Through talking about travels or just teacher stuff, even if nobody else reads this, I want to make sure I don't lose this as a running record. And, thank Ganesh I took the time to blog in India because I can barely even remember all of the information, sites, laughs, and sweating (like I'd forget that) for the 5 weeks of that life-altering experience. That trip made me more brave about risk-taking and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't been on that trip with those exact people. And, I think to myself that if I managed to blog in England when my life was in the toilet and full of never-ending lesson planning, I should be able to handle it now. By the way, can we all please remember that I WON A MEAT RAFFLE! in my first month in England. I will never get over the idea of a meat raffle. Just typing those words makes me laugh.
So, I'll try to go a bit through the last few months (really, I should go way back because I've skipped blogging about A LOT of trips over the last six months...Denmark to visit my cousins; Vienna (twice) to visit my friend Jodie; Eastern Europe with my dad & Bret; Marmaris, Turkey for a 4-day beach holiday, Paris & Bretagne with Karolina, Croatia & Slovenia with Lindsay & Heidi, and a week at the Danish Coast with The Brydens...to name a few!). My life does not suck.
Some highlights: September (other than Oktoberfest!)
We spent a few days in Düsseldorf, went to the Neaderthal Museum, and ate at some of my favorite restaurants around town. We crowded into my one-bedroom apartment and found lots of nerdy evolution documentaries to watch so that we were fully "upskilled" for our visit to the museum. Yes, I come from a very nerdy family. We love it.
One of the best things was that my parents came to my classes for the afternoon the day they arrived (mostly so they couldn't nap all day!). I told my seventh graders two days before that my parents were coming and they were science people and that I wanted my parents to see how smart and amazing this class was. So, the kids feverishly worked for two days (and by choice- outside of class) to put together presentations for my parents about what we'd been learning. Our big question was, "How do humans manipulate reproduction in order to survive?" and the kids did presentations about one ingredient from their favorite food, how it reproduces in nature, and how humans are able to manipulate its reproduction. The presentations were excellent- ranging from eggs, to elk steak, to peppercorns, to cheese, etc. The kids were so excited and they did such a great job- spoke really well and used lots of scientific vocabulary. I got a little veklempt. I think my parents were impressed- and I have some total characters in that class. Each kid also said their nationality, the languages they spoke, and all of the places they've lived. Quite a day!
Our trip to Paris was extremely fun. We figured out the bus system and were able to hop on the bus all over the city. The food highlight was definitely a falafel place recommend to me by my friend Patti. We actually ate there twice it was so good. If you are ever in Paris- L'As du Falafel is where it's at!
When you make a good friend who moves away, it sure is nice when that friend decides to move to Vienna instead of Vancouver! My friend Jodie, who used to teach at ISD, now teaches in Vienna. So, in the last year, I have actually been to visit her three times! It is a cheap, fast flight and we always have a good time. This time, I went with the express purpose of attending a wine convention with her. It was great. We purchased the entry, got a glass, and then could walk around tasting wine in the Vienna Opera House from about 200 different wineries world-wide. Don't worry, we didn't taste all 200!
Jodie is just so much fun and I love to visit her. Being in Vienna is like walking around a storybook because all of the buildings are so classical and royal looking- especially when compared to Düsseldorf which is super modern because it was destroyed in the war. Great weekend with a great friend!
It has become a tradition with my friends in Düsseldorf for me to be the host for Thanksgiving. It started in 2011 with 14 people and we scrounged enough chairs and patio furniture to actually sit down. Click here to read the story of my first German Thanksgiving.
But, over the last two years, as I've gotten to know more people, we've really had to expand the guest list and it has now gotten to the point where we have "Stand Up Thanksgiving," so called because there are just not enough chairs and tables to accommodate everyone anymore. Friends bring friends (can't leave out any random Americans out there- or any nationalities at this point)! We had a great night full of laughs, A LOT of wine (the recycling situation was a bit out of hand), and a great deal of yummy food as well. I made Thanksgiving Wellington again because it is just easier for me to make all of the ingredients ahead of time each day that week and then stuff them into the pastry shell at the last minute.
I plan to eat chips and salsa + a margarita for every meal (I might skip the marg at breakfast, we'll see) and I am so excited for some Colorado sunshine, some family/friend time, and (FINGERS CROSSED) a powder day!