"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad
Don't forget to add it to you bookmarks and blog feeds. We may not be tramping around Europe anymore, but I promise we will still have good stories to share and plenty of pics of Penelope!
We have had the most amazing, unbelievable year here. It's hard to believe that one year ago we knew next to nothing about the country and culture of Germany, and I knew not a single word of the German language. And now we feel so comfortable in this home away from home we can't bear to leave.
Yet as I sit here surrounded by bags and suitcases and leaving becomes that much more of a reality, I can't help but think of the many things that await us in the U.S. Things that I have been missing and craving ever since we left last year. Knowing that they will be within my reach this time tomorrow makes the leaving just a tad bit easier.
Here's what's one my mind at the moment:
--AIR CONDITIONING! (mid-90's for over a week with no escape has been torture! what are these people thinking ?!)
--Ice in my drinks (mildly cool drinks on a hot day just doesn't do the trick)
--Free water at restaurants (did I mention that it's HOT here?)
--Friends and family (I bet you were wondering when they would appear on my list)
--Being able to understand everything people say
--Being able to express what I want to say without sounding like an idiot
--My house (it's been a blast sleeping in the living room and all...)
--Having a dishwasher and a microwave and a fridge larger than the one from my dorm room
--Target and all discount stores (and how basically everything is less expensive than Europe)
--Mexican food and all things spicy
--Cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies
You can bet that I'll be savoring most if not all of these things in the next upcoming days.
But in the meantime...
Take a look at this cute little thing that suddenly found herself in Germany nearly one year ago
So as we pack up and say goodbye, we've been reminiscing about the things we'll miss when we leave...
(click on picture captions to read more)
1. Strolls along the Neckar
2. Walking to our destinations instead of relying on a car
3. Exploring castle gardens
4. Learning firsthand about German culture
4. Feeling safe wherever/whenever I am and not being on guard about my stuff being taken while I'm not looking
5. Being surrounded by hills and mountains
7. The Kids Club outside our door
8. The frequent holidays and city festivals
9. Going to the zoo that's only a few minutes away
10. Beautiful, historic buildings on every street
11. Fresh bread from the bakery (on every corner)
12. Having a drink at a cafe in the Marktplatz
13. The busy Hauptstrasse
14. Cheap booze
15. Views of Heidelberg from the Philosopher's Way and from the castle
16. Easy access to the rest of Europe (especially thanks to cheap flights on Ryanair)
17. Gluwein and Christmas Markets
18. Trinkschokolade at Schillers
19. Playing in the snow
20. Beautiful churches
21. Meeting people from around the world on a daily basis
22. Afternoon tea and Kuchen with friends
23. Our favorite cheap lunch place, 'Falafel', and the chef at 'Couscous', and Doners
24. Traveling by train
And so many, many more