Monday morning, I woke up to something I had already accepted to not see (in the Rhineland) during my stay in Germany. Snow! Lots of it. Like 8 inches.
I felt like a little kid, starring out of the window in awe at the beautiful white blanket that had been spread over our town. Don’t they say snow makes everything more quiet? I think, it’s true.
The downside to all my excitement was that I had planned to catch the train and meet Ilka in KÃ¶ln (Cologne) for breakfast that morning, but there was no way in hell that this was going to happen with all the snow chaos that was to be expected on the streets.
Ilka called shortly after to confirm my thoughts.
With heavy hearts, we had to cancel our plans for that day.
However, I took the opportunity to go for a snow walk with my Mom and aunt in the afternoon. Besides the snow, it was freakin’ cold as well (-15Â°C which is 5Â°F), but at least sunny. I bundled up with all the warm clothes that I had and we took a walk through the fields and forest over to my sister’s place at the other end of town. It was so much fun!
Nina served us some hot coffee and cookies when we got there.
Since we expected the snow to stay for a couple of days because of the very low temperatures, that Germany hadn’t seen in ages, our plans for the rest of the week were kept tentative.
I had planned to spend a day shopping in KÃ¶ln (Cologne) with my sister at some point during my vacation, but unfortunately it looked like it wasn’t going to happen… but then we spontaneously decided to go to KÃ¶ln on Tuesday, because it was my parents’ last day off (school started again on Wednesdays) and we wanted to do something fun as a family.
I am so glad we went, because not only did I buy a couple of nice shirts, but also got my belated Christmas present from my sister – a new (ESPRIT!) purse. Isn’t it pretty?
It was labeled 80â‚¬. There was a 20% off sale for all previously discounted bags, which didn’t seem to apply to my handbag. BUT, when I went to the registrar and the guy rung up my purse, it showed that it was discounted to 55â‚¬. I got another 20% off on top of that and then my Mom had given me a 25â‚¬-gift certificate that she hadn’t used, so that the purse effectively only cost 19â‚¬! What a steal!
Besides all that, I got to spend (more) time with Nina, Greta and my parents, which was the most important thing :)
The next morning, my parents left for work (school) around 7:30 a.m. and I decided to get fresh rolls at the bakery and go over and have breakfast at my sister’s place. I hung out there until the early afternoon, then went downtown to run some errands and picked up Nina and Greta from the “baby massage lesson”.
Afterward, I went to see another one of my friends who had just given birth to a baby girl a few days before New Year’s. It was great to see her and the baby :)
In the evening, Nina, Dirk and I took my parents out to dinner at a local restaurant downtown.
Thursday morning, I met with my friend Ira and we went for another snow walk and had some hot tea at a little cafÃ© afterward. It was great to spend some more one-on-one time with her, since it always seems like there is not enough of it.
In the afternoon, I visited my Granddad for a while, then went shopping with Nina, Greta and my great-aunt and had coffee and cake at her place afterward.
I spent the night at Nina’s place and we had dinner together ( MÃ¶hren untereinander – mashed potatoes/carrots/apples , something that we would call “Hausmannskost” (home cooking)) and then talked the rest of the night. Since Greta is a little “night owl” as well, we stayed up until 1:30 a.m.
Friday morning, Nina took me to the train station and I took the train to KÃ¶ln to finally meet Ilka for our postponed breakfast! I was so happy that we could still squeeze that in! We had a lovely time, which was – as
always – much too short!
The afternoon I spent packing and hanging out with my family. In the evening, we went out to what by now has become our traditional “farewell dinner” at my favorite Italian restaurant “Alla Scala”.
Oh, how I had longed for the yummy pizza rolls with garlic butter… :)
We had a fun evening and I tried not to think about my suitcase that needed to be pack and zipped up when I returned home.
I still can’t believe how fast time flew by and that I’ve been back in the States for over a week again already. I can only hope that time keeps flying until can go back to visit.
Thanks for making it all the way down here. I know it’s been quite the long recap!