Sunday Snapshots: Umbrellas Optional

Bavaria, 2015

It’s hard to imagine after spending this sunny Sunday in the garden, but this May Day was so chilly that we had to go get soup afterwards. The soup was delicious (French Onion, if you’re curious), but I’m okay with BBQ weather for the foreseeable future.


31-Day Challenge 2018: Day 2

Prompt: What natural talents do you have?

Procrastination. I am goddamn gifted when it comes to procrastination. How do I know this? Because when ‘procrastination’ was the first thing that leapt to mind when I read this prompt, my reaction was incredibly appropriate.

Let’s break it down. I read the prompt and titled the post at about 10pm. I then clicked out of this tab, and into my gmail. I noticed that one of my recent unread emails was from the New York Times and was a special subscriber offer on ‘How to Whip Your Home Into Shape’. Was this the best time to click on that? I’m supposed to be writing for 15 minutes after all…. no… it wasn’t. Did I? Damn right. I’m now registered and expect my home to be sparkling just as soon as I get this cat off my lap and reorganize my shower caddy. That’s tip one. I’m on it… shortly.

After I finished my registration and quick perusal of the first tasks, I wondered if I wrote about my gift of procrastination when I did this challenge last year. Since all the titles are just like this one, the dates of the project, OF COURSE, I had to skim all 31 entries to find if I already covered this. Not so much, so here we are.

I also procrastinated by wondering if it would be too obvious to just skip covering this prompt by writing about cats again, which is what I did last year on day two. Coincidentally, we are cat-sitting again this week, which means that there are three cats sneaking around the house at the moment. Our friend S. is on tour again, and his usual cat-sitter (now that he has two cats again and leaving them at home is easier), is also on vacation, so we’re hosting Mia and Milo. Mia is her usual party-time, cuddle-loving self, but Milo has taken up firm residence under the bed in our spare bedroom. He’s stalked through the common areas after nightfall, and I busted him twice now on the catio, so he’s getting a little activity. Since he spent the first several weeks of his life with S. living under the bed, we’re taking this as a good sign.

Look at that, I did write about cats again.

I realize that being talented at procrastination is not the most flattering things to say about yourself, but I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about what it is that I’m good at. I’m still not entirely sure. There are aspects of my job that I think I’m good at… I’m quick, can adapt to the needs of the group easily, am flexible when they come in with something unexpected, but I don’t think I’m the kind of teacher that lights the world on fire with my industry-changing methods.

A lot of my procrastination time is spent in inventing these fantastical scenarios about hypothetical life scenarios. This is not exactly a useful hobby, though it is fun to think what we could do with a little Bavarian farmhouse that we find for dirt-cheap and can renovate and turn into a place to make cheese and grow geraniums, maybe even falling into jobs in the area doing things like hiking and taking pictures that someone miraculously pays me for. Daydreaming is a great procrastination method, but then I get all bummed out that there’s no logical way that anything like that could ever happen. Real-estate prices in the Alps are straight-up terrifying so the idea of stumbling over something like that is laughable. And yet, I still think about it.

Coming back to reality, Mia has now shoved her way onto my lap, making typing very difficult. She seems to disapprove of idle fantasy, and will not allow me to procrastinate when it comes to her head scratches.

See something like this but way more rundown and preferably free? Call me!


Editor’s Note: This is part of a 31-day challenge series for the month of May, in which I aim to spend at least 15 minutes writing about whatever strikes my fancy. Results may vary.

Sunday Snapshots: Bavarian Colors

Reit im Winkl, Bavaria 2017

The colors of the Bavarian flag may be blue and white, but spend any time in the villages near the Alps and you’ll see no shortage of other hues. These  one can be found on the side of a hotel in Reit im Winkl, and helped to brighten up the gray day that we had experienced on our wet spring hike. In fact, I bet there’s a warm and dry restaurant nearby that also has some colorful cake…

Snowshoeing Inzell

Since last year’s attempt at snowshoeing was in March and basically a very wet and muddy bust, we were extra determined this year. That determination did not, however, mean that we reserved a place way in advance, which meant that we ended up going to Inzell, a place we knew nothing about. Why Inzell? Well, there was an AirBnb available and it was not as insanely expensive as the rest of the options in the area. It turned out to be an excellent location though, with piles of fresh, fluffy snow everywhere.

We were joined on this excursion by my sister, fresh off her 6-week European Grand Tour. She only had a few weeks left on her tourist visa, but luckily we were able to squeeze this little extra trip in.

After a loooong drive through the Bavarian countryside, in which we turned approximately 300 times without finding a bakery*, we arrived at our destination. We weren’t staying directly in Inzell, but in a village about a kilometer away. The village was entirely compromised of these grand old Bavarian farmhouses, and we were delighted to find that ours was particularly cozy (not to mention, nearly 600 years old).

Our host was kind enough to provide us with a map after we told him of our snowshoeing plans, and assured us that we’d find more than enough possibilities nearby.

Car unloaded and nerves calmed, it was time to get our bearings. We had spotted a path and the yellow signs for hiking paths at the end of the village, and decided a walk was in order…

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Sunday Snapshots: Sunlit Snow

Reit im Winkl, Bavaria 2016

We’re planning on driving south next weekend to get our fix of mountains, snow, and snowshoes. Since we waited to go until March in 2017, we found less snow and more mud, but we tried to make at least a few hikes out of it. Though we still had a good time, I’m hoping this year’s trip looks less wet, and more like this…

Sunday Snapshots: Mirror Effect

When a lake is as picturesque as the Weitsee…

Weitsee, 2015

Sunday Snapshots becomes a two-picture affair.

The first time we visited Reit im Winkl was more or less out of desperation. Since then, it’s become one of my favorite easy weekend escapes. If you want a chance of a day like this though, you had best go early in November. I just checked the village webcams and it is looking distinctly white these days…