Needed Self-Care

Wow. There’s not much else I can say besides that. It’s been almost a year since I last posted. I can honestly say that wasn’t my intention when I stopped posting. However, I can say that last spring was rather busy. I was finishing my Master’s (which is done! Woot!) and preparing to return to the states for my graduation ceremony. I was also trying to start the official job hunt for jobs. Something had to give, right?

That’s where this blog comes in. I had to take a step back from the things that added stress, even if it was miniscule. I hate that I haven’t posted in so long! I’ve missed writing about our travels, which have slowed down, and having an opportunity to share things that we’ve learned as we’ve gone. But, as I said, it was necessary for me to take a step back as there were other things that I struggled with that I think I need to speak out about.

While I know that I am lucky to have the opportunity to live overseas in Germany and explore Europe, it isn’t all sunshine and daisies. As exciting as it is to have this opportunity, it can also be isolating and include a hard adjustment. Before coming to Germany, I spent all of my years living in North Carolina in a fairly small radius of where I grew up. I love North Carolina. It’s fairly warm year round and I lived close to the beach. We were close enough to other things in larger cities that I didn’t think I was missing out on anything. A major plus: my family was close by.

I’ve never considered myself a social butterfly, but I’ve come to realize I might be more of one that I thought. Uprooting myself from my hometown and coming somewhere I don’t know anyone and don’t speak the language was majorly difficult. The anxiety I felt (and still feel) was overwhelming. How was I supposed to adjust to living in a country that was so, well, foreign? I missed my friends, family, and coworkers. That familiarity was sorely lacking.

These anxieties consumed me to a point. I was worried to venture too far out and to step outside my comfort zone. Because of this, I spent a lot of time at home. On the one hand, this wasn’t terrible. I was able to read, write, and watch TV. But, I didn’t meet people. I didn’t make friends. And, because of this, I found myself in a continuous cycle of seeming depression. I have determined that it was more home-sickness than anything, but it was still tough.

I finally had to force myself out. I would go to the library. A restaurant. A coffee shop. I eventually got a job. I met people and made friends. I finally felt like I belonged. I had a life! But, it still wasn’t the same. Visiting home in May of this year also made it doubly difficult as, when I returned to Germany, I found myself yearning for the familiarity of my hometown.

I was stuck at this point for a bit, which wasn’t helped by my returning home again in July for a friends wedding. Do I enjoy my life in Germany? Yes, I have come to enjoy it. Do I miss my life in North Carolina? Most definitely. But, I have to learn to move on and make do with the life I have now. This wasn’t easy.

I forced myself to get out and explore. I forced myself to live my life. I also made sure I allowed myself the opportunity to feel everything that came along with being homesick. By doing this, I allowed myself to fully heal and come full circle.

I still have issues and days where I miss something specific about home (can I please get some Cheerwine, Chick-fil-a, or Bojangles here?). But, I force myself to stop and take a moment to remember what I’m thankful for since I’m here. I’m thankful for technology that allows me to stay close to family and friends. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve met since I’ve been here in Germany. They certainly help to keep my sane. I’m thankful I have the opportunity to travel home periodically to see my family. I am also thankful for my husband because he is my main support here.

What about y’all? Experience with homesickness? How have you overcome those feelings?

5 Things I’ve Learned Since Moving to Germany

As many people know, I moved to Germany in June with my husband. Since we’ve been here, it’s definitely been a learning experience. Below I’m listing 5 things I’ve learned since moving here.

1. Not knowing the language of the country you’re living in OK.

While it’s nerve wracking to be in a country I don’t speak the native language of, a little bit of trying to speak German goes a long way. There really are a lot of people that speak English here and they are usually very willing to help you. I usually try to start a conversation in German and then when it gets past the pleasantries, ask “Sprechen sie Englisch?” and move on with the conversation. I’m hoping that I will start to pick up more German as I live here though, so hopefully I’ll get better at conversing.

2. Not being completely sure of where you are when exploring an area is OK.

I have issues with knowing where I am. I like being aware of my surroundings and having a plan. However, when you’re exploring a new city for the first time or even second time, letting yourself get lost (as hard as that is for me) can be fun. It allows you to find stores, restaurants, and cool little places to explore.

3. I have a pretty decent sense of direction.

This ties in to the previous point. I’ve discovered in our wanderings (and purposeful attempts at getting lost by Jon) that I have a pretty decent sense of direction. Give me a map or help me find some landmarks and I can usually get us to a recognizable place. I might not know the name of streets or be able to tell you how to get there, but I can show you how to get there. It’s a pretty great trait to have I’ve discovered.

4. German Amazon is a god-send.

While I might not be able to find the same products that I can find on the American Amazon, German Amazon is pretty awesome in its own right. It has similar products and sometimes even has some that are cheaper. And the best thing of all is that the majority of the time, your products arrive in 2 or 3 days. I ordered shoes for a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater next week yesterday and received them this morning. This fast shipping comes in handy when you have to order something you realized you don’t have and need.

5. Public transportation is amazing.

Public transportation is a bit thing here. We’re able to make use of trains and buses if we so choose. This is great when we don’t drive somewhere—such as England—or if we park so we don’t have to drive in the city—such as Paris in a few weeks. Most of the public transit here is fairly cheap and affordable, so that also works out well also. Gas is definitely more expensive here, so the possibility of taking public transit for a few euros is pretty nice.

Life in Germany

Well, this is embarrassing. I haven’t posted anything on here in over a month. I have a partial reason, but the majority of it is just lack of time. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, because I have. I need to finish my Triberg series and put stuff up about our trip to Valencia, but life has been hectic for me. I am currently in grad school working on my Masters in English and am taking classes full time. While I am an excellent time manager, my three classes are all reading intensive. The vast majority of my time is consumed with reading classic literature or poetry, writing discussion board posts, responding to classmates, writing papers, etc. By the time I have a moment to breathe and do other things, one of the last things on my mind is logging on to here to post.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to however! I constantly think about posting. I have ideas of some other things to post about once I’ve caught the world up on our trips. I’m just lazy. Haha. I’m hoping, though, that I can start to get myself back into the habit of posting, even if it’s not the same schedule that I kept before classes distracted me. So, I’m putting it in words to make myself try to keep my promise: I plan to post the rest of Triberg this week and start drafting my Valencia posts also.

For now, in lieu of information about that, I’m sure you’re wondering if I’ve been up to anything else. Honestly, not really. Jon and I decided to take a breather from traveling because we’ve seen a lot since I arrived in June. We both wanted to take the chance to recuperate and enjoy some down weekends before fall and winter really hit here. Since we haven’t been traveling, we’ve somewhat worked out our lazy weekend schedule. Saturday is our lazy day. We don’t do a whole lot and, if we do do something, it’s generally cleaning. Oh, so glamorous, I know. Sunday is our grocery shopping day. We get lunch, shop, fill the car up and run any other errands we need to before heading home to do laundry.

It sounds so mundane and normal for my to post that, but it’s the truth. We’ve talked about hitting a few places close by or doing an overnight somewhere, but nothing has come of it. We actually looked at doing an overnight in Paris this past weekend, but with travel times (about 5 hours to drive there) or price for train fares (several hundred Euro. No thank you), we decided to just stick close. Besides, I think Paris needs a bit of planning to execute properly.

In other news, for those of you that don’t follow me on Instagram or friend me on Facebook, we got a kitten. And she is just cute as a button. She drives me up the wall some days since we spend the majority of the day with each other and no one else, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s quite nice to have a little furry friend that’ll sit with me when I’m in my tower (read: 3rd floor) working on school work. Or that will fall asleep on your legs when reading for class. Her favorite position seems to be in someone’s laps or wrapped around my neck when I’m working on my computer. It’s cute and fashionable.

Because of her, I’ve been hesitant to plan trips as well. I know cats are fairly self-sufficient, but still. She’s a kitten and I’d worry about her while we were gone, even if we had someone looking in on her and giving her her wet food.

On to other topics, I realized the other day that I’ve been in Germany for 3 months, almost 4 now and it’s a bit mind-boggling. School has taken in back home and I’m still adjusting to not being in the classroom. I find that I do miss teaching, but I’m quite happy to not be in the classroom at this time. I was getting burned out with teaching and this forced break has been helpful for me and allowed me to concentrate on other things and figure out the next step in my career.

I find that I’m still fairly nervous to venture out into the community by myself also. I’m getting better about it and I think a lot of it has to do with my finally making some friends here (those that know me well know how hard I struggle to meet people) and my realization that while I definitely sound American when I open my mouth and speak the little bit of German I know, everyone I’ve met so far is very helpful and willing to walk me through it. There really isn’t a lot to be frightened of. I guess that is where I put something in about stepping outside of my comfort zone and allowing myself to really experience life here in Germany. I’m still working on that, so we’ll see what the next few months bring.

The weather here has also been an adjustment for me. In North Carolina, we’d still be in the sweater weather in the morning and fiery pits of hell in the afternoon. Here, it’s been hovering in the 50s most days, even dipping lower if it’s cloudy. If this is what October is like, I don’t know how I’ll survive the winter. Of course, that’s what Jon is trying to prepare me for. We rode to Trier yesterday to buy me a dirndl (traditional dress worn by German women) for the Oktoberfest we’re attending in a few weeks in Wittlich and we ended up in a winter clothing store. We ended up buying me a decent winter jacket and Jon is already looking for winter boots for me. Considering this Carolina girl is not used to harsh winters, I might just be a hermit for a few months until the snow melts and I feel safe venturing outside. Haha.

I can’t really think of anything else to try and catch you up on in my life. I pretty much gave it to you in a nutshell. At this point I can only apologize for my long silence and promise to be better about staying on top of my posting schedule. Here’s to a good week (and a dry week if you were impacted by Hurricane Matthew at all).

I am including pictures of my admittedly photogenic cat, Olivia. Enjoy.

Further German Grocery Shopping

Further German Grocery ShoppingWhen I needed to do more grocery shopping a few weeks ago, I decided that I’d brave the German stores again. This time, however, I chose to go to Edeka instead of Aldi. Jon and I walked through it one day together and I decided to give it a go.

The biggest difference between Edeka and Aldi is that Edeka has a much larger selection of everything to choose from. If I had to compare it to an American store, I would say it’s similar to the Neighborhood Walmarts that have been cropping up everywhere locally. They have a decent selection of most things. I would imagine they probably cycle through items also.

This particular grocery experience was much more interesting. Since I’m still not the best at reading German words, I had to do more Google translating to find my way around and locate different things. I think it took me a lot longer in the store this particular time simply because of this.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I enjoyed the experience, but it wasn’t exactly horrible. The worst part came at the end when I was checking out. I didn’t realize that with their produce, you have to weigh it yourself and get the sticker to place on it for the cashier. When I got to the register and my produce came up, the cashier didn’t seem too happy. Maybe she softened when she realized I was American and had no idea? Or, maybe she did an inner eye roll at the stupidity of Americans. All I know is that I was thoroughly embarrassed as I stood there waiting for her to come back to finish ringing my groceries up. Needless to say, once I paid, I thanked her in German and scurried out the door.

My hope is that next time I go shopping, wherever I decide to go, I won’t make such a huge faux pas with something. I also hope that if I return to Edeka that I will be able to actually weigh and get the produce put together without needing to ask someone to help me. I have a feeling that everything will be German without an English translation, so I could be up the creek on that one.

Anyone has any grocery shopping horror stories to share so I don’t feel quite as bad about my mistake?

Figuring Out German Trash

Today is bulk trash day, so I thought a post on our time figuring out how to dispose of our trash was appropriate. First, I need to state that if you are unfamiliar with German trash, it is a doozy. Germans are very particular about their trash. Unlike the United States, they don’t like to mix different things together. Because of this, we have become very good at separating our trash out.

Every two weeks, we have our “regular” trash picked up. I’ll come back to the regular trash in a little bit. About once a month, we have pick up for our cardboard/paper as well as recyclables, which go into gelbe sacks (yellow sacks). To complicate the recyclable game even more, you can’t even put all of your recyclables in the gelbe sack. Some of the bottles that things come in can be turned in to get a deposit back. You have to read your labels carefully to figure out if it can be turned in or if you just recycle it. It took me forever to figure this out; I had to do quite a bit of googling.

Those are the only consistent days for trash pick up. Every so often they have other pick ups for various things throughout the year. So far, I can’t quite figure out the pick up schedule. But, the other days are for bulk trash (furniture, random things that don’t fit in the other categories), yard waste, and hazardous materials. I haven’t seen the yard waste (not that we really have any) or the hazardous materials (again, not that we have any).

It was the worst trying to figure out the pick up schedule and what goes where. We were lucky that our rental agent provided us with a paper that talked about what goes into what type of trash. We also eventually found that our rental agent also has the actual trash schedule saved on his website. That was a major life saver for me because I finally somewhat was able to figure out trash.

I now only have minor panic attacks with the trash, hoping I don’t accidentally do something wrong which will cause the trash men to not take the trash (I’ve heard stories). I guess mastering this (or feeling more comfortable) means I’m one step closer to fitting in and being more comfortable here.

Life Without AC

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So, at this point, I’ve been in Germany about a month. It’s been an experience so far. Besides the language barrier, one of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make is to living without air conditioning. America is really the only country that relies heavily on air conditioning. The rest of the world just sweats it out.

Needless to say, those first few days and nights were a bit rough. I was lucky enough to arrive in a heat wave, so it was upper 80s and low 90s for several days. I constantly felt hot, which is saying something since I’m perpetually cold. After a few days of no AC, I finally (somewhat) adjusted. I still have a few moments where I feel like I might die of heat exhaustion (mostly at night when I’m sweating out of my skin).

Thankfully, though, it doesn’t get as hot here as it did in NC. The high around here most days is in the mid-70s and it’s an odd day when it goes into the 80s or even the 90s here (this week has been one of the odd weeks. Got to 91 here). When it gets that hot, it’s a challenge to cool the house off enough to be remotely comfortable. Jon and I have invested in quite a few fans for the house to help keep the air circulating.

Outside of the fans, the Germans are quite smart when it comes to cooling a house. They have some pretty awesome windows that you can crack at the top, open fully, or shut fully. This is nice because you can simply vent the window or let it all in.

They also have these nifty shades you can buy to put outside the window called rolladen. They come in multiple colors, sizes, and textures. Generally, when the sun shines in your windows, you put those down to cool the house off. You put them down by hand or you can get fancy and get the electric kind. Either way, they’re helpful. For us, we try to put them down in the front in the morning and in the back in the afternoon. The worst though is on a day like yesterday when it’s hot and you want to put the shades down to keep the house cool, but want to vent the house also. Unless you only put the shades partially down, no air will come in because the rolladen make a seal so to speak. So it becomes which do you want more: vented house or dark house?

You also find very little carpet here. Most of it is tile, wood, or laminate flooring, which also helps with the cooling. The only time it can get rather warm on the floor is when the sun it hitting it directly or if it’s an area that stays in the sun. Honestly, with the fans going and the rolladen down, it can get pretty cool in the house overall and I don’t even really notice that we don’t have AC. Until I get into bed that is or go upstairs (remember, heat rises).

To an extent, the US should take note of how Germany (and other countries I’m sure) handles keeping cool. The only reason I think it wouldn’t work is because of the humidity in some of the southern states. That AC is definitely needed. Needless to say, I’m adjusting to this life with no AC and I don’t necessarily hate it. There are just some days I really wish we had AC!

What about you? Any tips on keeping cool in this heat? Leave me a comment to let me know!

German Grocery Shopping

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At this point, I’ve been here about 3 weeks. It’s definitely been an adjustment period. I don’t speak the language and, while I can somewhat read it, German isn’t an easy language to learn. So, when I decided earlier this week that I would venture out to try German shopping, I was understandably a little nervous going in as I didn’t know what to expect really.

Obviously, grocery shopping can’t be that different in another country; people buy the same things no matter where they are. When deciding what grocery store to go to, I went for Aldis simply because we have them in US and I figured it would be fairly similar to what I was used to at home. And, it was. It was also very different. Since Aldi is very similar to the usual markets here–all of them are set up fairly similar and offer the same things–they have a larger selection of various things.

They have a large selection of fresh meats and dairy products. They even have a fairly large health and beauty section. This is quite different from the American version because they have a very limited selection of each of these and, what they do offer, is only a few brands. It is incredibly limited overall so I would end up having to supplement my shopping at other grocery stores. That isn’t really the case here. They offer a better selection of everything and I’ll only have to go elsewhere to buy a few things they didn’t have or I couldn’t find there.

Something else that was similar and yet different about the store was the non-bagging. Most stores in Germany will bag items for you, but you have to provide your own bag or pay about 5 cents per plastic bag. Understandably, most people have reusable bags that they take with them to stores. Another plus to this is it cuts down on the trash or recycling you have. Less packaging to throw away, less trash you have overall.

Going in to the store, honestly, I was a bit terrified. I’m the person that constantly worries about the what-ifs of the world, so I was worried someone would try to talk to me and they wouldn’t speak English. Or that I’d get into a tricky situation. Jon says I worry too much about stuff like that and I should just let it happen. I struggle a bit with that honestly (obviously). Thankfully, I didn’t have to talk to anyone except the cashier and I was able to keep it to the phrases that I know: Hallo, danke suchön (thanks very much), and tschüss (see you later). These are all common phrases that I’ve picked up and feel fairly confident using (remind me at some point to tell you a funny store involving tshüss and Jon while we were in England).

At the end of the day, I was pretty proud of myself. I made it through the store, bought the majority of what I needed, and made it home and everything. Normally, I’m someone that stays pretty close to what I’m familiar with. Of course, being in a new country, I’m somewhat constantly outside of my comfort zone and have to learn to be comfortable with the unknown.

I already plan to try to do the majority of my grocery shopping at German grocery stores and, hopefully, I’ll one day become comfortable enough with it that it won’t terrify me quite as much.

Mr. Fong and Yamamoto Review

Mr. Fong
A week or so ago, once I was settled, Jon suggested that I compile a list of at least ten restaurants that I wanted to try out in the local area. There are quite a few more restaurants than that here (many of them are cafes), so it took me a little while. But, eventually I was able to narrow it down to the ones that I really wanted to try.

On of those Jon and I tried this past Friday evening. We went to Mr. Fong and Yamamoto Sushi & Grill in downtown Wittlich. It probably took us about 10 minutes or so to walk there from our house (which is so nice because that means we didn’t have to try and find parking!).

It’s always interesting to go to a restaurant because there is no guarantee that we’ll have someone that can speak a lick of English and, since we know almost no German, it could resort to pantomiming to getting our stuff ordered. However, while the main waitress that seated us really didn’t know English, language wasn’t an issue during this dinner. We didn’t realize it coming in, but this place has the revolving sushi conveyor that travels around all the seats. So, pretty much, you are seated and you can immediately start eating. And you can eat as much as you want.

I’m pretty basic with my sushi, so I stuck to what I could definitely recognize and tried a few new things. I was even impressed with Jon because he did try some sushi. I know that while he was in Korea he was persuaded to try it and he didn’t hate it. But I was still surprised when he went for one that had fish roe on the outside (because he thought it would be spicier. It wasn’t). They also had small chicken wings, seaweed salad, fruit bowls, and regular salad that went around just in case sushi wasn’t your thing. I thought that was a nice touch because I really thought that Jon would leave starving because hey wouldn’t have anything that he wanted to eat. Granted, I can’t say that it was his favorite type of meal to eat, but I’m appreciative that he took me.

As for different things,  they had several small pieces of sweet things that you could get instead of sushi and at the end of your meal. One tasted very similar to an apple pie and the other was like a dough ball with sesame seeds on the outside. That was a nice and pleasing thing to have at the end of the meal because all the sushis places I’ve been haven’t had options like that for you.

This is definitely a place that we will return to or, at least, I will return to. It’s nice for a quick bite to eat that’s not terribly expensive and very low key.

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Life in the Fast Lane

Life in the Fast Lane
We picked up our car today. Well, Jon picked the car up while I was at a meeting and then met me to take me to lunch. This means that I finally drove today! I got my license last week, but having only one car, there wasn’t much of a need for me to do any driving. And, to be honest, I was a bit nervous about it on the overall.

While many of the laws here are very similar to the US, there are some major differences. The biggest is the kilometers here versus miles. Let me tell you, the first time you look down and see 130 on the speedometer, it causes your heart to beat just a little bit faster. I’m hoping that I’ll adjust to the kph fairly quickly. I’d like to not have a knee-jerk reaction of “you’re going too fast!” every time I drive.

Another difference between the two countries is that Germany doesn’t really believe in stop signs. I don’t say that to imply that they just blow through them and it’s a free for all when driving. I mean that don’t have them. Every so often, you’ll come across one in the wild so to speak. For the most part, most intersections have yield signs or there’s a roundabout being used. Because of this, traffic moves fairly smoothly here.

There are so many other little differences, but if I described them all, I’d be nit-picking at that point. Let’s just say that after taking my driving test and all that, I was very worried to drive for the first time. I honestly felt like I was 16 all over again and leaving my parents house for my first solo trip. I had the butterflies and everything. Once I got going, I was still a little nervous because the roads are definitely smaller here (not much shoulder to speak of) and the car I drive is slightly larger than the majority of the sedans people drive here.

What was really frightening to start with though was the autobahn. The particular stretch that we will normally drive is one of those stretches without a speed limit. They do recommend that you don’t exceed 130 kph (about 80 mph). However, I can definitely attest to the fact that there were some people that were flying by me. Like, fast enough I thought I was standing still.

Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I made it home in one piece where I then had to fold the mirrors so I could get the car into the garage. Another fun experience. But, it fit. That’s all the matters. Now, I can explore! I won’t be stuck at the house all day or reliant on Jon to get me from point A to point B.

As a side note, something that I really like about Germany is that while people might drive fast, they are fairly courteous. I say this because I cannot tell you how many times I would be driving the US and someone that was definitely not going to the speed limit would be sitting in the left lane and people were having to pass on the right. That is actually against the law here. You can only be in the left lane if you are passing people. If you pass someone and you see someone faster coming behind you, you are to get over if you can so they can continue on. How many times do you wish people in the US would do the same?

I Made It!

Well. I’ve been in Germany for 4 days now, including today (Sunday). I wrote a post on the plane I meant to post upon arrival, but I got sidetracked with trying to figure things out, catch up on jet lag, and unpacking. The flight over wasn’t horrible. The worst part of it was that I only slept maybe an hour out of the 8 and a half I was on the plane. Then, I forced myself to stay awake for pretty much the whole day. It was a doozy. I passed out early, woke up for an hour in there, and then passed back out until around 8 that next morning. Thankfully, that seemed to go on and get my body caught up to the time here and I haven’t had too many other issues with sleeping since.
We have tried walking around the area some to try and get familiar with it. Where our house is located, it’s very close to a walkplatz and the major shopping in the area. There’s a little mall close by that has a Müller, which seems to be similar to Walgreens or other stores like that. Had a lot of beauty products and some home goods. The mall also have a few clothing stores. It’s pretty small overall and makes Berkeley Mall look huge!

Around that are the specialty shops. There are several butchers, flower shops, a bike shop, and other things. We even passed a sound store that sold speakers, radios, and other audio equipment. We’ll most likely be heading there at some point this week so Jon can try to replace some of his audio equipment since it’s not dual voltage and he can’t convert it for a German plug.

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I think that’s been one of the harder things to learn to deal with. Before I arrived, Jon went through our appliances and put to the side for storage the ones that won’t work here. We could probably use them with a transformer, but it could fry the engines if used too frequently. It’s a much better option to try and buy 220V items and sell them when we leave. Thus far, we’ve only bought a handful of things that we need and are prioritizing the rest. Some of them I probably won’t mind using on a transformer because we use the appliance so infrequently.

On top of trying to settle and figure out the household things, I’ve also had to get other things taken care of. I have my license to drive here, though I haven’t used it yet. Honestly, while the laws are similar and it’s not that different from US driving, I am a bit freaked out about trying to drive here. Traffic is constantly moving here. Germans don’t really believe in stop signs. They have yield signs and, when one of those isn’t there, you have to pay attention to if there’s a priority road or other things to tell you how traffic flows.

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As a bit of fun, yesterday we went to a wine festival in a village about an hour away called Zell. I discovered yesterday that pictures can’t really do this country justice as it’s hard to capture the beauty many of the places here have. We got there later in the day, around 7 and pretty much just puttered around. They had a street fair as well as the festival going, so there was a good mixture of couples, families, and teenagers around. I will say, it’s going to be hard to get used to seeing teenagers with alcohol. We saw several of them with wine yesterday and I was definitely shocked when I saw it. But, I had to remind myself of the drinking laws here. They are definitely more laid back overall with drinking in public.

We had a lot of fun at the festival. We tried different wines, mostly white since that was the majority of what was offered for sale, and found a few that we really liked. We liked it enough we drank about a bottle and a half in our time at the festival. They also had a band play later in the evening and, even though I couldn’t understand the majority of what they were singing, I think they were pretty good. They also played some American music that we recognized and that was nice as well.

Now though, comes the real fun part. Jon goes back to work tomorrow (he took Thursday and Friday off) and this house isn’t very unpacked overall. So, my goal is to try and unpack the majority of this house while he’s at work so that it can finally start to feel more like home. Hopefully, it’ll help with any pangs I feel towards home.

On a fun note, before I finish, we do get a four day weekend next weekend. We are planning to visit York in England. So, suggestions on things to do are very welcome! We’ve already scouted some things out and have some tentative plans on things to visit. But we are totally open to other things as well.