This week was a doozie (not sure how to spell that word). We are not always the best at what day it is all the time because Friday has become our Monday and Wednesday Thursday has become our weekend, making Tuesday our Friday. Every Sunday we can expect to be run ragged, but this weekend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all tough.
We have come to the conclusion that it is best to get in and out of a stayover in 15-20 minutes and in and out of a due out in 45 minutes to an hour. Of course suits always take longer than the standard double queen room. Friday I had 4 due outs and about 10 stayovers. This felt like a lot being my first day back after doing nothing all weekend, my weekend that is.
Last Wednesday I literally spent all day in bed. I was exhausted after my first full week of work not to mention last Tuesday night was a multi birthday/ going away party for a ton of people at a bar/casino/restaurant called "Peaches" in the marianplatz (downtown/ town sqaure) and we didn't get back to the Abrams until about 2am (this is WAY late for me). You may hear about Peaches frequently while we are here, but hopefully not too much because it isn't that great. I actually think it is a fairly typical trashy bar EXCEPT on Monday nights they have half off pizza and so that is good for us. We went this Monday and I had pizza with tuna and onions and no cheese and then used their spray olive oil and balsamic all over it. I may have blogged about our first pizza night there too. It is pretty good pizza, but they now have a menu with four pizzas that are not half off and it says "California Pizza Kitchen" on it. That makes me wonder if they buy those pizzas frozen and then just heat and serve and therefore don't have a huge margin, but seriously that would be disappointing. Another good night is Tuesday, which was the night of the party. Tuesday is "dollar night" where we can buy certain drinks such as beer and gluwein (hot wine) in US dollars which makes it a much better deal obviously. So my beer and gluwein came to $11 instead of 11 euro, which is great for my bank account. And in the winter Peaches has a wooden shed-hut-house thing attached to their normal building. This area was not all yuck and trashy bar vibe like inside, it was just chill. So once we went in there I actually had a very enjoyable evening. There was a bunch of Russians who were on a ski holiday and they really liked us and said if we come to Moscow we can stay with them. I'm not sure what the chance of us making it that far east is, but it is fun to be meeting people from all over the world.
Gosh that was a bit of a side track from the craziness at work, back to that. Saturday my due outs were bumped up to six. Friday I felt a bit in slowmotion, but Saturday I kicked it into gear and cruised through. I was done a little after our afternoon break at three. I also got my eyebrows waxed in the hotel spa on my 3:00 break and feel much better looking at myself in the mirror now (they had become a forest). And the girl who did my waxing is from Portland. That was cool. So Saturday wore me out, but I still felt went better than Friday. And my leader who was checking my rooms Saturday said I was doing a very good job and thanked me for that because it made his job easier. That of course made me feel good.
Then came Sunday. Dun-dun-dun!I might get redundant every week, but Sunday is seriously out of this world insane. Nearly the entire place checks out. This week was no different, but it was our first Sunday with a full section. I had 14 rooms and 11 were due outs. On these busy days they also have people just there for bed help. This is nice, but also means you sometimes have to wait for them and not finish your room or choose to forgo the help and do it yourself. I've gotten pretty good at beds and can do them in about 5 minutes when I am really pushing. This is the thing that really builds up a sweat. By the end of Sunday I equated to Ryan that the way my body felt was the same way I recall feeling after a hard (and they were all hard) hill workout. I just wanted to flop on the floor for an hour or two in the lobby of Wheeler. Yet I did not do that.
Ryan and I have started working out here. Now that he has a car we go the the gym in the same complex as the resort everyday after work. Before we didn't want to have to walk home when it was dark and even colder than normal, but it has been good to get back to the gym. The first day we went I sort of had a break down because I realized I've never really worked out without a purpose. Even for the few weeks I got back into it in September/October last year it was for the bike ride Steph and I did. Before that everything was for track and I was told what type of working out to do. So being in a foreign gym with no direction surrounded by huge military guys (who smells SO AWFUL) I felt very lost, a feeling I've never experienced in a gym before. So now Ryan tells me what to do everyday. I just do whatever he does, so maybe I'll come back with a huge upper body. Actually all we've done so far is upper body, so I'm making him to lower body now because that has always been what I'm better at and I think it will be good for him. :) We also discovered that the gym has an awful basketball court. We went to shoot around after a workout and the ball barely wants to bounce back to us the floor is so poor. It looks like a beautiful full court with some stands and everything, but man alive the floor is in terrible shape. Oh well.
I think this brings me to today. Day #1 of our weekend. And it looks like Ryan and I will continue to have Wednesday and Thursday weekends. We are thinking of planning another trip and requesting two weekends to be combined and then work 10 days straight. This may about kill us, but we feel we really need a minimum of four days to have the travel time necessary to make it somewhere and then explore. And in housekeeping to get a chunk of time off we hear we must request it far in advance. We would love to figure out a time (before June) when it would work to go to to Vienna, Prague, Poland (to see Sonya), and then back to Bavaria via Berlin. Obviously for this we would need a large chunk of time and I believe we'd need to take some annual leave. Renee and Laura want to come I think too, so I hope they'd let four of us out of the department at once. We'll just have to see what happens. It would be great to go somewhere warm now because traveling is tougher in the cold, but again it is hard to ask for time off on short notice in housekeeping, so for now weekends are spent close by.
Today we went to Murnau. For anyone who does not know Murnau is where I had pursued working before I even knew about this job. The Alpenhof Murnau is a very nice hotel owned by the same couple who owns Sun Mountain Lodge where I worked in the summer of 2008. At Sun Mountain I feel that all the employees are aware of the Alpenhof. We even had a picture of the hotel next to the elevator with a plaque explaining it's existence. Today as we were arriving to Murnau Ryan and I saw the sign for the Alpenhof, so we decided to stop and ask for a tour of the place. To my complete surprise the women we spoke to there had never heard of Sun Mountain and were not aware that the Haub's owned a resort in the States. They were still very kind and obliged our request for a tour. It was a beautiful place, but VERY expensive so don't expect for me to put anyone up there if they come to visit. :) I can definitely understand why my inability to speak the language would preclude me from working there because the people we spoke to spoke okay English, but it was somewhat difficult to communicate with them in fluid conversation.
After our tour we headed into town. It was so cute. Because it has been warmer over the last week some snow has melted and we could see the cobble stone streets. Everything was very quaint. We found the Karg Brauerei and had a beer and a meal there. The waitress did not speak any English which was the first time we have experience that. I think it was good though and it makes me want to learn German that much more because I feel like it will show I respect where I am and that I am not taking the people for granted just because many know a little English. After about 5 minutes of studying a German menu the waitress did bring us English printed menus whcih made ordering much more simple. We've learned that German restaurants, not dissimilar to American restaurants, serve very large portions, so typically Ryan and I share a meal and leave fully satisfied without spending too much money. Although then we headed to the Bakerei across the street and indulged in several delicious sweet treats. I would say this was our favorite bakerei thus far, but there are an endless amount left for us to try. We walked up the street briefly and found a cute home/gift store where I picked up a little something. The woman there was so nice and when none of my credit or debit cards would process she accepted all the euros Ryan and I had for the item which was just shy of the total amount. That was so nice of her. Ryan and I went to the bank to try and figure out why there have been places our cards have not worked and apparently in Europe they use EC card instead of debit cards and that there are some places that won't run debit cards or even VISA cards. So much for VISA is accepted everywhere. So now we are thinking of looking into starting a checking account with a local bank so as not to have this issue along with the 1% we get charge even by our bank on post where our direct deposit is set up to. We were not told that we'd be charged this percentage and assumed we would not be since the bank is located in Germany, but it unfortunately is an American bank. So from now on I'll try to use my VISA from home because then I get 1% cash back every year that will negate the percentage I am charged. But again setting up a local account would also mean we would not have this international charge applied.
When we got back from Murnau we went to the complex with the PX for Ryan to get a gas card, this is also where we went to the bank, and we went to the Thrift store that is super cheap and only opened for a few hours a couple days a week. Ryan's big purchase, which was $10 was for a TV. I bought a skirt, which is too big. But I bought a belt, so it looks cute to wear the skirt high and then belt the middle. Each item was $1. WHAT A DEAL!!! I also bought five travel books on different countries, well once is about all of Europe. The total for them was $2.75. I don't care that they are out dated because I feel like everything in Europe is so old it will be the same in a book from 2010 as in a book from 1999. I'd say it was a great trip to the Thrift store and money well spent, but only our travels will tell if the information is helpful. Hopefully we will get to go somewhere exciting soonish.
Tomorrow night is Faushing. It is sort of like Carnival or Mardi Gras. I think the whole thing has to do with going crazy and more or less sinning as much as possible before lent starts. Although I think it would be sort of interesting to see what this is like culturally speaking neither Ryan or I feel like having to find a costume or crazy outfit to wear. We also don't want to be out late when we have to work the next day and we wouldn't plan to partake in the "craziness" of the night so we figure it probably wouldn't be that great anyway. And there is always next year since we'll be here then still. I also told Ryan that since most people probably won't remember anything from the night we could just tell people who ask that we went, but don't remember it and then they'd be like, "oh yeah me neither but it was so fun." We won't really do that, but I think it is ironic that people are all excited to go and will be all excited they went, but won't remember much anyway. Have a mentioned living here is what I would assume life at a State school would have been like, if you catch my drift.
I feel bad a wrapping up my blog entries, sort of like phone calls. I'm sure my Dad and Stephanie will resonate with that. :) But I'm actually out of things to talk about from our last week, so until we do something to report on I'm done.