Girl on fire

I let you all in on a little secret about how awesome New Years was in Germany here. I wasn’t kidding. I was holding back tears and my cheeks were hurting from smiling so hard the entire night.

If there is one thing that Germany has got a grip on, it’s celebrating New Years. That, or just celebrating anything. Or just drinking in general (reclosable beer bottles, seriously?!) , but we will stick with the New Years and celebration assumption for morality purposes.

Up until the night before, I had planned on staying home with my host family and attending their annual New Years eve celebration complete with raqlet, fondue and the fireworks. “If this is my only New Years here, do I want to spend it home?” Absolutely not. So, the night before I was on a mission to make a plan. In another country. Through websites in a German language.  It was a tough call between celebrating in Regensburg and going to Tollwood Winter Festival, but with a little help from almost a local, we managed to figure out where and when we would celebrate. Tollwood Winter Festival made its way onto our agenda. Tickets were almost sold out, but we managed to snag a pair and I am so glad that we did.

A pair. We managed a pair of tickets. Ester had to beg and plead at the door for about twenty minutes before some god blessed soul sold her an extra ticket and we were in. Think Lollapolooza, put it under brightly colored tents, double the strength of the alcohol, put it in the middle of winter, add a German accent and language barrier and call it New Years at Tollwood. (Right away, sorry for crappy quality pictures, I was sick of pulling my camera out after the first. So everything is off my cell phone.)


After burning our mouths off  finishing our Pad Tai and Weissbier we headed to the music tents to enjoy a night of dancing and rocking out to various types of music. Including American! YAY. Jamaram was awesome and played both German and American music. However the fun hadn’t begun until we made our way over to Rockomotion. Rockomotion played all American covers, and it was so. much. fun. I even, ironically, met a German girl who was an au pair in Chicago. What are the odds?! This world is such a cool place.


Complete with old couple dancing the night away.




Three minutes to midnight and we headed outside to see the fireworks. They were nonstop and as far as you could see. And I thought the 4th of July was intense!

Please excuse the voice. I was holding back tears and smiling so hard it hurt. Forgive me.

And this was almost twenty minutes later. Germany still going strong.

Girl on fire. Those are the only words that I can currently muster up to explain my feelings at 12:00 midnight New Years Eve. I was so overcome with the sounds, sights and feelings that at the exact strike of the year 2013, it finally hit me that I now live in Germany. I’m not here on vacation and I don’t have a return date. I literally live in Germany. And I couldn’t be happier. I cried tears of joy. (see below) I cried at fireworks, what is happening to me?!


I hope you all enjoyed New Years as much as I did.

One for the record books, that’s for sure.

Almost makes me want to plan for 2014 ;)


12 thoughts on “Girl on fire

  1. Steven says:

    Great recap, Hanley. Your pictures came out really well, too. I have a bunch of one second long video clips of the fireworks because I didn’t know my phone was set to video. LOL.

  2. ifs ands & butts says:

    I always love meeting people who au paired in the US, so funny to compare thoughts and stories.

    Looks like a great NYE and if there’s one thing I’ve learned here, you won’t regret going out instead of staying in.

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