Eclectic German Village offers something for everyone.


As a travel writer, I like to write about places close to home, and far-flung adventures.

This time, I want to share a destination right in our backyard. It's an eclectic and beautiful community German Village. And it's where my husband and I recently had a weekend to ourselves (okay, it was overnight, but it still counts!).

The cobbled streets and grand architecture were enough for me to enjoy, but German Village offers a lot more. It was our duty to check it out.

We stayed at the wonderful German Village Guest House. I love old brick homes and to stay in one was a real treat. From the street we had to look twice to make sure we had arrived at the right place. There are no glaring signs, no bright lights, simply a quaint home tucked away. We quickly unloaded our luggage and went in to take a peek.

Many others have said that the Guest House is much more a boutique hotel than a bed and breakfast and I agree. It's modern and it's fun. But it also is comfortable and warm. It's the kind of place that makes it okay to stay inside, have some hot chocolate and watch the snowflakes fall.

Since we were staying on an off-night in the off-season, we had the entire house to ourselves. We were given the bedroom upstairs and were delighted that it was so comfortable and peaceful. I'm used to a house filled with children (and I'm truly grateful for that), but I did find the peaceful atmosphere and the beauty of the rooms quite refreshing.

Along with other goodies, the home offers a few DVD movies, a fireplace and a filling breakfast. We never saw an actual person, but the next morning someone had left us a breakfast spread in the kitchen for when we awoke. I've dubbed him or her the breakfast angel. Now if only that angel would appear in my own home!

Tearing ourselves away from the Guest House was tough and I do hope to go back when it's warmer. There's a wonderful garden that must be very beautiful in season. But alas, it was Christmastime and as Santa's helpers, we had some shopping to do.

To fortify ourselves during Village Lights (annual holiday shop, dine and stroll festival), we decided to check out Barcelona Restaurant. We had a wonderful meal. From the beginning of the meal to the very end, we were impressed with the quality of the food. Much like the fusion of their food, the atmosphere also seems to be a fusion of polished old elegance and modern lines. Our waiter was impeccable and seemed to sense when we were in need but his service was not intrusive. We were comfortable here -- and it seemed a world away. Bustling with people, the atmosphere was charged with energy. I asked if it was because of the holiday season and was told that it's just like that at Barcelona. We also learned that the menu often changes to give patrons a fresh dining experience. A great excuse to head back to Barcelona!

The second day of our trip found us trying to finish up our shopping and of course, we needed energy! So, who better to turn to than Katzinger's Delicatessen? With sandwiches organized from chicken to fish and eggs to roast beef, turkey and everything in between, we were hard pressed to make a decision!. After that, we had to figure out which salads and desserts to choose. You may think these are fairly simple decisions, but let me tell ya, with so many good ones to choose from, it wasn't easy.

It was good to enjoy German Village with my husband. Window shopping, taking in the Christmas lights, enjoying the local restaurants -- it gave us a chance to reconnect during a very busy season. And after all, isn't connecting with others what the holiday season is all about?

The next time you're looking for an adult getaway, whether it's for the two of you, or a girlfriend getaway, you can find what you're looking for right at home. Good food, good shopping, good fun!

More things to do in German Village:

Schiller Park
Book Loft
Boutique shopping

www.barcelonacolumbus.com
www.katzingers.com
www.germanvillage.com