A Little Life Update
It has been so long since I updated my blog....almost 5 months, a lot has changed since then. This blog will be the first of many more, in the upcoming months, but for now here is a recap of the time that has passed.
August - September
August and September were long, depressing months for me. I was still maladjusted to the European lifestyle and could not shake my overwhelming homesickness. I had just started my job and a fitness program. I was in the worst training EVER and still had only one friend. Needless to say, it wasn't a fun time. I worked through it slowly thanks to hours of convincing from my mom and chocolate...lots of chocolate. The one good thing that happened in September was auditioning for a musical, which I made. Other than that, it was pretty grim. Lets just say, I am glad that September has come and gone.
October was when things began to look up for me. I continued my workout program, to no avail. I was finally on my own at work, thankfully and the musical began rehearsing and I met a really nice girl, Becca. She and I were instantly friends. We have the same interests and values. It was refreshing...were there really nice Americans in Germany? Who knew!
I got to experience Frankensteins Castle. It was really neat. The Germans know how to do Halloween. The funniest thing about the Frankenstein trip was that I got a taste of the German sense-of-humor, first hand. It was remarkable. Apparently, Germans think slapping is the funniest thing ever, right up there with Will Ferrell and Betty White. They had these comedy skits, that I didn't find humorous at all. The actors would slap each other and the German people just laughed and laughed which made me laugh and laugh. It was a really cool experience. Plus, Becca went with me and Adam which opened the door to friendship. Success!
The final high point in October was actually on Halloween. I got to see the German kids in my neighborhood. They were precious. First of all, the don't say "Trick-or-Treat." They sing a little jingle, which I thought was especially cute. I had no idea what they were saying but it was precious. The other different thing was the children's fascination with the mini or fun-sized candy bars. They were amazed. I didn't know this but, in Germany, they don't make mini candy bars. The Germans, that participate in Halloween, hand out the normal size bars. The kids thought it was the coolest thing. It's the little things in life.
November was my favorite month in Germany, to date. First of all, ever other week in November has a military holiday wrapped in there. Fact! Who wouldn't love November, right? Also, this month involved many firsts for me: my first musical rehearsal, my first Veteran's Day off, my first Thanksgiving away from my family (which shockingly wasn't that bad) and my first ski trip to Austria.
Veterans Day was a great day. Living in a military community makes it so much more alive. I mean that being around Veterans on a daily basis reiterates the importance and the impact that they all have made. I am grateful to have experienced that day in the presence some of the best men and women, ever. Thank you Veterans.
My first Musical rehearsal was a little bit overwhelming. I knew instantly that it would be a good fit plus I got to hang out with Cory and Becca. I love having friends. I had deeply missed having friends with my same interests...meeting Becca was like a german-fied version of my best friend Heather Fowler. Plus, I got to sing and dance (and...err act?). Thank you, KMC Onstage, for that.
Austria came next...I ♥ Austria. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, should got to Austria. Add it to your bucket list. Adam and I decided to spend our Thanksgiving in Zell am See, Austria, mostly on a whim. Adam knew I was dreading the holiday season and my homesickness was still hovering. I had mentioned taking this trip once before and he said cool. So, one day on my lunch I went and signed us up without any thought (How cool is it that I can go sign up for a four day trip to Austria on a whim? I guess that is a perk to being here). Let me just say, Austria is beautiful. It is by far the prettiest place I have ever been. Keep in mind, it out ranks Singapore and Bali, Indonesia on my list of places I have been. That is pretty darn impressive. We took a charter bus to Austria on Thanksgiving day.
We woke up to snow here in Germany, the first of many days like this. It took us 8 hours to get to our destination. The Austrian hotel we were staying at prepared us a 3 course Thanksgiving dinner. So sweet considering Thanksgiving is obviously an American holiday. The food was amazing. I tried pumpkin soup for the first time. It was fabulous!
The second day was our first ski day. I found out, quickly, that I can not ski. I'm terrible, like beyond bad. I fell so many times and at one point took my skis off and hiked back up a mountain because I didn't think I could make it down. Even though I fell a lot I still had fun. I ended up being separated from Adam so I went into this little pub on top of the glacier. There I met this nice couple from Holland. We sat and talked and I told them about America. They told me about Amsterdam. In the middle of our conversation, this group of drunk, Austrian men came up to us and bought us shots of Schnapps. Austrians love their Schnapps :). Adam had joined us right as the Austrian men approached us. That was the perfect ending to my very first ski experience.
By the third day, I was so sore that I decided to for go skiing and venture into the little town of Zell am See. This was the best decision I made. Adam still wanted to snow board so we split up. Luckily, one of the guys from our group decided to go into town with me so I didn't have to go alone. We walked and walked and walked that day. It was the prettiest town I have ever seen. The town of Zell am See is structured around a beautiful lake and sets right under the glacier. It is amazing. I shopped for a few souvenirs but mainly focused on taking in the little sites that the town had to offer. I loved it.
We made the track back home on that last day. It was a great weekend in Europe, I great weekend indeed.
December was a whirlwind. I was busy, busy, busy. The copious amounts of snow in combination with work, working out and the musical made for one busy/frantic Stephanie. It seemed like there was a work delay every week in December. I'd get to work two hours late, because of snow, have to run around training co-workers, get off, run to the gym, run to musical rehearsal and then run home and sleep. It was pure madness. I liked it though. It was a distraction from being homesick and I got to decorate for Christmas.
Awe Christmas. I loved having my own home to decorate. I ended up having seven decorated trees. Yes, seven. Seven trees of all shapes and sizes big, small, green, gold it was beautiful. I also got some custom German decorations: a hand-carved snowman that smokes his pipe when lit, a huge, musical, wooden advent calendar and some plaster ginger bread houses. I even cooked my first Christmas dinner. Adam and I skyped with the family when opening our gifts. It was like we weren't even missing... awww technology how I love thee. I really enjoyed it. Our first Christmas in Germany was a huge success.
The musical opened, a week late due to snow, with a bang. There were extreme highs and extreme lows through the rehearsal process but in the end we all pulled it together. Sadly, I was only in the show for one of the weekends. I blame the snow for my short run. Nevertheless it was fun while it lasted. Plus, I met some really fun girls. Girls that like to have baguette fights in the grocery store and eat dinner and breakfast on the floor (you know who you are). Thank you ladies for your kindness!
The best part about December was planning my return to Oklahoma. I was due to return in January so I was excited with anticipation for the whole month. Woo!
The first week of January was quick. I was due to return home the first weekend of January, if Space A permitted. Unfortunately, it did not. It was a disaster. Let down after let down, cancelled flight after cancelled flight led the Willis' to buying overly expensive tickets 12 hours before the commercial plane took off. Plus, I had to fly alone for the first time. Blegh.
It turned out to be okay. The only set back was a 2 hour turned 7 hour delay in Memphis. Apparently, the snow followed me from Germany to Oklahoma and Memphis. It didn't matter I was tired and cranky and just wanted to be home. Luckily, after 5 hours of setting on the runway in our plane and a 55 minute flight (yes, I waited 7 hours to fly 55 minutes, ironic huh!) I made it home. I wanted to kiss the red dirt and the nearest QuikTrip. I ♥ you Tulsa!
I stayed in Tulsa for almost 3 weeks. It went by way too fast. I made trips to MacTown and Indianola to see my friends and family. I hung out with the cutest, most entertaining, 3-year-old ever. I ate my favorite foods, shopped at my favorite stores and made some memories with the people that know me best. I love Oklahoma. There is definitely no place like home.
So here we are nearing the end of January 2011. It has been a good year so far. I'm excited to see what 2011 has to offer. It was fun catching up! I am making it a personal goal to stay onto of all my adventures. I will do my best.