We did some road trips in Germany during my summer there, but most of my time was spent in the city of Lörrach, a beautiful town at the Swiss-German-French border where I enjoyed long walks, fabulous coffee and ice cream, and a quality of life that I look forward to every trip and miss the moment I leave.
An Ideal Summer Holiday: My Daily Life In Lörrach, Germany
For me, a vacation is no longer trying to fit in as many attractions as I can. There is a time and place for that and I fondly recall my early trips to Germany in which museums and architecture were so central. Not so much anymore. These days, I return to my “home away from home” at my in-laws and my days do not look so much different than my days in California.
First, I get eight hours of sleep per night…something that I neglected for many years but now I view as critical in not only enjoying a productive day, but positioning myself for good health as I age.
In Los Angeles, I always feel like I am behind the eight ball when it comes to blogging, since the East Coast news cycle does not wait for the West Coast to wake up. While that means I am up very early and go right to work writing in California, I’m six hours ahead of New York in Germany, which makes for a far less stressful day.
Mornings ideally start with a run along the Weise river before the kids wake up (which was flooded during the early part of our trip). While I do intermittent fasting in Los Angeles until noon each day, I take a break when traveling and would enjoy a hot, freshly-baked croissant each morning for breakfast from a local bakery along with a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice, some Greek yogurt with berries, and a strong cup of black coffee. It’s a simple breakfast and even that took some restraint when the table was filed with delectable meats and cheese (a typical German breakfast).
Some days we would go into the forest to run.
My goal each day was to get my essential work (both the blog and Award Expert) done in the morning and have the afternoon and evening to spend with my family. Most days that worked (though I would then work in the late evenings).
We did so much walking during the trip. Lörrach city center was easily reachable by foot and we walked into town or to the park or to Rötteln Castle (which has a nice coffee shop) on most days, even in the rain (and German summers tend to be wet). On one Sunday we even walked all the way to church in Basel, Switzerland (quite a walk, but doable).
My routine around 2:00pm was to put baby Claire Marie down for a nap and then head into town with Augustine for a coffee followed by Spaghettieis, a German ice cream dish made to resemble a plate of spaghetti. That not only allowed me to enjoy a lovely flat white followed by a delicious bowl of ice cream, but it gave me a great time to bond with my son. Sometimes we had a dürüm döner before the coffee.
My father-in-law is a master chef and evenings would be spent around the dinner table, enjoying multi-course feasts. Not only did I appreciate the delicious meals, but also the break from cooking (which is a team effort for Heidi and me at home).
One reason I’m on a fairly strict diet now is because I did not really watch what I ate during the summer, but that was an acceptable tradeoff for me: it is so hard to turn down a hot croissant in the morning or delicious homemade Maultaschen or Wachteln mit Schmorgemüse (my personal favorites) at dinner.
Before bed, when the kids were fast asleep, Heidi and I would take one last walk up the Tüllinger Mountain, sometimes walking into the black forrest. I love the very late sunsets in Germany during the summer.
The lovely thing abut my daily life while summering in Germany was that I was able to work and still enjoy so much leisure time with my family. It’s a blessing I do not take for granted and hope will still be possible as my wife and I take on new responsibilities and obligations.
It’s one thing to rush though a place to check all the “top 10” boxes. Frankly, that’s still how I tend to visit new countries these days as I continue my quest to visit every country in the world. But when it comes to Germany, it’s all about settling into a daily routine that always leaves me refreshed.
This is part of my summer in Germany trip report.