Well, as usual, I’m a day late (or so) and a dollar/Euro short. MERRY CHRISTMAS to much of the world and a belated Fröliche Weihnachten to our friends here in Europe (particularly those in German speaking countries).
For my family back in the States…. I’ve got presents for many of you, but I actually haven’t finished shopping so you’ll be getting many of your Christmas presents as quasi Presidents Day presents or something to that affect. Many apologies to you for that.
We’re on a 5 day break here in Germany. For those that I haven’t mentioned this to before, the 24th is the big day for everyone here. Stores are only open till about noon and then the world shuts down for about 3 full days. For those of us from North America, it can be pretty much a yearly shock to the system as we’re so used to almost 24/7 shopping. In this part of the world though, you’ve got to stock up on groceries for the 5 days (and somehow fit it into a tiny European refrigerator and nearly non-existent freezer) and wait it out. On Saturday, the stores will be open, but they’ll still be cleaned out from Wednesday mornings craziness. Then, they’ll close for Sunday and be open for a couple of days only to close again for New Years.
This cycle repeats itself for the next few weeks. Ah…life in the most Catholic part of Germany! Granted, it’s not all bad in that we get more holidays than any other part of Germany and in turn, we get time off to go do the things that we love to do (i.e. cycling, hiking, traveling, snowshoeing and the like). In fact, this time last year, we were just beginning our 3.5 week trip around Vietnam. Seems like only yesterday or maybe the week before.
Today we took our brand new snowshoes and poles down to Lenggries and Brauneck for a day of playing around in the snow. Our location in town puts us close to a train station that goes directly out of town toward the mountains. It’s called the BOB (Bayerische Oberland Bahn). The best part is that it generally goes very close to where we want to be anyway so we don’t have to drive or worry about traffic. Pretty awesome! Here’s a link to the photos.
We’ll be going back out on the weekend as there should be a bunch more snow in the mountains and it’s getting colder so it ought to stick around awhile too. The thought is to maybe head down either a bit closer to Innsbruck or Salzburg and get higher up in elevation. Don’t worry… more photos to come when we go.
Lastly and maybe most importantly, I know that I’m really a shit when it comes to communicating with friends and family back home. Having said that, believe me, I think of you very often. You’ll just have to trust me on that one. I figure that if I haven’t learned to pick up the phone at age 46, it’s probably not going to be something I start doing anytime soon. In any case, I love you guys and miss you.
Kera’s far better at that sort of communication but I know that she misses friends and family back home as well.
One last time…. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!