Blogroll

Real fast-

Yesterday was an awesome day in blog world. I met FOUR new awesome gals that are all in the same boat as me. Most of them are just starting their journeys, weather as fellow aupairs or just as expats in general, and I am sure they will have some awesome stories to come! Take a second and check them out, I have added them over here. And this picture was just too awesome not to share.

 

521321_401983996519736_1470905005_n

On it’s way…

Celebrating Silvester (New Years) in Germany was freakin’ AWESOME. We made it to Tollwood Winter Festival and had so much fun.

I am, however, still recovering and trying to catch up on sleep. I promise pictures and stories are soon to follow, this week is busy. Alex and Eva are buying a new car, Emilia and I are off doing all sorts of goodness like ice skating, and Sophia finally learned to stand today! (You go, girl!)

So soon, you will hear about how awesome it was to celebrate New Years in this incredible country. Think fourth of July fireworks….times five. Soon, soon.

A German Christmas

As we all know, I took the ever so huge leap across the big pond two weeks before Christmas. This sounded just fine and dandy, until Christmas actually arrived and then I was regretting every bit of the date I picked. The first few hours of Christmas day were spent locked in my room watching The Grinch, repeatedly, until I ever so candidly opened my mind and actually enjoyed this holiday from 4600 miles away.

With the holidays upon us and my journey as an expat just beginning, I have been asked the same two questions time and time again. First, why did you do this? And second, do they celebrate Christmas the same?! Because Christmas not celebrated the same would certainly not be Christmas, right?!

Living in Germany has certainly taught me a few things about the American heritage as we know it. As an American, we tend to conform to our own little bubble and forget that we, in fact, are not the oldest nation and most of the things we take for granted, were bestowed upon us from greater nations. Let’s take Christmas, for example. We have the Christmas tree, Christmas carols, Christmas cards and Christmas decorations. They are both in America and in Germany. But guess what, all of these traditions started in Germany! Who knew?!

Adventskalender, Lebkuchnherz, Ghulwein, Adventskranz, Weinachtsmarkt, St. Nicolas, Weihnachtsgurke and The Christkind have all flooded my first few weeks in Germany. When I say flooded, I really mean flooded.

English, Hanley, English. Big words in German usually have a pretty simple meaning in English, and I am slowly learning that. SO… Continue reading

Home

First off, you should load this song and listen to it as you read this post. It explains it better than I ever can.

As I get into the swing of things here in Germany, I can’t help but start to miss home. Not necessarily in the “I want to leave” kind of way.. But in the “aw, home” kind of way. This morning as I skyped with my mom and my furbabies (who are obviously pissed that I left them)

moosh

..I could not help but look into the background. Home. The Christmas tree is up and the house still looks the same. I can smell the clean laundry from here. I can (almost) hear that damn vacuum at 6am. I can’t wait to get back. I’m just as excited to get back as I was to leave. Don’t take that in a bad way, Germany. So far, I love it here. I love everything about the landscape, the culture and the people. So far, Germany is prooving to be perfect. (Except the time difference, we are not friends nor will we ever be)

When I first got to Germany, I was in such awe over the scenery that I totally seemed to block out what I have right at home. I blocked it out until I showed my host family, and they were just as in awe over my town, as I was over theirs.

DSC00008

And as I sit here and ponder, I realize I haven’t told you more about this place I call home. (Sorry for the night pictures, this was on my way to the airport and I just wanted a last shot.)

DSC00012

Crown Point, how I miss you so. Everyone back home is laughing. They’re laughing and they’re saying “Nothings changed and nothing will.” (By the way, it HAS changed because you guys still don’t have any snow! Lucky Bastards!) Everyone is still going work, still sitting at Diamond Jim’s Bar and still going to the same old places with the same old people. And then there is me. Half way across the world. Living, eating and breathing in Germany. I don’t go to the same old job. I don’t go to the same bars and the same mall. And I most certainly don’t see the same people as I have the last 20 years. And, as my luck would have it, there is snow.

tumblr_m5tggioFxo1r473uyo1_500

A lot of people called it prison when I was growin’ up
But these are my roots and this is what I love
‘Cause everybody knows me and I know them
And I believe that’s the way we we’re supposed to live
I wouldn’t trade one single day in small town USA

Munich Christkindlmarkt

Sorry, my posts are a little jumbled right now because I just had to tell you about the phone extravaganza that happened yesterday. I am now fully enjoying my Iphone 5 and absolutely loving Icloud. I didn’t lose very much info! Anyways, as you know it all happened in Munich. At the lovely Christmas Market! I’m going to apologize for not taking more pictures. I’ve been trying to take everything in. I am so in awe of this place still. Plus, I didn’t get to stay at the market long because it was late and we spent most of our time on the damn phone issue.

chrisknmkt

chrmkt

 

Let me first start off by saying the Chicago Christmas Market does not even begin to resemble the real thing. I mean, I guess it does a little. The booths are somewhat the same and they have tried to intimidate the concept and I guess they were close. (If you want to call it that) In Munich, obviously  it was the real deal. And, good news.. I could actually MOVE! I didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked because most of our time was spent in the local Blau cell phone store, but I did manage to finally get my Gluhwein and some cute souvenirs to send back home. These are Lebkuchen decorated to send home. This isn’t actual, good Lebkuchen, but the real stuff is pure heaven.

532500_10151303289087158_1511783766_n

 

And let me tell you, the white chocolate covered fruit is top notch. Europe seems to have this thing with chocolate.

choch

By the way… Gluhwein: It’s good. It’s real good and I really need to know why we do not serve it in America. I don’t even like wine yet the Gluhwein totally satisfies. Maybe its just hype, or maybe its just the fact that its new.. but If you have never tried it, It’s even worth a trip to Chicago’s Christkindlmarkt just to get it. Now I know why all those people were just lingering. It’s the Gluhwein.

gluewine

So far, I still love Germany. I love the town and I love the bakeries. The bakeries I should have never tried, but I did and I love them. Probably too much. Those are sure to come next ;)

 

DSC00124

Well, I got the iphone 5…

In Germany. When I just bought a brand new Iphone 4s not even a month ago. Why? Because today I went to Munich. And while I was in Munich I went to the top of Alter Peter. You probably already know where I am going.

After climbing way too may sets of stairs, stopping half way and questioning its worth… Alex, Emilia and I finally made it all the way to the top of the tower. As we stepped out, the view was just insane. You could see most of Munich and I started snapping pictures. As we rounded the corner to view it from the opposite direction, I was just in awe. There, for the top of the tower we could see just how gorgeous Munich was.

Image

Image

I was so excited. You just don’t get to see these kind of things in the US. They don’t exist, and we apparently were not very creative back in the day. So, being the technology crazed American I am, naturally, I decided that I just HAD to show my mom and send it to her in a quick text (..and post it to facebook, asap). I pulled out my phone, turned on the camera and took the picture… JUST AS the oh so lovely tourist beside me SHOVED me into the iron gates and my phone went flying. Down. Down a long, long way. My face had to be priceless. My heart sank. That phone was my connection to home. I instantly wanted to cry, but instead went running down 100 flights of stairs, nearly breaking my neck and arm three times over, in an attempt to find it. I was holding on to some unrealistic hope that my phone was going to be okay, as long as I could just find it. See that metal at the VERY top? Not the first one, but the one that is JUST under the point at the very top? The highest, most dangerous, stupidly awesome one. That is where it fell from.

Image

And, here it is now. Isn’t she pretty?

Image

I found it, a nice German man was holding it waiting for me. And this is what it looked like. So, as one naturally would do when in a new area very, very far from home… I was instantly on a quest to buy a new phone. There was no question about it. (Ahhh, so THIS is why I hit those bonuses at work right before I left. They say everything happens for a reason, and; apparently “they” are right.) After finding the closest Blau, which was only a two minute walk from the Chriskindlmarkt (yes, I made it and yes, pictures are coming soon), I was on my way to a new phone. I could just feel my debit card melting and all I could think of was someone telling me electronics were expensive in Germany, as if they weren’t already expensive enough! An hour later, Emilia behaving just PERFECTLY in the store and many blank stares as the man talked to Alex about my options, I walked out with a new Iphone 5 and my heart attack at bay.(That is the only good part, I got the brand new Iphone 5!) And, surprisingly, with my debit card fully in tact. Germany, or Blau so much, allows you to basically finance the phones. It’s so affordable  My cell phone bill and financed phone are still cheaper than just my cell phone bill back home. Go Germany!