I don't even know where to begin past Israel. But I think I will just shoot out some random things that I haven't blogged about yet.
In May I was the housekeeping departments nominee for employee of the month. I got a certificate, a $200 bonus that was taxed :(, 10 ticekts for lunch in the staff cafeteria, and two dinner vouchers for Pullman Place the nicest restaurant in the hotel. I was not selected employee of the month for the whole hotel, but that person gets and additional $350, a free night stay at the hotel, a free tour with the hotel, 20 tickets for staff caf and is in the running for employee of the year which gets a free week for two at the shade of green AFRC hotel in Florida with passes to Disneyworld and $1000 spending money. Pretty cool. Too bad I'm not in the running for that. But I was honored all the same. I missed the party to collect my award because we were traveling with my Mom, but that is okay because you know when you stand up in front of people waiting to hear a winner deep down hoping it will be you and then it isn't.... well that is sort of awkward I think, so I'm kind of glad I wasn't there.
Also recently I was given a permanent section at work. Section 8 on the 3rd floor is all mine. :) I like having my own section so I can see what to expect in the days to come and I know when blankets and such were changed out last etc. Tatijana had a minor stroke awhile back and has finally come back to work, but her doctor said she can't clean rooms until at least January. So for now she is in laundry. And instead of having people rotate in and out of this section for all those months they gave me her section based off of my lead, Larry's recommendation. Once again I was honored he thought enough of me and my work to recommend me for this. The other major benefit to this section is there are no loft suits.... so wonderful. I do have 14 rooms though and often extra on top of that, but still no loft suits is a treat.
Let's see what else.... well this is recent, but Ryan and I and a few friends went to the nice restaurant in the hotel for dinner. It was the last night for their special summer menu that was 4 course for $25 and we get an employee discount of 25% off. It was pretty good. I'd say only dessert was really disappointing and I've heard they don't make any desserts from scratch. But my tomato basil soup to start was delicious and the fish for my entree was also very good.
Then just yesterday, Thursday, I got to go to the "We Care" luncheon. This is when a select few based on your last name are invited once a month to meet with the General Manager, his wife head of HR, and the hiring manager to share likes and dislikes about work while sharing a three course meal. Again I was not impressed with dessert and the salad and entree were pretty good, but hey it beat eating in the staff caf and I'm sure all of you will have no problem believing me when I tell you I had the most to say out of the group. :)
OH my goodness... then there are the Fests. Garmischer Fest started on Michelle's last night with us, so we drug her along. She didn't love it, but it was super crowded that night and I had more fun on other nights. We went three times I think to the first one. There is a live band every night playing Bavarian music and live dancers performing traditional dances in traditional costumes. Everyone dresses in their dirndls and lederhosen to attend. The prompted Ryan to start search for some of his own on the internet which sadly weren't here in time for our Fests but he'll wear them to October Fest in Munich. I got many many compliments on my dirndl which my Mom made me and sent me for my birthday. :)
I liked Partenkirchen Fest even better than Garmischer. Part of this heavily had to do with the fact there was cotton candy and I love cotton candy believe it or not, even the health nut I am. I had one every night we went and one night we drove over there just to get cotton candy and I had two on the last night of Fest. But don't worry I shared with at least Ryan and sometimes a few others... just to be nice though I didn't necessarily want to. ;) We ate a couple times at Fest and the food was delicious. The beer at the second one was Ettaler which is made by monks just 20 minutes away. I liked this a lot too since Garmischer served Lowenbrau which is a much larger mass produced and high distribution brewery. Partenkirchen also had a larger more decorated tent. We went on one night that they had stone lifting where HUGE guys would be on the stage standing on a table trying to see who could lift crazy amounts of weight. We knew a guy from the Edelweiss who did it (but at a little bit lower weight that they finished at). He paid 1 euro to enter and received a free mass of beer (1 liter) a nice decorative plate, and a set of trekking poles. That was pretty cool. Then a couple nights later we went for the whip night. There are groups of men who whip the air to the tune of the music. First the youngest guys went then the middle age guys and then the ones who were most well practiced and they were really really good. On the last night people would stand on the benches of the picnic tables we sat at and had moves to these German songs and we tried to follow along. It was so fun. They even did a little YMCA that night. The same night we went solely for cotton candy we also shared a gun for the shooting game. We got five shots and between the two of us neither hit a thing. The sad thing was there was a five year old girl and 7 year old boy standing next to us that hit all five of their shots. Although I've heard mixed reviews on October Fest due to crowds and over commercialization I'm still excited after these experiences. It is better for my bank account that Fest is over and I'm nto staying out as late, but it was a fun few weeks.
Gosh, what else has been going on?
I have a new roommate. It worked out perfect that she came the day after Michelle left, so Michelle was able to have a bed and closet the whole time she was here and made things not crowded at all while Barb was here too and we all shared my room. My roommate is named Lindsay. She is from Dallas Texas. She is 25 years old. She went to Texas Tech. I think her degree is in something like English and creative writing or something. Her job here in in Alpine Adventure which means she does several things including the gift shop, the kids programs during the day and at night, and leads tours although she still has to train for that. She's super nice and I feel very lucky that she's the one I ended up with. I hope she thinks I'm as good of a roommate as I've found her to be.
I feel like those are all the bigger little things to catch up on. Everything else has to do with traveling. I'm thinking of referring everyone to Michelle's blog in regard to wahat we did while she was here for THREE whole weeks because if I try o write about it all myself I may never dig myself out of this blogging backlog I'm in. Yes, I think I'll just give you her address right now. It is .com I haven't read it yet, so if I think I need to fill in holes or can't stand not putting in my two cents then I'll do that at a later date. And I'll tell you about Ryan and my relaxing weekend trip to Lake Bled, Slovenia and then of course there was the two weeks my Mom was here that was so fantastic. If I asked my magic eight ball if I could accomplish all this before my friends Jamie and Andy come next week I think it would tell me "chances are doubtful" or "the outlook is not good" but we'll see and I'll do my best. I feel a sense of accomplishment just finishing Israel.
Oh and one last thing I've done that has been awesome is host couch surfers like when Pepe and Noelia hosted Ryan and I in Cairo. Two nice guys stayed here on Michelle's second to last night that came from the Berlin area to hike the Zugspite. Then Betsie who is from Florida, but is currently studying abroad in Florence came for a couple days. Ryan and I went on an incredible hike with her and took her to Fest with us. And then just last week a couple from Wurzberg stayed with me for a night on their way home from a two week trip through Italy. Chris and Conny, such nice people. I have loved every experience and all the people. I think it is an incredible program and I'm glad I was able to host a few people after being hosted myself. I'm currently looking for a host for Krakow Poland. I'm going there with Renee and a girl named Taylor from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October. The three of us really want to see Auschwitz, something Ryan didn't really care about. I am sad he won't be coming though and I'm sure I'll miss him a lot, but I'm super excited since I've read about this place in books since I was a little girl.
Okay I've got to go to sleep now. My pillow is calling my name.