Bremerhaven had a military base, but the city itself was interesting to my eyes. We lived a short walk or bike ride away from a beautiful, sprawling wooded park called Speckenbüttel. The downtown, also a short walk away, was cobblestoned and charming. There were pastries and spaghetti ice to be had. At the port itself I watched boats sailing by and pretended they were pirate ships. I imagined I could see the coast of America and that I could see my friends waving at me from three thousand miles away. I remember eating my first chocolate crepe there. My dad always got chocolate and banana, a combo I found odd at the time.
Really the best part of the year was Christmastime. We lived about a half an hour away from Bremen. Actually, Bremerhaven was part of the Bremen state within Germany (West Germany at the time). During Advent the town put on an amazing Weihnachtsmarkt, a Christmas market. Vendors from all over I don't even know where came to sell ornaments and toys and the cutest stuffed bears and the most delicious foods. One of my first really strong food memories was of these amazing mushrooms in this creamy sauce that one vendor sold here. We ate them alongside bratwurst stuck through brötchen and pommes frites.