Author: Jacob Thomas

The Aftermath, Part II

It has been a very interesting time in the last few months since I wrote about the issues I had to go through in clearing out my grandmother’s house after her passing. A lot has happened. For one, I’m no longer in Germany. Yes, after over 8 years, the time came to move. This is the biggest thing of all. Of course, leaving from a place that I thought of as home and now being back in the states is a big deal.

The Aftermath, Part I

Let me just get this out of the way. When I get these done, these won’t be my normal mission statement of things I like to write, but this is a platform for me to get my thoughts out overall. Where do I begin, the last few months have had a lot going on. I’ve traveled to several countries, checked off a few boxes on things I should’ve done a long time ago, but just now got to doing them. Those stories and all of that fun are going to come at some point. Currently though, I’m in the states, in Michigan at what is now my house. Do you know how odd it is for me to say, my house? I’m old enough to have a house, but still saying something like that is still odd. When my grandmother passed away in February, I knew life was going to be different. I knew I would have so many more responsibilities, but man, I have a lot going on. I was prepared in some ways …

Goodbye

When you get a call from your mother close to 4am on a Sunday morning, you know it can’t be a good thing. Especially when you aren’t at home in your place. I was sleeping in a multiperson hostel with friends in Freiburg. When I was able to call my mom, I was given the news, I never wanted to receive. My grandmother was gone. She was 84, so she lived a good life, it’s one of those ages where you really can be happy to get to. However, it doesn’t stop the tears, it doesn’t stop the pain. It doesn’t stop the regret. My grandmother was an interesting person, born in the great depression era, not to mention at a time, when racial equality wasn’t a thing. She made major strides in her life to raise a family with my granddad, have my mom and my uncle. After doing all of that, she raised me. Just like with any parent, there were conflicts, because she had her way of doing things, she was old …

The Christmas Markets are Here!!

To say it’s the most wonderful time of the year might be a little bit much.  The most wonderful time of the year for me is when the weather is warm and I’m enjoying a beer or some other cold beverage outside.   The very close wonderful time of the year is clearly when the Christmas Markets open and we are able to enjoy a nice Glühwein (mulled wine) and some other delicious food for about a month.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Christmas Markets (Weihnachtsmarkt), first of all, where have you been?  Second, I’m really sorry for you, and third, there is no third.  I just wanted to make it seem like I might be making a list. Christmas Markets are exactly what they sound like.  They are an outdoor market, full of really awesome Christmas items.  Would you like a really traditional ornament for your tree?  You can get it there.  Would you like chocolate, pastries, household goods, warm socks, etc?  They have all of that.  To tell you the …

Malaga, ​the destination, you have to visit

Are you looking for somewhere really nice to go, but isn’t the normal tourist place?  If so, let me tell you about a nice trip my girlfriend and I took to Malaga, Spain.  This fabulous city located in the Costa del Sol (sun coast) region was a great trip, especially since around that time Stuttgart was doing what Stuttgart and various parts of Germany do.  It was starting to be freezing out. Malaga might not be on your list of places to see in Spain, frankly, it wasn’t top of my list either.  We all know the main places, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia.  I should probably mention, I’ve been to those three, though Madrid was only like 6 or 7 hours, but I’m still counting it.  Spanish cities have a charm and chill nature that just make you want to see what they have to offer.  I mean they take siestas, what can be better than that? Now if you look it up, you’ll notice something pretty convenient about making Malaga your starting point.  This is the …

Stuttgart’s​ Best Burgers

In my 7 years of living in Germany, mainly here in Stuttgart, there are various meals I really do miss from the states.  Now I can easily cook these things myself, but as we all know, there is a time, when you don’t want to have to go and buy the ingredients for whatever.  You don’t want to have to go and have that random jar of this or that, then a month later think, “What am I going to do with this?” Over the years I have become resourceful.  That big bottle of tahini, well you can make a dressing, use it for a crumble topping, even make a dessert, I should say desserts.  I digress, those meals I really miss are those things that even though I can fix it, you want someone else to make it for you because that’s how you learn to taste food differently, figure out how something was made, then go back home, make it myself.  That, in turn, saves me about €20 ($23), when I really want …

Peach Moscow Mule

It’s all coming to an end.  Sadly, it always comes to an end.  You look at reports, you look outside, things just aren’t the same anymore.  You know it has to end, but why?  Can’t it last forever? Unfortunately, nothing last forever, so yes.  We have to say goodbye to summer.  Oh, I can only wonder what you might have thought I was talking about.  Anyhow, yes, it is Labor day weekend.  The unofficial end to summer, well, for America that is.  Here in Germany, labor day was several months ago.  This week we have seen various temperature swings.  A glorious 80℉ (27℃) plus day, with a few days on the outside, where I’ve seen people wearing heavier than normal jackets.  Yes, it is coming to an end. I, however, will not allow summer to leave without a nice seasonal cocktail or two, maybe three.  Say hello to the Peach Moscow Mule.  A lot of us think of the peach being the star of your peach cobbler, peaches and cream of course too, maybe even a …

Gin Blackberry Smash

Oh look, it’s the weekend again.  I have to say, when I get up to start my Monday, I kind of think how fast or slow will this week go?  Next thing you know, it’s Thursday and I’m trying to figure out the weekend plans, praying that Monday doesn’t come too quickly. With all of that, just like I wrote about a few weeks ago, a cocktail has to be in the mix.  This week I got to go to the farmers market, where I saw some awesome looking blackberries.  Over the years I have learned to enjoy various berries.  The one issue I always run into is finding ripe, sweet berries.  Finding strawberries, not a problem, while blueberries, raspberries, leave a lot to be desired.  However, these blackberries were good to go. Along with the love for berries, I have also found a love for gin, not to mention my girlfriends help too.  The variations that are available really mix well with a lot of different cocktails.  Just like my Gin Blackberry Smash.  A …

Cherry Jam Margarita

It’s the weekend!  The weather here in Stuttgart has had its moments.  a few moments of sun, followed by it going away for a while, then you get some rain mixed in there. With the weather being nice at points, here Stuttgart, that is anything over 72 °f (22 °c), I start going out for more walks in my neighborhood, as well as to the farmers market.  Not to mention you see really nice seasonal fruits and vegetables come about.  When I start seeing strawberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.  I can’t help but just want to make a nice cocktail.  Normally, if you follow my instagram, you know I love a Friday cocktail.  I come home after work, hit my liquor cabinet and decide what I’m in the mood for.  My Friday rule is pretty clear, nothing too simple, because I deserve something tasty as a reward for finishing a week of work. This time I was in the mood for a margarita.  I enjoy the taste of a margarita, if you can find a nice tequila …