the hills ARE alive with the sound of music

First it is my daughterly duty to say “Happy Father’s Day!” to my dad. I love you and miss you!

Well, my internet is inaccessible until next week sometime ( I am writing this on mine and hoping that someone will let me post it on theirs…). I guess we are switching contracts right now. I can’t decide if it is a blessing to have no internet the weekend before all of my papers and finals are due. On the one hand, I am not distracted by facebook and other online time-killers. On the other hand, I have to look up words for my papers in a “Pocket Dictionary” meaning that my word choice is subpar. Also, I have to write down the things I want to look up for supplementary material for my essays and look them up somewhere else. Also, IES is closed for Pentacoast break so I can’t go there to look anything up or write my papers there… Still, the no distraction thing is probably really good for my concentration level. For those of you keeping track, Wednesday, June 22nd is the final day of IES courses for me!! Meaning until then I will be working non-stop and on the 23rd I will have free-time galore.

Anyway, you probably just want pictures of my trip to Austria last week and I haven’t posted pictures in a while so I will do my best to put a lot in this one, haha. Having a break at Naomi’s grandma’s house was the best thing ever. I mean, free room and board, and the meals that oma (grandma) made were excellent. She doesn’t buy anything that is premade. Even the bread and juice were homemade. And a lot of the food came from her garden. Yes, please.

For some geographical placement… We were in the Rhein Valley between Switzerland and Austria, technically in Austria but very close to the border in the province of Vorarlberg and the city of Altach. The German here is almost complete unintelligible to those of use who speak “high German” and Kevin and I were constantly nodding and smiling without a clue as to what was going on until they switched back to “hoch Deutsch” There is no real comparison to make in the English language.. I guess you could try to compare it to speaking to a Scottish person with a really thick accent who uses completely different words than you to speak… technically still English but not really. Hmm..

Alright, a photo journey through the trip:

Along the train tracks to Austria...
From Oma's window
Oma Schuester's house!
Part of our hike was frolicking through this grassy hill.. Sound of Music dream fulfilled.
We played with this tailless cat as much as we could.
The view from Naomi's aunt's backyard.

Yes, this is a taxidermy-wolf. We went to a nature museum!
Ice Cream on the Boden See!! (Lake Constance)
Taking pictures while riding a bike can be difficult...
Oma Schuester!

Just your average train ride home.


Homesickness and Dancing

Weekend Update:


We’ll call Friday “The Day All of the Homesickness Hit”

Things were going great in the morning. I helped some friends out with their video project with my ridiculous acting and Kevin and I decided to make chocolate chip cookies since it was kind of a blah-day. Well, in Germany there is no brown sugar like we have in the US. Here it is raw and not compressed or whatever they do to it in America…so it doesn’t really mix into dough all that well. Also, baking soda is different here, and they don’t have chocolate chips. So with a few substitutes we began baking…. Needless to say, they didn’t turn out all that great. They were super sweet due to the sugar debacle. Also, Kevin’s apt doesn’t have any baking sheets, or even a flat tray for the oven, so we could only make 6 cookies at a time. such.a.fail. I just wanted chocolate chip cookies, you know? Alright, so this probably wouldn’t have been that big of a deal but something inside of me just snapped on Friday. I haven’t really been homesick at all since coming to Germany. Sure, I miss you all and wish that I could get something after 8pm on Saturday night from a grocery store, but I haven’t felt sad at all. I think that it just all was dormant, creeping under the surface and the epic fail of the cookies brought it out. Anyway, I put money on my skype account and talked to my mom and dad and Patrick [Justin and Mark didn’t answer their phones… I’m not being neglectful!] After talking to everyone I felt much better. And really it was just a sad day, I think. I still love it here and am having such a wonderful experience. It is just weird being away from my family and friends for so long without having the convenience of calling or texting that I took for granted in America.

Saturday "The Day I Got Down and Boogied"

After an exhaustingly emotional day on Friday, Saturday was beautifully relaxing and fun. I got some work done for school and just had a chill afternoon. Then, my housemate Stefan made chocolate mousse from scratch and offered it to our apartment, it was delicious, especially combined with raspberries. Mm… We grilled out in the lawn, played volleyball, etc. Such a good time. Then at night Kevin, Stefan, Fransi and I went into the city. We went to a club called “Jazzhaus” and it was a lot of fun. We left around midnight and got home around 4, as per the typical German night-life schedule. The night was a journey through five decades, meaning there was music from all over the world from the past 5 decades. Yes, the second song we danced to was Ke$ha, but it was followed by Shout, I love Rock n’ Roll, the Killers, German Pop, something that sounded like “Tunak Tunak”, etc. Plus, as if it weren’t enough fun, there was a gummy buffet – think bowls of gummy bears, gummy dinos, gummy cherries, all the different types of “gummy” snacks there are!

Best part? there was no grinding.

Worst part? An awful techno remix of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”

Sunday "Fun in the Sun"

Sunday was another relaxing day. I spent the morning working and then in the afternoon Naomi and I went to the Seepark. This is a beautiful park in Freiburg with a man-made lake. The weather was sunny with a light breeze = perfect. Naomi was able to get some reading for class done, but I was content to simply lay in the sun and soak up some Vitamin D (which is probably why I am a little burnt today – can you hear my mom’s irritation from where you are sitting? I can… I promise I am usually very good about taking care of my skin, mom!) The swans there were ridiculous. One kept coming at a dog in the park. The dog was just hanging out, trying to fetch a ball in the water, but as soon as the swan would see it, it would immediately start swimming toward the dog angrily. The owner was keeping the dog in check, making sure it wasn’t barking or snapping at the swan, but the swan was still being RUDE and not just letting the dog enjoy its day! Sigh, I always thought swans were nice, it turns out they are just as bad as geese.

------ Weekend Update Over -------

So that was my weekend update. I have been scolded and told to update my blog more frequently, so I am trying to do so! This week will be consumed with finishing papers and preparing for finals so that next week I can completely relax in Austria and just have a good time

love you and miss you!


Wait, it is June already?

First let me tell you about the awesome meal that I ate last night. Our drama professor Peter invited us to his home for a meal and it was spectacular. We had the following 6 courses, translate if you wish..
1. Antipastateller
(Kruestenbroetchen und rohem Schinken, gekochtem Schinken, Salami, eingelegten Tomaten & Pilzen, Minz-Zucchini, Oliven)
2. Baerlauchsuppe
3. Crespelle
4. Speckflammkuchen
5. Schaeufele
an Knoedel
6. Brownies

To drink, with each respectively, we had Blueberry Liquor (homemade), Riesling, Merlot, Beerenauslese, Eiswein, and Kirschwasser Schnapps. Everything was excellent and it was wonderful to have a meal with good conversation and friends, though I may not eat for a few days while it all digests... Peter gave us recipes for the soup and the Crespelle so if anyone is interested let me know! I'll translate them for you, ha.

Life in Germany has become pretty routine. Not that I am not loving it here, but there just aren't many huge moments to write about. I go to class, sometimes it happens to be in Switzerland or France, and hang out with my friends on the weekends. Tomorrow we don't have class and stores are closed because it is a national holiday for Christ's Ascension Day. Did I mention that we are in a traditionally catholic region?

I only have one more week of IES classes, then a week off for Pentacost break, then finals week. Translation: I have one week until vacation and that week will be spent writing all of my term papers for those classes! For Pfingst Kevin, Naomi and I are going to Austria, where Naomi's family is from. They are very close to the border of Switzerland. Translation: I will not understand hardly any of the German that her grandma and aunt speak to us. It should be a highly relaxing trip, though and I am excited for the end of IES classes because in July I will only have my uni class one time a week so I can spend my other days writing my term paper, but more importantly laying in the sun, hiking, traveling, having Marissa Mae visit me, etc.

This is kind of a silly update, nothing much to say, sorry everyone! Thanks for reading :)