Monday, April 30, 2012

Mike and Jolyne sent over some additional pics from the Easter break trip!

I think this is the best one of the three of us! I love it!

Our tourguide, Joel!

I love this one of us Jolyne!

What a trip... I miss you guys! It was a total tease getting to spend a
week with you and then going back to total independence!

Glorious inaugural day at the lake
for Thibault's birthday!

Mmm Shauna and I made oreo balls for Thibault's birthday 'cake'.

The water was verrrry chilly, but it was about 80 degrees outside!
Or rather, 28 degrees :)

Nearly everyone took a plunge!

My team: Team Concentration with our fearless captain, Thibault

All in all, a fantastic day! Can't wait for many more lake days to come

I got pictures from Darren, Gemma, Mishu, and Thibault :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

This morning I was out the door by 6:30! I know that's nothing new for you working folk, but when you're out of the routine, anything before 9:00 is an ungodly hour. We got to school by 7:00 to make copies for our 8:00 presentation (I think we rocked it, but my view may be slightly skewed). The only other people on the entire campus were a few custodians... Poor Morgan was exhausted! Good thing Monday is our only day with more than one class :)

This is us in more alert times:

Friday, April 20, 2012

An update on daily life....

Morgan and I are having the busiest week of school yet! I had an American Politics test Monday (which was a lot more difficult than expected) and we're working on a presentation about structuralist criticism... The teacher even commented that it was the hardest topic, so we're in for a lot of fun.

I've been trying to convince my parents for yearrrrrs that cleaning was a bad idea. Last night, cleaning my bathroom floor, I stood up and hit my head on the bathroom sink. I don't think my headache is ever going to go away! Morgan woke me up throughout the night in case I had a concussion.
No more cleaning for me!

My mailbox has been so happy this week! I got letters from my mom, grandma, and Aunt Dianna! Mail is so exciting. I hang them up on my wall and it makes my blank white walls so much more comfortable. Thanks a lot you all, it makes my day!

I went to lunch with my Austrian 'family' today! Darren and Morgan mean so much to me, I don't know what I'd do without these two!

We went to a super yummy Mongolian buffet, thanks Darren!

When we go out we have to take our traditional 'family portrait'.

Here's some dorm room cuisine of late:

These may not look the prettiest, but boy were they good.
 Banana and nutella crepes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Guten tag München!
I loved Munich! It was nice to be immersed in German again and the city was lovely. I liked that there seemed to be locals everywhere, it wasn't at all touristy. I scoped out all of the places and beers (solely for research purposes) for Oktoberfest!

Munich was hit hard by the plague in Medieval times. This scene celebrates the end of the plague. After 7 years of staying inside, hiding from the plague, the barrel makers were the first people to dance through the streets, showing the rest of the city that the plague had passed. Every seven years during February real people come out and do the barrel makers dance at the designated times (2012 was the 7 year mark), but the rest of the time these wooden figures put on a 5 minute show three times a day!

An incredibly intricate and small church

We were in Munich, the site and origin of Oktoberfest, so we had to try all the beers. We explored many local places and sampled all the beer and cuisine. At the really old pubs they have steins locked up, as pictured below. The only way to have a spot is from generations back, so you have to be the son or daughter of someone who had one. There are different groups that sit at a certain table on designated days (that's what the sign above is for). We saw one group meet and get all their steins out of the cases! They were wearing their traditional Lederhosen (I have a picture with a man wearing his below). These cost thousands of Euros and are worn on special occasions. Jolyne noticed an intricately carved knife on a man's belt, so I asked him about it and found out a lot of traditions. They carry special knives and forks because restaurants used to not provide them. This mans had a baboon on it, but different people have different things according to occupation or where you're from. They also wear hats that have pins on them. It's similar to the boyscout system where they get pins when they reach a level or complete a task. They have live flowers on their hat which lets other people know that everything is good in their lives (for example, you wouldn't have a flower if a family member just died).

If you only knew what I had to go through to get this picture....

These are our new friends from one of the pubs! In traditional German style you sit at a table with strangers. The man in center spoke English well and I was able to use my little bit of German to talk to the older man. He found a newly minted 2 Euro coin that was from Bavaria and gave it to me. He also collected different coasters from all over the restaurant for me to take!

One of my best friend's initials/nickname is HB! So these are for you Hannah :)

I would love to spend a couple weeks in Munich going through the museums. You would not believe how many museums there are, the size of them, and how they're all right next to eachother! Each museum has it's own theme or concentration, so you see a ton of that one thing. Everyone says you have to devote a few days to get through some of the bigger ones.

The man who invented the X-Ray lived above
and below was once Hitler's apartment.

At the time this palace was built, Venice was really vogue. The king had a huggge canal built and imported Venetian gondolas. He would spend his days in a gondola going up and down the canal. Below is the actual Nymphenburg Palace. It's so gigantic that no picture can capture it. The king had a whole series of mirrors installed so that from his wing he could watch his wife give birth in her wing to make sure there was no baby swap. The king could always go to the queen's wing, but she had to have special permission to visit his. They were married for years and unable to have children, so when they did the king built this huge palace as a thanks to his wife for an heir.

The kings of Bavaria lived in this palace and each one would add on to it. There's a summer and winter palace, only a few miles from each other. The winter palace had heat while the summer palace has a huge park around it.  It would take 14 days, all day and night, for all the servants to move the royal family from the winter to summer palace and vice versa. At one time the servants of the royal family totalled 5,000, all living in this castle complex.

Here's a drawing of it as it appeared in 1730:

The site of the 1972 Olympics! It was beautifully designed and is still functioning. Like our tourguide said, they build things to last in Germany.
All the athletic parts are still in use as gyms, the pools are open to
the public, the big stadium holds concerts and big events, and the
 grounds host flea markets and such. Our tour guide actually worked in the 1972 summer games!

Right across from the Olympic complex is BMW world:

Our tourguide, Max! He had a great personality and was very informative!
Play this clip to set the mood (this is for you Will Beasley!)

Pork knuckle

Mmm "Bavarian hamburgers". Pretzel-like rolls with a meatloaf type pork, covered with mustard! Our tourguide took us in a crowded kitchen and ordered these!