One of my favorite things about living here is how we can have no big plans in the coming week, only to find our weekend filled with the abundant festivals and celebrations so common this time of year. After our errands on Saturday, we headed to the Mainzer Weinetage just about the same time the rain clouds cleared and the sun came out. As much as I love our fests in Wiesbaden, there is just something so fantastic about the stretch of riverside on which Mainz holds its festivals.
I also love that Mainz is such a different crowd. Sure, there are some older, more posh wine connoisseurs, I'm sure, but the younger, more laid-back vibe is a nice change. The wineries were being very generous with their pours and there were some hipper, downright enjoyable music performers, most notably this great little instrumental quartet whose music transported you to Midnight in Paris. Of course, there were also the ubiquitous groups of bachelor and bachelorette parties, which in Germany mean coordinated dressing up, embarrassment of the bride/groom and selling of some kind of food or trinkets to the crowd. These kinds of fests make me a little sad about all we will be leaving behind when we move, but I know Berlin holds so many new and different things, we won't be disappointed.
While Saturday was a bit of a last minute outing, Sunday's event was something we had been looking forward to since we had received an invitation to the celebration: our favorite maker of Sekt, Schloss Wachenheim, was having a party for its 125th anniversary. Even though they have been sold out of our very favorite Sekt - Muskateller Pfalz - for a number of months, the drive down through this beautiful wine region and wandering around the quaint town of Wachenheim is always worth it. The best part: for this celebration, Schloss Wachenheim was running Sekt through the fountain in its courtyard and for just 125 cents, you could fill your glass from it as often as you liked. We quickly decided that this should be a regular thing, not just at wineries, but really in any fountain. I mean, wouldn't that just make the world a better place?
Another great thing to happen this weekend - we finally got our dSLR! Due some great prices and attractive new financing offers (meaning we can afford a camera and our move to Berlin), we splurged for the Nikon d5100, rather than the entry-level d300 we were considering. This also means there is a steep learning curve for me, so bear with me while I learn. Even without a clue as to what we were doing with the thing, the photos from Sunday turned out markedly better than Saturday's, which were taken just with our little point-and-shoot. And check out that self-photo action, thanks to the d5100's flip screen! I'm really excited to learn more, play more and bring better photos to my blog. Any beginners tips are most welcome!