Currently | April

TRAVELING | overseas for the first time in 2.5 years. Always juggling two passports, which, however, make the immigration process in each country a breeze.

CATCHING | a glimpse of the backside of the Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) from the train on my way to see my uncle (who lives on the “schäl Sick” (local dialect for “wrong side”, which locally means the “right (eastern) side” of the river Rhine, which is across the river from where the cathedral is. Confused yet?) . #homeiswherethedomis

FEELING | emotionally jetlagged and not quite ready to get back to the daily grind, but alas, here we are. I am slowly readjusting back to my life here. It’s always such a harsh transition going between here and there (anybody else feel that?).

ENJOYING | affordable ice-cream from the Italian gelaterias in Germany. Scoops for 1-1.50€ anyone? (Ice-cream by the scoop is so ridiculously expensive in the US, y’all.)

SOAKING UP | every single second with my family. I just loved being at my childhood home, spending time with my parents. I loved hanging out with my sister and being able to talk in person. But you guys, my niece and nephew have grown so much since I last saw them, and I am really not okay with it. That obviously needs to stop.

While FaceTime will never be a substitute for physical, in-real-life interaction with the people you love, I must admit that having had the option to “see” them over a screen, especially during these last two years, was truly a life saver. It was emotional to finally be able to hug after such a long time, but it could have been a lot more soul-crushing to leave again if it wasn’t for video calls.

LOOKING FORWARD TO | seeing my family again this summer, when they can hopefully take the already twice-postponed trip to visit us here in California.

GRATEFUL FOR | spending some time with my best friend from high school.

WISHING | for the lazy life of my sister’s cat sometimes.

EATING | all the good stuff. Mettbrötchen (minced raw pork on rolls), German BBQ, and my mom’s homemade Reibekuchen (potato pancakes), not to mention oven-fresh rolls from the local bakery every morning for breakfast.

DRINKING | lemon-ginger-tea with honey.

WATCHING | some German TV. Haha. I honestly quite enjoy it when I am back home, because it’s nice to watch something in your native language. However, I definitely avoid all the “dubbed” US movies/TV series. I previously shared my thoughts on dubbing of foreign movies on German television. In case it’s TL;DR: it’s a big NO for me.  

COMING HOME TO | a package from Peloton (which I already mentioned) with an apparel gift for reaching (more than) 15K workout minutes in 2021. What a sweet surprise. Not that I needed any more motivation, but that was truly such a sweet gesture.  

RUNNING | in my hometown. It’s a different type of scenery and I enjoyed it very much. The weather was perfect, too.

CATCHING UP | on the Power Zone Spring Challenge this week. I was signed up for the challenge before I knew I was going to be traveling, but my itinerary worked out in a way that I was able to ride ahead (for week 5) and catch up on rides (for week 6) upon my return, therefore completing each week’s core classes and accelerator rides to reach “platinum” for my team. I’d call this a well-planned vacation!

What is currently going on with you?

  1. Total get the rustiness that has come with ‘getting back to normal’! It’s so strange. I hope we all take it slow going forward.
    SO excited for you to get to travel and see your family!! That’s amazing!

    1. Thanks Kristen… adjusting back to real life is always hard ;)

  2. So glad you got to see your family and have a wonderful holiday! It must have been amazing seeing your family and catching up in person after 2.5 years.

    That is a lovely surprise to arrive back to from Peloton!

    1. Thanks Anthea. It was a long overdue visit and so needed.

  3. I’m so glad you got to see your family. There really is no substitute for in-person connection, and COVID has made that so much harder (even for people that live in close proximity but were still separated!). It looks like you soaked up every minute. So happy for you <3
    One of my good friends is from Germany and is heading back for 6 weeks this summer; she also mentions the price differential (on clothes, food etc). She stocks up on high-quality clothes when she visits!

    1. Thanks so much Elisabeth. So glad to hear your (other) German friend ;) is heading back home this summer, too.

  4. Oh, how I loved reading this! Everything about this made me smile. I am so glad you got to go and visit with your family (the niece and nephew growing up, girl, I feel you!). Hoping for all the best in getting back to the groove at home. It’s always hard to get back to reality after vacation, and I’m sure it’s even harder when it’s the first vacation and visit with family in years!

    1. Aww, thanks Nicole. It was such a precious time.

  5. It made me so happy to see that you had the chance to connect with friends and family via your recent travels. I’m sure it was even more special this year bc of the pandemic that took over our lives the previous two. Also I miss Germany so much from reading about it here; I remember sitting on a train once and having that magnificent view of the cathedral come into view in Cologne: it was incredibly impressive.

    Wishing you all the best for the weekend (and recovery!) ahead. And yay for the mail goodies from Peleton!

    1. Thanks Charlotte. I hope you can go visit Germany again sometime soon, too :)

  6. Oh, I’m so happy you got to go home and enjoy your family, food and tv! It sounds marvelous!

  7. OMG that ice cream is SO CHEAP! I don’t remember ice cream being that cheap in Paris, but maybe the prices are inflated there since it’s a touristy area? I would get ice cream all the time if it was that cheap. I agree that it is soooo expensive here so we rarely go to ice cream shops!

    I am so glad you had such a wonderful trip home! It was a long time coming. I’m glad you can look forward to hosting your family this summer. I hope nothing interferes with that trip!

    1. Thank you, Lisa. It was a special time and so overdue… still looking forward to MORE time with my family this summer. Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed for that.

  8. Oh, you saw the Dom! :) Happy for you to be able to fly out to see family.

  9. Ooh! You got to travel and see your family! That must have been amazing! But yes- the time difference between CA and Germany is a lot. You must still be jetlagging. Did your mom make that potato pancake in the shape of a heart? That really says it all- how much love is in your family and how cozy it must have felt to be home!

    1. I don’t know if my mom made that potato pancake in the shape of a heart on purpose, but I definitely treated it that way :)

  10. Everything about this post makes me smile! I am so very happy that you got to visit your family after so much time apart. And be in Germany! I’m sure it felt so good to be back there. <3

    1. Thank you so much, friend. Means a lot.

  11. I had been watching for your posts and wondering if you were in Germany. I saw when you posted this last week and enjoyed reading about your time away! Maybe I missed that was in the plans? Anyway, I’m so glad you had a great time! This whole post is very lovely. So many nice things!! P.S. Is there any way to comment on blogs directly from Feedly? I don’t think so? I’ve been using Feedly more recently, as I’ve expanded the # of blogs I’m following now. But I like to use it from my phone, and I find it tedious to try to comment from there. Just wondering if I’m missing something- I know you’re a Feedly user. :)

    1. My travel plans were last minute and I didn’t want to jinx it, so you didn’t miss that I was going to Germany – I only shared it after the fact ;)

      Re: Feedly, there’s no direct way to comment on blogs in Feedly… but I have set up “shortcuts” for my email and blog URL on my phone to make commenting on my phone a little easier. Let me know if you are interested to know how.

  12. As you know, this makes me so, so happy. When I found out that you were visiting your family and that was why you hadn’t been posting here or on IG… It seriously made my week. :) I am so, so glad that you were able to spend time with them, to hug them, and just enjoy your time with them. I’m glad, too, that you had some time with your best friend.

    I’m not glad that my ice cream shops are $$$ compared to the gelaterias! Plus, their ice cream is just so much better. Sigh. Time for a trip to Europe, I think! :)

    Re-entry is hard, and I hope you’ve been able to give yourself some grace as you reintegrate into ‘normal’ life… <3

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