Category Archives: Pictures

Our photographs from around the world.

The Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg, Germany

Empire Riverside Hotel - Hamburg, Germany

It looks a little like the black monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey: “What are you doing, Dave? Don’t touch the black monolith, Dave. Oh no, you touched it, Dave, you stupid pink monkey.” — Image Credit: © Empire Riverside Hotel. All rights reserved.

For my wife’s birthday this year, I took her to the Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. Normally, I would have cheapskated my way out of this and booked an Airbnb or something, but not this time; I wanted to pamper my wife. Pamper her like a drooling toddler.

The Empire Riverside Hotel is a huge building, jutting out from the Hamburg cityscape like an L-shaped Tetris block. (“For the love of god, why won’t you just give me a straight piece?”) If you book a room on the south side, you’ll have an awesome view of the Elbe River and the Hamburg Harbor. If you book a room on the north side, you’ll have an awesome view of the Reeperbahn, some feisty prostitutes and a bunch of dildo shops. The rooms on the east and west sides have views of both, so you can fill your gaze with maritime sentiment, or catch an eyeful of titty. Either way, you win.

For reasons I will never truly understand, my wife loves Hamburg. She even loves the shipping dock, with its endless horizon of container cranes. (Personally, I find shipping docks ugly and unnerving. I mean, they’re filled with giant robots designed specifically to pick up heavy things and maybe — if they feel like it — drop that shit right on your head.) Anyway, my wife and I would typically spend our time in Hamburg strolling along the river or drinking brew doggies on the Elbstrand, but not this time: We just couldn’t leave our badass accommodations.

Empire Riverside Hotel - Hamburg, Germany

“Wait, where is everyone? Is this the zombie apocalypse? It IS the zombie apocalypse! Oh my god, quick! We have to– oooh, look honey… salad rolls.” — Image Credit: © Empire Riverside Hotel and © Andrea Flak ( All rights reserved.

With the exception of a quick boat tour around the harbor, called a Hafenrundfahrt (Tee hee! I said “fart.”), we spent the entire time inside the Empire Riverside Hotel. The rooms are super sleek and modern, and the windows go all the way from the floor to the ceiling — so you really get that, “I could totally fall out of this window” feeling. Also, the Wi-Fi actually works, which is surprisingly rare in the hotel industry, even though fast, free, internet access is a God-given right and should be available in every corner of the globe. (It says so in the Bible.)

Empire Riverside Hotel - Hamburg, Germany

“Afraid of heights? Perfect time for a drink!” — Image Credit: © Empire Riverside Hotel. All rights reserved.

There’s a very cool lounge on the ground floor called David’s, which offers renowned sushi so expensive it’ll shrink your tuna roll. One floor above is the Waterkant restaurant, where you can easily drop a couple benjamins on dinner for two. And then there’s the bar way up on the 20th floor called, unsurprisingly, Skyline Bar 20up. Everything about the hotel is cool, but by far our favorite part was the spa. It’s not huge or anything, but it is complete; there’s a sauna, steam bath, relaxation room and a gym — you know, for people who like to work out and make the rest of us feel guilty for sitting around all day in fluffy white hotel robes. They also have two foot baths and a full-body submersion pool to help you cool off after you come out of the sauna. And here’s the thing: My wife and I were there mid-week, so we had the whole spa to ourselves! (Everyone else was at work, earning money and paying their taxes on time. Suckers.)

Now, I’ve never been a tremendous fan of saunas — 5 minutes inside of one makes me feel like a hamster in a microwave — but I have been slowly learning to enjoy the experience. (My record time is 11 minutes!) But I discovered I really like steam baths. The one in our hotel was super dark, with cool lights in the walls and steam so thick you could hardly see across the room. Of course my wife preferred the dry heat of the sauna — she’s a true German — but apparently hot, moist, dark places are ideal relaxation conditions for uppity American bloggers like myself.

steam bath

“Ha ha ha! I have no idea what I’m doing!” — Image Credit: Chris Feser ( — Subject to CC 2.0 License.

I spent way too long in that steam bath. So long, in fact, my wife had to keep checking up on me:

THE WIFE: “Honey? Are you still alive in there?”

ME: *Hissing at her and pretending to be a vampire* “Yessss, we are alive, but the light burns our skin. Close the door, fair maiden, or come inside and stay — stay forever.”

Once I got to the point where I was about to pass out, I would run from the steam room and jump into the cooling pool. The water was ice-cold, which made my heart pound dangerously hard. Then I would go back inside the steam room and do it all over again. I did this so many times the tiny construction workers inside my body were terrified: “We’re in the Congo! Cool this mother down! Oh shit, now we’re in the Arctic! Heat it back up! Oh no, now we’re back in the — hey, wait a minute…”

Thankfully I’m still relatively young, so my heart didn’t stop, but eventually I decided to join my wife in the relaxation room — where the sane people were. We spent the remainder of the day reading and napping in absolute tranquility. It was glorious.

Clearly my wife and I had an awesome time at this hotel. The prices blew my wallet up like a hobo with a hand grenade, but still, I am compelled to award the Empire Riverside Hotel with a triumphant 5 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds:

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany
If you’re ever in Hamburg, you should totally stay there. Tell them some American guy from the Internet sent you. That should score you a look of perfect apathy.

Oh, and here are some pictures I took during our trip. Click one to start the slideshow. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!


Weather in Germany: Watching the Seasons Change with the Davis Hill Weather Stick


The Davis Hill Weather Stick: A Dark Magic Gift from Satan Himself

My wife is German, and as I’ve mentioned before, Germans tend to be a very well-traveled bunch of squares. My wife has been all over the world, and she spent a lot of time in the United States. She even traveled around New England and made a bunch of friends there. One of these friends gave her a very peculiar parting gift before she returned to Germany: The Davis Hill Weather Stick.

Weather sticks are shaved twigs from balsam trees, and they’re supposed to predict the weather by bending sharply upward or downward. With absolutely no clue where to hang this goofy thing, my wife lugged it around from apartment to apartment for the next decade until she finally met me. After we moved into a house here in Hannover, Germany, I wasted not one second nailing this thing to the wooden divider in our back yard.


THE WIFE: “Take it down. It looks like a penis.”

Here’s how the magic works, according to the back of the card:

The Weather Stick, from the folks on Davis Hill, will tell you what the weather is doing. With good weather about they will point to the sky; and when things aren’t so pleasant they will point to the ground. We don’t know why, but the old timers had faith in them and that’s good enough for us.

Mount it outdoors with the nail up. Under an eave, on a window frame, or out on the garage wall. Anywhere where you can see it from inside.

These country Weather Sticks are harvested at the right time of year and carefully prepared and dried. When first put up they will take a short while to get used to your house so be patient with them and they will serve you well for a long time.

We’ve seen sticks that are fifteen years old so you won’t need another for quite a while. However, if you’d like another you can get one at this store or write us.

(802) 533-2400

Now, I can’t find an actual website for this company, and that address and phone number are so old they probably don’t work anymore, but you can totally order the Davis Hill Weather Stick online at or from the Shelburne Country Store. Also, this stick doesn’t have any magical (or even mysterious) properties at all; we know exactly what makes this thing bend up and down: humidity.


ME: “Look honey! The sun is giving it a boner!”

Anyway, once I noticed the stick bending exactly as promised — and looking like the thinnest, creepiest penis in the world — I started taking pictures of it. From the fall of 2014 to the fall of 2015, I took pictures almost every day for an entire year. Then, I stitched them all together to make the animated .gif below.

Check it out, and have a great week everyone!



In northern Germany, we don’t need devil sticks to tell us the sky is about to piss rain.



The Hanseatic City of Lübeck, Germany

Lübeck, Germany

“Welcome to Lübeck, you picture-ruining sons of bitches.”

You know that vacation my wife and I took to Barcelona, Spain? Well, we took a little trip to Lübeck, Germany right after that. (Like, right the hell after. Not a moment to breathe.) Lübeck is a cute little port town in Schleswig-Holstein, and it was a member of the Hanseatic League during the Late Middle Ages — you know, when they used to pour boiling tar on each other and dropkick babies for fun or whatever.

We saw a bunch of old churches, the port with a ton of boats, the famous marzipan company called Niederegger (you can imagine how carefully I typed that), and the Buddenbrooks House, which is actually a museum dedicated to some asshole named Thomas Mann.

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I’m just pissed because my computer died and I’m still waiting for my new one to be delivered, so I’m having to type this blog post on my wife’s laptop with it’s insane German keyboard. Every time my finger punches the “Z” key instead of the “Y” key, I must resist the urge to frisbee this goddamn thing right out the window.

Deep breath… okay. Please click one of the thumbnails below to start the slideshow, and thank you for stopping by!

Barcelona, Spain: The City of Counts, Gaudi and Catalonia

"Dude, this Goudy character has this city by the BALLS."

“Dude, this Goudy character has this city by the BALLS.”

My German wife and I recently visited Barcelona, Spain. We had an awesome time: beautiful weather, great museums and a fanastic art and culture scene. Of course, it was so painfully hot at night — and the A/C in our rented apartment didn’t work — so we had to sleep with all the doors and windows open, and our naked bodies draped in wet towels so we didn’t die of heatstroke, but still! Awesome!

Now, on an unrelated note, my computer died last week. I am curently waiting for my new computer, and the wait is absolutely killing me. See, I’m writing this post using my wife’s laptop, with its insane German keyboard. So many extra keys! And they’re all in different places, with wacky symbols on top of them! Why, oh sweet Jesus why, is the “Y” key way down here by my left pinky finger? And why must I hit shift+# to make an apostrophe? Holy Christ this sucks! So if you see a ton of typos in my next couple of posts, I want you to blame my wife. Blame her entirely. For being German.

Anyway, please click one of the photos below to start the slideshow. Welcome to Barcelona!

The Top 10 Funniest (and Most Bizarre) Google Search Engine Terms Used to Find Our Blog


“Delete. History. NOW.” — Image Credit: Libelul ( Subject to CC 2.0 License.

Until recently, I assumed people came to our blog for a quick laugh. Maybe to read one of my wife’s Denglish quotes, or perhaps to read about the culture shock I’ve experienced as an American expat in Germany. What I did not expect, however, was the sheer number of people who’ve accidentally stumbled across our blog due to misdirected Google searches. (And oh holy Christ, the Internet really is fueled by porn, isn’t it…)

For this post, I’ve taken screenshots of the latest search terms used to land people on our site and highlighted my favorites in yellow. Please click the first thumbnail image below to start the slideshow. (WARNING: Many contain sexually explicit or otherwise hilarious terminology):

… and of course, way down at the bottom, is my favorite search term of all time:



I have to give it to our accidental blog visitors; they do find creative ways to find us. There’s at least one every day who makes me laugh, and for that, I must award these Google search engine terms with a strong 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds:

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

What about you? Which search terms put a naughty little smile on your face? The comments section is open as hell.

Graphic Designer in Portland, Oregon and Hannover, Germany - Grafikdesigner Illustrator Copywriter

Best WhatsApp Messages: The Top 10 Funniest Messages Between an American Expat and His German Wife

WhatsApp Free Smart Phone Instant Messenger

“Hang on honey, I’m sending you a super romantic picture of my junk…” — Image Credit: ( — Subject to CC 2.0 License

You’ve probably already heard of WhatsApp Messenger — the free instant messenger app for smart phones — but you may not fully appreciate it for the worldwide savior of long distance relationships it is. (After Skype, of course, but nobody likes a smart ass.)

Only those of us who have fallen in love with someone living too far away to visit on a regular basis know what heartache really is. (Unless your lover is in the middle of some god-awful war zone on the other side of the world. Then you should probably be watching the news instead of dicking around on your iPhone.)

For the rest of us, WhatsApp is the magic spell which keeps the cold, wretched fingers of loneliness at bay. And once you’ve beaten the longing and outlasted the heartache — broken through the distance which separates you from your loved one and managed to begin a real life together — you can start using WhatsApp for an even more noble purpose: dick and fart jokes.

What follows is a gallery of screenshots taken from messages exchanged between my German wife and I over the past few years. Click one of the thumbnail images below to start the slideshow:


Although I HATE the fact that WhatsApp is now owned by Facebook, I have to award the instant messenger service itself with a grudgingly-deserved 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds:

Merkel Diamond from Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany

What about you? Are you a WhatsApp user like us? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Graphic Designer in Portland, Oregon and Hannover, Germany - Grafikdesigner Illustrator Copywriter

Visiting Konya: Pictures and Videos from Our Trip to Turkey


So much tea, it will forever haunt my dreams…

As you may have read from our last post, my German wife and I recently enjoyed an epic trip to Konya, Turkey, and we had a blast. This post, however, contains the pictures we took, plus a video at the end, which will give you a nice summary of our experience in just 4.5 minutes.

Here are our pictures! We hope you like them!
Click one of the thumbnails below to start the slideshow and see the captions:

*** WARNING *** Video contains some colorful language. (Also, the sound quality absolutely blows, so you may need to adjust your volume settings higher or lower, depending upon which scene you’re watching.)

If you would like to read the original Konya post, check it out: Discovering Konya, Turkey: The Top 10 Preconceived Notions Dislodged from My American Brain