Earlier this month, I went to visit Carmela in Stuttgart. A whirlwind weekend, but oh so worth it!

After 5 1/2 hours of training, her first surprise for me was Starbucks! That sure made for one happy (Seattleite) traveler.

Later that night, we went to a Mexican restaurant downtown with a couple of her Swiss friends. There weren’t good tram connections for some reason, so we showed up at 7:50 for our 7:30 reservations. The very-German host told us that we were “too late” for our reservations. He almost refused to seat us… Luckily they hadn’t given away our table yet, so we still got to eat to our hearts’ content. The food was good despite our cold welcome.

At a stand in the Christmas market

A stand at the Esslingen Christmas market

The next day we went to the Christmas market in Esslingen am Neckar, near Stuttgart. A. MAZING. Not only is the town itself adorable, but they had different markets to visit (a traditional Weihnachtsmarkt complete with Glühwein, stockbrot, and Lebkuchenherzen as well as a Medieval market). I didn’t think I would buy anything but ended up finding some gifts for people back in Seattle.

That night we had tickets to the Stuttgart Ballet’s “Ground Breakers” which consisted of 3 mini-shows: Workwithinwork (contemporary), Frank Bridge Variations (classical), and the world premiere of On Velvet (ultra-contemporary; think: twitching is the new twirling). Carmela and I are most definitely fans of classical ballet. There were so many tender moments in the second show; I wish it had been longer.

The Opera House, home of the Stuttgart Ballet

The Opera House, home of the Stuttgart Ballet.

Then it was time to chat, sleep, and train back to Switzerland. All in all, a wonderful weekend!


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