One of the American wedding traditions that we don’t have back home is a bridal shower. And then there are also showers for expecting moms (baby showers). The original concept was to shower the (young) bride with gifts so she is ready for her own household. Granted we’re already living together so the gifts aspect was really secondary for me but I’ve always enjoyed the social aspects of showers. So I was a little on the fence as to whether or not I wanted to have one but the whole “you only have one chance in your life to have one (hopefully)” concept prevailed. My awesome U.S. based bridesmaids really hit the nail on the head in terms of how to throw the perfect bridal shower.
The girls really outdid themselves with super cute self-made decoration including tissue paper pendants, accordion photo displays, a decorated bridal chair, chalkboard calligraphy, arranged flower bouquets and then some. They had also set up stations to sign a champagne bottle where guests could leave us sweet notes for our first anniversary and with notecards for marriage advice.
The food and beverage were excellent with mimosas, infused waters, salad with bacon vinaigrette, fresh fruit, kebobs, quiche and home-made cupcakes. DELICIOUS!
We played a fun game where the ladies had to do a dare or answer questions about the bride or the bride and groom. And then as a take home party favor my bridesmaids had put together this awesome make-your-own tea bar! They had loose Ceylon, Green and Earl Grey teas as bases and then you would mix your flavor additions like orange peel and chai spices in. How creative and perfect for this tea lover!
I’m sooo glad I had a bridal shower. It was so wonderful spending girly time with everyone and it was so festive and the girls’ creativity blew me away. I’m one lucky gal!
I’ve been feeling quite lucky these days and thought I’d blog a bit. Well, my throat is hurting quite a bit again (on and off for the past 3 weeks really but now it’s back full force after a fun filled weekend). But other than that…
Lucky #1: So my friends here make fun of me here because every time a firetruck drives by I wave and get all excited and drool over the firefighters. The other day I get a facebook message from a firefighter (normally I ignore those “stalking” messages but come on, from a fireman!) so we chatted a bit and we went on a date. Firefighter date! Free sushi! Great times! Invitation to attend firefighter recruitment school graduation! Got to sit in firetruck! Fireman suggested Cheesecake Factory! Firefighter seems like a fine guy with brains and muscles, three dates so far. Yay!
Lucky #2: I went to Chapel Hill a good week ago to see UNC play some football. We bought some tickets from some people at Craig’s List and then went to eat pizza at California Pizza Kitchen. Yum! There were people at the next table and they asked the waitress if she wanted their extra game tickets. Well, she had to work then still but my friend asked if we could have them instead and yes, they gave us REALLY good tickets for free. We gave ours away to somebody else then and got to sit in row 9, really close to the field. Super cool!
Lucky #3: On the way back from Chapel Hill to Charlotte the speedlimit was 70. Well, no body ever goes the speedlimit but I guess I got a bit carried away and I was going around 83 or so. All of a sudden I see some lights come on behind me and hear sirens. Grrrrreeeaaat…. So the trooper pulls me over. “You’ve got to be careful who you’re passing. You were taking my doors off flying by me”. Ooops! Well he was really nice. I told him I was anxious to get home and catch the Panthers game because I like running when they play. What the heck but it was true… So he checks my license and he comes back and tells me to turn on the radio to this and that channel so that I could listen to the game! I wound up with a warning, not a ticket so that was REALLY lucky! What a nice cop! Well, no more speeding for me, I always said I’d stop after the first warning.
Lucky #4: Oh yeah so I was out sick for 2 weeks and then the week before that my friend Jens was visiting but nonetheless when I went back to the gym, I was super good and ran 5km in one piece!! Didn’t plan on doing that and wasn’t scheduled to do that either but I just kept jogging and at some point the dreadmill said 3.1 miles. Yay! Now I just need to put that to the streets. Ugh.
Lucky #5: My poor sister who was traveling in India got ill with appendicitis and was in hospital over there in the little nook between Nepal and Pakistan and China in the north. SCARY!! Luckily though she did not have to have surgery (she had to remind them to disinfect her skin before setting the IV and stuff like that so yikes!) and got to catch a flight back home the day she got out of hospital and is now safely back home in Germany. Yay! I mean it sucks and all but I think she was lucky in the end!!
There’ve been some other really lucky things happening but I don’t remember them all but yeah overall I have been very blessed. Oh like I was leading my fantasy football league the other day but uhm yeah not anymore after this weird football weekend. How’s everybody doing? Happy fall!!
Ah yes so I have decided to call my absence from the blogging world my own personal summer break like any good TV show does. Sounds so much better than saying oh I was too busy and too lazy to write and read blogs. 😉
Alas, summer is officially over in this country after Labor Day, the first Monday in September. Seeing that it has been warm here for a loooong time, I never got a real summer feeling. Hmmm. :-/
So shortly after I came back from visiting my sister and Uti in Connecticut, Anke flew out here and we had a great day downloading her music *rolls eyes* and going to Luca’s pool. We then ordered pizza and ate it with skyline view on his balcony. Nice!
The next day we picked up our parents from the airport. Yay!!! It was über great to see them again after all these months! We enjoyed some lovely cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and then watched some olympics and sent the parents to bed early and hung out with Ash for a bit.
The next day they got to enjoy their birthday gift, which was a couples massage. They really enjoyed that so I can recommend that as a gift! I went running and then did my neighbor a favor and let Bacon out. He was definitely one of the sights to see for my family. Next up was a trip to my company where the parents took their time talking to all the Italians. It was quite funny. 🙂 We then went for a walk in Latta Plantation park. Loads of cicadas (yuk) and fire ants (yuk). Quick stop at Aldi to buy some German beer and then finally we had some sushi at Ru Sans and Gerd was too cute eating it with a fork. Hehe.
It was pouring on Wednesday so we decided to go to the museum. The Discovery Place has an exhibit about Pompeii. Very very interesting. Afterwards we hung out in the general exhibit halls and had a blast playing with the optical illusions. 😀 We cooked yummy chicken that night and watched more olympics.
Thursday we relaxed and then went to Target and then walked uptown to Alive after 5. Thankfully some kids tossed an energy drink at Anke as soon as we got there so we didn’t have to feel bad for her not being 21 yet and enjoyed a cool beer. After having some fun there we took the light rail back home and started cooking. My neighbor stopped by to give me his old TV and he and his friends hauled it up the stairs. He sent them home then and stayed to have a beer with my family, which was only mildy weird. (I mean hello?!)
Friday we drove to Charleston. Oh funny story, we stopped to get gas on the way and after filling up I went inside to wash my hands. The plan was to go to McDonalds and get a coffee but when I got back, my step-dad was gone. Says Mama “oh he just walked to the waffle house”. Uhm, ok. Sketchy area and he walks to the crappy waffle house… uhm ok. So we get in the car and try to go there only to pass a garage with cars with bullet holes. Oh-kay. Well we finally make it to the Waffle House and we have a coffee and share some waffles. Totally very American movie like. It was kind of cute how my parents were so carefree and didn’t think anything about wandering around the sketchy area. Ah yeah the sweet German life.
Well once we got to Charleston we headed straight to the beach on Isle of Palms and it was oh so nice. It was overcast but warm and the water was nice and warm too and we had a great time splashing in the waves and walking around the beach. Grabbed some Wendy’s for dinner and then more olympics and bed.
Saturday we walked around the city and Mama dragged us through the souvenir shops (not that we bought anything… ;-)). Weird weather. The sky was white and it was super humid. Charleston definitely is better to see in spring.
We got back to Charlotte in the evening and hosted a little dinner for some close friends. Bratwurst, broccoli, potatoes and sauce holondaise. How German can it get?! 😉 Super nice time and then the family had to start packing again. Hmpf! 🙁 Dropped them off at the airport Sunday morning and I was really sad. It was kind of nice to have a sister in the same country and I can’t wait to see them all again for Christmas (the latest… you never know).
Trade Show in Atlanta
The day after my parents left I left for a week in Atlanta with my company. We had the industry’s 2nd largest tradeshow world wide. I love the customer interaction, all the fantastic dinner food, and getting to know your co-workers on a less professional basis. We ate at really good places and I think I gained 2kg just from that. I have to say, my favorite was a Brazilian Steakhouse where they had a gorgeous salad bar and then bring you all you can eat meat. Yummy!!! As always my co-workers and boss made fun of me big time for eating so much. What can I say, I love food!
Went out with the company to an Irish pub and then tried to party a bit more at our hotel but the security people quickly put an end to that. Hmpf! Getting up at 6:30 though was always super hard and I was glad to go back home a day earlier than originally planned. It took me almost a week to recover from that week!! But, I heart them trade shows.
– I’ve been doing Podrunner intervals to train for a 5km run and I actually ran 2 miles without stopping the other day (that is really good for me! ;-)). This week my legs are hurting quite a bit though. I’m thinking split-shin and am kind of taking a break. Ugh! I miss jogging and don’t want to lose what I have just built up!
– Had a nice labor day weekend with a spontaneous surprise visit from my NJ high school friend and her boyfriend and we partied it up with some of the Italians. Her boyfriend actually plays the fiddle and we had a little private concert in the middle of the night at my place. I guess that’s gonna be a once in a life time thing. Met a cute guy at the club with them and we danced and kissed the entire night like teenagers. It was kinda nice but no dates or anything like that.
– The friggin’ economy is annoying me like crazy and I will only work 4 days a week starting next week. Grrrrrrrrr! It sucks when your life depends on one job, meaning if they’d lay me off I’d have to go back to Germany. Starting next month I will be on my other visa (and my internship is over) so at least I could theoretically transfer the visa to another job if they are willing to file the paperwork but there’s almost nothing out there right now. Very frustrating. Can the recession be over, please?! Bring on the elections!
– This week one of my best friends from Germany is visiting. He had a business thing going on in Asheville and got to stay a bit longer to visit. Yay! We wanted to hike around in the mountains on Sunday and then drop him off in Asheville but the car had a flat tire so instead we hiked around hours at Wal*Mart. Soooo annoying! And their service was horrible, too!!!
Got to Asheville at 8 and then we walked around the city for a bit and enjoyed their hippie festival. Well I had to drive back to Charlotte and got back at midnight so I have been kind of exhausted but ok. Wednesday Jensi got back here and we watched Wanted in the one theater that still had it running. Last night after grocery shopping we watched football and the boys played video games at Ash’s place. I think tonight he wants to eat steak so my stupid hot neighbor gave a me a big explanation of all the good steak options in town but I think it will be Outback seeing that my budget is getting tighter. Well, and tomorrow he is already flying back to Germany. 🙁 So nice to have an old friend here.
Ok yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve written and I wish I had done it more frequently because I am starting to forget what I’ve been doing. Life here in Charlotte is just sooo busy. There are days on which I have sooo many things going on. Take Thursday two weeks ago for example. After work Birgit and I walked our 5km route, which usually takes us an hour. I went home and showered and then went uptown to Press, a wine bar, to meet with Luca and Ash and their co-worker whose birthday it was. I hung out there for a bit and had some yummy pita and hummus and then drove to M5 to meet the girls there for a drink. Yes. Busy. Well, that is an above average busy day even for me 😉 but I usually have at least one thing going on every single day here and whenever I don’t, I feel bored soooo easily. I don’t know how I lived in Germany!!
Some things I’ve been doing lately:
Was visiting my sister in Connecticut this weekend. I got to CLT airport and get in line for security and – wam! They close security right in front of us and lock down the entire airport. Of course we didn’t know what was going on but luckily after 45 minutes they opened it again. I already saw myself waiting there until late late late. Hung out at Anke’s for a bit and then took the bus to New Haven to visit Uti. We strolled around Yale University, went to IKEA, hung out on her awesome balcony (oh I so want one) and then went a Hibachi Grill. So much fun seeing the chef grill stuff right in front of you and flipping and throwing food. Saturday we saw Ute’s doc and then went to Starbucks and the mall where I left a lot of money. But, they didn’t charge any tax so in essence I saved 17$ compared to shopping in North Carolina. Ha! We also participated in some yummy consumer research and got 12$ for that. Nice!
Then my sis came and we all hung out some more on Ute’s balcony with some pizza from Pepe’s until we decided to join the group in Norwalk with Steffi. We left the husbands to themselves and their beers and had a lovely picnic at the beach and then yummy Thai food before returning to Anke’s place and falling into bed.
We played with the dogs on Sunday, took a stroll through Glastonbury with some java from *$$ (Starbucks, eh? ;-)), barely escaped a thunderstorm, went into Target and then I flew home again. Connecticut was really pretty and the houses in my sister’s town were cozy and cute and homely and didn’t all have that same annoying neighborhood look as a lot have here. But, I was glad to go back to Charlotte. Feels so much younger and less like family life (I don’t mean my sis, I mean it feels like it’s a place for families to live, not singles). Yay Queen City!
– Went running last Wednesday and fell over a wide, dark speed bump. I rolled over it like a stuntman pro though and didn’t land on my knees or hands. Got a fantastic bruise out of it; it’s huge and dark! Sadly no one stopped to see if I was ok but I guess I did wave that I was ok when they looked. Hmpf. So I got up and continued running. Of course I sucked but oh well. 😉 I still have quite a way to go before reaching my goal of running 5k without walking in between.
– I had a software class at the local community college for two days the other week. It was fun to be a student again and I learned a lot of cool things. Here’s to hoping that the company makes some money so I can go to Advanced Illustrator…
– My parents and my sister are coming in 6 and 7 days! I’m so excited!!! They’re gonna stay for a week and then I’m off to Atlanta for a trade show. Wish it was longer but oh well. :-/