January 4, 2009

A long time coming (fall, winter and everything else)

So yeah, this post has been a long time coming, but what can I say!? I am thrilled to be more busy than I would have ever expected. Between class, and hockey events, and parties with the girls and everything else that comes with the day to day of living in a foreign country, I keep myself running around. It’s a good thing, no a great thing. I can only imagine how bored I would be just sitting at home everyday counting the hours until this season passed….not a good way to live your life.
Since I haven’t posted just a general post in a while, I have some odds and ends from this past Fall (really, was it even here??) and the winter (my first REAL winter) that has followed.

We were lucky enough to have Alex’s parents come visit us in October, and it was such a nice taste of home. I hadn’t yet been up to the Hercules and Williamshöhe Schloss (castle) yet, so we decided to make our winding way up there. Kassel isn’t really known as a tourist attraction, but if there is one thing that everyone does that comes into town, is go to these two attractions high up on a hill on the west side of the city. During the rule of Napoleon, Jerome Bonaparte (why do all famous men have brothers with weird names…uh, hello, Jeb?!?) was given reign over Westphalia, a short lived kingdom made up of the states of northwestern Germany. Of all the places, he chose Kassel as his capital home and redesigned the palace here (you didn't know you would get a history lesson with all of this, now did ya?!). His home stood near where now the huge Hercules statue and the Schloss (castle). Its all situated in a large, wooded park, along with the world’s largest down hill fountain…go figure.

I thought that the most impressive part was the view that the moment provided of the whole city of Kassel. You don’t realize how large the sprawl of the town is until you see if from its heights. It really was a beautiful sight, and I am glad that we finally made it up there. His parents only stayed for 2 nights and then had to return to Canada. We are excited to have them back again in the new year! (and yeah! I finally got ya'll on here :))

Fall in Kassel last about 4 days. Well, at least it seemed that way to me. One day I came home to find all the leaves were turning beautiful shades of yellow, maroon and burnt orange. I would walk through the paths around our apartment and wade through leaves strewn on the sidewalks, looking like the yellow brick road. And then, in the next couple of days they all seemed to fall off the trees, and it seemed that just days after that the wintry chill blew in.

And then came the snow….dammit! Ok, who told me that “it hardly ever snows in Kassel. Maybe 4-7 days, but only in January”? I am sorry, but this year, you were mistaken. It has snowed for way more than a combined week here and it is just the beginning of December! And its supposed to get colder?!? Ok, maybe sitting on my (warm) couch, doing nothing (underneath the blankets) all day long isn’t sounding all that bad. I am such a wuss though. I can immediately tell by the light coming in our window in the morning if it is snowing or not. For some reason, it glows orange here when it snows, or at least it seems that way to me. If it’s the orange glow that is waking me up, chances are I might have a peek outside and snuggle right back into bed. That’s a true Texan for you right there.

But besides the cold (and the complaining) everything is going great. Hockey is moving along and we are feeling right at home in Germany now. The Christmas markets have begun here, and I’ll have to make the next post about them. I promise this time I won’t wait a month or two to get that one up.

Oh, and one more thing, we were Wayne and Garth for Halloween. I mean, why not!