I’m way behind again on my posts. We’ve been on a busy schedule ever since the New Year began with lots of commitments to keep and people to visit. Stilla has something scheduled for us almost every day with family and/or friends. So, here we go, I’ll try to bring the blog a little more up to date:
Friday was a do-nothing kind of day… We just hung out around the house and took it easy after the New Year’s celebration(s). A good number of relatives and friends that didn’t get a chance to stop by on New Year’s eve, did so today, in order to wish Opa a Happy New Year and/or Stilla a happy belated birthday. We closed out the evening with some pretty darn good ‘take-out’ pizzas that William picked up.
On Saturday, we borrowed William’s car and drove to Weiden for the weekend to visit some old friends from Colorado.
We took Bundestrasse 299 almost all the way… a route I became very familiar with during my time with the Army here because it’s the most direct route from the house to the major Army training areas (Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels), and the 1-1 CAV’s border camp in Weiden (Camp Pitman).
Stilla snapped pictures along the route:
We finally arrived at Eddy & Sonja’s house sometime in the early afternoon.
Eddy & Sonja are good friends that we came to know while living in Colorado Springs. Eddy was in the Army stationed at Ft. Carson and Sonja was good friends with Stilla through her group of German friends.
I dug up this old photo (below) of Eddy & Sonja from 2011 when they went camping with us. We had a lot of fun riding around in the Colorado mountains on the quads. Here they are on our Can-Am ATV.
After we got our hugs and hello’s out of the way… we jumped into their car for a trip onto the Grafenwoehr Training Area where Eddy now works. He is stationed with one of the units here.
We got through the security gate (below) and onto the Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA) with no problems, unlike our earlier experience in Katterbach last week.
We drove around the main post area and did some sightseeing. It was fun seeing some of the old sights again. Here’s some pics that might be familiar to a few of my old Army buddies that read the blog:
GTA has grown tremendously from the time I was last here back in 2003 or so. Many units have transferred here from the various Kasernes (bases) that have closed down elsewhere around Germany.
We ended up at the new Post Exchange (PX). They have a huge building here now that combines both the PX and Commissary. I heard it’s now considered the largest one in Germany.
After Stilla did a little shopping at the PX/Commissary, we drove through a couple of the old troop training barracks areas; Camp Aachen and Camp Algiers.
It started to get dark as we finished our little tour. It was another nice trip down memory lane for me.
We drove back to downtown Weiden to a nice local restaurant that our friends knew about. We parked and walked into the main downtown market area/pedestrian zone.
We enjoyed a superb Italian-style dinner with Sonja & Eddy.
We walked around and explored the scenic fußgänger (pedestrian) zone after dinner.
Pig and chicken sculptures were situated in the square.
We found a nice coffee shop while walking around and enjoyed some espressos.
After our enjoyable evening in scenic downtown Weiden, we spent the night in Eddy & Sonja’s guest room. Government-leased housing has sure come a long ways since my day… their house has 4-levels, heated floors, 110V & 220V outlets, and a garage!
In the morning, Sonja made us a nice continental-style breakfast.
And we also woke up to our first snowfall since we got to Germany on the 4th of December.
I had to sweep the snow off William’s car before we headed back to Sindersdorf. Haven’t had to do that in a long time 🙂
It was great seeing Sonja & Eddy again 🙂 Thanks for the hospitality! We said our sad goodbye’s and headed on back to the house.
Before we left the town of Weiden, we drove around a bit and tried to find the old 1-1 CAV border camp (Camp Pitman) with no luck. Camp Pitman is where we used to spend a month at a time (every few months) each troop (company) took turns guarding the border between Czechoslovakia and West Germany during the Cold War. Things (landmarks) had just changed too much over the years. The Germans probably tore everything down and built something new in its place so it was unrecognizable to me.
We took the same route back on Sunday, but this time, instead of dry roads and green fields; we had slushy roads and snow-covered scenery.
We made it back safely and just hung out at the house for the rest of Sunday evening.
Next update coming soon… we worked at the house on Monday and went to another birthday party. On Tuesday we finally made it over to the used German RV dealership; check back for another exciting blog update 🙂
In other news: We got an update from my Mom in Casa Grande, AZ on our little dog. She says ‘Coach’ had to spend the night at the vet, but he’s back home now and eating on his own.