Monday, October 13, 2014

Neustadt Wine Festival 2014

I wasn't sure if a wine festival was something I wanted to take my daughter to.  Eric and I had gone to Bad Durkheim's Wine Fest last year, and then again last month- ask him how that turned out.  Go ahead, ask him.  I didn't even blog about it because he had that much fun (and by "had fun" I mean got obnoxious).  But wine fests aren't all about getting as messy as you possibly can.... actually, I'm pretty sure that's not what they're about at all.  They have parades, carnival rides, lots of food & games, and are very family friendly.  And since I've been to a couple where drinking was the main focus, I thought it would be fun to go with my daughter and do all of the other fun things that fests have to offer! 

Me and Isabelle are on our own for a few months and I can't just sit at home doing nothing, even though I'm not just sitting at home and I am not doing nothing and I am crazy-want-to-pull-my-hair-out busy and really didn't have time for a day trip.  But that's the thing with my OCD, if I'm not doing a million things at once, I'm bored.  If I'm only doing a hundred thousand things at once, it's not enough, I will panic and add more to an already crazy day. Plus, time with my daughter is precious, and it's important to me to show her as much of the world as I can!  So even though we didn't have our most favorite guy with us, we set out to have fun at a wine festival without the messy or obnoxious!

Okay, so it turns out that wine festivals aren't that much fun if you're sober.  And the rides would have been a blast... if you were 4 years old.  We rode the Ferris Wheel twice and Isabelle played a couple of games, but that was pretty much it.  We explored Neustadt (a super cute little village) and Isabelle used the time we were exploring to go over her Christmas list with me and made sure I understood and heard every item she listed.  And then told me her entire list another three times just to be very sure I had heard her.  Graphic tee's and skinny jeans.... got it, kiddo!

We had great girl talk and then decided to watch the parade...

German parades aren't a whole lot different from the parades that I've ever gone to in the States.  They don't throw as much candy as we do, which I don't think is a bad thing.  But one of the differences was that each winery has their own float and they have people with bottles of wine walking with the float who happily refill whatever wine glass you stick in their faces!  To me, that's better than candy!  

They handed out cheese, too!  I noticed an awful lot of lederhosen and drindles for a wine festival that wasn't in Bavaria, but hey, I'm not going to pretend like I know all of Germany's customs, I just know that if an American wears lederhosen outside of Bavaria we get called "idiots."  

Isabelle and I were not wearing our dirndle's to save us from being called "idiots" but that didn't save us from all of the other rudeness we encountered, and sadly, are getting accustomed to.  Isabelle had a difficult time at the parade because no one wanted her to be able to catch any of the candy, one lady even took a small bag of chips she had caught right out of her hands!  I love Germany, but we have encountered some of the rudest people here, and it hurts my daughter's sensitive heart very much.  I told that lady not to touch her again, but it was in English and I'm not sure she understood what I said, I just hope my tone and dirty look gave her a clear message.  
Neustadt is a pretty village with pretty buildings, but unfortunately the people aren't.  I'm thinking you need to be drunk to have fun there, and for it to be easier to ignore the rudeness when it's not deserved.  I get that Americans are seen as obnoxious and loud, but that's not all of us, and it certainly isn't how I, or my 11 year old daughter, act.  We didn't appreciate how we were treated and were ready to leave.  

You know, not all of our experiences here are going to be amazing, and that's what I told Isabelle.  Even the not so amazing experiences will be stories she can tell when we get back to the States.  And we know that not all Germans are hurtful and rude.  Eric and I are raising her to be tolerant and accepting of everyone, and this was a giant real-life lesson in being tolerant.  But neither one of us plan to go back to Neustadt... ever again!


  1. i am german,well half german haha, living in germany and some people here go CRAZY (!) when they get the chance to get free stuff, i remember going to carnival parades when i was younger (they tend to throw a ton of candy and other small goodies there) and there were adults that would literally snatch everything, even if someone else had it in their hands already! they just took it without a blink not caring :/ my parents always encouraged me not to stay quiet when something like that happend because either them or some friendly humans who would tell the idiots to back off where around
    its sad how people start acting once they get the chance to get something for free :/

  2. Are you guys learning German? Not to be rude, but how to you expect to interact with people if can't communicate with them? If you 'force' them to speak a foreign language in their own country?

    1. A lady taking something out of a child's hands has nothing to do with language! And whether she understood my telling her not to touch my child again in English doesn't make her being forceful and rude to a little girl excusable. But yes, I am learning German. And if being rude can be justified based on the language someone speaks then I guess my daughter will be taught many lessons on acceptance while living in this country. And yes, she is learning German as well.