Saturday, October 13, 2012


 Sorry to have dropped off the radar for so long! I got really busy all of a sudden with work and private classes, and I've been too tired to write anything. I did have a long weekend in the mix, so I took the opportunity to visit Dustin finally! Anyway, I'll back up a bit.

So, the week before visiting Dustin I started my private classes. I only have 3 at the moment, but I'm hoping to add a few more. It's pretty good money, I'm getting 20-30 euro for an hour to teach small groups of 2-3. I've been putting a lot of effort into lesson planning for them, maybe too much, so I'm trying to find that sweet spot between workaholic and slacker. I have one class with two 13 year old girls. They are really sweet and are only shy about speaking English around their parents, luckily not me. Another class is with three 18 year old guys. Their English is amazing, especially one who spent a lot of time in the US, so I try to prepare a lot of cool activities for them. They suggested we play poker or video games. Sounds perfect. My third class is a complete nightmare. It's with three kids, two 5 year old girls and one 6 year old boy. I think individually they'd be great but together 2/3 of the kids are complete demons. They shout in my face that they hate English, and they fight and normally just run out of the room. If things don't improve I might ditch the class. Especially after talking to a few friends with similar age groups, my story always seems to shock people. It's not normal, thankfully!

So, Dustin. I hadn't seen him in two months since he had moved to Germany. We've had a whirlwind of a summer due to me being in Brazil. I barely got back in time to see him off to Germany. It's been crazy. So, with that in mind, I took the first chance I got to go see him. Mojados, where I teach, had their annual town festivities, so lots of bull related activities (even jumping over them?), and I had Monday October 8th off! So, I left Thursday after work, and it was an insane day spent running to meet trains/connecting flights. Every one of my trip segments was late, but I managed to arrive in Nuremberg at 10:30pm.

But at least I found out KLM is awesome and gives out stroopwafel. Look at the Dutch design on the cup!

Dustin lives maybe 30 minutes from Nuremberg in a smaller town called Amberg. It's a cute town with amazing food and great little cafes. He lives right in the heart of downtown in a place that used to be a palace or something. Think 15 ft. high ceilings, extremely decorative crown molding, hard wood floors, and well, of course everything has been replaced and modernized. It was a dream! I got to meet a lot of his friends, and even his landlord invited us over for dinner. A dinner that turned out to be a four course extravaganza of German cooking. I don't think I've eaten like that in months. We started with prosecco, then had a spiced pumpkin soup, a salad with walnuts, pears, beats, and cheese, chicken and spaetzle, and a pear and apple tart of course followed with a latte macchiato (my favorite coffee beverage of all time). God I'm hungry. I had weisswurst several times and as much sweet mustard as I could get my hands on.

Perfect fries

Best breakfast!

It was such a nice weekend. We saw a change of command military ceremony right in Amberg's main square. It was crazy: flags flying, their Air Force's band playing, me eating bratqursts on the side trying not to be scared to death by the muzzled dogs. Can you imagine the US military walking down the streets of Peachtree City? I also discovered that maracujá juice is all over Germany. Dustin had a bottle of it in the fridge, and when we went out for drinks with his friends I always ordered a vodka maracujá. I experienced the autobahn for the first time! I can't say it was scary at all after the experience of driving in Brazil. I got to see Vilseck, where Dustin works, and we visited the PX and commissary. It was really exciting to be in an "American grocery store" again, even if just to gasp and point, "OH! LOOK AT THE REESE'S! THE PEANUT BUTTER! THE CAPTAIN CRUNCH!"


Fall colors

Window shopping for cats

We explored, we drank, we ate, we played video games, we ate more, we went shopping, we kissed... I didn't want to leave. I love Germany, and despite never having studying German I think I got along pretty decently. I can't wait to go back. Unfortunately Dustin is now in the field for two weeks straight playing war. It's like laser tag on steroids. We won't really be able to talk unless he can sneak off a few What's App messages here and there. I miss him. I miss living in the same goddamn country as him.

I also miss German coffee.

I would have bought this if the shop had been open.

Life in Valladolid is good I think. Work is great, besides that one private class, and I like where I live and the people I live with. I'm eating better than I have been. I'm not as worried about money, even though I still haven't received my first official pay check. My main problem so far is that I really don't have many friends. I've heard the social scene here is difficult to break into, but I'm hoping with more intercambios or even me joining a choir I'll be able to feel like I really live here. For now, I'm pretty lonely.

But, as promised, photos of my room! Finally!

As you can see, I don't like maps.

Yeah, my closet doors are green leather.


  1. It's so good to be back in your blog and see your adventures.
    I'm willing to visit Germany on my next trip and it really seems awesome there.
    I recognize myself on those 7-years-old-kid because all of those things and I can I should have been really annoying! LOL
    Hope you are enjoying Spain as much as I did and I hope you make good friends too. Spanish people are really pleasant to help you, so it won't be hard to find friends.
    Miss you Lauren!
    Fernando Lucas - Goiânia

    1. Thanks Fernando! I love looking at all your travel photos on Facebook. :D

  2. I love all of the maps - very cool.
    Dustin's "i don't know why she's taking this picture, but i'm just happy to be around her" expression is the best part of "Window Shopping for Cats".
    There's Nothing easy about a long distance relationship, but it sounds like this challenge is making your relationship stronger, rather than tearing it apart.