A Very BIG Announcement

All of you know that I was taking a few classes this summer that literally took every ounce of my spare time. But that’s not all I was up to… I was also….trying to nurse myself back to health. That’s right, I’ve been sick. All day, all night kind of sick. For WEEKS! No…MONTHS! Can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t move, can’t function.

And the reason for this sickness???

 

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That’s right…TWO onesies…means double the fun is on the way for Toblerone and I!

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We’ve got a lot to plan for since our lives are completely going to change but we couldn’t be more excited to raise two babies! TWO, people!

Here goes nothing!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Off To Italy We Go (Part Three)

The last and final installment of our vacation in Italy is FINALLY hot off the presses. Just a quick little update…I was taking a few classes during the summer and it took over my life! Hence why I haven’t said much since June! My apologies! I’m back at it though and have lined up quite a few fun posts!

Ok…on with it!

Our trip ended with a beautiful Easter Sunday Hike followed by a wonderful dinner of course. Luckily, the Easter bunny found me in Italy. I did send him a note to let him know so I’m glad he got that in time.

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But FIRST…the morning church bells that remind me of all things Europe. When we first moved to Germany, I used to be so annoyed by the early morning bell show that took place right outside my window (were were a road away from the church). But now, somehow, it brings me back really great memories of always knowing what time it was!

 

This was the front of our hotel. For some reason I just feel like decorations in Europe are really different. Granted, a majority of the products are with wood and felt but I just thought these big things outside the hotel were so cool! What weird shapes!

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Off we went on our hike (two VERY hungover people in tow…and no it wasn’t me!). I literally pushed Toblerone up the hill. Talk about a workout! But it was fun. We were walking towards a little restaurant that was a few miles up the mountain. And when I say up..I mean up.

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The views were beautiful and the little bits of snow on the ground reminded us quickly how high up we actually were.

We made it to the restaurant and I met a few friends, furry ones of course! Apparently goats love peanuts. Did you know that?

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On our way back down the mountain towards our hotel after a few drinks we stopped for some more drinking of course and snacks. My father-in-law is always providing the drinks for us. Only the best wine there is! (Note: The two most hungover people with no wine in their hands….:-) Brothers…)

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Back at the hotel we got ready for dinner. I put on my Easter dress and headed down to the dining room.

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Dinner was an array of amazing things. They had plate upon plate of meats, cheese, fruits, salad bar, etc. We also got a lamb or fish dinner and dessert but the main idea was a buffet! I do love me a good buffet!

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The weekend ended with a few drinks at the bar. My favorite? Amaretto liqueur with apple cider. The BEST. Try it sometime, you’ll thank me! Looking forward to going back to this hotel one day. We had such a great time!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

Off To Italy We Go! (Part One)

I finally have a moment to share with you all our Easter trip to Italy this past April with Toblerone’s family. I was just looking through the pictures again and I am have a serious withdrawl. Looks like we need to plan another trip! (Hear that Toblerone…:-))

We left the house so early it was still dark out. I normally hate mornings that start off like that but we were all just SO excited about this trip that I could have left any time of the day and would have been ok with that! 6 hours of driving on the Autobahn and finally up into the Alps and on very curvy roads. It was a beautiful sunny day for traveling and we arrived in the early afternoon to our hotel, Alpen Tesitin…also known as, Heaven.232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-;79-nu=3255-25;-266-WSNRCG=3-;7-7445632-nu0mrj

 

Since there were six of us (Toblerone and I, his parents, his brother and sister-in-law) we took two cars up. One car (ahem…his parents) took the wrong exit so naturally while we waited I plopped myself down in the lobby and allowed myself to be waited on. A fresh glass of Italian red wine would do the trick!

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We also checked out our room. I just love the way that they make up the beds. I mean…how cute is this?! With our little spa robes and slippers. Just perfect! For those that don’t know, this is a typical Alpine Hotel and the room decorations show it. Really quaint and adorable. This hotel is quite modern but they definitely tried to keep the appeal of the Alpine style.

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Every day they place out a “lunch” snack of sorts. They had a large salad bar (much better than in the states), cold salads, hot soups, and of course….CAKES!!!!!

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Complete heaven…is it not?!?!

As we got settled in, we got ourselves situated. The Germans in the sun, per usual, and I wandering around checking out the “grounds.”

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Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore so I headed down to the pool and eventually into the spa. Yes, you know the kind of spa I’m talking about. The NAKED SPA!!!! My favorite!

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This pool connected to the outside pool with a view. I could sit out there forever just staring at the view. WiFi was limited so it really was great to “disconnect” and just be in the moment. I think we definitely needed this to recharge!

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More on the trip later!! I’ve got lots more to share with you all! 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

 

2014: A Crazy Good Year In Review

Another year has gone by…flown by I should say. I guess when you have big life events, time just seems to coast right on through. I’m ok with that and more importantly I’m really looking forward to 2015 being a pretty low key year. More time for acclimating! 🙂

Before I give myself fully to 2015 I wanted to give a proper salute to 2014 by reviewing my favorite memories of the year! I’ve shared many great times between two different countries and strangely enough…Toblerone and I are feeling a bit homesick for Germany. It’s been fun going back through my blog and looking at all the pictures and reliving the moments! Can’t wait to go back there for Easter!!

Here’s a look back into my favorite memories of 2014!!!

1. Father-in-law’s 60th Bday Party – nothing like having a party for the half the town to celebrate your bday! 🙂

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2. Fasnet in our town – nothing like crazy costumes, drinking, music, and parades to get you in the spirit!!! We are so sad to be missing it this year!

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3. Being in two places at once (First trip to Italy) – The absolute most memorable trip (besides my engagement in Ireland!) thus far. What a fantastic country Italy is… and being on the country line between Austria and Italy, I was able to knock off an item on my bucket list!

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4. Hiking in the Alps – I say it every year that I won’t go but I’m glad I went this last time. It was a view worth the exhaustion!

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5. Wedding in August – Cape Cod, pink wedding dress, lobster bake…whats not to love?!

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6. Going Away party in Germany – Bittersweet, but a great excuse to wear my drindl and party with the family! It was a warm send-off!

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7. Buying our first American home – We were lucky to find it so quickly and seal the deal a week and a half later! BAM!

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8. Thanksgiving with the family – We loved having Toblerone’s mom and my parents with us on our first hosted Thanksgiving in the US. I just hope we can host many many more!

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9. Christmas Market in Chicago – Hands down my FAVORITE city! The Christmas market gave us that little bit of that special German Christmas magic we were missing!

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10. New Years bowling with the parents – Great end to the year! We decided last minute to do a little NYE bowling while my baby sis lay sick in bed with some kind of crud. We were home by 10:30 and relaxed while watching the ball drop. Was really low key and I didn’t have a hangover the next day! WIN!

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2015 has a lot to live up to and I’m hoping it brings a lot of great changes for us! I’ll be taking my Placement test this coming week for school! Can’t believe I’m really going back!!! Of course we still have hopes for a baby just like every year for the past 6 year. Lets see what miracles will happen!

Wishing you all a wonderful start to the new year! Take a moment to reflect on all the wonderful memories that you made and make a plan to make more this year! Travel, meet up with old friends, make goals, make bucket lists, take a cooking class, join a choir! Do something outside of your box. I think you’ll find a great memory just waiting to be made!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Spice Gets Married (AGAIN!)

Don’t let the title fool you. Two weddings, same man, under 2 years 🙂 Yup! Thats how life works sometimes when you are in a multi-cultural relationship like ours. I got double the wedding fun! And ever so fitting is that in 10 days we will be celebrating our 2nd year anniversary from our first wedding. A lot of people have asked us which day will we celebrate and the answer is both! Something German for our October 26th anniversary and something American for our August 18th anniversary. We’re lucky enough to have two awesome days to remember…why not celebrate both! 🙂

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Hit play on the video below and listen to the song I walked down the aisle too. This song is more of a party song from the 80’s early 90’s but this version lets you actually hear the lyrics. It was beautiful and made a bunch of us cry! Even Toblerone! But how cute is it that a man that has been with me for 6 years, married for 2 would still cry when he sees me walking down the aisle. Beautiful moments all around, people!

During the past two years I have had MANY expats ask me about the wedding planning process from 3,000 miles away. You want my advice? DONT. DO. IT.  Not only did things come out a bit differently than if I had actual time to do things but the amount of stress compressed into the few days before the wedding is just not healthy. Weddings are stressful but imagine seeing your decorations and things you ordered online for the first time one week before the wedding day. If I had a month to go home and organize all wedding things, I would have in a heartbeat. It would have saved us all from combustion!

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We held our wedding in a house we rented for the week in Cape Cod, MA. It was the most beautiful setting for our wedding day. It wasn’t on the beach but I didn’t really want that necessarily. We just wanted it to be in our favorite place on earth.

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We had over 65 guests and every single person there came from out of state or out of country. Think about that for a minute. 65 people (including kidlets) that came for this moment. This special day. It’s this kind of feeling that just can’t be described but that fact that our destination wedding pulled in that amount of love and friendship was just jaw dropping. We were speechless.

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My darling cousin did my hair and makeup and surprise!!!!!!…… My dress is PINK! Wouldn’t want it any other way! We took wedding pictures at the gorgeous Mass Audubon Nature park and wildlife sanctuary. It was a perfect spot. We had the ocean, we had sand, we had forests, we had ponds. So many different cool aspects for a great backdrop. One would even say magical.

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It was 78 degress, sunny (hot in a massive dress), slight seabreeze, and little tiny bugs just LOVED getting up in between the layers of pink tulle I was wearing! My groom looked crazy handsome in his blue suit specially bought in Germany. Our wedding party looked fantastic! It all turned out well considering this was all primarily discussed through email before hand. Everyone looked perfect for the part!

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The morning of our wedding I woke up around 7am and asked Toblerone to walk with me around the yard to take it all in. That was the one and only moment of “calm” that I felt! lol…but I suppose thats normal! Everything was slowly getting set up and we had lemonade and iced tea set up for our guests as they arrived. They got “fan” programs, noise makers, some got rice butterflies to throw in honor of our grandparents who were looking down on us.

Alot of what I did was DIY. I found a bunch of templates online and the real deal of it is…no one cares about the paper products at a wedding. The name cards, escort cards, programs, all of that gets thrown out or drinks spilled over it. I knew that going in so I did ALL of that myself. Even our invitations. I found a lot of great stuff over at weddingchicks.com. But doing a simple search for “templates” is very helpful! Don’t spend a dime on stuff if you don’t have to!

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The ceremony was perfect and personal. Private and intimate. Everything we wanted. AND…done in two languages thanks to our very good friend who did the whole ceremony for us. Just perfect! We had a “stone and time capsule” ceremony.  On each seat we placed gold painted stones that each person was instructed to hold tightly and say a blessing, prayer, wish, and simply put their love and energy in to while Toblerone’s Dad and brother serenaded us with a trumpet duet. These stones were collected and placed into a box with wine and a love letter for us to open on our first anniversary. This was my absolute favorite part of the whole ceremony.

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The reception started off with me sobbing basically while I thanked everyone for coming all this way just for little old us. Our Cape Cod Clambake was fantastic and people raved about the meal. It was a lot of food and for a great price. More importantly kind of fun! I literally was cracking a lobster in my wedding gown. I highly recommend it!

As for the music, I did it all myself. I spent WEEKS….no make that MONTHS working on a playlist long enough to keep the crowd going! I used an app on my phone called Wedding DJ which was great through all the testing but suddenly stopped working by cocktail hour. Thankfully I had the playlists on my computer in iTunes and we used that the rest of the night. I never left the dance floor. For some reason I felt like if the bride was on the dance floor…people would always dance. No one wants to leave the bride alone up there! Right?! I also didn’t have a sip of alcohol. I was sober through the COMPLETE thing! It was awesome! 🙂 Nothing classy about a drunk bride!

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The party ended around 2am and I ended the night with two of my best friends in my bed talking about the day and life in general while Toblerone hung out with the late-late night crew in the tent. Catching up and just loving the moment. It was the most stressful day of my life and I would NEVER do it again but it was the greatest thing in the world to have everyone we love there (and a few missing!).

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So again for all other expats out there planning a wedding from afar…take the time to sort out the big stuff as best as you can and be prepared for nothing and everything to go wrong on your special day. I received one piece of advice from everyone and that was “Just enjoy the day.” But as a perfectionist, that’s impossible and I wish I could have enjoyed it more. Looking back at it now though, I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Wouldn’t be our story if it wasn’t a little bit crazy and out of hand!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

 

Time To Say Goodbye…

Our journey in Germany ended on several high notes. One of them being the “Going Away” party Toblerone’s parents organized for us. Through all the stress of packing we managed to just take a moment to put all of that behind us and enjoy one last party with the people in our lives there.

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We were able to have the party at the Sportheim in Toblerone’s home town which was a great tribute to him and his many years of playing soccer for this town. In addition to us moving back to the states and starting this new chapter, Toblerone had decided to officially hang up his soccer cleats to end his semi-professional soccer career. It was all just bittersweet!

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We had about 60 family and friends that came to bid us farewell and we had a blast seeing everyone together. Toblerone’s cousin auctioned off items of ours that we no longer could use in the US (electric items) and so that was hilarious to see who bought our christmas lights or our blender, etc. Most importantly, I’m glad a piece of us is in the homes of those we care about.

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It was a perfect send off with wurstsalat and kasesalat…and I may or may not have had too much to drink. 🙂 10277801_10154668873630593_2664036994396427145_n

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Third Annual Hiking Trip In the Alps

My annual meeting with the Alps happened again. This time we traveled a couple hours away to the Lünersee in Austria. This was actually a tough climb and a lot of steep parts but hey…when in Rome!!

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With our group of 25 people we climbed up the first portion to a lodge (6,495 feet above sea level) for lunch and a few drinks. Note to self…don’t drink beer before you hike another 3 hours! Muscle will not function properly! Lucky for us there was a band there playing all the special German songs in their drindls and lederhosen which our group naturally helped out here and there! 🙂

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After lunch we headed out to our overnight lodge which was a good 3 hour hike. Straight up. It was pretty rough and quite a few people struggled but the thought that carries you through is the beer you get to have once you get there!

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7,824 feet above sea level we arrive at our lodge for the night. Sleeping is literally bunk beds but not the kind you’re thinking of. We are sleeping 5 across…one right after the other. In my room alone we fit about 18 or so. Lucky me…this meant no sleep with all the younger, crazy guys!

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In the evening we were served a 3 course meal (not bad for so far up the mountain. Remember…everything needs to be brought up there!). First course was a flädlesuppe, also known as pancake soup. Then on to Deer meat goulash. I opted for noodles of some sort. And dessert was icecream with pineapples. Not a bad set up! After dinner the music started going, people were singing loud, playing cards, and drinking away. A standard night up in a lodge over 7,000 feet high in the middle of the Alps. Right?

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The next morning…after ZERO sleep, we headed even farther up the mountains behind us and at this point, I started panicking I’m not sure what it is in my old age but as I get older the more afraid of heights I am. I’m not necessarily afraid of heights, let me rephrase. More like my body just starts to turn to jello and I feel wobbly. Like I will lose my balance at any moment and plummet to my death. But nonetheless, I survived…obviously!

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Hiking down is of course a lot less horrible and less work but when you haven’t had a lot of sleep the only thing you think is, GET ME OFF THIS DAMN MOUNTAIN! Or at least…those were my sentiments.

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A killer view like this is worth it though. How often do you see a massive lake high up in the middle of the Alps. It’s one of those gifts that the world gives us. And for a very brief moment nothing else seems to matter. The world has a funny way of putting things into perspective for us.

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

So Much To Share, So Little Time

Hi All! I have been MASSIVELY M.I.A. for over a month now. My deepest, sincerest apologies! But something tells me you didn’t even notice I was gone! 🙂

I have so much to share with you all and so much to tell about the wedding in the US and our vacation there, new hiking trip in the Alps and all that.

We have exactly 19 days until we step onto a plane to our next chapter in life. I’ve been busying myself with packing even though there is a moving company coming to do that for us on the 25th of this month. Keeps me focused though! I can’t sit around all day and look pretty now can I?!

We’ve been looking at homes to buy and researching things to do in the areas around us in Michigan. We can’t wait to start this chapter! Harley Jones has NO clue what is going on…thankfully! He will be going in to get all his shots updated and to pick up some good drugs to keep him calm during his excursion back home. I’m worried that he will remember what it was like coming over here for him and he may have a panic attack. At least, I know I will. Heck, I need drugs for this trip!

I’m going to start with throwing you a few pictures from our wedding and then the rest of the tales and stories will come later this week hopefully! Must.Find.Time.To.Blog.

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To Be In Two Places At Once

Vacation…yup. It was awesome and MUCH needed. Toblerone and I took 4 days with the idea to travel to the Austrian Alps and to skip across the border to check out Italy! I was pretty pumped to add another country to my list of “countries I’ve visited.”

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We traveled to Stubaital which is a valley that runs through the Austrian Alps. The really really incredibly massive and beautiful Alps. It was actually pretty different from other times that I’ve been. We drove up on top of the mountains and then there were little ski lodges and ski towns up on tops of these massive beauties. It was quite bizarre actually!

We enjoyed the naked spa as usual (heehee) and Tobi skied down a massive glacier. We took a quick little trip over to the Swarovski Museum in Innsbruck, Austria. This was actually probably one of the best museums I have ever been to. I was VERY surprised. I thought it was just going to be a room full of jewelry and such but they turned this place into a massive interactive art museum. Each room used crystals in it’s exhibit completely different than the last. What a really incredibly place! I saw it on Pinterest actually and never imagined I would be close enough to go visit it. And sure enough! I was stoked at first about the unique fountain outside but the inside was the best part!
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Toblerone and I also tried to be as young and fun as we once were so we went to a few bars at night but we really just wanted to go home to bed! My how the times have changed! But we played darts and watched the youngins down their drinks!

Date Night for these old folks!

Date Night for these old folks!

Darts!!!!!

Darts!!!!!


We filled our bellies with yummy 6 course meals…ok more like stuffed ourselves..forgetting completely about the fact that I have to fit in my wedding dress in 4 months. Lord help me! But it was worth it!

Then the last two days we headed to Italy. Granted, we stayed close to Austria so the scenery looks similar but the atmosphere is different. You can somehow feel it. I was so bummed about the service at the hotel in Austria and we crossed the border into Italy and something in the air changed everything. Maybe it was the fact that their stores are open on SUNDAYS!!!

I got to cross off something from my bucket list in the coolest way! I always wanted to be in two places at once and well… 🙂 Right on the border crossing into Italy for the first time in my life I was in Austria and Italy. Two places at once! Totally rad! 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv7;49=ot-2346=34-=357=XROQDF-2--6438-3-239ot1lsi

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We were in a town called Vipiteno, Italy which was just across the border of Austria but what a darling little place! Everyone knows German but prefers to speak Italian of course. It was so fun to watch people switch back and forth between the two languages. And it’s really no joke…Italian is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. I could have listened to them all day long. We got to enjoy a mini wine tasting in one of the liquor stores and had fun looking at all the different foods they had there.

We started off in a little mini cafe/wine bar and to my surprise, we weren’t the only ones drinking wine at 10 in the morning! But the Italians are so cool about it all. They had a glass of wine, an espresso close by, and a water. You can tell they appreciate the good things in life. Food and drinks!
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Our hotel was gorgeous! Sadly we only stayed one night but we were just so in love with this place. So relaxed and there were many people but it was kind of nice.
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Not to mention..the dinner was INCREDIBLE!!! I can’t even put it into words. The dessert was a massive room filled with mini desserts! Omg…I took horrible pictures because I felt like such an American but you can get the idea! It was really really amazing. I over-ate on purpose. No shame!

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Before I left I was able to pay homage to a special part of my step-dad’s family. His mother is from Austria and his Dad from Italy. I made sure to light candles for them all in a church in Austria and in Italy too. It was so special for me to be able to do that in one trip. His family had lived in the US for a long time so after they had died, I don’t think (to my knowledge anyways) that anyone was able to give their souls peace in their homeland. Was pretty special. But magically enough, both churches had incredible views of the Alps and I felt like these two spots couldn’t have been better to do this.

The church in Italy

The church in Italy


Outside the church in Austria

Outside the church in Austria

Inside the church in Austria

Inside the church in Austria

If a trip has to end…then please let all trips end like this one did. On an incredible high note. Money well spent!

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(P.S. In the next week or so I will be posting up hints in the form of pictures to a MASSIVE REVEAL OF A SECRET I’ve been keeping since January! Please follow me on my facebook page to get these hints and be in on the fun!)

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

We Found Love In A Dunkin Donut

Oh people…where to begin! So last week I went to the city of Stuttgart to meet up with a gal pal (another American girl who fell in love with a German!) for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at an Irish pub.

We met up in the Hauptbahnhopf (The main train station) because of one VERY important reason. A new Dunkin Donuts had just opened up. As we approached the newly opened cafe the smell of coffee and bad perfume was overwhelming. Thats what happens when you’re at a subway. Just all sorts of funky going on!

Surprisingly, Dunkin Donuts was hard to miss. There was a massive line of people just waiting to get their hands on the American staple. There were a few passer-bys that murmurred how gross it was. Those people CLEARLY have never had such awesomeness.

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They handled things a bit different at this particular DD. I think it was mostly because of the volume of people but the focus was primarily on the donuts. They were in a large case presented to the crowd. People would walk in front of the case and point to the donuts they wanted and the hard-working girls would fill up the boxes and bags. These donuts were crazy bright colors and I had to laugh. Germans often tell me that the bright colorful frosting is just SOOOO American. And it was actually a turn off for me but that may have something to do with me living here for three years now. You get used to seeing dull colors.

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Of course when it was our turn, Toblerone just HAD to have a boston cream donut. And of course…those were being delivered in the next 20 mins so I had to wait. And wait….and wait. To give you an idea of all the different flavors they had here’s a snapshot of their menu. Click here to see their website of what other things they offer. Not to mention the crazy bagels they offer. Like cream cheese and jelly or PB and jelly…hmm…interesting! Very American! I can’t imagine those being so popular!

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We did get iced coffees which was devine but I had to laugh. Everytime anyone ordered that they would go to the back room to get the ice. Germans do not put ice in their drinks, let alone their coffee! So this was funny for me to see them putting in such effort!

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We got a box of donuts: Nutella filled, strawberry sprinkles, two boston cream, one raspberry filled with vanilla frosting, and a maple frosting caramel filled one. Happy as clams we sat down to feasts on our breakfast of Champions and all the sudden old hip hop music was BLASTING through the speakers. I literally had to talk louder and listen harder. Dunkin Donuts was turned into a club at 11am! What the heck! But it was hilarious and made the experience that much more enjoyable.

Even though we travelled an hour by car, and a train ride later, it was the greatest Saturday I’ve had in a while. It felt like home…and the best part…it tasted just like home. Normally in the US I wouldn’t care much for this type of thing but when you’re away for so long, its these little things that give you the sense that you aren’t so far away from home. Thank you Dunkin Donuts.

Not to mention we finished the night off with some good old fashioned St. Patrick’s Day fun!
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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo