November 7, 2010

Thanksgivingless November, Munich’s “American” Mall, Chic European Style, A Fancy Grand House Tour, and a Long Overdue Lazy Weekend

November is one of my favorite months. Not just because of my birthday but because something good always happens in November. Usually it’s just Thanksgiving which is my favorite holiday but since I don’t get to have Thanksgiving this year, I hoped for good things in other places. Like the girls autumn break from grundeschule and a subsequent break for me, too. My host family decided to take advantage of the vacation and went away for two weekends in a row with just a day at home in between. This allowed me the chance to have a bit of a vacation of my own; sleeping in, lazing about, doing nothing and everything all at once. After Halloween weekend, the family returned on Tuesday afternoon for a day at home before they left again for their condo in Kitzbühel, Austria.

We spent their day at home together and the girls and I started the day off right with a baking project. I attempted to make the homemade Oreos again and this time, they were even better than the first batch. I had two six year old minions helping me, who mixed and kneaded the dough for me which is, to be honest, the most time consuming part of the whole recipe. After that they didn’t really do much else. I set them in the oven, I labored over the difficult task of flipping the cookies over halfway through (The tinfoil kept getting stuck to the cookies. It was a mess!), and I put the creme filling in between the cookies once they were done baking. And then we ate them! They were delicious, I’ll say that much. Soft and gooey and sugary deliciousness. That is a huge difference between America and everywhere else in the world. We love our sugar. Eenie didn’t even want to finish licking the crème filling off of the spoon – she said it was too sugary!

After baking, the four of us went to the mall at Olympia Einkaufzentrum to get the girls some new clothes for winter. I’d never been to the OEZ mall yet so I was actually looking forward to it. I thought that it would be completely different from an American mall but it’s exactly the same! Shops side by side, a food court, tables and chairs in the the middle, people everywhere. I don’t know what I was expecting but it was basically identical to the states, only not as big and elaborate as some of the malls can be.

We started off at ZARA and began our search for new pants for the twins. It is amazing how stylish and chic the style is here in Europe, even for the kids. I felt so out of place in my jeans and t-shirt, rocking a fleece jacket, and my Uggs. All of the displays for kids clothing were so European chic – flowery scarves, skinny jeans, pea coats in all colors, sweater dresses, ankle boots, etc, etc. While the twins were trying on courderoy, I found myself browsing through the baby clothes, coveting sweet little pinafore dresses and adorable baby pea coats for my 5-month-old niece, Madisyn. I wanted to send a little European flare to my little sweetie back in Montana. I didn’t end up buying anything but trust me, the desire was strong!

How cute is this outfit?!
Madisyn would be smashing!

zara1 zara6
zara2 5039303105_1_1_3

Anyway, it’s safe to say that I am in love with kids clothes in Europe – so much so that I might even consider coming all the way over here someday when I’m a mom, just to buy all this super cute stuff! After ZARA we wandered in H&M which was, as usual, a mad house, but we found some super cute sweatshirts and pants for the girls amidst all of the equally as cute and fashionable clothes. I was officially jealous of their new clothes.

After the mall the Frau took us to their “new” house so that I could get a tour. They’re moving next fall into a house down the street where the girls’ father grew up. His parents lived there for some time and now it’s empty and they’re remodeling it so they can move into the house next fall. It’s MASSIVE. It was built in 1890 and is absolutely gorgeous. it’s got 4 floors and has wood floors and brick walls and way too many rooms. There is an entire separate apartment on the very top floor and the room which they’ve designated for their future au pair is just below the apartment, kind of in between the third and fourth floor. The house has a massive front and back yard and the whole property is surrounded by an extra tall brick wall. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I’m jealous that I don’t get to live there. There is a lot of work to be done until it’s finished – walls to be taken out, rooms to remodel – but it’s going to be beautiful when it’s done. Hopefully I’ll be able to come back and visit them in the coming years and see it in its finished state!

The family left again early Thursday afternoon and so I had the day to myself. I originally had plans to go out with a friend that night but he canceled due to seasonal ills so I decided to take the day for myself instead. I went grocery shopping and then restocked my bathroom toiletries with new lotions and body wash and what not. I was running low and had been putting it off. I did laundry all day and tried my hand at baking banana bread. It was a success and I am officially a master. I watched a disc or two of Desperate Housewives over the course of the day – I am obsessed with this show - and I made myself an elaborate lunch and dinner just because I could. I took a deliciously (I like this adjective, obviously) wonderful shower and used all of my new bath products. In the end, it made for a wonderful day of rejuvenation, productivity, and me-time. I enjoyed it. Maybe a little too much. Because I did it again on Friday, too.

I went out with friends that evening and we met at a new bar we’ve discovered called Cafe Trachten-Vogl. It’s definitely a new favorite – it’s got kind of a cozy 1970’s vibe to it and it’s got a lot of comfy couches and chairs and just a really mellow, indie ambiance. We had a beer and then moved on. Jessica and I had brought along our own concoction of rum and Coke so we were definitely buzzing. We left our friends behind and spent the rest of the night wandering the streets looking for new bars (and boys, of course) and ended up dancing with 7 or 8 Irish men at a Kultfabrik club. After they rudely ditched us, Jess and I decided to leave and randomly ran into two friends that Eric and I had met during our trip to Regensburg. Ondřej (pronounced like Andre, kind of) is from Czech Republic and Nikola is from Bulgaria (but Eric and I fondly refer to him as Victor Krum). They had a friend from France with them so the three boys accompanied Jess and I to the train station and kept us company as we traveled home. It was good seeing them again and hopefully we can all go out together again while we’re all here at the same time.

Saturday was lazy again. (I swear, there’s something in the water…) I laid around for most of the morning, taking advantage of being able to sleep in, and watched even more Desperate Housewives. Eventually Eric came by and brought Glühwein, which is a seasonal wine here in Germany that comes out around Christmas time. It’s hot wine and it’s actually pretty good! But it made me so ridiculously tired. Eric and I started watching a movie and I passed out for the last hour or so of the film. I couldn’t stay awake! After the movie, I got ready to go out again and met Fio and Nathan at Cafe Trachten-Vogl. We didn’t stay out for long because we were all ridiculously tired so I made it home by 10:30.

Sunday has been much of the same. Slept in, read my book – I just started reading The Last Symbol. I hope to meet up with friends at some point during the day. I’ve been feeling kind of remorseful that I let this weekend be so unproductive but maybe it’s just what I needed. Unfortunately, it’s getting much colder here in Munich so I can only imagine that there’s going to be a lot more of staying in and being lazy but I’m going to try to do everything that I can to fight that. I’ll get back into jogging in the mornings – I definitely let that slip past me. Hopefully I’ll get out and travel a bit more. Maybe Berlin or Milan. Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks and I can imagine that will make me sad, seeing as I won’t be with my family for the first time in my life. I usually visit my sister-cousin, Christy, and her kids and so it will be hard being away from them this year. I will survive but it’s going to be a long end to autumn. Winter is on it’s way in – the trees are almost completely bare now – and the colors of fall are dissipating. Before long it will be snowing and Munich will be beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I think I’m ready for this.

DSCN8712Gorgeous Munich sunset outside my window – Thursday night


Alena said...

Isn't it crazy how being an aunt makes you see all baby things in a new light?? I love it! *heart* My neice, Cinda, just turned one last month, and she's going to be a big sister in March - just found out I'm going to have a nephew, too! :) That outfit is ADORABLE!!! I think we're going to try and get Cinda a play kitchen for Christmas this year :)

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