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.

Mattes30 Mattes31 Mattes32 Mattes34 Mattes35 Mattes56 Mattes58 Mattes59Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

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

The Night Of The Chicken: Fasnet In Southern Germany

Its that time of year again folks!! That time when everyone searches in their attics or basements for those super creepy (yet expensive) costumes that show the story of their town. As we dust off these costumes the sense of town pride starts to shine through the gray winter skies. I try to compare it to how I feel when I talk about Syracuse. I get the same kind of city pride and it can NOT be broken. Ever.

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This year happened to be pretty special for us. Each year a different town hosts the entire weekend festivities for the surrounding towns. Toblerone’s hometown is associated with a completely different circle of towns so we were really excited to find out that not only was our current town hosting it (saving us from having to drive somewhere) but his hometown also got a special invitation to join in this particular festival in our town. Karneval (Fasnet) was going to be AWESOME this year. And that, my friends, it most certainly was. It was great to have everyone come to our house to “pre-game” before the parade.

And just a side note…The costumes for Toblerone’s town are technically Roosters but I call them big Chickens. All the same right?

This year there are a few different costumes than the years before since we were in a different area than previous years. Oh and the witches got me and my friend. They took us…brought us into their “Witches House” which was their float basically and they gave us shots of something strange. But it was definitely fun this year! Better than the years before since the weather is unusually warm and we haven’t had snow since early December so this year was perfect!!

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Our kidnappers...

Our kidnappers…

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This girl got stolen 3 or 4 times. I think at this point she just gave up the good fight.

This girl got stolen 3 or 4 times. I think at this point she just gave up the good fight.

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Me and my other darling American friend :-)

Me and my other darling American friend 🙂

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I got your wig!!

I got your wig!!

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The whole family gets in the spirit

The whole family gets in the spirit

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These were the absolutely the worst costumes for me. I took this picture and then hid.

These were the absolutely the worst costumes for me. I took this picture and then hid.

Where we were held captive!

Where we were held captive!

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Ghostbusters Band!!

Ghostbusters Band!!

Toblerone and my Father-in-law

Toblerone and my Father-in-law

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Which costume is your favorite? Would any of these win costume contests on Halloween? How much do you think one of these costumes cost?

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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. 🙂
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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

The Most Gorgeous Town In Germany

Now and again I browse through my travel board on Pinterest and I come across pictures of places that I know must be in the area. The greatest part about where I live, I’m surrounded by Switzerland, France, and Austria. Literally, just a short drive away. Ahhh the greatness of being an expat! One of the pictures that recently caught my eye was of a town called Rothenburg ob der Tauber:
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I did a little more research and found out it was a touristy area but for many reasons. I usually try to avoid those type of places but there was so much about this place that was drawing me in. Documents date back to the year 950 for this town which is just mind blowing! There is a town wall that goes around the entire village which makes you feel like you’re going back in time.

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This town has incredible museums which Toblerone and I loved! We started off at the Christmas Museum made our way to the Medieval Museum, and ended with the Doll & Toy museum. Because I loved these places so much and I took so many pictures, I decided to split this blog up a bit. So today, I’m sharing with you just the quaint little town.

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Thanks to our good friend wikipedia.org I learned this town has been the stage for many movies such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2. I mean, walking through this place felt like I was walking through a movie. Or another time. It just didn’t feel real.

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I’m not sure where these little balls of joy came about but the Schneeballchen (snow balls) are special for this area. I wanted to say they were like fried dough but it’s more like a fortune cookie in a giant ball of yarn form. Toblerone got a nuss-nougat and I a chocolate filled one. Nothing to be excited about. I would never get them again and I think that’s the consensus from most that have tried them.

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There were souvenir shops all over the place selling over priced Christmas decorations,ornaments, and of course beer steins. Cute to see but nothing I would be willing to open my wallet for! But pass the tourists, through the streets of quaint little shops came suddenly the place I was searching for. The reason I drove over 200 kilometers. The house from the picture. Sadly it was a cold, gray day but nonetheless. Still really cool to see. One of those moments you say to yourself, “check!”

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This place was very quickly made my top favorite town in Germany. There is more history than I can even wrap my head around and full of Christmas shops which are open year round. I found my heaven at last!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

Engagement Pics Are HERE!!!

We only had to wait exactly one week for our pictures and I am SO excited to share them with you guys. Our friend is a great photographer and mostly did scenic shots but is just starting to get into doing people, weddings, etc. And in my opinion, he’s off to a great start! It certainly wasn’t easy with two languages flying back and forth plus a VERY rambunctious 3.5 year old puppy! Harley was playing with his frisbee all morning and being a big crazy. For the “picnic” shots I put his frisbee in our picnic basket to make him sit there! lol. It’s not as easy as it looks!!

The most special part about our pictures is that all were taken here in our little town. This way, no matter where we are in the world, we can always look back on these pictures and have a piece of this chapter of our lives with us forever. We could have gone somewhere else around Germany or even had the pictures done in the US but then Germany would just be a blurb. Somehow we have to mix both worlds in this whole process and this was the best option! I hope you like them!

Note: Images are not as sharp as they should be because I had to downsize the file! 🙂 But you get the idea!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

A Day Trip To Switzerland

Toblerone and I decided to take a quick little trip over to Switzerland the other day and it turned out to be really fun. We only live about an hour from the border so it’s silly for us not to go more often. Granted, Switzerland is about 15 times more expensive than Germany so what we do there is kept within reason. After we parked I actually made a comment about how clean the streets were and I literally could lick it and it would probably taste like candy. It was just sparkling.

Well hello there!

Well hello there!

First stop on the agenda was the River Rhein. Just a quick bit of information for those of you not familiar with the River Rhein (spelled Rhine in English), its the twelfth longest river in Europe at about 766 miles. It runs from the Swiss Alps, through Germany, and empties into the North Sea on the coast of the Netherlands. It’s a pretty big deal this river and people come from all over to see it. Even little old me!

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After visiting the stunningly blue river we decided to go on a search for food. Knowing that we wanted to be pretty careful about how we spend our money we went to the grocery store rather than a restaurant. I really wish they would just switch over to using the Euro but they’re still using their Swiss Francs and I don’t see that changing at any point soon.

In the grocery store I actually had a moment of pure joy. It was like home! (America home, not Germany home!) Everything was clean and properly organized. There were a million options to choose from and it just felt more like a store rather than a warehouse, like the German places. And…it wasn’t swarming with people that stood on top of you. Plus, check out this rockin’ way to travel with a cart! Your cart has it’s own escalator and it meets you at the top where all the cleaning and makeup supplies are or travels with you back downstairs to the cash registers! What on earth?!!

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The second stop on our day trip was to a really cool town called Stein am Rhein. This town was a small fishing town for many years until the year 1,007 when an Emperor moved an abbey to this area and began to commercialize it. By the 15th century it was an up and running town. Even today it’s known for it’s historical landmarks kept from the medieval times. Most of the buildings or houses are painted and it’s just a typical Swiss town, in my opinion. I tried to get as many pictures as I could but some of the roads are so narrow so I was at really strange angles, so I apologize in advance! But, take a look!

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I called this the peppermint house

I called this the peppermint house

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Paintings at the Metzgerei (Butcher). A mother bird piercing her own skin to give blood to her babies? This just got weird....

Paintings at the Metzgerei (Butcher). A mother bird piercing her own skin to give blood to her babies? This just got weird….

My handsome Hubs

My handsome Hubs

I love this saying, "This is my house, but not really my house because life is short." Or something like that.

I love this saying, “This is my house, but not really my house because life is short.” Or something like that.

Is that a medieval ghost bubble in my pic?

Is that a medieval ghost bubble in my pic?

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On this building, the first family claimed it in 1473. Whoa....

On this building, the first family claimed it in 1473. Whoa….

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So that was our little day trip! Vacation is almost over and next week is my birthday!! EEK! 29 years old…you crept up on me WAY too fast!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo