Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sweet, Blessed, Distractions

Where does one begin?

Well, first, let's just say that it is probably for the best that I haven't been posting these last few weeks. Anything I would have written down would have been horribly sad and depressing. And I think I'd rather move through the pain rather than immortalize it forever in black and white. (But, oh! the tear jerking novels I have composed in my head as a my own personal form of therapeutic torture.)

Luckily I have been blessed with a myriad of distractions... not the least of which was my amazing trip to Germany with Kyle.

To catch our plane, Kyle and I had to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco immediately following the funeral... we left around midnight and arrived in the bay area sometime before 6am. I was just barely getting over a bout with the stomach flu... and Kyle was just starting to come down with it. (When it rains it pours, right?) We got to my house... I did the most atrocious packing job of my life... and then we set out for his house and then the airport. Kyle spent the majority of the plane ride very very ill... but we made it to Europe in one piece.

On the Plane.

Kyle's German friend from high school, Dominik, (he was a foreign exchange student from Germany back in the day) picked us up from the airport and took us home.

Dominik lives in Darmstadt, just outside Frankfurt, in an awesome studio apartment. We stayed with him for a majority of the trip. It was SO NICE (and FREE!). We basically had his whole apartment to ourselves because he stayed with his girlfriend down the street. (Oh to live down the street from Kyle… that would be *SO* convenient!)

Two days into the trip we saw our first live World Cup game in Kaiserslautern. (US vs. Italy) It was absolutely magical!! The fans were amazing. The stadium was amazing. The game was amazing. I felt like I was Harry Potter at the Quidditch World Cup. So so sooo cool. Everyone dressed up and yelled soccer cheers and there were American and Italian flags EVERYWHERE. The whole experience was just perfect.

All Dressed Up.

Just Before the USA-Italy Game.

After the game Kyle and I took the train up north to see my family in Bremen. Again, amazing! My grandmother, Aunt, Uncle, 3 cousins, their significant others, and my 2 second cousins all live in my dad's old hometown. It was so good to see them. It was good to just be there… taking it all in. And when my sister and brother and his girlfriend got there two days later, I just couldn't get over how happy I was. So much family!!! So many people with my last name all in the same room!!! We laughed, we struggled with German and English, we looked at old pictures, we took lots of new pictures, we had BBQs, we went to Hamburg for the day, we watched soccer, my grandmother bought us all ice cream cones like we were 5 years old, we had so much fun! I cannot get over how warm and hospitable and generous and wonderful my family is. I love them so much. My sis said my Oma (German for Grandmother) cried when everyone left. :( So sweet.

Struggling with German English Dictionaries.

My Oma and my Uncle Harold.

My Family!!

Oma and my Sis walking... So Sweet.

Caitlin, Oma, and Me in Bremen.

After four days in Bremen, Kyle and I had to leave for another World Game, this time in Nuremberg, a few hours from Munich. Again, we all dressed up and had a blast. Was sad to see the U.S. lose, but the whole experience was so awesome and the Ghana fans were such good sports that it didn't really matter.

Me at the USA-Ghana Game.

After the game we partied it up in Munich for two nights. Again we got to stay to for FREE!! (Stayed with a friend of Dominik's who lives in the world's SMALLEST apartment... but it worked out.)

While in Munich we saw the English Gardens, a few very cool beer gardens, and some beautiful old churches. Also, our friend, Nihar, met up with us there AND we met up with Kyle's brother, Kelsey, and a few of Kelsey's friends - So cool to have a posse of friends in a foreign country!

Me in a Square in Munich.

Kyle and Dom in a Munich Beer Garden.

Kelsey and his Friends at a bar in Munich.

After Munich we went back to Frankfurt to hang out for the last few days of our trip. We went to house party, drank a lot of beer, watched A LOT of soccer on the GIANT screen TVs that Germany had set up in all of the host cities, went to the Goethe house, and went to the natural history museum (which is sorta tough to appreciate when you don't speak the language and therefore can't read the plaques and signs next to all of the exhibits - but whatever.)

Drinking some Apfelwine in Frankfurt with Dominik's Mom.

Celebrating in Frankfurt the day Germany beat Sweden!

And then we had to leave.


Luckily we didn't come straight home. We stopped for two nights in Montreal, Canada. What a beautiful city!!! We walked around Old Town, had a fancy dinner, toured the Notre Dame Basilica, saw the super cool Latin Quarter, drank some local microbrews, saw the University of Quebec and McGill University, walked along the waterfront, and hiked in Mount Royal Park. We packed a TON into a day and a half!

Juxtaposition of New and Old in Montreal, Canada.

And then we had to come home.

:( :(

BUT! Luckily we came home just before a 5 day weekend at work. So we got to relax and play in San Francisco for a while before I had to suck it up and come back to work.


And so that's what I've been up to.

It's been so good to be busy (I'm finding that I really really don't like to be alone these days… harder to find distractions when I'm by myself) In fact last night was the first night Kyle and I spent apart since my dad passed away... I stayed up late and tossed and turned this morning...not so good. But it is what it is. When I'm feeling overwhelmed I try to push all thoughts from my head and just focus on being strong and on remembering happy things. When that doesn't work, I lie down and let myself cry.

But I must admit, I much prefer the distractions...

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