Merry Christmas everyone! I am obviously a little bit late, but if it counts I had the idea for this post before Christmas. This first picture was when we went to Porto, Portugal. We were at Taylor Port Cellars tasting port and having a tour. This was at the beginning of December, so it was sort of a kick off to the season.
This picture is at the Munchen Christmas market. I think no matter how big every single town in Germany has a Christmas market with lots of food, gluhwein (hot spiced wine), and christmasy items. The one in Garmisch was very small, but we went about half a dozen times. They had great gluhwein that they poor amaretto in over a sugar cube and light on fire. I had the same thing at some other markets as well.
The Munchen market was HUGE and they had this HUGE thing set up. I don't know what it is called but many people have the smaller version as a decoration on a table or something at Christmas in their homes. I know Barb has one, but it is no where near as big as this one. :)
We also went to the Christmas market in Nuremburg for the day. But unfortunately I was feeling really sick that day so it wasn't nearly as enjoyable as I'd hoped. I'd heard so much hype about that one specifically because it is so big and I'd been looking forward to going since we arrived in January. Although even though I felt awful I am still glad that we went.
We had dinner at a restaurant in town with any of the housekeeping department that wanted to come as a Christmas party (not paid for by the hotel... phooey). But it was still a nice time to get together outside of work with most of the Americans and a fair number of LNs. This is everyone who was there. It is going to be very hard to say good bye to all of these wonderful people that we have grown to love over the course of this year.
This is a billboard at the train station. However this picture is on ever piece of paper that has anything to do with skiing in Garmisch. And I even saw the picture in a magazine on an airplane. Do we look a like? I think we do and it isn't me. It continues to freak me out. Although the bigger the picture you can see that this woman's two front teeth come to a point in the center and mine are flat.... other then that I would have thought they found a picture of me and photo shopped it. I've thought about setting up a booth to sign autographs while the ski championships are going on. :)
So we did our best to partake in Christmas festivities. Although it just wasn't the same as being home. I really had no idea how much Christmas would suck being away from home since this was my first time EVER not being at my house on Christmas morning and seeing everyone else in my extended family around the holidays, something I always look forward to. So Christmas itself was a little depressing being at work on both Christmas eve and Christmas day just as if it was any other day. And in fact was even a more stressful day because we had more people requesting their rooms cleaned with the "please prepare room" card then we've ever had. No thought from the guests that it was Christmas for the housekeepers too and we may want to get out of work as fast as possible. Oh and Christmas was my friend Reneé's birthday, so I got up really early to make her crepes (her favorite) before work, but she was afraid I'd forget and not wake up, so she left on the shuttle and wasn't in her room when I went in with the crepes. We took them to her at work and she still loved them.
I guess I'm ending this post a bit negatively. I really did love the Christmas markets, especially the one in Garmisch because it was just so small and intimate and people would gather nightly after work for an entire month approaching Christmas. But if I knew how I'd feel being over here on Christmas I may have thought about scheduling a trip home. That being said I intend to be on US soil next December 25th.
And now it is too late to wish you all a Merry Christmas, but Ryan and I both do hope you all had nice Christmas seasons and that 2011 has thus far been a great year!