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Sunday, January 31, 2010


Salz means salt in Deutsch. So basically Salzburg is the city of salt. If I paid more attention I could tell you why, but the few things I heard while there didn't stick in the old noggin I guess. I'm sure wikipedia could enlighten anyone curious enough to look it up.

So Thursday morning we had to be out of the hostel by 10 to get our 5 euro a piece deposit back, so trust be we were out of there by 10. Then we headed to old town. On the way we stopped at a bakerei that was pretty full of customers, always a good sign, for breakfast. Ryan got a filled doughnut thing and something else. And because he wanted two things I succumbed to my eye's desires and also chose two pastries. More or less we ate dessert (times 2) for breakfast and I felt sick like I ate a double dose of dessert for breakfast after I finished.

Following "breakfast" we headed for Dom. Wowza! Absolutely astonishing. Dom is so big. Probably two of the Frauenkirche in München. As many cathedrals seem to be Dom was split into sections and when you looked up the ceiling seemed to be domed above each section. Sorry if I am not painting a good visual. And on each of these doms were incredibly detailed paintings. The whole place was beautiful. Downstairs, the crypt had apparently caved in many many years ago and it was only recently that it has been reopened for visitors. They have an art show on display that was rather weird with candles illuminating little skeleton shapes that had larger shadows of themselves displayed on the wall. I did love down there though the colored glass they used in the doors and windows of a very small room that was a mini chapel with several rows of pews and an alter at the front. It was beautiful and very peaceful (other than the young children on a field trip).

After Dom we headed toward the castle on the hill without knowing for sure how to make it up there. On the way we came across a watermill that apparently has been in operation for a long time (again if I paid better attention I could give you better facts) and is used to create electricity to run a wheat mill (I think) that the monks (maybe) use in the bakerei. Hmmmm, not a great explanation of what we saw, but at the time I thought what they had going on was pretty cool. Then we turned a slight right through a gate and were in a old cemetery that was between two churches. We saw A LOT of churches. Although we have yet to go to a museum I think I would get quickly museumed out, but I can't imagine (at this point anyway) of being churched out. They are just so beautiful and to know that people have been worshiping the same God that I do for hundreds of thousands of years within the same walls I am confined in is an incredibly enlightening experience. I love it! I hope to continue to visit churches everywhere I travel. And I doubt I'll find a town without a church at it's center.

As we continued toward the castle we just followed a group of people we figured were headed in the same direction. Unfortunately the tram to the top is not in operation from January 18th to February 5th. Maybe the uphill climb was good for us. At least it worked different muscles than all the other walking we do ALL THE TIME. So eventually, out of breath and a little sweaty, we made it to the ticket booth. Our ticket was all inclusive too, so it would have included the tram if it had been open. Oh well. The way up gave us a chance to enjoy the beautiful view over the city. Once through the gate we continued walking up and eventually were inside the castle walls. It was fun to explore although it was very cold all day. Inside part of the castle we found out that our ticket entitled us to a audio-guided tour that was great to hear (we've done a lot of reading on most places) about the history of the castle. Once again I can't actually recount the information I heard. This is probably why I have never been a good test taker. I remember the things that a teacher wouldn't want to hear about on a test such as what I ate for breakfast. Towards the end of the audio-guided tour we went to the top of the tower on the roof. Unfortunately we weren't up their very long and the wind picked up, so bad that we all headed straight back down. While we were up there though it was a phenomenal view of all of Salzburg and I did get a few pictures. I apologize for not having pictures up of anything, but they will never load. I might have better luck in the morning, but I haven't been waking up with any time to spare if I am going to get to work on time. There was also a HUGE museum (with lots of things to read) inside another part of the castle. By the end we were just walking through rooms to check them off without spending hardly any time looking at things.

On our admission ticket to the castle we saw that we could get 20% off at the Stiegel Brauhaus. I think Brauhaus is brew house, as in brewery. Stiegel is an Austrian company and very old. It took us awhile, but we finally found it. I knew we were headed in the right direction because I started smelling hops at least 4 blocks away. Our ticket included a tour (which was just us escorting ourselves through a huge multilevel museum and A TON of reading), 3 (which turned into 4) beer samples which were actually 6-8 ounces each, and a free gift (the choice between a Stiegl glass or a beer, we each chose the beer). It was really interesting ready about how they were making beer when they first opened. It was quite a process and when the beer was finally made it had a very short shelf life (a day of two usually). The beer was almost all really good. There were only a couple that were too hoppy for me. They had a special one for the month that was really dark and super chocolatey. I finally felt like I tasted some diversity in beer because for the most part when you go out it is dark or light, that's it. They also gave us these cracker things that were delicious and made us realize we were hungary, so we ordered a meal to share. It said smoked trout, but we were still surprised to see and entire fish, skin and head in tact, delivered to our table on a cutting board. I have a picture I'll upload when I can. But I loved every bite.

When we left Stiegl it was time to catch our train, so we walked the long haul back to the hauptbahnhof to find a train to take us to München. We had to wait an hour and once we headed up to the platform we were told o go to a different platform, so we did. Finally a train arrived that everyone seemed to be boarding, so we did too even though it was headed to Frielassing. If you read my last post Frielassing is where we accidentally got off on the way to Salzburg. And when we reached Frielassing everyone got off, so we got off. Thanks to a nice German man who could speak some English we found out the train that should have been coming through to take us the rest of the way to München was not and we'd have to wait another hour for the next train. But because we had just been in Frielassing the night before we knew there was a Norma (a grocery chain) across the street, so we headed over to get some drinks and a snack. Isn't it crazy how if we hadn't accidentally gotten off there we would have had no idea where the town even was or that there was a Norma near the station. Finally our train did come. We made it to München no problem and just made it in time for a train back to Garmisch without having a layover at all. When we finally got back it was about 11:30 or 23:30 since we are adjusting to military time. And folks that it were our first adventure comes to an end.

Friday we slept in, did laundry, never left the Abrams once and tried to prepare for going back to work after a four day weekend.

Friday, January 29, 2010


While we were on the train on Tuesday night and the ticket puncher came by he asked us where we were going. We answered Salzburg and he told us the train was not going there. I was sure it was and got out my train schedule and pointed to Sulzberg. Then he nodded and moved on. So we arrived in Reutte in Trivol and transfer to our next train. We fell asleep on the train and woke up about 15 minutes before Sulzberg. At our stop we exited the train as a young man stepped on board. We seemed to be in the middle of no where and were surprised because we were under the impression that Salzburg/ Sulzberg was a fairly large city. There may have been a moment of panic that surged through me as I watched the train continue on down the track, but knowing that Ryan and I were together and that I had complete faith that God was protecting us made that feeling very brief. We found a sign that pointed down a dark road that read Sulzberg 2 km, so off we went. We passed homes some completely dark and some with only a few lights on as people prepared for bed. It crossed each Ryan and my minds that we may end up knocking on a strangers door or taking refuge in a barn for the night. After this experience I honestly feel like I know what Mary and Joseph felt like when they were alone and looking for a place to stay the night baby Jesus was born. I can't think of anything else that better describes what I was feeling. But the whole time I had faith we would be fine and even thought back to the way God took care of Michelle when she was in need along her journey through Europe.

We finally arrived in town and found everything to be closed. As we continued on we saw lights, as we peered in the windows we found a restaurant still with people in it. We went in and were able to ask in English for the nearest hostel. They did not either know what that meant or there was not a hostel in the area. So I begged for anywhere they knew of we could spend the night. The man we were speaking with turned to a young woman, spoke to her in German and then she put on a jacket and motioned to us to follow her. She led us out the side door of the restaurant and to a separate building out back, up a couple flights of stairs and opened a room with a key. Apparently this restaurant was also a hotel. Praise God we had a place to stay. And for a very reasonable price we also got breakfast included in the morning. The room was very nice too with a flat screen tv and a bathroom. I found a map in the room and had a look at it. I found Salzburg, which was spelled with an 'a' and indicated to be that we may not have reached the destination we intended to. I was not even sure were Sulzberg was. We were relieved just to have found a place to sleep and very tired, soon we were fast asleep.

The next morning I finally found Sulzberg on the map and yes in deed we were on the western side of Bavaria and very far from Salzburg. We had agreed to be back in the restaurant at 10 for breakfast, so after we were ready for the day we headed down. We both asked for coffee, which was some of the best coffee I have ever had. Then they sat down on our table a cutting board full of fabulous looking salami, prosciutto, ham, and dill Havarti. With a garnish of lettuce, cucumber, and tomato. Although I do not each these animal products I can still recognize good quality and these were. We also received a basket full of what appeared to be an entire loaf of wheat bread with small packets of jam, jelly, and nutella. We were quite impressed that this spread only cost us 6 euro for the two of us combined.

After we finished eating we asked for an recommendations on things to see or do in Sulzberg. We learned that Sulzberg was a very small town with little to offer tourists except some castle ruins further up the road. So off we headed in search of what we now refer to as "our castle." It was a bit of a walk (but that is all we do anymore is walk), and we dredged through quite a lot of snow, but finally reached the ruins. It was awesome! We scaled the side of the castle to get in after finding the main gate locked. Took a lot of pictures and explored as much as we could, but finally decided we would need to crawl under the locked front gate to see more. So Ryan and I can now say we broke into a castle. How cool is that? :) Unfortunately there was no way to break into the tallest tower to climb to the very top, but maybe someday we will return to Sulzberg int he summer and be able to go all the way up. Although then they'll expect us to pay.

After the castle we headed back to the train station. We decided to continue going West to the end of the line in Kempten and see if we could find any cheap tickets out of Germany. So Trish, without even meaning to go there we did. We didn't know anything about the town though, which is why we didn't stay and explore there. I'll have to look more into it and then maybe we can go back and find some family history for Ryan to appreciate as I did in München.

In Kempten the man helping us said it would be about 300 euro to go anywhere except Salzburg, so we decided to actually go to our original destination. I am still not sure why it would have been so expensive to go to Switzerland even though we seemed very close, but whatever. We just bought another Bayern ticket. We had an hour before our train left, so we got treats at the bakerei a the station. I have a weakness and it is the bakerei's that you pass every third store. Oh my gosh! Ryan had some sort of a twisted cinnamon role thing with hazelnuts on top. I had a filled doughnut, not typically my first choice, but this had a chili on top and it made me curious enough to try it. She said it was filled with pudding, but that turned out to taste just like chocolate mousse and with the spice of the chili and the smoothness of the mouse it was fabulous. MMMMmmmmmmmmm!

Then I saw a sign for internet and thought is might be wise to get directions to our hostel we knew of through a co-worker. We had directions and headed off to the train feeling satisfied from our treats and prepared for when we arrived in Salzburg.

We had a great compartment on the train that had six seats and a door to close it off from the hallway. Ryan thought it was like Harry Potter. I read most of the way. I am really getting into Dirk's book. Anyone who likes mysteries should look up "The College" by Dirk Barram. He was one of my business professors at Fox. When our stop came be got off and started following the directions we had from the internet. After awhile we were not able to find the street we needed. Probably after 15 minutes of walking we saw an open Hertz rental car place with people inside so we stopped for directions. Guess what we learned here? We were not even in Austria! We were still in Germany in a town called Freilassing. Oh my gosh how did we get off the train to early. Apparently the reader board was a bit to fast when it said nächstes halte(next stop) Salzburg because we hadn't stopped in Freilassing yet. But thankfully we were being looked out for again and the couple in the Hertz returning a car was from Salzburg and offered us a ride, it was only 10 minutes away. So instead of arriving by train we arrived by car thanks to a nice lady and her dog Maxi.

We easily found our hostel and had a great 6 bed room with lockers and a sink for only 18 euro each. For some reason I felt like we should go out since I knew our adventure would be ending soon, so I thought it would be great to go get dessert. As we were walking and I realized how cold it was I did not know what made me think that, but eventually we came across a cute wine bar. We shared a much to large slice of flourless chocolate cake and a glass of Austrian wine. The cake was rich and heavy and more than I had wanted (I was originally thinking more of apfel strudel) and although I liked the wine on it's own I thought it was an awful pairing with the chocolate and I had asked for a recommendation of what would go nicely. Sometime the language barrier gets tiring. After that we headed right back to YoHO hostel and fell asleep fast.

I forgot a part of the trip from Kempten to Salzburg. We had an hour layover between trains in München. I had been recommended a place from someone I worked at at the athletic club and I'm pretty sure it was Augustiner and place also recommended in Ryan's book. So I figured that if we ran there and ran back we would be able to grab dinner in that hour. We made it and I'm so glad because I had the best dunkel bier I've had yet and incredible potato salad that I globbed deli mustard on top of and ate inside a roll. They didn't have much "Emily friendly" food, but what I found I thoroughly enjoyed. Ryan had wieners and potato salad. He was less impressed with the salad, and wished he'd gotten the other sausages instead of his which were pretty much just four skinny hot dogs, but agreed with me on the quality of bier.

So that was our Wednesday. Ryan and I both LOVED Sulzberg and are SO glad we went there evn though it was an accident. I'll try again to do pictures, but they never want to load. With so many people in this building the internet isn't always the best. But eventually I'll get them. And I've got one more day to tell you about too.


On Tuesday morning Reneé, Laura, Ryan and I headed to the train station. For 30 euro up to 5 people can purchase an unlimited days worth of travel anywhere in Bavaria. It also includes Innsbruck and Sazlburg in Austria. It takes roughly 1 1/2 hours to get to the München Hauptbahnhof (the main train station in a big city).

Thanks to Ryan's handy book about day trips in Germany he knew there was an information place at the Hauptbahnhof where we could get our bearings and a map. From here we headed straight to the Frauenkirche. This is were my relative Cardinal von Bettinger is entombed and there is a statue of him on the wall. It was so incredible to see these things. I found his statue at the back o the church. Ryan took a picture of me in front of it. I think it looks like he has his fingers in the peace sign, I wonder what is means? And then I found a man who was some sort of curator who spoke just enough English that he understood I was a relative and was interested in seeing the crypt. He led us down the stairs and unlocked two gates and turned on the lights. At the very end of the crypt chamber he led me straight to Cardinal Bettinger's stone. It was incredible to see his name engraved there and know that I was connected to this person who had been in the same building I was standing in at that moment. I was very excited to be able to share with my Grandpa that I was able to see this special place. But at the same time an overwhelming sadness that I would not be able to tell my Grandma. She was so excited at this opportunity I have to live and work over here and I can only imagine how excited she would have been to see my pictures and hear my stories of the Frauenkirche and seeing our ancestors statue and tomb. I lit a candle for my Grandma upstairs and said a prayer as I held her rosary. I can't wait to tell her all about this adventure someday in Heaven.

After that we were all hungry and were not offered lunch as Aunt Sally's friend was at the Frauenkirche, so we headed to the Hofbräuhaus not too far away. This is a huge beer hall and restaurant serving traditional Bavarian food and lots and lots of beer. I believe it gets quite lively at night packed full of tourists, but while we were there in the afternoon it was a nice atmosphere with a fair amount of locals. Ryan and I split a boiled fish that came with rice, a white wine sauce, and "seasonal" veggie that turned out to be only cabbage and carrots (very German). Ryan has a side of potato dumplings. This is sort of like gelatinous potato in a ball (yuck) and I had a side of sauerkraut. I am sad most restaurants mix bacon bits in with their sauerkraut, so I had to pick those little bits out, but I do love my kraut. And we shared a bread basket that came with two pretzels, a roll, and a slice of dark bread. For our beers all four of us had Radlers. This is beer mixed with lemonade. Weird, right? It is actually really good, although it is fairly sweet. I had a Rassner, which is wheat beer with lemonade. Ryan and Reneé each had the dunkel radler (dark beer with lemondade) and Laura had the light beer with lemonade. They were all good, but I think Ryan and I each prefered the dunkel radler. The options for size in Germany are mass or half. This is a liter of a half liter. The radlers did not seem to be very alcoholic probably because of the lemonade, but it seems like an entire mass is just so much liquid my stomach can not hold that much with my meal. Ryan was the only one of us to order a mass.

After or delicious lunch we decided to take the subway to Dachau, where there is a memorial of the Nazi concentration camp. This was quite and experience. If you ever want to kill all conversation go to a concentration camp because as soon as you are there everyone stops talking. The first building we entered with a long hallway was just heartbreaking to walk through. I imagined the prisoners in their small packed cells (some were standing cells packed full of people) and hearing the footsteps approaching on the hard brick of the hall floor. Never knowing when or where or why the steps might stop. We learned about the "roll call" that happened at least twice a day when the soldiers would be required to stand in lines at attention, silent, and without any movement for at least an hour or more. For those not strong enough to stay standing they would collapse and punishment would come to them and anyone who tried to help them.

It snowed most of the day and by the end of our time touring Dachau it was getting dark and was very cold, so we headed back to the Hauptbahnhof to catch a train back to Garmisch. When we arrived Reneé and Laura decided to get off and go back to the Abrams. Renée had to work the next day and Laura unfortunately lost her military ID card at work and had to go through the process of getting a new one the next day. So Ryan and I were left to finish or travels by ourselves. We looked at the train scheudle of where we could go before our day ticket ran out and decided on Sulzberg. We figured that must be Salzburg since German maps often spell the names of town differently. So in less than an hour we boarded a train to Sulzberg (that is in Autria, right?)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Back in Garmisch

We have returned from our first adventure safe and sound. We are very tired and thankful to have one more day to rest before going back to work on Saturday. It is nearly midnight here, so I will wait until tomorrow to expand on our last several days.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Contact Info

One last thing before I leave. This might make the worriers feel at least a little better. I finally figured out what my cell phone number is, so if for some reason you feel the need to spend lots of your money and call me it is 015223348729. There are several ironic things about this number. First of all my favorite two numbers are 1522, second the last three numbers are the same as my home phone in B'ham 729, and third it has all the numbers of my birthday 32787. Obvoiusly this is the perfect phone for me and it is why I memorized the number in an instant. Cool eh?

Just thought I'd throw down my APO as well. FYI it is not allowed for alcohol to be shipped in or out of an APO along with drugs, guns, weapons of mass destruction etc.

Emily Hodgin
Edelweiss Lodge and Resort
CMR 409 Box 57
APO AE 09053-0057

If there is ever a reason to ship something here, but it can't come to an APO such as if you are not in the states my address is:

Emily Hodgin
Edelweiss Lodge and Resot, CMR 409 Box 57
Aussere Maximillian Str. 251
82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Love you all and write when I get back!!!!!

Happy Trails to Us

Tomorrow morning Ryan and I are hitting the road along with Renee, Zach, and Laura. We are heading to Munich. I just got home from Monday night 1/2 off pizza at a place in town called "Peaches," I worked today, and I am getting up early to catch a train. For these reasons I am not going to recap everything as of late, but I did want everyone to know what we will be up to the next few days. We are hoping to catch a train out of Munich somewhere else exciting and may not be back till late Friday to be back to work Saturday. Don't worry if I don't write, but I am not taking my computer along. I am hoping to find my ancestor Cardinal Von Bettinger in Munich, so hopefully I'll have a fun story when I return. Things have been getting better and better here. We had a wonderful time at our Bavarian dinner Saturday night and pizza was great tonight, they even had a "Vegetariana" for me! Well it is half past eleven and for most (as I can tell from the noise in the hallway) is not late, but for myself I need my rest. Good night!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

4 Days in a ROW!!!!

Today at work we were able to see our schedule for next week. I have 4 days off in a row. I am so excited though that I am not able to remember whether it is Tuesday thru Friday or Wednesday thru Saturday. But it doesn't matter because this is great. Although being so new I am a bit unsure of where to go, but I will be going somewhere for sure. Chances are I will not have 4 days off in a row for a long time, so I need to enjoy this. Oh and it gets better.... Ryan has the same 4 days off. So does anyone have any ideas of where we should go? I don't even know where to begin to look. Since being here we have heard people talk about going EVERYWHERE. Someone just got back from China, someone else is planning a trip to Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel, others have been to Hungary, Slovenia. Of course you hear of the "typical" trips to London a fair amount. Italy is only about a two hour drive to the northern border, so most people have been there. Ahhhh I feel very overwhelmed by the possibilities. So please anyone who has is a great planner or has been somewhere they think we must visit please please let us know.

Michelle, I'd love to go to Gimmewald, but I'm thinking it would be better to do that when the weather is better. You have the most experience over here though and did such a great job planning your trip that if you want to plan this (for as cheap as possible) be my guest. :)

I am sorry I forgot, AGAIN, to get a picture of me in my uniform today. So instead I started taking a bunch of pictures of where I live. Nothing fanciful, but hopefully interesting for those of you who have no idea of what my living conditions are.

I do not know why but when I am trying to add pictures the blog is not allowing it, so I apologize but I will have to do this later.

Today at work we had our own rooms. We also got a card key that opens all the doors of the hotel including all employee only doors. Well after our first break I realized my card had fallen off my stretch thing it is attached to on my belt loop. (I am very excited about this stretchy thing, I'll have to take a picture of it.) So I had to retrace all my steps, still couldn't find it, and had to go to security to get a new one. Well the security guy was not so happy with me and had to explain how bad this was because if a guest found the card they could get into our back hallways not to mention any other guests room. Well no duh, I understood, I messed up, it was an accident, I'll try not to do it again. But if I do happen to lose it again then this guy will tell his supervisor and then I might be in a bit of trouble.

Overall work was good. I had four rooms all of which were occupied at first. I had one due out room and three stay overs, but one of my stay overs was a loft sweet that need all the sheets changed. So I had to completely remake three beds one of which was a king bed. That room took awhile. But one of my rooms ended up being a NS (no service room) so all we had to do was give them some new towels and they didn't want anything else. That was nice. On one hand, the more I work the more I get paid. On the other hand, cleaning rooms is very tiring and it is nice to not have to do all that you are assigned.

I am a bit afraid because I think I am a pretty good "chamber maid." My leader, Lisa, who has been training me always tells me I am doing perfect and that I am the best out of the three of us she is training. She said to Laura, "this is good, yesterday I would not have thought you could do this, but you have made this room very clean." She said to Zach, "You, you are just scared of me and angry." I don't think she has much hope for Zach. Then I heard from some of the other trainees that their leader, Roswita, made a comment about Allison that she is not meant for housekeeping and that she is so slow. I always strive to be good at what I do. I am glad to have the opportunity to work in housekeeping and gather some experience in it. But after 3 months I would like to change. I feel like those who are the weakest will be more likely to be released by our supervisor that I will be. Ugh! Also, Renee figured out that right when our 3 months is up ski season will be ending, which means all the instructors and boot monkeys, etc will be applying for jobs within the resort. This is another negative for us getting out of housekeeping. I need to start praying something falls into my lap. From what I hear it isn't so much of what you know as just being in the right place at the right time. With my luck, I'm a bit nervous for that being the case.

But for now I think the days will go pretty fast in housekeeping. We get so many breaks. At 10:30 we take a 14 minute break (yes 14 not 15, I do not know why). At 12:30 we have our 30 minute lunch break. And at 2:30 we get another 14 minute break. So far we have only stayed until about 3.

Tonight Ryan and I are going out to dinner to a Bavarian restaurant with I think the majority of people who live in Abrams (that is at least 250 I think). I'll be interested to see how many end up going. Word has just been spreading about this and I think it is because it is someone's birthday, but I do not know who. Both us and Renee, our new friend who showed up at the same time as us, feel it is time we start meeting people and this seems like the thing to do. So far every night I have just passed out from being so jet lagged and then woken up only to get ready for bed and then go to sleep. So tonight I hope my spirits will be high and I can have a good time and be somewhat outgoing. Being outgoing takes a lot of effort sometimes.

Other exciting news, for me anyway. Renee was talking with Ben who is essentially the RA of the dorm and found out that on Sundays a group of people walk to post together (post is where the PX, Commissary, post office, etc is for military and civilians such as ourselves) to go to the chapel for the protestant service, which is at 11. Tomorrow we are all working, but hopefully sometime we will not be and get to go. I also hope this could be a great way to get to know people I might find more similar to myself. So far I swear the majority of people I hear talking just love to go out and get drunk ALL THE TIME. I just don't get it. Why come all the way to Germany to do that? Why do that at all? A girl who arrived with us went out the first night as was found outside with ONLY a bra and blanket on by security bleeding from her head which she hit on some tool shed. I just don't get it...

Well as Ryan points out to me I write a lot, but I figure if you don't want to read it that is your choice. And if you do then here it is. I really am sorry about not being able to get pictures up, since I know that is the best part of blogs. Soon, soon, soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

First day of work

We had to be at work this morning at 9:00, so Zach (Ryan's roommate), Ryan and I headed the Edelweiss a little before 8 and arrive in roughly 30 minutes. We are pleased it took less time than expected to walk and actually was not too bad. It was snowing lightly and although it was cold it felt nice to be in the crisp morning air.

Once at work we changed into our uniforms and waited for instruction. We were read a lot of information and then split into groups to train with a "leader." My leader was a middle age German woman named Lisa. She was very nice. With her direction and assistance Zach, Laura, and I cleaned five rooms. Four of the rooms were "due outs" and one was a "stay over." Familiarize yourself with those terms if you plan to follow my blog because I have a feeling some days I'll be so thankful for having mostly "stay overs" and other days completely exhausted from a large number of "due outs." If you haven't figured it out a "stay over" is a room that is still occupied and we do not clean nearly as thoroughly. A "due out" means a complete top to bottom cleaning. Mom I would like to thank you for teaching me to make my bed with "hospitality corners," as Lisa called them. Although you always call them "hospital corners." Anyway I am pretty good at making beds if I may say so myself and was a quick learner.

I meant to take a picture of myself in my uniform today and forgot. I'll have to do that soon, so you can all see how shnazzy I look.

After work Ryan, Zach, Laura, and I stopped at a Bakerei (Bakery) called Stefan Nus across from the resort complex. I'm not sure what we ate, but it was pretty good. They were sweets, but not nearly as sweet as what you would find in the States. Interesting isn't it. Ryan took a picture of me eating our treat, but it is on his camera. Maybe he'll put it on his blog. Oh and for an "Emily rant" I will share something that just disgusts me. My roommate has a list of local restaurants on our fridge and they are in categories by country. There is Chinese, Indian, Italian, Thai, of course a long list of Bavarian, but what is under the list for American? Well there are two McDonald's listed and Pizza Hut. I am embarrassed that these are the restaurants and the food that represents my country. Yuck!

After the Bakerei we walked a short distance to get on post where the PX and Commissary are. I bought a cell phone at the PX. I haven't figured out what my phone number is though. Anyone should be able to call me on it and I won't get charged, but I'd be careful of what your costs would be. It costs me 5 euro cents a minute for local calls, so I don't think I'll use it much either. I just figured it was a good thing to have and might be needed at some point.

My feet hurt and my hips feel tight. I was going to do my adapt workout, but now I'm feeling tired and just want to lounge. I'll need to start that soon though. I can tell my body will need it to survive this job.

Of course it was only day one, but I think housekeeping will be fine. I'll have good days and less good days. But I am feeling like I'd really like to experience some other things after I give my first 3 months in this position. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to serve in this way, but I really want to interact with people. Call me crazy but I actually like interacting with the customers.

Hopefully day two will be a good one. And hopefully I'll have a very good nights sleep to rejuvenate me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A couple pictures

This is a church right by our dorm, which is called the Abrams. We tried to go in but the door was locked. So we'll have to go back.

This is St. Marten's. They were in the middle of mass, so we could not go in. I'd love to go to mass here sometime. It is in town.
The sky was beautiful tonight also. The clouds were puffy and lightly pink. Boy oh boy it was freezing cold though.

Ryan and I went to dinner at Da Enzo and italian restaurant. The menu was completely in German, but we figured out enough to know what we were order, food wise anyway. We ordered wine and I thought about asking for an explanation of what they were like, but then decided it would be more exciting just to pick one and try it. Ryan did the same. As it turned out he ordered champagne and I ordered a red semi sparkling that could have almost passed as fizzy fruit juice. They were good, just not what we were expecting.

We are about to start a movie with my roommate Sarah, who I am so blessed is NORMAL :) and her friend. One more day of orientation before work. Hopefully I'll feel adjusted to the time by then because it has been taking everything I have to not take a nap today.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I have arrived!

Yup, we're here. The mountains are beautiful, but I do not have any pictures yet. We have some great people that arrived with us today and many others have already been introducing themselves. Tonight is a free employee appreciation dinner. Did we time out arrival right or what? We toured the dorm, signed paperwork (it feels like freshman year all over again). I am tired and feel like yuck, so I am going to take a shower and FINALLY brush my teeth. I have wireless in my room YAY! And my roommate who I have yet to meet is already AWESOME because she left me a welcome note, a chocolate bar, and offered up her beer in the fridge. I can't wait to meet her later on.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Missing you!

Marilyn Ruth Bettinger May 6, 1931 to December 31, 2009

Dear Grandma,

I'd say you had a great 78 years, what do you think? The last few days have definitely shown you raised five great kids who married wonderful spouses and gave you beautiful grand daughters. We won't be the same without you though. We miss you so much! I hope you knew how much I loved you and always will. We had a lot of fun that I'll always cherish the memories of.

I'm realizing now some of the traits that we shared. You were pretty brutally honest. You would tell me if you didn't like my hair or my outfit. Whatever came to your mind came out of your mouth. I guess this grand daughter hasn't fallen to far from her Grandma. And I couldn't be prouder to share that in common with you.

You deserve Heaven and it is such a comfort to know that is where you are and that one day I'll see you there. Until then I hope you have a great time chatting it up with Carol and everyone else you know up there. Say hi to Ryan's Dad for us too, you'll really like him.

I miss you, I love you, I'll never forget you, and I'll see you when it's my time.