Happy New Year! It still seems absolutely crazy to me that it’s 2014. 2013 FLEW by. On January 2, I celebrated my 1 year anniversary living in Germany and it just does not feel like an entire year has gone by since I arrived at the Munich airport having no idea what was in store for me this year. I am so blessed and thankful for the experiences I’ve had, lessons I’ve learned, and mostly the people that I’ve met over the past year and I am SO looking forward to seeing what 2014 in Germany has in store for me.
I celebrated Christmas with my boyfriend David’s family. It was my first time to not be celebrating with my family in Texas, which was very weird for me. I thought I would be really sad and emotional on Christmas Eve, which is when my family celebrates, but I actually wasn’t (no offense, family!) I think I was sadder the days leading up to Christmas, thinking about not being with everyone, but when Christmas actually arrived I was excited to see how David’s family celebrates. I also made Piroggies to bring over, which are an appetizer my family eats for every holiday together, so I had a little taste of home with me.
^ Piroggies. bread dough filled with bacon and onion. yum.
Christmas Eve started with David picking me up in the morning and taking me back to his parent’s house. We had soup for lunch and spent the afternoon just hanging out and went for a walk. At 4:30pm, we all went to a Christmas Eve service at a church nearby. We had to sit in the top balcony because it was so packed and we couldn’t really see, but it was still a nice, short service. We came back to the house and had Lachs (salmon) for dinner- which I actually ate and enjoyed! (If you know me, you know fish is not my favorite thing…) Following dinner, we opened presents one by one and took breaks to sing some Christmas carols. It was a really nice evening and I enjoyed it very much. At the end of the night, I got to Skype with everyone in my family, so that was the perfect finishing touch.
Unfortunately David and I were both suffering from colds over the holidays, so the following days were spent lounging around his parent’s house, watching movies and occasionally getting out for a nice walk. It was good to have some down time, though, and an excuse to do absolutely nothing. We spent some time in Aschau, too, and took the gondola up to the top of Kampenwand (the mountain in Aschau) on a pretty, sunny day. The view from up there never gets old.
The next week, David and I drove up to Braunschweig, the city he lives in, to celebrate New Year’s Eve, or Silvester as they call it in Germany. His friends from church were throwing a themed party called “Welcome to the Future” so David and I dressed up as Men in Black, complete with black ties, sunglasses, and homemade memory zappers. There was lots of food, drinks, dancing, aliens, and most importantly, fireworks. Fireworks on NYE are HUGE in Germany. It’s like how we celebrate the 4th of July. Everyone buys their own and at midnight EVERYONE goes in the street with a glass of champagne and fireworks to set off and it goes on for hours into the night. It was fun hearing the fireworks going off all over the city. This was cool to experience and I have to say, I think the Germans win when it comes to judging who celebrates New Years the best.
Following NYE, David and I spent 3 days doing a mini-tour of Northern Germany, hitting the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and a few cities neither of us have been to. I’ll be writing about this trip in an upcoming post.
For now, I’m on the train back to Aschau from Braunschweig. It was such a nice, relaxing 2.5-week vacation over the holidays but now it’s back to my last month of work as an Au Pair before I move into Munich on February 1.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and here’s to an awesome 2014 filled with love, joy, peace, hope… and lots of travel!