Crazy Christmas Catch Ups!

January 8, 2016 at 10:07 pm (Germany, Travel)

Well… time simply flew after I returned from the Netherlands.  Before I knew it, I was packing for England and there just didn’t seem to be any time or point to blogging.  I thought I hadn’t really done much.  Yet, as I brainstorm my different adventures, I realise, as usual, I have been up to mischief.

imageI was lucky enough to have two visitors before Christmas.  The first one was Chris, who I have known since Kindergarten.  He’s a Parky boy and he hadn’t seen each other for about six or so years.  We suddenly realised we were both in Europe and he decided to come visit.  I think he mainly came for the pork knuckle to be honest.  We had a lot of fun catching up on gossip and brainstorming all the people we could remember going to Parkdale Primary with.  He hasn’t changed a bit!

During the Christmas market time, Debs came to visit.  She had been meaning to come experience them for ages and she finally got around to doing it.  Numerous Glühweins were consumed and we even visited the Medieval market in Esslingen, which was really cool.

The highlight though, was visiting the World Christmas Circus.  Debs had no idea we were going after I secretly got us tickets.  A friend had told me about it and suggested I go and I figured it would be a fun thing for us to do together.  Basically, during the Christmas season the best acts from around the world come together to make a Christmas circus.  ALL of the acts were absolutely amazing and you can see my favourite one here.  We were literally blown away by the acrobatics and strength.

imageChristmas time in Germany means Christmas markets and lots of Glühwein, and it wouldn’t be the same without at least one trip to Darmstadt market.  Well, it is wear my true love for the drink came about.  It was great catching up with lots of friends and I even managed to crash my old school’s Christmas party.  I particularly enjoyed swapping stories with some of my old colleagues I hadn’t seen in a year.  My main reason for the trip was to attend Stefan’s 30th birthday, which was an absolute hoot.  I sure do miss Darmstadt!

My first hockey Christmas party in Stuttgart was definitely one to remember.  We danced the night away and my bike ride home was much longer than it should have been.  Such a fun night.  Unfortunately, indoor hockey has not been as fun as any of us would like.  We are simply outclassed in our league.  It’s going to be a long, long season I am afraid.

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I spent ten wonderful days in England for Christmas starting with a night out with Sarah and her friend Annie in York.  Sarah and I worked together in Seeheim and it was lovely to see her again.  She’s really settled and happy back in Yorkshire and we had a lot of fun exchanging stories.  We had a yummy Indian meal and the next morning I got Eggs Benedict, my absolute favourite breakfast go to.

imageThe next day it was straight up to Scarborough to see family.  All my favourite ‘Scarborough Christmas Time’ things were accounted for… last minute Christmas shopping with Jonathan, a roast with Yorkshire puddings, a walk on the beach with Roxy and most importantly lots of fun and games with Dylan and Isla!  This year I also got to see the grotto at Boyds for the first time and even sat on Santa’s knee for a photo.

Way too soon, it was Christmas Eve and I was on my way down to Colchester for Christmas with my Aunt Frances and her family.  I was particularly excited because I would finally be trying sloe gin.  This is the exact sloe gin that my mum and I helped to make a year and a half a go.  When the first thing that was offered to me was a sloe gin, I knew my Christmas was going to be amazing.

And, that it was!  The feasts that Frances and Andrew put on, were absolutely magnificent.  The food was superb and the company lovely.  Everyone made me feel very welcome and at home.  We had three wonderful meals cooked by Frances and on Boxing Day friends of the family were good enough to let me and others join their family lunch.  So many people made this Christmas special but in particular I would like to thank Frances, Andrew, Rosie, Rodger and Jen for being the core of my Christmas festivities and for making my Christmas one I know I will never forget.

My day and a half in London was also full of catchups.  I spent one whole day with Miss Suzie Sheehy (surprise surprise) and had both dinner and lunch with her brother Jason and partner Grace.  Suzie and I also caught up with Luke Natoli of Mentone Boys Grammar School fame.  He is doing really well for himself and seems to be totally settled in London and excited about the job possibilities and adventures it offers him.  Lastly I caught up with LJ for another curry.  Neither of us realised that the other was in Europe!  She is also looking very settled in London and is hoping to be sponsored by work after her visa runs out in August.

imageBack to Stuttgart and hosting my own New Years Celebration.  I had four Aussies over for raclette, drinks, board games and fire works.  We had so much fun talking jargon and getting to know each other better.  I particularly enjoyed letting off the fireworks I had bought at the local supermarket.  It was such a buzz lighting it and then running away in anticipation.  My street was so quiet it didn’t even feel like a war zone (like it normally does to me in Germany as people just let off the fireworks whenever they like) and we were still witness to some amazing firework displays.

I had promised Danny and Peer a visit in Heidelberg during my last week off so I headed up to see them shortly after New Years.  Going to see them is in many ways like going to my German home.  They were both excited to see their ‘second’ child, especially as Emil is currently in Canada on exchange.  Of course we had lots of catching up to do and the mandatory rounds of Phase 10 just had to be played.

Together we visited the Duckomenta Exhibition in Mannheim.  This Exhibition is a tongue in cheek look at the development of ducks through the age of mankind.  Basically you follow pictures and artefacts from the known world that have been duckafied.  All of the explanations have also been written in a witty and clever way.  Have a look at the exhibition website to understand more about what I mean. It was very funny and clever, and I would definitely recommend going if you get the chance.

The last few days have been in Stuttgart and I’ve slowly been trying to get all my things organised before school goes back.  I’ve also started training for my 2016 Half-marathon which will be in Frankfurt in March.  I’ve caught up with friends, done some yoga and finally written this blog.

xoxo

 

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