Happy Birthday, Pauli!

There is just something about Germans and their “fests” that they take very seriously. And when they party…they party well! Of course most of you know that from my Oktoberfest survival. I mean…I’m almost 30 (eek!) and I can barely hang with the rest of them because now I think about the pain I will feel the next day. However, this particular party I let loose and had a great time…and paid for it the next day.


It was the 60th Birthday Party of my father-in-law, Paul. Before I go any further, let me remind you quickly how birthdays work here in Germany. When it’s your birthday you are the one responsible to provide cake or breakfast to your colleagues. As well as host your own “kaffee und kuchen” at your home for your family and friends. Personally, I think thats CRAP. With a capital C-R-A-P.

Us American folks know how to get down on our birthdays! We order people around and expect that the world showers us with gifts and pays for all our drinks when we drink away our past years. Afterall, the best gift is that we were born into this world..so people should clearly thank the heavens for this amazing gift. I still can’t believe that my first birthday here in Germany I actually baked myself a cake and invited people over, German style. NEVER. AGAIN. Just….NO.



In Germany when someone turns 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, or 100…these are big years to celebrate. It was no different for my FIL (father-in-law). He planned a great birthday party in the party hall in his town. There was a lot of planning involved. From the invites, catering menu, decorations, table organization, and the events, he had planned it all perfectly. With a little help of course!


His party was basically a concert. He’s big into music and belongs to three different bands. All three of them played a few songs each. All three bands were different from each other so it was a nice change up between each of them.



Inbetween songs was of course dinner but also gifts were presented. Typically, at these parties a group of people say a funny poem, sing a song, or talk about the Birthday boy. At the end he is given a present that usually ties the whole skit together. Makes it a bit more fun!




Approximately 130 people helped celebrate the 60th birthday of my beloved FIL. It was a great turnout and I think a really special time for him. Something he really deserved.



I stayed and closed up shop with the last of the folks around 5am. I then woke up around 8:30am and cleaned up the mess that was leftover from the night before. And this of course…is the aftermath of no sleep. This 29 year old can NOT hang anymore. 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Neighborhood Street Party

This past weekend the annual Street party in our neighborhood happened. This is basically all the neighbors on our street get together and have a BBQ and just hang out. Well, Toblerone and I have been here for 2.5 years but this was the first time we were invited. HA! Still makes me giggle a bit. People know I’m American but because I speak English I have the plague but I was happy for the invite regardless. I think it’s safe to say the chances of me ever getting my “Welcome to the neighborhood” gift basket are slim.


I made my ever popular broccoli salad (thanks mom for the recipe!) and brought our giant American cooler and our grill down to the street. We were introducing ourselves to our neighbors for the first time. Literally, the people who live next door. How crazy is that?! We did our introductions quickly and then the rest of the night sat with the only two people we know. Everyone else still avoided me completely. Toblerone got a few people speaking with him about soccer and what not but still, I had the plague so they didn’t linger too long. Huge difference between the US and here, in my opinion, when it comes to being neighborly.


Later on at night after we ate the kids all gathered around a fire pit with their sticks. I started to get excited for marshmallows or S’Mores (even though they don’t know what that is here!) The next thing I know they are twisting dough around their sticks. At this point in my mind, I’m thinking this is a special kind of crazy! Then they explain to me that they are simply just making little breads! So of course I had to get in on the fun…until I realized I had to stand in front of a fire for 45 minutes! Joke is on the American! But it was fun and cool to try something different. A far cry from the sweet marshmallows in the US. Leave it to the Germans to make bread at a camp fire! I had to laugh!


I was home and in bed by midnight. Do I think my neighbors might actually say “Hi” to me now that they’ve seen me up close? Doubtful. But, I put in the effort! I said I would do all that I can to fit in to this country and it’s not up to me to teach people how to be friendly. I’ll chock it up to a culture issue and move along! There are 2 families that we are friends with so that’s enough for me! At least I have someone to go to in case of a sugar emergency!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo