Easter at the Gietzels!

19 Apr

So, as promised, more about Germany! I flew into Berlin from Rome on a RyanAir-esque flight (only mildly more sophisticated!) arrived at 10:30 pm, and was greeted lovingly at the gate by my friends, Eva, Wesley (who is a student at Stanford and also currently studying abroad in Berlin), and Jenny, as well as Eva’s dad! I heard, “There she is…TIAAAA!” and turned and ran to them, just like the movies 🙂 It was so nice to have a reunion of the four of us, as we had not seen each other in 2 years.

Eva and Jenny were foreign exchange students at my high school my senior year, and we became such good friends in that short of time, and Wesley and I talked continuously about the day we would visit them together. That day had finally come! After hugs, we hopped in the car and took the 2 1/2 hour journey to Rostock, in Northern Germany right on the Baltic Sea. Jenny and I fell asleep on each other while Eva, her dad, and Wesley (in very broken German) talked! We got ‘home’ at about 1 in the morning and then stayed up until around 4 because we couldn’t stop talking, even though we were all SO exhausted!

We eventually fell asleep, and then were awoken at 10 the next morning for breakfast with the family! Eva’s mom made Wesley and I put slippers on so we wouldn’t get ‘krank’ (sick), which is a very common German/Austrian (perhaps even European?) thing to do. I had never really experienced it, though, as at my apartment it is all Americans, and we just walk around in our socks or barefoot! Anyway, breakfast was the German traditional bread, meat, and cheese. It was delicious. I am loving the traditional German/Austrian food here, and breakfast a lot as well. The bread is SO good here! While breakfast seemed a little awkward at first, because Eva’s parents don’t speak any English at all, it ended up being completely comfortable. Despite the language barrier, we got the messages across that we wanted to. Eva’s mom wanted us to know that this certain kind of cheese was goat cheese, so what did she do? She pointed at the cheese and went “BAAAAHHHHH!!!” to Eva’s embarrassment! But Wesley and I immediately knew what kind of cheese it was! We stumbled through our German and listened attentively to the conversations between Eva, Jenny, and Eva’s parents, and I believe that was the best German practice I could have had. I surprised myself at how much German I knew! (Granted, this still isn’t that much!)

We walked around Rostock all day Saturday and we even got to meet some of Eva’s friends! It was an amazing day, and Rostock is a gorgeous city! Sunday, we all woke up, went to church, had an Easter egg hunt (that Eva’s dad was having WAY too much fun with…he’s an excellent hider!) and had Easter lunch with Eva’s mother’s family. Her aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandmother came to celebrate with us, and we had an AMAZING lunch of lamb, potatoes, and carrots. Then dessert came, and we had a chocolate banana cake…VERY good! Eva’s mom and grandmother took us to the beach on the Baltic Sea later that day, and we walked around…very beautiful! It was such a good day!

On Monday, we relaxed, bonded, and packed. Eva’s dad took us back to Berlin, Wesley to go home and me to catch my train. I got on my train, and there was only one other person in my 6 seat compartment, so I was excited, because it was going to be a loooooong train ride! Unfortunately, within the hour and 3 stops, all the seats were filled. I spent 12 hours on a train with the guy across from me talking in his sleep, the guy next to me snoring, the guy diagonal was just plain creepy, and then a couple that had to be touching each other at all times. Not my favorite train ride, especially since the talking and snoring kept me up all night! But, I arrived at 7:30 in the morning at my apartment, and went to classes, despite no sleep the night before. But overall, one of the best weekends ever!

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