Friday, July 27, 2012

Out and About in Bayern

With Fionn working so much these past few weeks, we've been trying to make the most of our weekends. We haven't been going anywhere since he's needed to take time to recharge, but Bavaria is so pretty in the summer, you have to get out!

Luckily it's pretty much guaranteed that if you venture out on a weekend, you'll be rewarded with some kind of festival. Fionn has a cadet who's shadowing him this month, and we're supposed to take him out to do things on the weekend. We took him to a neighboring city (he's never been to Germany before) and he opted to explore on his own. We didn't mind, so we enjoyed a street festival where local kids put on talents. Some were good, some were cute, some were just weird. But there were beer, brats, and apfelschorle, so we enjoyed our sunny outing.

Cute, isn't he? :)

Germans enjoying beer and bratwurst

Ah Apfelschorle! (It's basically apple juice and sparkling water)

We wandered around, looked in shops, looked at new glasses for me, and did some boring married people stuff like pick out lamps for the apartment. Then pick up the student and back home.

Quiet weekends are nice :)

I'm working on my America trip update, so stay tuned. I have a lot to talk about, so I wanted to split it up over a few days. Plus, still waiting on wedding photos...

Take care everybody!


the essence of being a student in Marburg- 3€ yufka chicken

Last week I made plans to meet up with one of my best friends from my study abroad in Marburg. If you followed my Marburg blog, you probably remember Kalli, my fellow Southern girl from New Orleans and our resident photog. She fell in love with an awesome German guy while we were living in Marburg and they're still going strong. They are absolutely adorable together and when I heard she was in Germany visiting him, I started pestering her to meet up with me. We decided to meet up in Marburg (fitting, right?) and spent 3 days there exploring our old haunts, meeting old friends, and eating tons of Lecker Eck's yufka chicken. It was really fun and really lifted my spirits.

the stairs leading up to Marburg's castle, with a quote from the Brothers Grimm about how Marburg has more stairs in the streets than in the houses. Marburg is built on a hill, so everything is UP!

Kallilein herself

No trip to Marburg is complete without eating Auflauf, especially from one of our favorite cafes called Paprika. Auflauf is pretty standard fare for Germans (a bit like casserole) but it's super popular in Marburg. Basically it's noodles or rice in a cream sauce or tomato-cream sauce, add vegetables, meat, or whatever, cover it in cheese and bake until it's golden brown. Hard to resist, even for a lactose intolerant girl like me :) Kalli's auflauf is in the background, mine isn't true auflauf, just the milder cousin.

While in Marburg we met up with some German friends and went out with them for drinks one night. It was really fun and after a while the conversation turned to German instead of English and I made an amazing discovery-I can speak German! All these months in Bavaria I have really struggled with the dialect and I started thinking, huh, maybe my German isn't that good after all. But ten minutes into a conversation with a dialect from Hessen-I was getting every word and even chiming in. It was so vindicating. I enjoyed all my German interactions as I wandered through Marburg and then Frankfurt and even on the train-up until I got off at N├╝rnberg and couldn't understand anyone anymore haha. So, time to brush up on my Bayerische... ;)

locks with the initials of couples

lovely view of Marburg from the castle

Our last day we wandered around a little more, visited the cute pottery shop in Marburg, and met with "Papa" Raphael for lunch-he was our German student liason who was a LIFESAVER when we lived in Marburg as students. He was amazing and is an all around great guy. He was older than all of us, so we jokingly called him Papa since we were always treating him as the authority on all things :) We capped it off with a trip to the beautiful Elisabethkirche (or E-kirche, as Marburgers call it), which is a wonderful example of a Gothic cathedral.

Anyway, Marburg was great. It was so nice to catch up with Kalli and I realized how much I missed her and her sense of humor. I was really sad to say goodbye at the train station, especially knowing she's headed back Stateside soon. Marburg is so bittersweet for me-so many great memories but a lot of ghosts there too. I always love going back there though, it feels like home in a way.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm alive! :)

our descent into Munich...

Hops fields in Bavaria

I know, I know, I have really neglected this blog since my trip to the States. But I'll make it up to you by posting some monster updates through next week.

So, I'm back in Germany after 2 months Stateside. I had such an awesome time-I got to see my friends and family, enjoy some Southern comforts (real summer weather and Chick fil a!), speak English, visit New York City, and have an amazing wedding and a week full of fun family stuff. I have a lot to recap :)

Just call me Miss America. Err...Mrs. America? :)

Since there's so much to talk about concerning the America trip, I'll catch you up on what's been going on in Bavaria since I got back.

Fionn has been working a LOT-poor thing pretty much hit the ground running as soon as we got back and hasn't stopped since. He's supposed to get a 4 day weekend next month and we're hoping to use it to go somewhere in Italy...still working out the particulars, but stay tuned! Portugal is also an option-we both agreed we wanted to capitalize on good summer weather and I personally would love to be near the water.

Fionn's birthday was the same day we flew back to Germany, so to make it up to him I surprised him with High Tea when he came home from work later that week. We had hoped to have High Tea while in Savannah but it fell through, so it became Birthday Tea instead :) I didn't get a picture of the desserts (marble cake and scones) but they were tasty! Note our lovely new dishes-wedding presents from Fionn's grandma! :) The tea was steeping when I took this picture, but it was there-made in our new teapot from Jody and Ray. :)

Coming back to Bavaria was hard for me after 2 months staying with my family and then a wedding week full of best friends, fun times, and good memories. The first week back I was definitely in a funk, which wasn't improved when Fionn had to go away for a few days for work. Luckily, I've been able to hang out with a friend I've made here-so we've been going on lunch dates and exploring the nearby city and even had a wine/movie night one night when the guys were gone. Her husband works with Fionn so when all the guys leave it's nice to have someone to call up and hang out with. Not to mention, she's one of the only wives here who is my age! I guess we make up the whippersnapper contingent of the Wives' Club ;)

Lately I've been pretty busy redecorating our house. When we got back from the States we had 13 boxes waiting for us at the Post Office-all gifts from our registry! That was really exciting and there have been more packages since that shipment. I think the recycling center people recognize my car now!

The registry gifts have really been such a blessing, and I'm so thankful for our friends and family and their generosity. When I first moved in I brought some hand me downs my parents had given me for my first apartment and mixed that with Fionn's bachelor pad stuff-which consisted of loaners from the Landlord, thrift store purchases, and Army Housing Office stuff. I never realized how many things you need when you first set up your house and it's nice to finally feel like we have things that are actually "ours". Dishes, blankets, picture frames, cookware...we appreciate all of it and it's so nice to be reminded of the sweet person who gave it to us when we use it! :)

So there's been a lot of redecorating and thank you card writing going on lately. As I make over some of the rooms I'll post the before and after pictures on the blog! :)