Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year! New Family!

It's amazing how you arrive with two suitcases. Stuffed to the brim of course. But only two nonetheless. Then only a short five months later it takes seven more bags to get all of your stuff packed and gone. 

Excuse me. NINE

And I won't tell you how many days it took me to unpack because it's embarrassing. 

 This is my new house! Well apartment! Which I think is so cool to say. This is a picture from the entry way.
This is the living room! 

The kitchen!

My favorite thing of the whole place! A cabinat full of SCARVES :) For everyone to use. I am in scarf heaven!

This is my room! They were so sweet to make it a girl's room after Alain left for the US. They painted the wall and took down ALL of his stuff. Then added things with sparkles! And I looooove it <3

OH YEAH! I take an elevator to get to the apartment! I feel like I am right on the set of Gossip Girl.

Hope you enjoyed the tour! Because I am definitely enjoying living here! The most fantastic first week :) By the way, only five months left Springfield!!!! We are half way through. Crazy how quickly time flies. So I guess now I can honestly say that I will be seeing you all soon!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Schloss Neuschwanstein aka "Cinderella Castle"

Yesterday I finally got to see the Schloss Neuschwanstein! Sadly it was incredibly foggy, but a castle with fog is better than no castle at all right? Photography isn't allowed inside the castle but I got some shots of the outside! And even the post cards in the gift shop :) So technically if you look at my pictures I was there in summer and fall as well! You aren't allowed to see that much of the castle. Only select rooms on the tour. These are the facts I remember from the tour, the tour was in German so I didn't catch everything. 
1. The castle was built by King Ludwig II. One of four castles he intended to build for himself(he had money problems)
2. The King only lived in the castle 172 days before being declared mad by the Emperor. He was then sent to live in one of his smaller castles (how sad:P) with only his doctor. One day him and the doctor went on a walk and were later found dead in the woods. It is unknown whether it was murder or an accident. 
3. The King's bed took 14 woodworkers TEN years to make. 
4. Every room in the castle is themed after one of the King's favorite Opera's. So there isn't an inch of blank wall in the entire castle. 
5. In every room there is some detail of swans, mainly the door handles. The King loved swans. That is why the castle has the word "Schwan" in it. Schwan is German for Swan. 

Happy New Year!!!:)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nurnberg Weihnachts Markt

Christmas Market in Germany! It was so much fun! But basically a lot of walking around and looking..and of course purchasing :) So the best way to tell you what it was like is through pictures. . .

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Very Swiss Christmas

It has been one busy month! On top of it being the holiday season, I am also about to change host families.In 5 days to be exact.Therefore,my current host family is trying to cram in all the things we thought we had enough time to do but have sadly put off until the last minute. However, I had a great Christmas here! And I hope you all did too. I want to paint you an exact picture of what it's like to be Swiss on Christmas. To do that I have to take you back to December 6th. The day when Santa Claus comes. He doesn't have reindeer or slide down the Chimney. He doesn't bring huge presents or have elfs working for him. He does however walk to each house and drop off a bag full of. . .peanuts and oranges! Yes, peanuts like we would eat at a baseball game or Texas Road House. Granted there was also some chocolate in the bag, but this is Switzerland. There is chocolate in EVERYthing.
And there's your Swiss Santa!

Another tradition they have are the window displays. For the 24 days leading up to Christmas, a different house in our neighboorhood has a window decorated with the number of the day and some christmas picture. People are welcome to come by and see the window, eat food, drink wine and basically socialize. As you can see,we went on day six.

The major Swiss department store Globus theme this year was an American Christmas. And according to them this is how we decorate our trees. . .

The Swiss are also very in to candles. This year we have a candle that you burn down to the number of days left until Christmas. A candle arrangement with four candles. Each week up until Christmas we light one. And there are even candles ON the Christmas tree. And swiss houses don't have smoke detectors. Oh and there are are sparklers on there as well. 

Come Christmas Eve the family gathers around the tree and sings (yes in german!). Then there is a reading from the bible. After that we opened presents. And I got my "wish" as the Swiss say. Each person has one thing they wished for and you are basically garunteed to get it. Mine was a Swatch, a swiss-watch so that I can be an official swisser! When all the gits had been opened we sat down for a big dinner. Then had the swiss version of christmas cookies for dessert while waiting for it to be time to go to the church for midnight mass. Though technically it wasn't at midnight because the buses wouldn't still be running when it was over. On actual Christmas day there isn't much activity. But it was great getting to see a special holiday being celebrated in a different way. It's strange how what is tradition to you, isn't even normal for someone else.