Fall in Germany and the year of weddings

path of leavesI have to admit, I feel bad for our parents this week, which is a new feeling for me.  Our poor parents, they now have me Katie youngtwo daughters getting married in the same year because Katie is engaged!!!  I wondered why my mother kept sending me facebook messages about calling on Sunday night (no, I didn’t wonder, Linda is a facebook nut, she can’t get enough of wall postings) and sure enough, come Monday morning when I did get in touch with Katie, there was a whole lot of shrieking and crying and shouting jubilantly.  I would have cried with her, but I derek and katedon’t do that and it was funny listening to her lose it the day aftershe got engaged.  It was cute, really, and she deserves to be this happy.  First her nursing job and now her engagement…something I know she’s been not so secretly hoping for for about mmmmmmm 5 of the 6 years she and Derek have been together.  Haha, I laugh because we’re so different, and because I really am so happy for her. 

So this year, we get to plan our weddings together, though no part of our weddings will be joint.  I don’t do joint and I am selfish and like my own celebrations, where I get to be the center of attention. 🙂  There are only a few times in your life when you can have the world revolve around you and I think a wedding is one of those times.  Besides, she wants a beach-ish setting in July and I want a barn/rustic/lake setting in October.  I really thought she was going to try and steal October from me, as its our favorite month, but alas, she did not and thank god because we would have had to fight it out in our front lawn, just like we used to in high school. Ha.  That would be a sight.  Anyway, she already wants to go dress shopping and talk centerpieces and thank god she loves weddings because my poor mother is not going to be thrilled with my planning or wedding ideas.  Thank god for sisters…my mother can tackle that wedding. 

In thinking of the next year to come and the past 26 years my sister and I have spent together, I have noted a few differences between me and Katie:

Katie is a romantic, optimistic, mostly responsible person.  She is a great baker, crafter and caretaker in general. She is like a mini Martha Stewart, but nicer and prettier, of course.  She likes the elderly, small children, and can tend to the sick.  She can sew and scrapbook and run a marathon if she really wanted to.  She likes to have her house in order, and she loves the idea of a wedding and marriage.  She’s probably more like my mother than I am, but she did inherit my father’s sense of humor, except I get to be the funnier one.  She has small hands and pretty eyes, and wants the perfect wedding dress.  She will invite the family that I will not, which is fine, I’m good at playing the asshole.  She will have a white house for her White family in no time, and she will have kids far before I do.  She is the perfect sister…the one that makes you look bad at the holidays, but that’s ok, I love her for it and I really miss her.  A lot. me kate wedding

Me?  I’ve never wanted a wedding or marriage because until I met Chris, I didn’t believe in either, and for the sake of keeping this a nice post, I won’t go into why.  I won’t get married at a church like Katie will, and my dress will come from JCrew.com.  At her wedding, her tables will have expensive flowers, at mine we’ll have pumpkins and while hers will have more money spent on music and flowers, mine is going straight to food and booze.  We all know I don’t bake–didn’t anyone wonder why there are no pumpkin bread pics?  I’ve never wanted a white picket fence…I’ll take a tent and train pass through Europe.  My house is never in order and I make my bed only twice a week.   I am most like my father–funny, temperamental, extroverted, but luckily, she got his nappy hair.  I am jaded, pessimistic and not responsible at all most days….and these are just a few ways we are different. 

I’m excited to plan the next year with her.  She is my best friend and my maid of honor and I’m hers.  Looks like 2010 is going to be a great year…I’m looking forward to it. 

Alright.  That was enough sap for a month.  Jesus, no more girly wedding talk.  Back to my life in Germany.  It’s really german countrysideofficially fall here!  The leaves are changing, the air is a beautiful and sunny 60 degrees and the earth crunches beneath my feet wherever I go.  It was Thanksgiving this weekend inred treeGermany, Erntedankfest, but it’s really not a big deal here.  It’s a day of cooking fish a sleeping, surprise, surprise.  So instead of sleeping all day, we took a ride through the country with the dogs, looking for fall and enjoying the nice weather.  We made a stop in Babenhausen and Tuberlingen, both about within 40 minutes of my house.  They are both really pretty, quaint towns—one a small town with great German architecture, and one a university town, with a cute little town square nestled on a river and a castle high atop the hill.  We gave them both 3 stars out of our 5 star scoring system, and we decided we’d bring family there on the days we aren’t doing something amazing, like touring tuberlingen waterSalzburg or eating croissants in France.  Speaking of bringing family here, there, everywhere…Chris’ family arrives in three days…Today is Trey’s last full day in Europe and I drop him off tomorrow.  I have two full days of quiet to clean my house and then tada!  the Hopkins family is here for 11 days.  The tentative agenda we’ve made makes me dizzy just thinking about it. 

Friday we’re surprising them and bringing them to Volksfest to give them an idea of what Oktoberfest is like in Germany, yet keeping them local so they don’t pass out due to jetlag.  It will clearly not be as crazy as the night we went, as I limit my beer intake so as not to get fresh with the in-laws. 

Saturday is a day of rugby.  Chris is playing in Frankfurt so we’ll be up there, finding something to do.  I really don’t find Frankfurt attractive or entertaining, so I’m working on finding a nice restaurant or castle or something for us to look at between now and then.  Apparently we should check out the Städelsches Kunstinstitut (one of Europe’s finest collections), Goethehaus (Wolfgang von Goethe’s childhood home), the Gothic St. Bartholomäus Cathedral (which offers a great view), and Sachsenhausen (Frankfurt’s preserved old quarter).  We’ll see.  I like to wander more than I like noted tourist attractions…

Sunday is a trip to Strasbourg.  I know I was just there last week but I don’t care.  I would live there and commute tohouse on canal the bases in Germany for work if I could.  It’s that pretty.  Just to prove how pretty it is, here flammkuchenis yet another picture of Strasbourg, the love of my life.   This time I’m going to make sure I find myself a restaurant that serves flammkuchen, one of my most favorite french treats–it’s like pizza, but not italian at all.  Fantastic.  I’m also going to take a picture of this street mime I know that stands in front of Notre Dame de Strasbourg…this mime had the audacity to having a staring contest with me last time I was there, and I”m sure she could tell that I was freaked the hell out by her, which seemed to entertain her.  I could be making this all up in my head, but I can’t let some stupid street mime beat me in a staring contest.  It’s on and I will win.  And I will take her picture and not give her money, just to punish her for scaring me last week.

Monday-Thursday will be days of rest/day trips.  I’ll go back to Hohenzollern (third time) and probably Fussen (third time) and Lake Constance (third time).  They’re easy trips that will keep the in-laws entertained and get us out of the house.  Fri-Sun we have a big weekend of the Eagle’s Nest (which I find boring and not at all as interesting as advertised), Salzburg (I LOVE YOU HOME OF MOZART) and Munich (post Oktoberfest so as to remain alive).   It should be a very fun and exciting week, though exhausting, because just planning it makes me want to take a nap.

Looks like it’s time for me to start banging out my to do list.  That and when Trey wakes up, we just might go find liderhosen and dirndls on sale and vintage clothes in the Stu.  Apparently all Trey wears is vintage tees and he wants a few German ones to take home with him.  Who knew.