Well, this marks my first year away from home for Thanksgiving. First year without turkey and cranberry, yams, or homemade rolls. No pumpkin pie (or any pie for that matter) either. First year with no Macey's day parade, no family within a thousand miles, no chaotic but cherished gathering of crazy cousins (everyone please appreciate the alliterations there). This Thanksgiving was a different one in many ways, but I believe it ultimately made me more grateful for the many blessings in my life.
The holiday break started Wednesday as soon as class finished. Girls throughout the Centre had planned different trips to Rome, Salzburg, Barcelona, Florence, and Paris; all were rushing about finishing up packing, printing plane tickets, and calling out the door. How incredible is it that we live within an hour to two hour plane ride of so many different cities and countries? It blows my mind. I am grateful for the chance to travel to new countries and cultures.
Me, Ellen, Olivia, and Keturah chose to go to Munich, Germany. I am here to report it was an excellent decision. Only regret? Not realizing that "it's going to be cold in Germany" translates to "it's going to be frigid and you should probably bring every warm thing you own." But hey, you live and you learn, right? What's a trip to Germany without a little surprise and adventure? I am grateful for the warm scarf my amazing roommate Morgs knitted for me last year because it saved my butt. She is the best human being I know folks.
We arrived Wednesday evening, took a train to our hotel, and just crashed that night so we could get an early start and make the most of the next day. When we went down to breakfast the next morning (Thanksgiving day!) to our pleasant surprise we found what was easily the best hotel breakfast I have ever had. SCORE. At the Centre we just have cereal, toast, oatmeal, yogurt, and bananas/oranges available for breakfast. This.. This was a feast. They had EGGS. Delicious scrambled eggs. Not the gross ones hotels usually have. I am talking homemade. Along with fresh bread, fancy cheese, turkey slices, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, mix fruit salad, cereals, etc. It just was so great.. I have missed eggs for breakfast so much. I am grateful for scrambled eggs and hotels that provide them.
I am grateful for the experience I had there and things I learned, as hideous as the place was.
(He was also not too hard on the eyes, if you know what I'm saying..). It was all decked out for Christmas; Pine boughs everywhere, candlelight, and red and green decorations in a completely cliche (in the very best way) manner. I had chicken with broccoli and rice. Not the usual, but very very good. I am grateful for kind strangers who take pictures for you outside of restaurants and I am grateful for good chicken; I love chicken and broccoli. Honestly might be one of my favorite combinations (right up there with graham crackers + milk and peanut butter + strawberries on toast).
There was a Christmas tree coming out of the ceiling..? Who knows. We just went with it and loved it.
Friday after another perfect breakfast we took a two hour train ride to the tiny town of Fussen to see the famous Neuschwanstein Castle--the castle Disney modeled after. Well, when we arrived my heart sunk a little because it was SO FOGGY. You honestly could hardly see twenty feet in front of you. They pointed and said "right above that building is the castle!" ..... Nothing. Could not see a single thing but fog. We started to hike up the mountain and I just was praying for the fog to clear enough to see it when we reached the top. The interior was cool, very different from any of the castles in England, but the part I was most interested in was the exterior. Well. I am grateful for prayer because by the time we hiked up past the castle to a viewing brigde the fog had cleared just enough for us to see it perfectly! It was perfect. It appeared to be floating on the clouds. I promise I took this photo (with just my phone even)! It truly was that beautiful. Crazy kings build gorgeous castles.
Snapshot from our beautiful walk up the mountain to Neuschwanstein