Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

Trip Start Aug 05, 2012
Trip End Jan 11, 2013

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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Friday, December 28, 2012

Hello everyone!

Since I last wrote you I've celebrated Christmas over three days with my German host family
Day 1: Christmas Eve/Heilegabend was lovely and involved going to church, LOTS of food, and present giving.  The service, from what I could understand, was pretty much identical to the Christmas services back home, which was a nice comfort.  Dinner after the evening service was lasagne. Did I mention how delightful it is to be eating real, home-cooked food again? Yum. Mousse au Chocolate and a yoghurt and cream type dessert as well as a cream and meringue dessert.  Even though the family only had two days warning of my arrival, I got such a good haul and I feel all the more spoilt to be here! I received: a scratchy world map that reveals a new map underneath the countries you've been to and have therefore scratched off; A globe for my Christmas tree at home with a gold foil map of the world on it; Swiss chocolate (I've been in Chocolate heaven since arriving and don't know how I survived on American chocolate!); woollen socks made by Regina (and soon more socks from her mother, my german Oma), more Swiss chocolate from one of their friends along with raw honey, which I am rapidly making my way through!  From my family and I,Klaus, Hannes and Christina got merino jumpers, a possum jumper for my host mum and sheepskin boots for my older host sister, Anna-lena. 

Day 2: Christmas Day/ Weihnachtstag involved a terrifying amount of food, but you'll be pleased to know we got through it!  Oma and Opa joined us for Christmas lunch of Pork medallions, sauerbraten (I don't really know how to describe it in English, but it's slightly sour beef that has been roasted and ... something else?), Knuedeln (Swabian style dumplings which I LOVE), Spaetzle (Swabian style noodles/pasta) and salads.  This was followed by mousse au chocolate and the rest of the desserts from Heilegabend, and then finally cake. Lots of cake with our coffees.  And presents from Oma and Opa, who gave me more Swiss chocolate! Man I love being so close to Switzerland!  Spending Christmas apart from family is hard, but the Rooses are so generous and loving- I guess that's why I've spent 1/10th of mine with them!  Unfortunately it has been far too warm since I arrived for any sign of snow, and it all washed away before I got here... I guess that means I'll have to come back again and try catch a White Christmas!  Most of the time it has actually been warmer here than in Tucson and is quite balmy compared to the -10 degree average of my last trip.  Today we also had a family skype with the Roos household and my parents back home, which was lovely and now the Rooses know it is not just a request that they come, it's purely a matter of when.

Day 3: Boxing Day/ Stefanustag started with a glorious sleep in (and, thankfully, less food!) and ended with us all going to see The Hobbit (Der Kleine Hobbit) in 3D.  A lovely day of relaxing with the family and recovering from the mounds of food eaten over the holiday.  The Hobbit was fantastic, even if I could only understand it in part from my memory of the book and half-german, and the scenery made me even more excited to come home!

The next day, Anna-lena, Christina and I went to Heidelberg to go shopping- even in the rain it is still one of the prettiest places I've been, but my favourite weather there has to be snow-decked. Got some little presents for people and only have a couple left overall!  We ate at Perkeo for lunch, which is a beautiful, old German restaurant (and hotel too, I think?) named after a famous court jester with dwarfism and a soft spot for wine.  I first learned about him in high school when I came here with Key Cygnetures and it was a nice reminder of things past.  My sisters also convinced me (though it wasn't hard, even after my 3 course lunch) to get a 'snowball'- pastry rolled in a ball with filling in between the bits and on the outside. Chocolate-nut filling. Delicious but far too big to tackle in one go. Cobblestone streets can really beat up your feet, and after 5 hours we were definitely ready to be at home on the couch. A couple of hours later, Hannes and I joined some of his friends at an African restaurant for dinner (despite my stomach's protests), and it was delicious!  Benni, Hannes and I shared a platter and I remembered why as a child I thought boys were gross haha perhaps sharing with two hungry boys at a restaurant that encourages eating with your hands wasn't my best idea... They clearly had fun though and it was good to go out and meet more of his friends that we will be celebrating New Years Eve (Silvester) with.

I've been in bed sick for two days with a virus that makes me sound like a pubescent dinosaur, but the lovely Rooses have been taking excellent care of me- I feel miles better already. Later today Anna goes back to her university town to celebrate her birthday (New Years Eve) with friends and tomorrow the rest of us kids plus some 14 odd others, I think, are heading to Mannheim for the night to celebrate the New Year.  

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday and I will see you in the new year!
Love love love xx
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