I suppose this wouldn’t be necessary if this site was actually kept mildly up to date. Nevertheless:
July: Celebrated Schwörmontag in Ulm, a yearly festival that will someday be recapped here but consisting of a parade of inflatable rafts on the Danube, a concert on the Münsterplatz (Last year was Jamaraquoi, this year will be Elton John. I suppose a concert underneath an historic church in Southern Germany isn’t the oddest venue he’s played, but still.), and I think a speech from the mayor. I’ve not exactly attended that last portion. We also saw David Guetta live in Ulm, an experience worth repeating in 2012.
August: It was hot. Like 90+ degrees Fahrenheit in the office hot. Germans tend to be highly suspicious of air conditioning (it makes you sick) so many offices have either very minimal A/C (my new office) or none at all (the old one). It made for some very toasty days. Having experienced a bit of both, I think I can safely say I’d rather be working harvest in 90 degree temps than at a computer. At least with harvest, there is a chance for a cool breeze. An office is just stagnant and stinky. However, the office fun does tend to end after eight or nine hours while harvest…doesn’t.
September: Old job finished! And a month off in between! Thus, we took ourselves down to Egypt and experienced as much history, delicious food and sunshine as we could. Definitely ranks as one of my top vacations. Ended the month with some lovely Seattleites, a welcome-home cow parade and the always-fun, Oktoberfest. Additional highlights included some stunningly beautiful fall weather, making up for the relentless fog of July.
October: The new job begins, and with it, a brand new set of German vocabulary that I’m still having trouble with. Most of the month is spent in survival mode, as there is a lot to learn. We spend a quick weekend exploring Freiburg, in the southern part of the Black Forest and find everything delightful. Landscape, food, people and the beer are all fantastic. The drive back? A bit narrow, slow and foggy.
November: Somehow winter arrives, and with it, the Christmas markets. Commence Glühwein drinking and the utter insanity that comes with everyone trying to drive into the city to shop every single evening. At the ski season opening in Ischgl we ski on man-made snow trails, surrounded by brown mountainsides. The snow arrived a bit slowly in 2011. We find ourselves a local, free range, delicious German turkey (really the only turkey available) and have our second annual Thanksgiving in Germany. I make my first roux, which is both delicious and somewhat time-consuming.
December: The Germans are in full Christmas-shopping mode. I take the bus to work every day so as to not deal with the ridiculous traffic. We try and tackle a bit of shopping ourselves, and on December 22, escape the country for Christmas in Washington. The holiday is spent with family, and far too much eating and drinking. Or in other words, a perfect end to the year.