Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One Day, Baby, We'll Be Old (la vie is BACK!)

We are home.
It's so bittersweet coming home, isn't it? There are definitely joys in returning to the familiar. I absolutely love when the customs officer says, "Welcome home" to me as I re-enter the USA. I love our little apartment, I love our little walks and our rituals, and of course- we missed our family + a sweet little blue-feathered bird... but there is so much on the other side.
Quaint villages tucked into mountain sides, visible as you drive down the road.
Your choice of the greatest bread in the world at several bakeries only a minute away.
Fresh, house-made gelato in a zillion flavors.
Towns set up to *walk* through, not drive through.
Several friends so close that I call them family.
The last one is the hardest. Leaving them behind is nearly impossible, I never know when we'll be together again... and none of us are promised tomorrow. There were so many tears for me. I always revert to an eight year old when it's time to say goodbye and refuse to leave. This time around, I swore to plant myself in the garden like a tree and stay there forever.
Didn't work out that way.
But we had an incredible time. The wedding was beautiful- and let's talk about how they believe in FOOD at Polish weddings. Oh.my.word. I have never eaten so much! Every 30 minutes they brought out more food, more courses... way into the night. We're talking 2 AM. Dancing, food, espresso, desserts (lots and lots and lots), laughter, speeches, songs... it was out of this world.
Poland was our nemesis at first. Verizon really dropped the ball and didn't activate our phones for travel after we called them. So when we arrived we had no way of contacting our (Polish-speaking) friends. It was really cool. We ended up cashing in our money to some thieves people who stole took $300 from us. Amazingly, we were still able to get around and eat the entire time despite the loss. We couldn't bring home souvenirs (just chocolate for friends + family), but that was OK. The experience was so wonderful, we didn't need things. Oh, and hey... after that... we managed to make it from the airport across the entire country by ourselves. It took forever, but we did it. Whew. And in case you're wondering... "Wroclaw" is pronounced "Vro-swev" in Polish. Once we figured that little detail out, we got where we were going much more easily.
Pauline, the 4th child (I LOVE her!) and Andi, the 2nd
The bride was beautiful. Her name is Tabea, and she is the 3rd child of my German family. She is all loveliness and pure kindness. She sets an example of love for everyone she meets. Both of the married children in the family married Polish people, which is making me wonder about the other two unmarried ones!
Literally a stone's throw away from the church!
With Andi in front of Frauenkirche
Just one turtle shy of a crime-fighting mutant gang.
Frauenkirche
On the way back to Germany, we stopped at Dresden with Andi and his wife, Ewa. Amazing. Such a beautiful city. I can't even talk about how amazing our "room" was. It turned out to be an entire apartment which was both larger AND better furnished than our actual apartment at home. Oh, and it had wood floors. I was dying. Plus, the view was ridiculous. It was directly across from Frauenkirche, which is the main attraction of Dresden. We could have thrown rocks at it from our window... but I'm pretty sure they would have frowned on that.
Ewa + the world's cutest dog, Lina
The never-ending walk up the mountain

Anna + Silvio at lunch
The castle
We also went to Heidelberg. I'd been there before but mostly to see the zoo. After a seemingly endless (and crazy sweaty) hike up the mountain, we got to see the castle. It's so stinking cool. From up there you could look out over all of Heidelberg, too. While we were in Heidelberg, Anna took us to a wonderful candy shop. The smell. I can't even talk about the sugary sweet, delicious smell. The only downside is that once they got you into the shop, they held you hostage at checkout. Anna told me that it routinely takes 1-1.5 HOURS to checkout because the owner talks to each customer for as long as humanely possible.
unidentifiable "American Style" sauce we found at a French grocery store. 
Another day brought us to France. I bought some sweet home decor magazines which will soon become wonderful blog fodder (for more coming blog fodder, see below). We walked around, ate some lovely quiche, and I got to use my French! Yes! It was lovely. Although, my brain totally melted down after a bit and I couldn't even speak English. I started saying "church" instead of "cheese" and then came the blabbering. Ewa is a translator and she said it's very common for people who aren't trained in translating. It's hard for the brain to move back and forth between languages- after a week of speaking German, and then switching to French, my brain imploded. I felt better that she said it was normal.
And then there were the extra special days of just being together! Playing Siedler von Catan at Silvio's home (1st child, and my original friend), long walks, soccer games, a birthday party, a massive brunch at Uncle Michael's and then a goodbye lunch at Mama Martina's.
It was a great time. I miss them already....
It was also super inspiring! So here's what we have...
A. Beauty. I found some *amazing* beauty products over there that I can't wait to share with you!
B. Style. Of course...
C. Home. French magazine... items we saw on the street, there are some great DIYs as well as just elements to bring into our homes.
D. Face. The aftermath from the failed chem peel is over and I'm going to document the healing for you.
E. Travel. Tips for packing bags (and packing less) as well as what to wear on planes.
F. Food. Just a few of my favorite recipes from abroad! Fresh baguette, light + delicious pastas, just pure goodness.
G. Lifestyle. I love different cultures, we all have something to share with each other that can enrich our lives! America rocks, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from other countries.
We'll be riding a wave of inspiration for a while. So stay tuned, people!
As for the title of this blog- it comes from the song below. Silvio played it a lot in his car and I *loved* it. Maybe because if things HAD TURNED OUT DIFFERENTLY it could have been our song. But instead we can sing the song a bit differently now...
No more tears, my heart is dry
I don't laugh and I don't cry
I don't think about you all the time
But when I do I wonder why...
You had to go out of my door
and leave just like you did before
I know I said that I was sure
But a rich man can't imagine poor...
One day, baby, we'll be old
Oh baby, we'll be old
And think of all the stories that we could have told...
Thankfully we can sing, "think of all the stories that we *will* have told".





2 comments:

  1. I am headed to Germany in December and so excited for packing tips!

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    Replies
    1. Lady, any friend of Germany's is a friend of mine! We should chat ;) And yes- we'll get all of your items into ONE bag (oh how I miss the days of two bags allowed on international flights...) with room to spare for chocolate and souvenirs ;)

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