he countdown has begun ... 19 days until we go to Ireland! I've always wanted to go, and now we get to hop on a plane and be there in two hours. We're just taking a long weekend, but are splitting our time between a castle just outside the main city (see above) and then into the Temple Bar part of Dublin, staying right along the River Liffey (below). We've gotten some great tips from our new UK friends and look forward to equal parts relaxing in the countryside and exploring the city.
With so many places on our "to go" list, I have a feeling we'll take a lot of these extended weekend trips to get in as much as we can this first year. Next on my list? Prague, Amsterdam, London ...It's a good thing my husband gets a crazy lot of time off, otherwise, what would be the point of living in Europe?!
Other than making our exciting travel plans, I've spent the week baking: lemon cake on Monday and peanut butter banana cupcakes on Friday, and making American fare: fried chicken and lasagna. Oh yeah, and guiltily reading breaking dawn in two and a half days. Ah, the life of an American housewife in Germany ...
Yesterday evening, we joined in our first "international club" get-together, organized by some other expats living here. I continue to be amazed every time I sit at a table and not only listen to the different languages being spoken, but hearing the accents and realizing I'm in the presence of people from all over the world - France, Italy, Portugal, UK, and even Germany. At time it feels overwhelming, but then you learn something like one of the Germans shared that he happened to be studying Spanish in the same tiny Guatemalan village Russ had done an exchange in while in school, and you realize what a small world it really is. I'm just thankful we get to be in a place where that is so easy to do, and people are so eager to share. In my experience, while CA's population is incredibly diverse, people aren't looking to share with other cultures and mostly keep to themselves; this is a really nice change. Can't wait for the next gathering!
As for other travel plans, we are still working on visiting the States in the summer, most likely August. I will probably come a bit earlier to spend some time with my family and then Russ will join me once he can get away from work. We will be sure to keep everyone posted so we can plan all sorts of outings to catch up!
And don't forget to put Oktoberfest on your calendar, if you are wanting to come for the festivities. We plan to go for the opening weekend, which is September 18 & 19. Once we have some more information, we will share with friends and solicit interest. We'll be booking soon - hope you can join us!