I had the BEST breakfast this morning – primarily because of one thing: homemade plum jam.

The hotel had plain yogurt – which I was skeptical about because I don’t usually like it – so I added plum jam, a few prunes, some dried apricots and a little bit of some sort of oats mixture to jazz it up a little. I am not a big jelly/jam person, but OH. MY. GOD. This stuff was delicious. I wanted to get the bowl of it and eat it all straight with a spoon.

I got some cheeses and a few slices of meat, too, but one of the cheeses smelled so strongly (read: disgusting) that I just couldn’t take it. I gave it all to Jon and went back for a piece of some sort of chocolateish cake (which I added plum jam to), some more prunes and a hard boiled egg.

The 4-hour drive from Reutte (Austria) to Hofen (Germany) was absolutely gorgeous. We drove through all sorts of small towns that were so cute I wanted to stay forever. And the mountains – damn.

We stopped just a couple of times. Once, for lunch – McD’s. We both got a Bacon, Onion and Chicken sandwich (or something like that) and we split the fries and potatoes.

The second stop happened because we ran out of windshield wiper fluid/cleaner. The roads are a sludgy mess most everywhere, and we’re constantly having the salty sludge slung back on us … so we’re constantly needing to clean the windshield.

The first time we ran out (a couple of days ago), a very nice woman who worked at a gas station came out with something that looked like a watering can and helped Jon put the fluid (he bought) into the seriously TINY hole that leads to the fluid reservoir.

Today, we pulled over and Jon attempted to add the fluid via my brilliant idea – my McD’s cup and straw.

It worked!

A man came over almost immediately, though, to help. He spoke no English, so we “spoke” through body language and gestures, but he seemed to think the cup idea was pretty funny. He helped Jon pour the fluid at first – then he ended up taking him into the gas station and borrowing a watering can for us (which I’m starting to think is the common practice) … he stuck around to make sure we had no problems … then took the can back for us. All with snow pouring down.

We have encountered this sort of friendly helpfulness several times – and I’m embarrassed or sad or something to say that I’ve felt leery/unsafe every single time someone has approached us out of the blue – exactly as I would at home. I’ve definitely not expected what we’ve received – genuine kindness with no strings attached and no mugging happening. My worldview is likely somewhat skewed – I know that – but damn. It sucks – and sucks that it’s rarely challenged like this.

Our little car has done really well with the snow except for the windshield fluid issue – which really wouldn’t even be an issue if the damn hole wasn’t so small. Thank GOD for the gps, too. Seriously. We’d probably be divorced right now if not for that thing.

We made it into the Black Forest area right as it was starting to get dark – and needed to meet Jon’s boss for dinner pretty quickly after arriving – so we unloaded the car and walked to a nearby grocery store to pick up a few things for me to have in the room tomorrow in case I don’t feel like leaving for lunch – and because we just like walking around grocery stores in new places because we’re weird like that.

I found some plum jam – and HAD to buy it – and am seriously hoping it will be as good as what I had this morning.

I also totally impulse-purchased something I have no idea about. Not even sure what it is, exactly.

Stopped at the bakery section, too, of course.

We ate dinner at the hotel – it was FABULOUS: vegetarian cordon bleu for me (lots of spinach and cheese and some sort of fried cheese shell) with broccoli, venison and spatzle for Jon. I took no pictures because we were with Jon’s boss and it just wasn’t appropriate. Too bad, though. It was good.

I want to be on vacation forever, please.

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