Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter Weekend

When we were in Greece at the beginning of the month, we decided that it would be fun to spend Easter together. So after a series of failed ideas (Easter weekend is a very popular travel weekend here so to go somewhere over Easter was going to be really expensive!), it was determined that everyone would come to see us in Münster over the weekend and that we'd go from here on to a series of different adventures. The real fun would be spending time together anyway.

So Jaime came to us on Friday evening, and we walked straight to dinner at What's Beef, a burger place we hadn't tried before. There we had the juiciest burger I think I've ever experienced! After dinner, Carson had to rush back to Skype in with FSU for his year-end review, and Jaime and I took our time, talking and finding eis (ice cream) for our dessert. We walked back to our apartment by way of the lake, and spent a relaxing evening in the apartment, making popcorn on the stove and watching the 1991 Beauty and the Beast (Jaime hadn't seen it!). 

The next day, Jaime and I walked around the Altstadt for several hours, had lunch, and did a little shopping after Carson met up with us. We met Jordyn's FlixBus at 5:30 and went back to the apartment to drop off her things. Our first stop was the grocery store, since we'd decided to make an Easter dinner over the weekend (we chose Easter Monday so we could all be together for the meal). After we got all our supplies, we made a quick pit stop at the train station ticket office and then out to dinner at the Vapiano Hafen. Full from dinner, we walked down the Hafen area (Hafen=harbour) before walking home. That night, we watched the movie Hidden Figures (it's really good!) and enjoyed more popcorn.

I've written a whole post of our adventures on Sunday, since it was a really full day, but we went to Easter mass at the Cathedral in Cologne and had lunch at a burger place, meeting up with our friend Ben over there. After that, we went to Kӧnigswinter to see Drachenburg Castle. We finished off the evening with face masks and prep for our Easter meal. That night, we were too tired for a movie, but stayed up just long enough to greet Jenna, who arrived at about 1am. 

On Monday, we made the decision to sleep in, which everyone was grateful for! Carson, Jordyn and Jaime went on a run around the lake near our house (Aasee), and Jenna and I got ready a little slower and opted for a walk around the lake, where we stopped periodically to take pictures. Everyone was showering and getting ready for the day when we returned, and shortly after we'd prepared, we headed into the Altstadt to show everyone the city and to eat lunch. Lots of places were closed because Easter Monday is an official holiday here (can't go shopping or to most cafes, and government buildings are definitely closed), so we enjoyed empty streets. Ben met us at lunch, in from Cologne, and together we all walked around looking at churches and the Schloss, stopping for eis in the process of course.

I thought the bunny breads were so cute, and I liked the Easter lamb bread too! 

We visited the Botanical Gardens behind the Schloss.

(the greenhouse fogged my camera lens)

When we got back from our walk, it was prep time. Jaime and Jenna finished the mashed potatoes, I made deviled eggs, Jordyn put the finishing touches on her pasta salad, and Carson and Ben got to work putting together our little grill (we found one at the grocery store for 7 Euro and I'm so excited we have it!) and starting the chicken, wurst and vegetables we'd prepped. We enjoyed chatting as we worked, and popped open some peanuts to really get the party going.

We dyed eggs the night before and it was so odd! The eggs didn't sweat, but the dye bubbled a little bit on the eggs and made them look really unique!

I don't know before if I've mentioned how much I love German windows - they crack open up top or swing open - we were able to use the windows as a pass-through for meat and other foods, and in between watching the coals the boys were able to chat with us.

The evening was REALLY chilly, but Jenna and I wanted to eat outside if possible, so as the sun was low in the sky, we bundled up and headed out and passed dishes through the window, setting up on the table in the backyard. It was so cold, but everything was delicious and it was so fun to eat with friends! I was proud of us for pulling this off in a busy weekend and for making everything from scratch!

After we'd eaten our fill and decided enough was enough with the cold, we passed the dishes back through the window and came inside to hang out. We played two truths and a lie and a game of Rummy, then watched the movie Now You See Me while eating popcorn. We'd gotten cookies as dessert a few days before, but they looked good so we'd finished them off already.

We didn't get much sleep that night before heading off to Amsterdam where we'd finish off our time together! Our apartment was so crowded but we pulled off housing three people (Ben went back home that night) and we had so much fun in the process! Who needs sleep?

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