photos up from our ski trip to Austria

We rolled into town a couple of hours ago (thanks for driving, Oscar and Kim!) and are pretty tired. That is not to say that this was one of those vacations where we are glad to be home; quite the contrary. I am leery of what awaits me at work tomorrow morning.

We had a great time at our hotel (the Landgasthof Stadt Wien) and are so happy Oscar and Kim, our newest local Regensburg pals, invited us along.

You can click on any picture below and it’ll take you to the flickr page for that photo (it might be more convenient to browse the photos through flickr, dependending on your preferences).

gondola route on Schmittenhöhe

downtown Zell am See gondola self-portrait glacier buddies Kaprun Seafood Salads Apres Ski Schmittenhöhe blurry Brad and Oscar on Schmittenhöhe gondola route on Schmittenhöhe our fearless leader pausing on Schmittenhöhe Schmittenhöhe Schmittenhöhe Schmittenhöhe Schmittenhöhe

Vital-Family-Landgasthof Stadt Wien

The Joint

Schmittenstraße 41
A-5700 Zell am See
Phone: +43-6542 / 7620 Fax: +43-6542 / 762-51


Stadt WienWhat a great place. We traveled here with Kim and Oscar (our pals from Regensburg). It was about 3.5 or 4 hours by car from Regensburg. Since the trip was organized through Oscar’s work, there was a great discount. But even without it, we had a great time (see our pictures for proof).

The best parts, for me, were the proximity to the slopes (skiing down the hill into the hotel parking lot is a nice perk) and the included breakfasts, dinners, and apres ski snacks. I would love to go back there again.


Wow. What a fantastic place! So fabulous, we’ve been raving about it to friends ever since we went. The rooms are lovely and extremely Alpine in style. The service and amenities are extraordinary! As I wasn’t a skier when we went (neither was Kim), I got a facial and a massage while the guys were off on the slopes. The rate we paid was inclusive of breakfast and dinner, and both were exceptional. For breakfast, there’s a large buffet with fruits, yogurts, cereals, breads and eggs with several different kinds of juice, coffee and tea. Dinner replaces the buffet with a large salad bar, breads, cheese and spreads. The main meal is a choice of two or three main entrées. Everything was outstanding. Can’t recommend this place highly enough.

greetings from Austria

Hey all,
just a quick note from the eMac in the lobby of our hotel. This place is **sweet** — I can definitely see us coming back here next winter. The snow leaves a little to be desired, but everything else is great…especially the chow.

Check out for details. Skiing pictures unfortunately can’t be posted until we get back to Regensburg, but there’ll be at least a few.

no, my father-in-law is a police officer

I had a big meeting yesterday in another city. “Big” doesn’t mean “prestigious” or “critical for the company’s success” here really. It just means that there were a lot of people attending, and all of them from different groups within the conglomerate. I was representing my group and as such, I decided to wear a tie…mostly because most of the other men attending these meetings typically do (and the women usually wear suits).

So I picked what is probably my “finest” dress shirt (kind of a greenish yellowish khaki color) and a dark green tie I’d bought on a whim in downtown Munich at a dirndl store some time ago, black pants and shiny new black dress shoes. Those items, together with my black leather jacket made a pretty snappy ensemble, if I may say so myself.

Due to some screw-up which caused us to sit still on the tracks for about 15 minutes, I missed my train connection in Nürnberg, so I ended up taking a slower train to my final destination. I sat across from a very chatty old lady, fluent in many dialects of German. Our conversation went like this:

“My husband was in the army for 20 years and then he became a locomotive engineer.”

“Oh yeah? That’s interesting.”

“It was always hard to predict when he’d be home so I could have dinner ready and waiting for him. One time he came home 6 hours late for Christmas Eve dinner due to some problem on the tracks! But I guess it’s pretty much the same on the police force.”

I tried to conceal my confusion by not asking what that had to do with the price of beans. Her accent was pretty thick, and I figured I’d missed something, or else she was about to tell me about her nephew the policeman or something. Or else she somehow managed to infer that I’d married a police officer’s daughter.

“So where are you headed?”


“There’s a large police training academy there, isn’t there?”

“I really wouldn’t know, I’m headed there on a business trip for the day.”

Neither of us could hear the conductor announcing the stops on our way to Erlangen. She noticed I was looking intently out the window, trying to make sure I wouldn’t miss my stop. I told her I wasn’t from around here, and then she said she noticed I was having trouble understanding her, and then she said “You’re probably not a police office either, are you?” I said “Nope, not at all,” and we both had a laugh and I finally understood what she’d been getting at earlier.

At the end of my day on the way home, I stopped at a bakery stand to get a sandwich and the guy behind the counter said something I didn’t quite understand, which I figure translated to “That’ll be €1,60, blahblahblah” (I didn’t understand the blahblahblah part). I looked up at him and asked for an explanation and he said

“you know, blahblahblah, like a friendly nickname for ‘police officer.'”

“Oh, OK. I’m not a police officer.”

“Really? But you must be a trainee or involved security or something in that outfit.”

I told him I was an American and really didn’t plan to impersonate anyone when picking my clothes that morning. I walked away while he was still trying to wrap his mind around that:

“Holy cow, I never would have known, Americans speaking German on TV sure don’t sound like that…”

So here’s what I was wearing: Here are some real German police officers, angry about something and here’s Peter Falk modeling the version without the leather jacket, for good measure
copsuit polizei_02_gq Peter Falk in Polizeiuniform

I wonder if I could make that work for me somehow.

we might well be going skiing this weekend!

Just got back from a great night with our new pals Kim and Oscar and their adorable (I *must* mean it — how often do I use that word?) pugs. They offered to take us along on their ski trip to here (click that for a map). We are really excited — even Sarah, who was always leery (at best) about skiing in the U.S. They told us about some kind of deal with Esso stations that allows them to pay in dollars at military prices, so we’ll get to ride in a car (yippee!) and not have to pay European prices!

The last time I went skiing here was about a year ago, but it was really more like Mt. Holly than the Alps. The last time I tried to do an Alpy ski trip was more than a year when my mom came to visit, but it got washed out due to a horrendous cold I developed. I am really looking forward to it…just hope I can get the time off of work. And given my overtime situation lately, that should be relatively easy.

Here are the adorable pugs:

Maggie and Max Maggie and Max

zum Steidlewirt

The Joint

Am Ölberg 13
93047 Regensburg
phone: +49 941- 560 820


Can’t go wrong with their Schnitzel. I’m going to try the Obatzda next. Whatever that is. I trust Wolfi, though.


We try to bring all of our visitors (and sometimes, local friends) here. They have the hands-down best Schnitzel and Bratkartoffeln and Schupfnudeln that I’ve had in Europe. The service is incredibly charming, as are the surroundings and the prices are great for food and atmosphere of this quality.

the great escape

I’m currently jamming out to We Are Scientists‘ The Great Escape. Right now, my great escape is this weekend. It’s been a tough two weeks of more than 55+ each and I steadfastly refuse to be more productive this weekend than absolutely necessary.

I also started a packing list for our upcoming trip to the U.S. and Mexico. If you can think of stuff we neglected to mention, please reply to the thread there.

Note: now that I have figured out how to have discussions online that are relatively safe from spammy robot postings about online gambling and even less savory subjects, I’ve decided to completely do away with the various online bulletin board systems I used to try to get everyone to sign up for and use. It’s a lot easier (prettier, if I may say so) to have those online discussions right here in the ol’ Regensblog. So I won’t be pestering any of you to sign up and create membership and/or usernames and passwords anywhere anymore.