Hurry Up, We're Going to France
Ten Princeton kids visited one of our sister cities today. It was a beautiful day in Colmar. We enjoyed the Easter Market, and Errol made sure we feasted on authentic Alsatian cuisine.
I'm a big fan of the day trip, and the flexibility they offer. I took the twins and Vinnie back to Freiburg a few hours before the rest of the crew returned.
We’re going on lots of adventures while Lauren and her family are here. The rain is doing a decent job of staying away.
We hiked up Schneeburg to explore castle ruins and today rode the Schauinslandbahn, apparently the longest cable car in Germany, up the Schauinsland mountain. There was still plenty of snow up there, and it was clear enough to see all the way to the Swiss Alps.
We split up after lunch in Günterstal. Lauren and Nick took Thom and Charlotte to Basel for a taste of Switzerland. I stayed with the four littles at the playground and then met up with Errol at Freiburg’s Museum of Nature and Man.
Always plenty to see and do.
Yesterday was my last day of my winter intensive language course. I’m both happy and sad to be done.
This round of class was a lot different than my first go. The majority of students in my September course were American college students in Germany for a semester. I got the impression that many were here for Oktoberfest...
I was the only American in this class that just finished. A lot of the students were visiting Freiburg just for this month of language study. We had students from Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Czech, and Canada. I was still the oldest by quite a bit--the next was a 25-year-old med student, but the age gap didn’t seem as big of a deal.
The time commitment required for these classes is challenging. It’s why I’m relieved at the course’s completion. Having a full schedule gives me a sense of purpose. I enjoy the occasional quiet weekend, but I like a busy day with places to go.
These two are on Easter break until April 9! They loved picking up the twins from kindergarten today.
Soak It Up
On my bike, I try to keep, at minimum, one hand on the the handle bars at all times.
It’s the least I can do. When I ride, I don’t wear a helmet and listen to music so my safety rating isn’t the greatest.
But, yesterday, I just couldn’t help myself. It was so sunny. It was warm. It felt amazing.
The Sunday streets were deserted, and I had my own Meg Ryan moment.
Yesterday we spent the afternoon Eastering at church. The kids dyed eggs and made dough creations.
The weather was beautiful, and the twins were introduced to the outdoor games of potato sack races and egg/spoon relays--with mixed results.
King of the World
My approachability reached a new level today.
I took the kids to the Mensa for lunch. I get student rates this month since my Deutsch class is 20+ hours a week. They were served Cordon Bleu with fries.
After we finished eating, the kids went to play (tackle each other) in the nearby grass. A man approached me and asked me something in German. All I caught was “pommes.”
“Sorry, my German isn’t very good.”
“ I am asking if we could have the pommes you did not eat.”
“Of course,” I say and hand him my plate.
He took the fries, thanked me, and walked back to his friends.
I like that people are comfortable around me and feel free to be themselves, but I can’t help but sense a line was crossed today.
Sharing plates seems like something reserved for those in close relationships.
Just last week, I saw a couple trade plates with one another. I gave my friend across the table a look: “Did you see that sweet intimacy?” (he did).
I’m nobody’s baby. I’m everybody’s girl.
I had the First Aid Kit song in my head the rest of the afternoon.
Last night a friend from my Deutsch class came over for supper. She is 21 and from Ankara, Turkey.
It was fun to share a meal with her in real life since we talk about food in class all the time. We’ve gone through many scenarios of ordering in restaurants and going grocery shopping. Even though we’ve never been out together, I know how she likes her coffee and all her favorite and least favorite foods.
The kids weren’t thrilled about cleaning for a guest but enjoyed having someone new around to show off for. She won their hearts completely when she brought them Turkish sweets.
Don't Fall Off
Neddy had a flat tire so the boys couldn’t ride their bikes to kindergarten. This was our compromise in the moment of disappointment.
Anne Thomsen lord
Writings on our year abroad.