhibits. Make sure you explore the Hofgarten (the park and garden) surrounding the fortress. There are just beautiful paths to walk and explore and a huge playground for kids. See what is currently displayed at the museum here. If you are into castles you will love Coburg. There are just so many. Visit Ehrenburg Palace (a former Franciscan Monastery) or Castle CallenbergCastle Rödental is so beautiful too. I spent a lot of time in that park with my son this spring and summer.

Things to do: What else is Coburg famous for? Well, according to my father it would be hand’s down: THE Coburg Christmas Market. Okay, he is right! It is the best thing to do in December and the Glühwein and Honey-wine (“Met”-debet) is just the best. You have a plethora of food, sweets, handcrafted thingies and attractions for kids. My family and I have tried several christmas markets but there is none like the one on Coburg. Trust me! 

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If you visit Coburg in the summertime you can enjoy the Samba Festival in July. It is not a little dance party, cocktails and some naked skin! Coburg is actually referred to as “Europe’s Capital of Samba” and it is true!

When you are at the market place, try the world’s famous Coburger Bratwurst. 

It is also knows as “Coburger” and you can buy one of these right at the market place at a little stand that is there year-round. I am a vegetarian but I get myself a Bratwurst once in a while. Yep, that good! So what it this Bratwurst? It is a 10-inch sausage made from pork and beef. They put raw eggs in it as a binding agent and a lot of seasoning. Salt, nutmeg, pepper… you name it! The secret why it tastes to good is that they grill it over a pine-cone fire. It is a tradition to get your Bratwurst at the market place at this one Bratwurst-Stand. 

After you visited the Castles, the Hofgarten, strolled around some more and had a Bratwurst, I think it is time for some reading. There are two places in Coburg to find great books, good coffee and cake and just browse. One is The SunnySide close to the market place. They serve awesome coffee, breakfast or snacks and have a great selection of books. It is a place to rest, think, have good conversations with Patrick, read and drink a cup! The other bookstore I want to mention is Riemann Buchhandlung.  This bookstore is literally at the market place and has a nice little café and a good assortment of books. Check both out for sure! 

What? You are hungry again? Okay, let’s go to this little café and have another cup of coffee and a sandwich that keeps you going until dinner. Café Sorgenfrei is famous for Latte Art by Benjamin Reimers and has nice brunch/lunch options. 

Now you walk around some more and explore all the stores Coburg has to offer before it is time for dinner. Walk all the little side-roads and paths and see the tiny stores that are so awesome! You should also take a walk to the Coburg State Theater. The theater is beautiful and a gem in Coburg. If you are into fairy tales, musicals, operas or ballets, this is the place to go to see a play. They offer a variety of shows and have an awesome program. Check out their website here. 

If you want to relax you definitely should go to Aquaria. This amazing pool in Coburg offers many ways for you to unwind and have a SPA day. Sauna, massages, fitness, and in the summertime an outdoor pool. If you are into sports or want to see a Volleyball or Handball game, Coburg has two great teams. 

For dinner I can recommend Tie Restaurant which is mostly vegetarian or vegan. They do have some meat-choices as well. Great food, great ambience. If you are into Tapas and more, check out Bar Celona.  My friend Sylvia recommended “Cosmo’s tapas & wine”. They are working on their website, so here is their Facebook link. 

Are you getting tired or are you up for a last drink before it is time to go back to the hotel? 

Check out Sonderbar! (Hey Judith!) Sonderbar has great food, cocktails, and usually life music; sometimes even during the week. This place is more of a Hipster place but great to end a day and have one more drink. I hope you enjoyed this little Coburg Insider Guide. Let me know if I forgot to mention something. Leave a comment below or send me an email through Contact! 

Thank you for reading my blog. 

My take on: Yoko Ono

“The sky is always there for me, while my life has been going through many, many changes. When I look up the sky, it gives me a nice feeling, like looking at an old friend.” – Yoko Ono

What I knew about Yoko Ono before I met her at the United Nations a couple of years ago was, that she was married to John Lennon. But that was about it really. I was fortunate enough to spent an entire afternoon with her and her staff which was an amazing experience. Before I talk a bit more about my encounter with her I share some insight on her first so you can shine talking about her and her art at the next party which is a great conversation starter. 😉 

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo. When she was two years old she moved with her parents to California; however, she returned to Japan/Tokyo a bit before WWII and survived the bombings in 1945. In the 50s she came back to the States and moved to New York together with her parents. She went to college to study music and art. She worked as a waitress, studied and was a music teacher in New York public schools at one point. Throughout this time she suffered from depression and actually was in a mental hospital in Japan. At that time she was married to Anthony Cox and later had one daughter with him. A while later when she felt a lot better, Ono started art exhibits throughout the States with “Bottoms” in 1966 with 365 volunteers and friends who showed their naked buttocks for close ups for the exhibit. On a side-note: What’s up with this guy? 

This is Jeremy Levenbach. He features photos of himself completely naked throughout New York City. If you want to see his butt, click here. 

Sorry, I got off on a tangent thinking about butts. Back to Yoko Ono. 

John Lennon came into her life at an art show she had in London in 1966. As Ono stated many times in interviews, “I was first impressed with his [John Lennon’s] intellect, everything else came later”. They married and were together 24/7 for almost six years (say WHAAAT?!) until they had a break of approximately one year. I don’t think it is easy to be that famous. They did have to go through a lot of attacks from politicians, harasses and of course the media. Many say that Ono broke apart the Beatles. I love that they stayed together and created great music and art. They also have a son together. She had many art shows all over the world already. In fact, there is an art show at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) right now. I really love the New Museum in New York. They usually have some of her art as well and a lot more contemporary art. The New Museum, according to my godmother “you either love or hate – there is no in-between”. 

John Lennon was murdered in 1980 and Yoko was right next to him when it happened. After his death she went into complete seclusion for a long time. She dedicated a lot of her exhibits, memorials, monuments and artwork to him. 

I think they had a very special strong loving relationship which becomes clearer when you read and see her art in her book “Between the sky and my head”. I read this book and showed it to someone at work so it was at my desk. When I heard Yoko Ono will be at the United Nations I grabbed my book and met her in person. Of course she signed my book and we had a nice little chat afterwards. I also own this book by her if you are interested in her drawings. It was very special when I met her and Yoko Ono is indeed one awesome, good-hearted person. 

My favorite Podcasts

I discovered podcasts when I purchased my first apple computer – I believe in 2006. This computer was the best – the simple white MacBook. I found my way around which was a bit difficult at first. When I discovered iTunes and Podcasts I signed up for as many as I could, making my morning commute to the city bearable and entertaining. I used to have my headphones on most of the time, walking around, working out while listening to all these podcasts. Listening to podcasts on long car rides makes the time go by so much faster too. Especially with kids on the backseat. Always bring headphones! 🙂 You don’t know how to get a podcast on your device? Click here to find out how to download them. My favorite podcast of all times was and is:

This American Life.  A while ago I read that This American Life has more than 2.2 million listeners and I believe it was one of the first podcasts out there. I love this podcast because it is mostly non-fiction with interesting themes on public radio. The show lasts 60 minutes which was exactly how long my commute was. If you want to start with one episode I would recommend this one. It aired first in 2007 and I listened to it about one million times. haha! I love how each episode has a specific title (“Break up” for example) and usually has three or sometimes four well thought-through and provoking stories on this specific topic. Plus I love Ira Glass and I have seen him live at the 92nd Street Y! 😉 

The Moth.  If you love a good story that is told live and is unique, this is your podcast. The Moth first launched in 1997 and the presenters (usually regular people) speak without notes for approximately five minutes and share their personal stories. Sometimes they have really awesome actors and writers on the show too like Ethan Hawke. My favorite podcast is by Starlee Kine. Maybe you want to try this episode “Waiting for Marina Abramavić”. 

Another podcast I want to share is called Spilled MilkIt is a really funny show every time hosted by writers/comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton. They usually start out by talking about a food-related topic. Simple things like peaches and “run with it as far as they can go -and, regrettably, sometimes further.” I really enjoyed Episode 195: Norwegian Junk Food. So funny! 

If you are into comedians and want to literally lough out loud you need to listen to WTF with Marc Maron. Marc is a standup comedian and just so so funny. He records out of a garage! Listen to this one to start with Barack Obama.  Yes, he interviewed Obama. Here are some pictures of Obama’s visit to the Garage. 

The last podcast I want to recommend is The Dinner Party Download. Dinner Party is a one hour show with guest from Elizabeth Gilbert, to Tony Bennett, Scarlett Johansson and Steve Martin to just name a few. It is a fun show about food, culture, conversation, wisdom and recipes and it’s “public radio’s arts & leisure section”. My favorite episode so far is with Novelist Salman Rushdie, Alice Cooper and Carly Rae Jepson. Click here if you would like to listen. 

Thank you for reading my blog. Let me know what podcasts you listen to. I am always up for something new.