Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hibernating after the Holidays

Hi friends! It has been cold the past month. The kind of cold that makes you just want to snuggle under the blankets on the comfy spot of the couch with your love and your pup and watch hours of West Wing or anything else you haven't watched on Netflix (I'm looking at you Downton Abbey).  

Not that we've been completely lazy!  We still had to go to work for a few days in December.  Walking to and from our car gave us a glimpse into our golden years as we clung to each other for dear life to prevent falling in the icy streets.  Snow this early was rare for Stavanger, but it was all gone when we returned from Germany.

In front of our office in Hinna.

The view from behind our office.  Is that the sun?!


Yes, Germany! See, we weren't completely lazy.  We even made enough time to snap a few pictures in front of the Christmas tree boat on our way to the airport.  I already miss seeing this little boat of cheer in the harbor.




Not only was I excited to visit a new country, but I was especially excited because my brother would be traveling through Germany with us.  I hadn't seen him in 11 months and it sure felt good to hug him again!



I loved living vicariously through his stories from the last year in college and he reaped the benefits of my new tour guide skills as we train-hopped from Berlin...


to Dresden...


Nuremberg...



Hohenschwangau... 




and Munich!  Between the Christmas markets, gluwein, wursts, and weissbier I'm just glad I had a good excuse to wear a big puffy coat around every day.  We definitely indulged in all Germany had to offer.


Though Jeffrey and I have been fortunate to see so much of Europe over the last year, nothing can ever really replace going home for Christmas.  There was some comfort in knowing that my grandparent's house would still be covered in Christmas decorations that I first remember seeing as a little girl and my dad would be running around town dressed as Santa.  But it was hard saying goodbye to my brother on Christmas Eve knowing that he would be home and Mom would be finishing up the fried shrimps, oysters, and clam chowder.  Mimi would be having her fourth plate of caviar and Papa would be sitting by the fire talking to Justin and Dad.  Where's my sister?  She'd probably be cuddled up in the rocking chair with her new little one while big sister holds his hand, willing his eyes to peek open at her.

There really is nothing like family at Christmas.  We can't wait to share the next one with all of them.



My precious niece and nephew





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