Bring on the Bling

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My last few weeks in Kiel...

My last 2 weeks in Germany have come and gone. I’m now sitting in my hotel in Prague, remembering the whirlwind that happened. Where has the time gone? I remember speaking with President Barth from my stake in Utah about how the time will fly. Boy, he wasn’t kidding. Although I haven’t been able to do EVERYTHING that I wanted to do while here in Germany, I know that I have done a LOT of cool things. I have seized every opportunity that I have been able to and taken full advantage of my freedom.
The group on our first night together. If we took this same picture now, it would be so awesome!

On the 2nd-to-last Tuesday, all of the students went to Lübeck. It’s a pretty awesome UNESCO World Heritage Site, having been habited for over 1000 years. You should definitely look it up. It was pretty rad to see all of the old buildings and check out the museum. One of my favorite memories will be just roaming around the little streets and taking super silly pictures with everyone. I know I’m a little crazy when it comes to pictures, but whatever. They turned out awesome!
Megan, Sarah, Jean, Joy, Demi and I

Most of the ladies sitting on a cannon just outside of the city gates

Joy, Demi, Alexis, Jean, Megan and I
Jean and I outside the city gates
Flying down the streets!
Megan, Sarah and I

Megan, Jean, Demi, Sarah, Joy and I

Lots of selfies!

Eating a church's fine

Rubbing the Maus for luck!
Das ist Kunst!
The following Thursday I jumped on a train and headed down to Frankfurt to meet my friend, Wendy. My grandma bought me a German Rail Pass and I was anxious to start using it. There was a little change in my train schedule, and the direct train that I needed from Kiel to Frankfurt actually started 1 station away, so I missed it. Thankfully the Germans know how to maintain an awesome rail system, so I knew it wasn’t going to be that hard to get down to Frankfurt. Well, 4 trains and 7 hours later…I made it! Thankfully my hostel was LITERALLY across the street from the Frankfurt main station, since I arrived close to midnight.
LONG train ride to Frankfurt

The next morning was Friday and I headed out to do some sightseeing before I met up with Wendy. We hadn’t really set up a time to meet, but I figured it would be in the afternoon since she and her family were driving up from Switzerland. I quickly found a few cool places to check out:

Frankfurt Basilica...sadly the exterior was riddled with construction

Found a life-size Nutcracker doll

Römer Platz

Eschenheimer Turn

Bockenheimer Warte subway station...and yes, it's functional!
 After a quick shower and a brief email session, we figured out when she would be at my hostel. Awesome. We were able to go to the Frankfurt temple for a few hours and catch up a bit. It was wonderful. “Some people are worth melting for.” Or in this case...taking a long train ride for!

Wendy and I at the temple
I just adore her!!
Sunday was a pretty amazing day. It started off kinda early…I got into the main train station in Kiel around 4am. Fortunately, the busses start running before that, so I was able to get back home and take a quick nap. I was nervous because I was going to give my testimony in the Kiel Ward. I had worked with my friend Anna on the translation, so I knew that it was great on paper. The delivery was going to be an issue. I had a lot of new words to pronounce, and I was worried that nobody would understand me. I practiced with a recording of Anna’s voice over and over again. Thank goodness the walls in the dorms were thick! I remember sitting in the church meeting with Leisl, clutching the paper in my hand. I was so nervous! Finally, I got up after the missionaries did. It was fun to see the Bishop’s face as I walked up. He’s so great. Well, the time came and I did it. I had said a little prayer before hand, asking for courage and fluidity of speech. Fortunately, people understood everything! And, not long after I sat down, an older gentleman got up and started talking about me, comparing what I just did to some time he spent in Abu Dhabi. So cool! The best part was that I understood him! I’ve gotten so wrapped up in school with drills and worksheets and tests that I forgot how much I have actually learned. So amazing!
Leisl snuck this unflattering picture of me during my testimony LOL
After church, the Bishop and his wife invited me out to their house for lunch. I brought along Tom, hoping that he would help me keep up. The wife’s family was in town, so we had 2 couples along with 6 kids at the dinner table. I tried SO HARD to follow their conversations, but they were all talking so FAST! And then when they would break it down a little slower for me, I got so frustrated because I STILL couldn’t understand. Thank goodness the bishop can read my face, because he jumped over everyone and apologized to me…his wife and her family were speaking SWISS German! Like, from Western Schweiz. Whew! Germany hasn’t been in vain! LOL We later played Äpfel zu Äpfeln and I actually did pretty good! We then went on a walk to this cute little lake that they lived by. Such a fun night…as we got home 7 hours later…
Playing with the Bishop's niece...such a happy baby!

Just chillin in a Strandkorb...wish I had one!

Playing with the family!
First time playing...and of course it was explained to me in German...

I didn't do too bad...

Tom and I on a walk with the family after lunch...not sure where we're going...

Bishop, Anna, and I at the lake...miss them already!
Anna and I at the lake
Still with me? Okay, so Monday came and the German classes went to the Freilicht Museum, which is kinda like Colonial Williamsburg. It was pretty awesome. We were able to let off some steam at a little carnival area they had!

Joy, John, Hunter, Jean, Megan, AJ and I in an "original" school room

Yup...Megan and I found the giant swing!

Tom, Jean, Megan and I on the train ride through the museum!

Jean and I with Eric bombing...

Hunter, Brian, Eric and I

Megan has no idea what to do with Jean and I...LOVE THEM

Megan and I on the swing...

Joy, Jean, Megan, Tom and I on the merry-go-round

Tuesday was another super-fun-filled long day. I had reached out to Anna to help me contact the Labahns in time before I left. I wanted to hang out with them one last time before I left. They are so special and I was going to miss them. Thanks to Anna, we headed out after school/work for dinner and a fun night at Laboe. I will seriously miss them all!
The Labahn Family and can you not love them???

Anna and I

Saying goodbye to Kiel

I got home around 8, only to be reminded about my promise to come do karaoke with the group. It was the last time we’d be able to do it, and they weren’t going to take “no” for an answer, no matter how tired I was. Well, I consented and took off to the Irish Pub with them. When we got there, I somehow agreed to sing a duet with Alex, who has a beautiful voice! We were struggling to figure out which song to sing, when we threw out “Phantom of the Opera,” hoping that the pub wouldn’t have it. We were…surprised to find out that they DID in fact have it. Uh-oh! We signed up and started to get really nervous. We ran outside and started “practicing” while walking up and down the street. It was great when a couple that had been making out stopped and sang with us. Then, we got a round of applause from a bunch of drunk guys down the street. And THEN we got yelled at by someone who was apparently trying to sleep. Oops! This had to be my favorite memory. Until we got up on stage! So exciting!
Hunter, Brian, Leisl and I
Brian and I with Erik bombing in the background...
Leisl and I in front of the stage
Wednesday took us to Hamburg with Suzann. We had a blast! We walked a bunch, but after Berlin, nothing will ever be difficult again! Best part: I ATE A HAMBURGER IN HAMBURG!! Check that off of the list!!!!!!!
The group at Strand Pauli...a pretty cool beach bar right on the Elbe River

Always getting bombed by Tom on top of St. Michael's church

On the ferry down the Elbe with Joy, Eric, Tom, and our teacher Suzann

In the tunnel under the Elbe awesome!

The group after we crossed under the Elbe...Tom, John, Eric, Brian, AJ, Hunter, Greg, Megan, Joy, Leisl and I

Suzann and I on the Elbe

AJ and I 

On top of St. Michael's church

Hamburg Rathaus

Megan and I on the Elbe...just lovin' each other!

Thursday was our last day of classes, and for Andrew and I, our last day in Kiel. It was so surreal. I think because I had been traveling every weekend and we had a few excursions the last 2 weeks of school, it seemed to just FLY by. We had a closing social dinner on the Fjord, where we all got diplomas and CAU t-shirts. They were pretty awesome. It was great to just enjoy each other’s company on our last night. Andrew and I were the first ones to leave. We had no idea it would take us so long to get out of the banquet room. I hugged so many new friends! I was sad to leave them, but we had a train to catch…
Jean and I at our banquet juice for us!

Alexis, Jean, me, Kate, Sarah, Demi, Megan

Me and my 2 awesome teachers! Svenja and Suzann...going to miss them!

Alexis and I waiting for the bus in the rain! Going to miss this chica!
So glad to have had so many awesome experiences! This trip has been a blast so far, but is far from over...on to Prague, Munich, and Berlin! Stay tuned...

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