NO. I do not mean that Christ is a hot mess. So no lambasting. I meant that my Christmas holidays were so crazy that I had no other words to describe it. And also grab your attention at the same time.
I decided to go back to the States for the holidays, and see (almost) every possible living person I could think of. This sounded exciting when I was planning it. I haven’t been back since we moved here at the end of July – unlike mySpouse who travels back and forth for work. (Also, mySpouse would not be going with me.)
I would fly to the west coast, and start by driving from Seattle to mySister’s house in Oregon and work my way back to Seattle. Then spend New Year’s Eve with myBoatyGirl and herBetterHalf, on their boat of course, and fly home to Berlin in the new year.
Let’s take a look at my map again, updated with my Christmess trip in pink.
So, we meet again middle-school education…
Got to the airport fine – public transport is amazing in Berlin. And Tegel (TXL) airport, in my opinion, is fantastic – though you will find differing opinions here. (Thankfully, they are all in German so I don’t have to change mine.)
After 7 and 1/2 hours, our plane ran out of fuel.
It sounds worse than it is because it was planned, but you are more interested in hearing that first instead of the truth. Because the winds are so strong heading west in the winter, often planes have to make fuel stops. On the plus side, all my luggage was able to make it onto the plane since weight restrictions were lifted. So we stop in oh! Canada!!
ALL of those other places look more fun than Goose Bay…I actually overheard someone say, ‘Where the hell is Goose Bay?’
And then it is another almost 3 hours to Newark (EWR). From there, I have a decision, keep flying or spend the night.
Are we there yet?
The flight going to Seattle was full. (Like a crazy person, I am flying standby at the busiest travel time of the year.) I saw another person waiting standby to be called and decided to chat him up, realizing that he would not want to crush my west coast dreams if I was a real person and not a number on a sheet of paper. Turns out, he had flown all day too.
Moment of truth. One seat left. He was a flight attendant, and they can sit in a special, not the most comfortable, seat, if they have to – but would you? Long travel day behind you already, and another 7 hour flight to go. He, very graciously, gave me the last seat and took the FA seat. (I am constantly wishing this man gushing gratitude.)
Made it to Seattle.
Never has room service tasted so good. I ordered onion rings and salad, a perfectly (American-ly) balanced meal.
The next morning, myMa and I drove the normal 6 hours to mySister’s, in 8, because Target. And Mexican food. Honestly, I would’ve gone back to Target to walk off the Mexican food and then eaten more Mexican food.
And a few days later, we drove back to Seattle, where in the span of 4 days:
I saw mySpouse (Christmess night he actually had an overnight trip in Seattle, which is so random I will never be able to do the math),
– saw his family,
– saw some of my best friends (including myBaconBit and myT*) and all their kids,
– and then most of us, including kids, stayed with myBFF and her kids in (beautiful) BFE,
– and then I took the red-eye flight to Newark to spend New Year’s on myBoatyGirl and herBetterHalf’s boat.
And also went to a birthday party for one of myBaconBit’s kids. At a bouncy house paradise – I was a bit jealous of all the 5 year olds that I was too big…
The yellow one had slides!!!!
And unbelievably again, mySpouse had an overnight on NYE in Newark, so we were able to spend THAT holiday together as well. Which, again, has never happened. (I guess we had to leave the country and then come back on foreigner visas in order to see each other on holidays. Who knew?)
The boat was great! – and NYE on the boat more than made up for the fact that the boat is a work in progress.
NYC from the marina
And finally, I flew back home to Berlin.
I couldn’t move from my bed for two days I was so tired from all my
first world problems travels. Was it worth it? Yes. Would I do it again? As the Germans say, “Nie wieder.” (‘Knee-Veyder’ — Never again).
A SIDE STORY: A couple of things I missed while in the States…
1) There is a German cultural phenomenon known as ‘Dinner For One’ – a short, physical comedy that is played on TV at regular intervals on NYE. More surprisingly, it’s in English. No matter their English-speaking level, all Germans can quote this sketch. Even more surprisingly, my students were amazed when I told them I had never heard of it – and I don’t think most English speakers have. I love it and have watched it several times. Here it is:
2) Apparently we had missed a massive party.
“Ain’t no party like a Berlin party!”
As I was dragging my luggage through the streets, I noticed that there were a small army’s worth of exploded fireworks on every corner. It was explained that even though technically not legal, this is how Berliners celebrate NYE.
(*myT – how is it possible that I don’t have a name for you??? myRoomie…? since I think we were the most perfect college roommates ever, and to this day, the others make us bunk together since we stay up too late.)
Look! I can edit pictures to make my life easier.
Look! A picture of anywhere I would rather go than Canada in the middle of winter!
Look! I can draw over-dramatic pictures of mySelf.
Look! I can draw why sometimes it sucks to be an adult.
Look! I’m on a boat muthaf&!&”a! (Do NOT watch if you are offended by massive amounts of swearing.)
Look! A picture of … Berlin, what HAPPENED HERE?!??!?!!! Are you still breathing??
Tags: holiday travel, old friends, William Wallace, Braveheart speech, I’m on a boat!, mzBerlin to States and back, Dinner For One, It wouldn’t be NYE if someone didn’t end up in the Krankenhaus (hospital)