Expat to Expat Q&A – August

I’m linking up with a bunch of other expat bloggers for a monthly Q&A about where I am living! You can find all the other blogs that participate on Bailie’s Blog or Belinda’s Blog. These two ladies put together a fun questionnaire for us expats to fill out and without further ado….here are my answers!

August Questions:

1. What is your favorite food store in your city and why?
This depends on what I need. I try to buy as much as I can at Aldi’s first and then go to Kaufland which has more options, fresher, fruits and veggies, etc. If the Toblerone has run out of lunch meat and bread, then I go to the bigger store. But if I need toilet paper then Aldis.
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2. For your answer to number 1 is it ok to buy the store brand items or do you pay extra for a name brand? In my opinion, the quality of German food is ten times better than that in the US. But I’ve never been a name brand snob when it comes to food. Maybe a little bit with clothes ūüôā But mostly, I buy store brand items if available.

3. What do you think is the best way to get about your city? (i.e. bus, bike, car, etc.)Transportation in the country is crazy good. But I stick to the car for everything. Only because I’ve yet to put on my big girl panties and try the whole bus thing. I could technically ride my bike but then I would have to ride it back up the hill I live on and I’m just not into that kind of torture!

4. Which store do you turn to for basics like toilet paper or cleaning supplies? Aldis is the best! But Aldis is also very different that that of the one we have back home in the US. The quality is better.

5. Where do you think is the best place in your city to get a cup of coffee (or beverage you prefer) and catch up with friends? Well, if I had friends…lol, any coffee shop would do! There are so many bakeries around. The most popular one around here is called the Backhaus (Bake House). Germans and their 3:00pm coffee and cake time! But, We recently bought our 3rd coffee machine (dont ask) and I prefer to drink my coffee at home!
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Plus these questions from Emma, at Adventures of a London Kiwi:
1. What was your ‚Äúeureka, I‚Äôm practically a native‚ÄĚ moment? This is a tough question. I think mostly when I’m talking to the locals and I say something in their dialect. (Schwabische Dialect). They laugh when I speak like them because this isn’t the German I was taught, this is the German I’ve learned from living her so long and listening to them!

2. Does your real accent get in the way? All the time! I always try to use German as much as possible and I really hate it when I’m talking away and then the Germans respond to me in English. I always think, “Is my accent really that bad? Is it that obvious that I’m just another Ami?!”

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Lake Constance – Vacation 30 Minutes Away From Home

Who knew there would be a vacation spot so close to my house. Well, duh, I know…I know. I’m living in a vacation but I mean something¬†different from¬†the ‘Sound of Music’ hills and old churches. My best buddy RyRy¬†from the states is here visiting, which is AWESOME! My first friend from the states – he just happens to visit me no matter where¬†I live which is fantastic! Nothing like a piece of home to soothe the soul. While he’s packed up with Peanut Butter and other goodies from my momma, right off the plane Toblerone¬†snatched him up and took him to a soccer game with 7 other guys and then to the Fruhlingsfest (Spring Festival) in Stuttgart. Similar to Oktoberfest but on a much smaller scale! I’ll show you a picture in the next write up!¬† This allowed me to have a little girls day out! ūüôā

In the morning we had some of the guys over for breakfast which was large pretzels, honey mustard, and white wurst (sausage)…shown here. I lived it up with a pretzel…no wurst for me! Not my style Normally you peel the casing off the sausage which seriously creeps me out!

The girlfriends of two of the boys and I headed off to the train station for a ride to The Bodensee or also known as Lake Constance. I’ve been hearing about this from many people about how beautiful it is and of course that there is a MALL!!!!! Man, I miss those! So, off I went with a pocket full of cash to this place EVERYONE is talking about.

We arrived and immediately walked into the mall which definitely made me feel at home.¬† In Germany, you can normally only find malls in larger cities, everywhere else is more boutiques and plazas I suppose you could call them. I didn’t know where to look first! It was interesting for me because here I was in this mall, something familiar, but yet everything felt so unfamiliar! All the stores were names I had never heard before and the style and clothes were different. Then we came upon the motherload… H&M!!! Home!!!!! Although it was way too packed in there and too chaotic we decided to head in there and make it fun anyways. What’s a shopping trip with the girls without a weird sunglasses picture!

I realized how old I am because I was more interested in the home decor stores than anything else. Not cool! I’ll be 27 and the idea of wearing cute dresses and shoes has somehow slipped me by. Instead I’m like, “Ohhh¬†look at this cute tablecloth!! Ohhh and this pattern would go perfect in my kitchen!” People, the day has come to admit, I’m not longer that fun girl that you all used to hang out with. I’m OLD and decrepit!

Onward we went through the mall and then outside to find a good Icecream place. Not before we went into a bookstore that had a small section for English Books! AH!!! AMAZING! For a quick moment I felt at home once again! Trust me when I say, when you are surrounded by a different language constantly…it’s everywhere, the radio, T.V., friends, restaurants….finding a book written in English is like having an old friend. Familiarity…it’s all so important when you’re far away from what you know.

Back out on the streets it looked like something out of Harry Potter. Very old buildings with just enough walking space for a herd of cows. Incredibly beautiful.

So to sum it all up we went for icecream and then down to the water for paddle boat ride. The weather was absolutely beautiful and I finally got a little color on my very glowing white skin! I just may be tan this year. Watch out folks! :-))

Now I’ll throw some pictures your way of my day and let you sit and think about how you wish you could be here doing this as well! It was SO much fun…..so much that I’m actually going back there today with my buddy RyRy and Toblerone! Should be a great time! And, since I was able to go back…MORE photos of the old buildings and cobblestone streets to come! Stay tuned!

Until next time, Readers!

xoxoxoxoxoxo

The Alps in the background

Lady of Justice

Building from the year 1523

IKEA Shopping Spree

Each week is getting easier, I swear it!¬†I clearly miss my family, but do I miss America? I’m not sure yet. I do know that Germany has a very old and magical feel to it and I absolutely ADORE it. I try hard to immerse myself in the culture when I can and of COURSE keep you all updated on what I’m experiencing.

This week we celebrated the 24th birthday of Toblerone’s brother with chili con carne, my Erdbeerkuchen, lots of family and friends, and a playboy magazine. For you American boys, wondering what issue it was, we bought him the Top 100¬†European Playmates. What does this mean? Not many blondes with fake ta-tas!!! Enough about that!

A former co-worker from the states also joined us for Dinner one night so it was nice to speak to someone without an accent and someone who gave me a reminder of home. I think it was also good for Toblerone to have his old pal here to drink massive amounts of German beer and bless their little cups of whiskey (which were awesome thanks to my whiskey stones I bought him for his bday.) At any rate, we feasted upon some 36 hour marinated pork tenderloin, spaetzle, and salat.  Dad and brother stopped by to join in the fun, have a little snack, and then they were back on the road to home. All was well!

On¬†Friday afternoon, I met up with my friend and we went to an Ice Cream Cafe and chit-chatted about everything from Zumba to gross Romanian men gawking at us from the next table. It was nice to have conversations with someone like I do with my best friends back home. I need that. I feel a little misplaced without the girlfriend side of my life so this is great for me! After that, we went into a great hair salon and made an appointment for me, my GAWD do I need to get these highlights fixed! My head looks like Tara Reid’s mess.

Saturday morning Toblerone promised me to a 5 hour shopping spree at IKEA! GAH! Who is so lucky? ME! For those of you who are thinking about our poor dog, no worries, he was at his Omi and Opi’s house for the day/night for some serious walks and play time. ¬†So, off we went, early in the morning to get the worm. The only time I ever went to IKEA was when I was maybe 12 or so when I was in England. It was 5-stories tall and I remember these announcements constantly asking people to stop what they were doing and look for missing children in the store. lol. Great Parenting skills there!

We actually managed to get through the store and purchase boatloads of fun stuff in about 2 hours. Here’s a preview of what we stuffed into our car!

                                    We got two of these bad boys! Needed for our storage room!!

    

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† This is the picture from IKEA, but it’s great for our small downstairs bathroom. It’s got¬†plenty of space inside for the basics. According to most, this looks like: American Style. ūüôā

¬†¬†¬† I’m in the midst of turning one of our guest rooms into my “Cape Cod” room. I’m not only obsessed with the nautical theme of the navy and white stripes but equally if not more obsessed with Cape Cod. It was my wedding venue of choice until this move happened. So, I transported the sand and some shells from there and they are throughout the room. You’ll see this once it’s finished! However, here is a dresser I picked out for this room.

¬†¬†¬† And of course a few random items I picked up along the way. Imagine those kids that sit in the cart and as mom goes¬†to check out she’s finding all sorts of things she doesn’t remember grabbing.¬†That was me. I just put my arm out and cleaned off some shelves along the way! The ever necessary pretty napkins, meat smusher (what is the real world for this?), heat pads for hot pans, etc., the tray for ice tea and lemonade for outside, and cinnamon apple candles (my FAVORITE!)

     

We picked up everything in their massive storage place and BAM! I’ve turned Toblerone into carpenter. Thankfully, he is able to follow directions and all the projects are under way. Next up, the foosball table for our game night on Good Friday with friends! I’m thinking about making really fun drinks for this and good appetizers.¬†Any ideas?

¬†IKEA purchases totaled $300 approximately! I mean, HELLO! What a deal for all of that. I can’t wait to go back and fill up the rest of the house. Slowly but surely, it’s all getting done! ūüôā¬†

To wrap up we went to a great music concert which I will elaborate more on with music clips (if I become tech savvy in the next day or two). Great stuff!  Oh! And we got a quote on some landscaping idea some one designed for us. Wait till you find out how much it will cost!!! All these things coming this week!

Now I’m off on this Snuggle Sunday to Toblerone’s soccer (fussball) game where he is quickly becoming a team favorite. Scoring goals and in the paper constantly – I think we have a star on our hands here, folks!

Cheers for now readers! Until next time!

xoxoxoxoxo