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St. Martin’s Day November 11th

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In case you haven't noticed, Germans love to party and will find whatever reason they can to have another little Fest or celebration. A Guy cutting up his coat?! Sounds like a reason for celebration! No really, let me introduce you to Saint Martin’s day:

St. Martin’s day originated in France and then spread all through Middle and Eastern Europe.

Originally only a Catholic holiday, St Martin’s Day was named after Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier who later became the third Bishop of Tours. He was known for sharing his winter coat with a poor beggar that was out in the freezing cold, so Martin took his sword and cut his coat in half, handing the other half to the cold man. St. Martin was known for being a kind hearted, and he cared for children and the poor.

Dogs in Germany. What you need to know…

Germany is actually a very pet friendly country; you'll see pets in Germany everywhere, the outdoor barn cat, the dog on the train or bus, in the car, at the mall, or the park, and even in many restaurants (where you can often find the waiter will bring your dog a water bowl as well).  If you're lucky you might even see someone walking around downtown with a friendly pet rat or parrot on their shoulder. However, dogs, in particular, are very welcome in Germany, and they are allowed in most German businesses, aside from the grocery store, and in almost any public space. Dogs are also allowed in parks (but for health and safety reasons they are not allowed on playgrounds) and on all public transportation*. Still there are a few important rules to follow when you have a dog in Germany.

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Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

September 2 to November 6, 2016 at Blühendes Barock (Baroque in Bloom) Ludwigsburg Family (and Dog) Friendly

Just 30 minutes from Stuttgart's Patch Barracks (and 2 hours from Ramstein Air Base) you'll find one of the biggest fall, pumpkin festivals not only in Germany, but in the world (over 450,00 pumpkins)! The event is held in Ludwigsburg at the Baroque Gardens of the Ludwigsburg Castle. The Festival is open every day from 9:00 till 20:30, and the farm and souvenir shops are open from 10:00 till 18:00. It's important to note that the event is outdoors, and therefore, the natural light of the day is the only light available; so be sure to come on a nice fall day so that you can enjoy all of the exhibits and activities. Entry costs are paid directly to the Baroque Gardens and are around € 8.50 for adults and € 4.20 for children and students (with a valid student ID). Family tickets, group discounts and evening discounts (after 17:30) are also available. Visit the Baroque Garden’s website for more details on pricing. http://www.blueba.de/eintritt-oeffnungszeiten.html

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Pia's Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pia's Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte As I mentioned, I'm a fan of pumpkin everything, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin ice cream, you name it, I love it. I love the pumpkin spice lattes you can get at Starbucks or East Street Cafe, but sometimes I don't want to drive all the way to base, and sometimes they're out, and sometimes I'm too busy to wait in line, and sometimes I'm picky...so, my solution was to create a homemade pumpkin spice latte! This recipe is easy to follow, can be made with an espresso machine, a French press or a regular drip coffee machine, and requires simple store bought ingredients. Feel free to alter the recipe to your liking (I like my coffee with a lot of cream and sugar).

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Triberg Waterfalls Black Forest, Germany

Triberg Waterfalls  Schwarzwald, GermanyThe highest waterfall in Germany is in the idyllic black forest town of Triberg (pronounced Tree-Berg, and it's definitely worth a weekend visit. Triberg is a three hour drive from Ramstein and a shorter hour and a half drive from Stuttgart. Since we were coming from Ramstein, we decided to stay all weekend and got ourselves a little room at the lovely Hotel Cafe Adler—which was a convenient 3 minute walk to the entrance of the waterfalls. Breakfast at the hotel was fantastic, and the staff was more than accommodating. The hotel can be booked at Booking.com and is pet friendly – just beware the advertised Wi-Fi is only available in the lobby and breakfast room (which can be a little inconvenient). Right across from our hotel was the Park Hotel which also seemed like a great place to stay.

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