It's official.  I went to buy smokes today and the man behind the counter pulled them down before I even opened my mouth.  Ironically, the only German I've managed to master is "Zwei Davidoff Blau, bitte."  I'm sticking to the positive here, and not the idea that maybe, just maybe, I smoke too much.  
Anyway, same old, same old here.  Apartment blah blah blah.  Stressing over four stupid walls has nearly drowned out the excitement of being home in less than a week.  Nearly.  Friends, family, I miss you.  

I could have taken a picture of the flood in our new bedroom, but that would have further embarrassed the cute 77 year old that accidentally hammered a nail into the copper piping.  Oh the adventures in German apartment rentals, will this ever get old?

Skype with Aaron this evening.  Telling him about my day.  Look back on our conversation and his side went like this:
oh good.

Maybe I've gone over the limit of acceptable complaints for the day.  He sounds like my Mom when she's listening to the Babcia talk about how many bananas she's ate this week.  

Highlight of the Day:
Being the lucky recipient of REAL mistletoe courtesy of my most favourite German.  It's very cool, but as I was told by her 7 year old, also very poisonous.  And that's why you hang it from the ceiling.  To keep it away from your poisonous berry loving daughter.  

First off, don't say DEN.mark.  Not because people will frown at you but because it's so much cooler to do a pretty believable Texan accent and pronounce it the way the Danes spell it.  DAN.mark.  Do it, you'll feel happy for a nanosecond. 

Last year I read about the Christmas market at the Tivoli in Copenhagen and very nearly booked a flight.  The pictures of twinkling lights and wooden booths, gorgeous people strolling in the dark with mugs of mulled wine was too much.  I was very excited that we had the opportunity as a family to travel there this year and ugh, I'm already annoying myself as I type.

Ok, so this city kind of rests on its laurels.  Its reputation is such that most anyone will be lured in by the above imagery and a few dozen other reasons that will make you feel like by travelling there you will end up in a Scandanavian Wonderland.  Maybe you will, maybe you have.  Lucky you.  

I didn't love it.  For several reasons that I can't hold against the city, such as weather, a cranky husband, cranky kids.  Wannabe hipsters "planking" on the Little Mermaid.  Every corner of the city was being constructed on. The food is expensive.  Danish design, which is out of this world beautiful, is out of reach. 

I don't want to judge too harshly because it could have been different.  I retain a curiosity for this city that hopefully will bring me back.  
I now have a tattoo that will always remind me of the one afternoon when the kids had screamed a little too much.  And Aaron offered to take them back to the hotel so I could be alone for a bit.  I don't know why I did it right then and there.  I don't know why I didn't discuss it with Aaron first.  I don't know why I didn't just use the money and go buy a lamp.  So now rests in the crook of my arm, a reminder of my family, and all the pain and the joy that is life.  

FYI . . . I haven't written anything down in over a week and all I can think about is Grade 12 Creative Writing class and I PROMISE I will be back to my crass, no nonsense self by tomorrow.  When I show you pretty pictures of our apartment coming together!  I need a dose of shallowness to help temper this sentimental bullshit imagery, metaphors, similes, alliteration, personification ... regressing to Grade 9 English.  

Here, pictures!
On the train to Dusseldorf Airport.
The sea.
I've spared you the details of the last week as they were monotonous, draining and all together not funny.  We've spent the greater part of our days inside flooring and DIY stores trying to get the new place ready for habitation.  The biggest news of the week was that, according to Claudia, her wishes and dreams came true as we were able to take a double decker bus to Senden to sign our apartment contract.  
We're off to Copenhagen for the week and if all goes well, I should have more interesting stories to share when we're back.  Talk soon!  xo. 
Hi all!  We're in Europe, the culture oozes from the cobblestones and the air is seeped in history.  But really, who gives a fuck, when for 20 bucks we suddenly find ourselves in front of the blue and yellow megastore known as Ikea??  The girls FREAKED OUT!  I honestly have not seen them this excited in, I don't know, ever.  They leapt and squealed and shouted "We're in Canada!  We're going to have HOT DOGS!!"  Actually, it was us who shouted about the hot dogs. They tasted just like hot dog day in elementary school.  They were North American perfection, except they come with pickles, fried onions and remoulade sauce.  
We shut this store down.  Literally, they locked the doors behind us.  Who knows what excitement we'll encounter when our kitchen is delivered to our apartment in 8 to 10 business days.  Wish us luck!
Halloween has not really caught on here in Germany. The following day is a very Catholic holiday and is the bigger deal of the two.  That said, our German friends, having lived in England for four years, happily threw a party where the kids were able to dress up and eat goodies.  I assumed that since it was a Halloween party, that adults should dress up too.  I would have assumed wrong.  Meeting new Germans while dressed up as Mary Poppins and her Chimney Sweep was probably a bad idea.  Luckily there was champagne to help diminish the initial embarrassment.  
Our host, being very polite, never let me pour my own drink, and I watched as the sparkling liquid vanished before my eyes.  Into my stomach.
In no time at all I was suddenly able to speak German!  I pulled Aaron into another room and shined a spotlight on him and told him to tell me all his secrets as I, Mary Poppins, had transformed into the German Stasi.  Except he did not tell me his secrets.  He was a tough nut to crack.  I reminded him, again in German, that I would get the secrets out of him in due time.  At this point he started laughing, and told me this secret.  My German was non existent and my English merely tolerable, but my Russian accent was spot on.  
Not even the fellow smoker and I bonded that evening and I found myself building the most kick ass train track with Claudia into the wee hours.  
Champagne, you are no longer my friend.
Did I say I would post pictures later in the day?  Perhaps you should have known better.  
Girls' room.
Living room
Our room
Our Neighbourhood
Chocolate, coffee and French pastries.