In a few hours the German and I will be departing the warmth of South Carolina for the 3rd stop on our American Christmas Bonanza - Racine, Wisconsin, home to my Grandfather and lots 'o cheese. We decided to squeeze in a visit to my step-father's family because eventually we will fly back to Germany from Chicago, and Racine is just a hop, skip, and toll road away.
I am REALLY looking forward to going home to Germany. It is funny . . . That is the first time that I have ever considered Germany home. But I miss my bed . . . My shower . . . My friends . . . My job . . . Smarty . . . My privacy.
It has been great to see the family, but all of the travel does take a lot out of you. When we leave on Saturday, we will have put over 3000 miles on the gas guzzler, I mean rental car. The German and I never want to do this again. Visiting family is NOT a vacation. Not only is this stressful and not at all restful, but inevitably you offend someone by not spending enough time with them or failing to drive to see them. To those I have offended, I am sorry. I have spent over $2000 and traveled 6000 miles (driving and flying) in 17 days. I could not visit everyone. I need a vacation from my vacation.
Because we rotate Christmas, 2006 will be spent in Germany. I am trying to convince my mom to come over in December 2006. Not only is it Christmas, but she could spend her 50th birthday with her daughter in Germany. How cool is that? If you know my mother, send her an email telling her to visit her daughter!
Christmas 2007 will be spent in the States again. I am already thinking about it and getting nervous. As we were walking on the beach this week, the German had a fantastic idea. "Why don't we rent a house with lots of bedrooms on the beach for two weeks? We will stay there, and who ever wants to visit can come to us." That seems pretty reasonable to me . . . and very relaxing.
Before I hit the road, I have to make a post in honor of my best girlfriends, Jess and Mere. We were chatting last night about the blog and some of the culture stuff I have confronted (food, work, laundry) and others that I have yet to mention. One of the best is clothing. So here is a list of fashion, culture "give a ways," i.e. when you someone in this it is a total give away what country they are from. This list is not exhaustive. Post a comment if you have others.
U.S. Fashion Give Away
White Tennis Shoes
Khaki pants (especially with white tennis shoes)
Baggy Blue Jeans
Shirt Hanging Out
German Fashion Give Away
Orange Pants (especially on men)
REALLY tight, short shorts
Sandals with Socks
Tight blue jeans
Tucked in Shirts
I also have another post for the Cheap/Expensive File:
Vitamins: U.S. = cheap Germany = REALLY expensive
Prescription medication: U.S. = expensive Germany = cheap