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Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Since Sebastian has not been home to Germany for Christmas in 10 years, I've decided to send him with a bit of pizzazz!

Vacation Time!
We're going to take a two week blogging vacation, and look forward to a new year of the blog in 2017! We'll be back on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017!

In the meantime, here are some of our past articles about German Christmas Traditions:
Bringing German Christmas Home With YOU
Three Things to Try at a German Christkindlesmarkt
Why Santa Claus Visits on December 6th in Germany

And if you still need gift ideas for the traveler in your family, or need ideas to add to your own wish list, have a look at Our Favorite Gifts for Travelers.

Since Sebastian has not been home for Christmas in 10 years, I've decided to send him with a bit of pizzazz!

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How I Was Able to Sleep for 5 Hours on a Transatlantic Flight: Product Review

Bose QuietComfort 35 Review
For several years I had seen noise-canceling headphones at our local Best Buy, who had several headphones on a testing display. While Denise was looking at the movie selection, I played with the noise-canceling headphones, fascinated like a child. I have always bought headphones in the $35 to $50 range, because I could never justify the tenfold price for the Bose headphones with noise-canceling technology for flying only a few times a year. However, I kept looking at the weekly ads every now and then, hoping that the price would drop or they would announce a special doorbuster sale. Anyone who has already purchased Bose products knows that Bose has solid pricing and special offers are unfortunately extremely rare.

How I was able to sleep for 5 hours on a transatlantic flight in economy seating

My Best Sleep on a Transatlantic Flight Ever
When Bose announced that their new wireless headphones with noise-canceling technology would be released in June 2016, I was thrilled and kept watching early Youtube review videos. In 2016 we also happened to fly to Germany on my birthday and Denise surprised me with the headphones right before the flight. You can imagine my excitement, even though I had to tame myself not to bounce up and down the plane aisle. This was also the first flight where I slept 5 hours just listening to an audiobook. I rarely get more than 2 hours of sleep on the nighttime flight across the Atlantic, so I can definitely tell you that the technology works. As soon as I put on the headphones and paired them with my phone, the cabin noise was muffled down to a whisper. Even during the flight, the constant drone of the engines was only about 15% audible. Several times Denise tried to talk to me and had to repeat herself, because I simply could not hear her the first time around.

After testing the headphones for several months now I am still impressed by the sound quality, noise cancellation and fit, which is why I wanted to share my thoughts.
How does noise-canceling work?
How Does Noise-canceling Work?
Noise-canceling technology tries to reduce the surrounding ambient noise to a minimum. Behind small openings on the outer side of the headphones, the QC 35 contains small microphones, which record the frequencies of the environment. The speakers inside send a compensation signal in the direction of the ear. The ambient frequency and the compensation signal resemble each other and can almost completely eradicate ambient noise, which is no longer perceived as a disturbance by the brain. The noise-canceling function is clearly the highlight of these headphones. It tunes out the constant drone of an airplane and most noise around you, with the exception of high, shrill voices and sounds.

First Impression
I loved the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones immediately after unpacking. The main components are made of plastic, reinforced with stainless steel elements and covered with Alcantara, a manmade, suede-like material. The headphones feel high quality and provide great wearing comfort. They are so-called over-ear headphones that surround the ear completely, which I had to get used to a little bit. My former headphones were in-ear headphone plugs, that also helped to suppress . surrounding noise, but never had a noise-cancellation feature. To my surprise, these new Bose headphones are designed in such a way that they do not cause headaches from pressing on your head too much or "hot" ears from wearing them too long.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Product Review | Travel Case Included
What’s in the Box?
In addition to the headphones, a travel case, an aircraft adapter, a micro USB cable for charging, as well as an audio cable are included. Here as well, a high quality of production is seen in all parts.

Technical Things to Know
The QC 35 are Bose’s first noise canceling headphones, which can also be connected wirelessly. This is possible via Bluetooth as well as via NFC (Near-field communication). Wirelessly, you can easily switch between two permanently connected devices, which is great when you listen to music on the laptop and then take a call on the smartphone. The music playback will pause until you hang up the call, then continue afterwards. Up to six connections can be stored and, to better organize all your connections, Bose provides an app for iOS and Android.

The built-in Li-Ion battery holds 20 hours in cordless operation according to Bose. Tied to a cable, the battery lasts for 40 hours - all while providing noise canceling.

The sound quality of the QuietComfort 35 headphones is at least as good as the noise reduction. The sound characteristics come with powerful bass, which was never overpowering. I caught myself several times hearing many small subtleties on my favorite albums, which my in-ear headphones never picked up. Bose has also incorporated a sound correction that slightly increases the bass and treble at low volume to create a more balanced listening experience. Even when the noise canceling is switched off, the headphones display excellent sound quality.

Control Panel
The three buttons on the back of the right headphone are for controlling the volume and interact with the connected devices. They are mounted in a good position and can be operated intuitively. The built-in microphones offer a very good voice reproduction during telephone calls. All the people I’ve called with the headphones could understand me perfectly well.

What's Not to Like?
With all the praise for these headphones, there are very few critiques that come to mind. One of them being that the battery of the QC 35 is permanently installed and can not be replaced by the customer. If I want to use the headphones for many years, I doubt that the battery will last for as many hours as it did when first bought. The second point of criticism has to do with the battery again. While charging the headphones, the noise-cancelling technology is switched off.

And lastly, these headphones are pricey and not something that most of us just grab at a store and take home. If you want to test them out and hear the difference for yourself, check out an electronics store around you and look for the Bose display in the headphone section.

Verdict
At the high price level, I expect perfection from headphones. The noted criticisms are minor, and can be easily overlooked, since the overall product is perfect. I am sure you will enjoy a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35, especially when traveling. They will make you feel like you have the whole plane to yourself and hopefully give you many hours of sleep on your flight.


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Frankfurt Photo Shoot with Photographer Irene Fiedler

For our 10 year anniversary since we've been together, the one thing I wanted most was photos, really good photos. Probably not what the jewelry industry wants to hear! We hadn’t had photos taken since we were married, and that was 7 years ago. Now, the past year we’ve spent countless hours building this blog together, and I wanted to have updated, beautiful photos of us together that we could use for our blog.

At first, Sebastian thought we could have family members take them, but I didn’t want these to turn out like most of our vacation photos. I’m very rarely in those photos because I’m taking them, and when I am, all the photos look the same. The photos visually verify that I was somewhere with Sebastian, but the capture did neither us nor the location any justice. I reminded Sebastian of the nice Heidelberg photo we have of us where the castle was just outside the composition. Instead, we had a fluffy, diva shrub in the background.

Posing on the Eiserner Steg bridge in front of the 'Mainhattan' skyline of Frankfurt am Main | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

Lifestyle Photographer in Frankfurt am Main
The hunt for a photographer was on! Without any referrals, it was just Google and I trying to find the perfect photographer. Besides the obvious roadblock of language, I initially had a difficult time finding photographers that shoot what’s called in the United States as ‘Lifestyle’ or ‘candid’ style photography, which revolves around natural lighting and very little posing. Sometimes, what you’re looking for is on (gasp!) the 2nd page of Google search results. That’s where I found Irene Fiedler and fell in love with her body of work. I was encouraged when I saw that she had some English on her website as well. I could tell from the engagement photos and wedding shoots Irene had done that we would be a great fit, and we shared a similar visual aesthetic.

Strolling along the Main riverfront with the Eiserner Steg bridge and 'Mainhattan' skyline of Frankfurt am Main in the background | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

Photo Shoot Locations
From Sebastian’s parents house it's a half an hour on the local train and ta da, we’re in Frankfurt! Frankfurt am Main is a beautiful city with enough fantastic museums and closeness to family it would easily be my top pick if we ever needed to move to Germany. It was the first city we ever featured in our German City Series, and I know we have so much more to share than what we could fit in a month. All of this adds up to why I wanted to have the shoot in Frankfurt. From there, picking locations was relatively easy. I love the skyline of Frankfurt and wanted it as a background. That led us to the Eiserner Steg bridge and the riverfront.

Posing with the 'Mainhattan' skyline of Frankfurt am Main blurred in the background | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

Posing with the 'Mainhattan' skyline of Frankfurt am Main blurred in the background | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

I also love the half-timbered beauties of the Römer.

Exploring the Römer in Frankfurt am Main | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

Exploring the Römer in Frankfurt am Main, Justice Fountain in the background | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

Exploring the Römer in Frankfurt am Main | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

Cafe Mozart was the first German cafe I was ever at, and stands out in my memories for it's bright red interior. Kaffee und Kuchen at Cafe Mozart in Frankfurt am Main | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

Finally, the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof feels like a magic carpet ripe to Europe to me. Everytime we go somewhere, we pass through this building.

Ready to leave on an adventure at the Frankfurt am Main Train Station or Hauptbahnhof | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

If you need a lifestyle photographer in Frankfurt, Irene Fiedler is amazing! Her work is just dreamy and lovely and I'm so, so glad I found her. She over delivers and is a delight to work with.

Blend of historic and modern in Frankfurt am Main | Photo by Irene Fiedler for Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

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If you enjoyed this article, or these topics sound interesting to you, you'll love our weekly newsletter. You'll receive a free Germany Packing list for signing up, and you'll receive each week's newest posts every Friday. Thank you for reading!


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Frankfurt am Main Photo Shoot with Photographer Irene Fiedler for the Germany travel blog Tourist is a Dirty Word

Show more posts about traveling in Germany

Thank you For Reading! Denise & Sebastian | Photo by Irene Fiedler