Tuesday, February 7, 2012

snow snow snow!

I dunno if it's in American news these days, but Europe is having a horrible cold snap after a pretty mild winter. A bunch of people in Eastern Europe have died from the cold, and it's been pretty miserable in general. This morning I woke up to more snow! Hooray :P It's about 7º F here...the high today is 12º. Yeah. TWELVE. Craziness. Now, I'm a good ole Southern girl, so my definition of winter is 50º and I need a sweater. This weather is driving me crazy. My hands are dry, I can't stand being outside for more than a few minutes, and Fionn even brought the guest room duvet into our room it was so chilly.

given my hatred of winter (and i think hatred is a pretty accurate word to use, i really really really hate being cold. Georgia has ruined me) this weekend was pretty winter-tastic. Saturday Fionn and I went on an ODR trip to Austria to go skiing. I was the only woman on the trip haha, it was mostly young guys going snowboarding. The conversations of the van were pretty annoying, but once we actually got there it was ok. Fionn is actually a pretty great skier, he has some kind of supernatural talent for skiing that allows him to zip down hills like nobody's business. Me on the other hand...well I was a hot mess of failure haha. I could barely move in my ski gear to begin with, and when he tried teaching me on the bunny hill I fell down while taking the rope tow and couldn't get up. Like couldn't get up to save my life! Fionn was such a good sport though. He was really sweet and patient and encouraging, and he pushed through my total lack of skiing skills stayed with me even when I fell down like 3 more times just trying to get down the hill. We tried a few more times before I told him to take the ski lift and have some fun himself while I tried to practice stopping and getting up haha.

Honestly, I found skiing really scary. I couldn't really get a handle on stopping, so even on the bunny hill I felt like I was just careening toward a snow bank with no control. I wasn't very good at turning either, so I just felt like a ticking time bomb waiting to plow into some little kid or unsuspecting german bystander. I probably just need more practice, but I wasn't really digging it overall.

Fionn was really sweet though. I think that made more of an impression on me than all our skiing did. When I went back to the van when the trip was over the instructors were like, oh, where's your husband? did it go ok? I was a little confused and told them everything had gone fine. They kept laughing and asking if we still liked each other and if we were still on speaking terms. I asked them about it, and they said a lot of couples have meltdowns on ski trips, especially when one is trying to teach the other one. So I made sure to tell Fionn we'd passed a marriage test once he came down to the van ;)

Before that though, Fionn and I met up at the restaurant at the ski resort for some lunch. We ended up sitting next to this German guy and his two adorable kids. His little daughter was so so so cute and had so much personality. She was fascinated by us speaking English and kept sliding over towards us (since we were all sitting at the same long table). She kept smiling at us, so I finally spoke to her in German. She was the cutest thing! She told me she was 7, and when I responded that that was quite old, she said, "Not as old as my brother! He's 13!" She was too cute, and went on telling us about her day skiing and everything else. When they got up to leave she kept waving at us and even ran back at the last minute to wave again and tell us, "Tschüss!" So cute!!

We'd had lunch, but we were pretty interested in the thing she and her dad were eating before they left. It looked so weird, so finally I asked the guy and learned it was a Germknödel mit Vanillesoße. We decided to order one. It was pretty weird but tasty, but hard to describe. Half the time we had no idea what we were eating haha! But thanks to Wikipedia, here's a description (which also answers my own questions); "Germknödel is a fluffy yeast dough dumpling with a mix of poppy seeds and sugar, filled with spicy plum jam and melted butter on top, often eaten with vanilla cream sauce."

Anyway, we had a fun day skiing. :)

Sunday Fionn was sick (probably from being outside all day Saturday) but since I'd already made a ton of cookies for the church potluck, I went without him (and missed him!). I talked for a long time with two women from my Bible study, one who told me about a local farmer who delivers fresh fruit and veggies to your house! They also told me about some local markets. I'm so excited to get my car and explore them! The commissary produce isn't always the best so I'd love some fresh stuff! :) I went on post to get some groceries and then back home for a lazy Sunday (and totally forgot about the super bowl!).

Monday Fionn had the day off. The ground floor apartment's heating has been messed up, so our landlord told us some workmen were coming to fix it. Well, we didn't realize our heating would be shut off too! That was an unpleasant surprise, especially since it took ALL DAY to fix. Fionn went by the bakery in the village and came back with some super delish treats, and then he went into the office for a bit, so I stayed home under a mountain of blankets and had my first experience sewing on patches to uniforms. I never realized my stitches could be so uneven :P

By the time he got back it was so chilly we decided to get out of the house for a while. We drove to a nearby town hoping to find someone who could make copies of keys. We found one, and then explored the cute little town. They had a great health food store and then we went into a tea store so I could get some loose leaf tea. We stopped by a bakery (again haha) to get a dessert for that night's dinner, and then headed back home. When we got there, workmen were actually in our apartment, working on the radiators. My mom always used to say, people only come to your house when it's messy and that is so true haha. Naturally, the weekend we were hardly at home and didn't clean up was the weekend the landlord, his wife, and a bunch of German repairmen were traipsing through every room in the house. But in the end I thought, whatever, it's really not that bad-an unmade bed, some gloves and scarves and coats not hung up, some folded laundry not put away? There are worse things. So we made tea and pretty soon they had wrapped up their repairs and our heaters were toiling away. I made pork chops and we laughed about it.

Today I really need to vacuum the dirt they tracked in but I'm hard pressed to leave this warm kitchen when it's so chilly in the rest of the house (we don't turn on the heaters in all the room since we don't use all of them). Maybe I'll put on a sweater and get to it? It has warmed up to 14º after all... ;)

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