The last couple of days were BUSY. After running errands on Friday, doing laundry and such, we left for Ventura on Saturday to spend the day and evening with J’s family. We were going to go out to dinner and celebrate four birthdays that happened to fall within a time frame of three weeks… J’s Mom and great-uncle had their birthdays at the end of February, my birthday is coming up this coming weekend and Andreas’ birthday is the following week.
Before we picked up J’s Granddad from the old folks’ home, we went to Lassen’s Natural Food Store to look for the flour that I need to bake German bread. Remember, Andreas showed me how to make sourdough and I tried a piece of the bread that he had baked last week and it was sooo good :) Now I am all excited to bake my own bread at home!
At 6 p.m. we all gathered at the “Old Vienna“, a restaurant with authentic German and Continental cuisine. It was, of course, pretty clichÃƒÂ© with waitresses running around in dirndl dresses and a menu with food typically associated with Germany like “Schweinshaxe” [ =roast pork shank], potato pancakes, “Sauerbraten”[ =sour marinated beef] or “Wienerschnitzel” [= breaded veal cutlet]. I couldn’t resist and ordered the “Schweinshaxe” :)
It was pretty good, but as always German specialties served in a foreign country are never served the “real” way… the “Schweinshaxe” came with sauerkraut, potato dumplings and gravy. In Germany, you would never get a “Schweinshaxe” in gravy, because it makes the crust, which is supposed to be hard and crisp, soggy and soft. It was still pretty good :)
We exchanged presents after the dinner and then the birthday cake was served. There were candles on it that representing all birthday ages added up. Together we turned 242!
Sunday morning, I went shopping for a few items and at 12:30 p.m., J and I left for the meeting with the German Club of LA! I had been looking forward to this meeting for weeks. We were finally getting out to meet some new people!
The German Club met at Griffith Park, a big park in North Hollywood, and we had a potluck BBQ.
I brought baguette, garlic butter and tuna dip… somewhat German, but not very typical… but there were also some things nobody expected and everybody had cravings for… like Hela Curry Ketchup, Ferrero Rocher, Sauerkraut, German Potato Salad and Noodle Salad, Gummibears and Lindt chocolate [nice mix, I know ;)].
I had met one of the girls, another Sandra, a few weeks ago online through the German Club website and we had already talked on the phone a week ago. I was thrilled to meet her and some other girls, especially when I found out that Sandra was also from the Cologne area and used to live very close to the town that I am from. What a coincidence! As we found out during the day, we had a whole lot more in common than that!
We were a big, mixed fun group of about 40+ people… some from Germany, some who have been to Germany, some who would like to go to Germany… families with kids, couples, singles… you name it :)
I made J wear his Grevenbroich T-Shirt, too.
It was fun and just very exhilarating to meet new people, to share our stories and just hang out and have a good time. This is exactly what we needed.
We got along really well with Sandra and her husband Brad and when the German Club started breaking up, we decided to hang out at their house for a little longer [which turned into pretty long … like almost a.m.-long] :)
Needless to say, J and I were both kind of tired this morning.
P.S. As you might have noticed on the photos, temperatures are up to the lower 80’s and I have a headache. I hate these sudden temperatures changes, but hey, it’s almost spring time and that made me think of a little touch up for the layout of this blog.
Do you like it?? ;)