Deutschland and beyond

Living in Germany

Winter recap

Sooo in an effort to keep my trip to the States last week a secret I’ve been lacking here and as well as in email updates…. Sorry. Here’s the highlights of the last few months:

December/January: not too much happened, continued to waitress at the cafe, tutor in English, and coach lacrosse. I came home for Christmas this year for 3 weeks! It was great seeing my family and friends, and I even got to make a trip out to New York for New Years to celebrate with about 50 of my closest friends. Can’t ask for much more 🙂

Becca and I at our first Bundesliga game

February: The first weekend I went up to Berlin and attended my first Bundesliga (German soccer league) game! Hertha BSC (Berlin) vs. Hannover 96. We sat in the Hannover fan section with some friends of ours from Hannover and had a great time (Hannover won). The weekend was a mini-reunion of sorts, my friend Rob (who lives in Hannover) and Becca (in Berlin), both from USA Starz Lacrosse last summer were there, as well as Laura from BC who lives in Paris. I actually got to stay with Laura overnight in Paris on my way back to the States for Christmas (thank you, 16 hour layover). Needless to say the weekend in Berlin was a big success and lots of fun.

The following weekend I went down to Munich to stay with Katelyn and Charlotte, both Fulbrighters this year and actually go out with them! (as opposed to crashing on their couch for lacrosse camps, as I’ll be doing this weekend). I was supposed to meet up with Basti, Phillip and Flo as well but only ended up seeing Basti before we moved onto a different club. There’s always next time I guess…

Whew February was busier than I thought and we’re only halfway done…. the next weekend was Fasching! It’s the German version of Mardi Gras, but I feel it’s a combination of Mardi Gras and Halloween, with a parade. It’s really big in Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Mainz, and people get days off work, but even Wuerzburg celebrates it on a smaller scale and our parade was on Sunday. All of the celebrations stop by Tuesday since Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. I felt like I was back in college, waking up at 9am and starting to drink and play beer pong around 10am. I made good use out of my dress from the 70s party in the fall and re-wore it to go as a 70s girl (not sure if that’s a real thing but whatever, no one questioned my costume). The last weekend I was in Frankfurt for lacrosse and then the surprise visit got underway…

BC roommates in Vegas

Wednesday (the 29th) I flew off to the States to surprise one of my best friends for her 6th birthday (okay 24th, but she’s a leap year baby). After much confusion and tears regarding the air traffic control strike at Frankfurt which resulted in my cancelled flight, I rebooked out of Munich and made the 30+ hour trip, getting into Las Vegas approx. 2 am. Almost everyone but the birthday girl knew I was coming, and the surprise was completed on the casino floor of our hotel (the Palazzo) around 2.30 am and our girls weekend in Vegas was off to a running start. I had absolutely no time for jet lag, not to mention I didn’t know what time it was half the time without clocks and windows in the casino, so it worked out in the long run. I only get to see my closest friends from home/college roommates about once or twice a year, so this trip meant a lot to me and I was so incredibly happy and thankful to get to spend time with them. Our trip consisted of the typical walks along the strip, getting harassed by club promoters, having umpteen options per night, a great sushi dinner, drinks at various bars (the last 2 provided by Kat’s family/boyfriend for her birthday), and of course the hangovers nursed at the pool or in the hot tub with ridiculously expensive bloody marys/mimosas. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Okay maybe I would have had a little bit less to drink on the last night (Friday) since I was aware I was flying into Denver the next day with one of my old roommates, Steph, to stay with her at her apartment in Keystone for a few days. Poor planning, a hangover, and adjusting to altitude proved to be a deadly combination and left us both in bed Saturday night with lots of Gatorade and sleep. Sunday we went to Breckenridge and just walked around, enjoying the town and the great weather, of course stopping to have some beers on the outdoor patio at a sports bar (perfect Sunday, if you ask me). Monday Steph had to work, but her friends saw to it I got my skiing in! First time back up on the slopes in probably 5 or 6 years (that’s embarrassing) and I was so nervous beforehand, but everyone was right, it comes back to you just like riding a bike.

Skiing at Keystone!

I felt like things came full circle, since Keystone was where I learned to ski back in 4th grade. Took some early runs down Schoolmarm and worked my way up to some steep blues by the end of the day. It was great getting to see where Steph lives and meeting her friends, and to be honest Denver (along with Seattle) has always been on my list of places I’d like to live. We’ll see when I end up back there next.

Done yet? Nope, told you it’s been a while. At least we’re into March! Made it back to Germany after a whirlwind week in the US and quickly readjusted to life, leaving me with the feeling that the trip was just a dream. Thursday was back to work and Friday was down to Stuttgart for my second-ever Bundesliga game with my guy friends (no games in the past 1 1/2 years then 2 in a month!? I know). We had a blast seeing Stuttgart and of course drinking in the Irish Pub afterwards. The game itself was boring, a 0-0 tie and they were playing against the worst team in the league. I think the sports announcers referred to it as “one of the weakest Bundesliga games in recent years”. Ouch.

We stumbled our way onto the 6am train back to Wuerzburg where I promptly grabbed my lacrosse gear and was off on a 3 1/2 hour ride to Leipzig, in former East Germany, for a lacrosse friendly game (don’t ask me how I do this. Or how my body holds up. I have no idea). I’m really proud of the way my girls played even though we lost- we didn’t have enough players in the first place so got some extras from the team we were playing against. I find out after the game that all of the ‘extra’ players were all of their rookies, meaning they played with all experienced players while we were left to play not only with girls who aren’t on our team, but who have very little lacrosse experience. I felt like a proud mom after the game though when one of my girls was saying “hey, but really, they don’t understand how to set up plays and build the game and how we play the game”. They do listen to me in practice after all! It was definitely a good affirmation of the work I’ve put in, and now I’m really looking forward to the spring season (which starts next weekend!)

The crew at the Stuttgart game

I’ve (obviously) very quickly gotten back into the working/coaching lifestyle, with a big change coming up. I’ll be starting to teach at the University (!! I know!) next semester (starting in April). It’s just a one-semester position for the moment, but as always, I’m staying flexible and keeping my options open so who knows where I’ll end up. For the moment, it looks to be more teaching and coaching, but I’m excited to see where it all heads.

Both teams after the friendly game

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March 14, 2012 Posted by | Germany, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment