I was kindly invited by some dear family friends to visit their beloved home of Nürnberg. (Known in English as Nuremberg.)
It is such a beautiful town that is bursting from its seams with history. I swear if its remaining city walls could talk, it’d have a million tales to tell. From its days as the ‘unofficial Holy Roman Empire’ to the infamous Nuremberg Trials, it’s a city that has had its share of triumphs and travesties.
Walking around you feel as though it’d be no surprise to see a knight ride passed on his horse, or to see a something reminiscent of a town scene from Beauty and the Beast. (Yes, that was in France, but the town gives off a certain vibe one can’t help but see the comparison.)
It also reminded me a lot of the town Rothenburg, which I was lucky enough to visit back in July of 2011.
Oh Germany, I can’t help but adore you and every new treasure you share with me. I am going to miss you!
1. I get giddy (nerd-alert) having my main stop named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe… having been a German Literature major and all. // 2. I can’t resist a dusty bookstores that have entire sections dedicated to Bavarian royal history. // 3. Rooftop gardens are surprisingly common around Munich. I was lucky enough to have drinks at the bar atop one of the University’s buildings. // 4. I love the patterns spotted around the city. I wish I knew more about architecture (read: anything besides the knowledge I acquired in 10th grade Interior Designs class…). // 5. Oktoberfest is right around the corner and it’s all about finding the perfect Dirndl. I finally found “the one” and let me tell ya, it was an experience to say the least. More about that soon. 😉 // 6. The Sendlinger Tor + a sign for the lingerie boutique right outside the gates (that’s been in business since 1885).
Part I. here.
“Nothing can be compared to the new life that the discovery of another country provides for a thoughtful person. Although I am still the same I believe to have changed to the bones.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey
1. Doner Kebab flavored ice cream is not for me, but when someone offers you a taste, you must at least take a chance. // 2. Surfing in central Munich, what else? // 3. What I’d give to know where “L+T” are now; how their love story is unfolding. // 4. Watching the people watching the surfers is almost better than the actual surfers. // 5. Munich is full of love it seems. // 6. What a day.
“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.”
|Had I known, I would have worn my big race hat! Next time, I suppose. Le sigh.|
|Hands-down one of the best mustaches I’ve ever seen.|
|The names of the horses were, by far, the highlight of the day: Smooth Operator, Cool Arrogance,
Secret Gesture, Global Bang, Birthday Prince, and my personal favorite: Giant Cat.
|If I were a horse, this would be my job of preference. Eating 24/7… leisurely working… living the horses dream.|
|Some of Bayern-Munich’s finest players. They also happen to be some of Munich’s finest foxes.|
|My winning ticket! I won a whopping 9 Euros for putting my faith in old Neatico.|
My roommate sweetly offered that I come along and attend the 2013 Dallmayr Horse Races with her and her incredibly kind boyfriend. (Note: How lucky am I to have found such awesome roommates — with boyfriends willing to let me third wheel it to boot!)
It was one of the hottest days in Munich, on record, which to this Kansas girl wasn’t too terrible. But golly, the heat took a toll on a lot of the attendance, leaving us with really great seats and a semi-relaxing atmosphere for me to learn the science that is horse racing.
Though I am a right crap better, I did have luck with the ‘”race of the day” and went for a somewhat of an underdog of a horse. (Simply because in the warm-up circle, I swear to high Heaven he smiled at me!–The horse, not the jockey.) And what do ya know? Neatico, my pick, came flying in out of nowhere in the last stretch and won first place! I made a scene with my hooting and hollering and dancing in the bleachers, but I couldn’t help myself.
I won not only a free canister of Dallmayr coffee, but 9 Euros from Neatico’s great perfomance — and an inside look at the world of horse racing, which I have come to be absolutely fascinated with.
Needless to say, it was an adventure I’ll certainly always remember.
Right now my mama is flying across the big Atlantic to see me. All.by.herself! That’s a big deal for her! I’m so proud — and so thankful she’s making the journey to visit. Now I know what she and my dad mean when they get “nervous” about me traveling. My heart is in my throat, my nerves are chattering as I think and pray that everything’s going well on the trip. I hope people are nice to her. I hope she doesn’t get lost. I hope she is having a good time.
At long last I get what my parents are feeling.
And I have to admit, they are troopers. With the amount of times I’ve called home sobbing about something, I’m surprised they haven’t finally said “ENOUGH.”
Instead they do what I feel they’ve allowed me to do since I was a wee babe.
They encourage me, trust me, simply let me be me.
In my life I’ve flown abroad eight times (with who knows how many connections and layovers). Seven of those times have been alone. I’ve taken more overnight trains, buses, subways, and boat rides than I can count. Not all by myself. But most with friends I’ve made along the way. I’ve only ever felt legitimately scared on two occasions. Thank goodness.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m an “explorer” of the world, rather, I can’t seem to keep my feet in one place for an extended period of time. I attribute it to the fact I haven’t yet found “my place,” found my “aha, this is what and where I am meant to be for my life.” (That’s a bit exaggerated, but hopefully it makes even a tiny bit of sense… I keep getting side-tracked thinking about my mom…)
I would say it’s because even though I’m terrified of being vulnerable, I am always drawn to be exactly that; Heart on my sleeve, take it or leave it, here I am, vulnerable.
Especially when it comes to love.
First I must confess that I am a letter writer. I love finding the perfect card and filling up all of its flaps with words. Letters to professors who’ve inspired, friends who’ve listened, doctor’s who have helped, an ex after our breakup–I have this need to express how they have affected my life, and show my gratitude and perspective.
A few weeks ago, on one of the hardest of nights post-breakup, I began thinking about what I would tell him if I were completely honest. I told my friend JP about it and he asked what I would say. As I typed it all out, I began realizing things I hadn’t consciously considered. It was eye-opening, therapeutic in a way.
JP said I had to tell him what I said.
I said maybe.
In the hub-bub of life and distance I wasn’t in much of a position to tell him this all in person. And over the telephone is just not my style. So, in very 21st Century fashion, I private messaged him on Facebook and, after carefully crafting what tone and words to use, I hit send.
Then I threw up.
It was like handing him my heart and letting him have it on loan until he made a decision.
This is what I knew: I shouldn’t expect a response. If it went viral on Buzzfeed with OMG and LOL badges, my friend Gabby said she’d still be my friend. But most importantly, I knew I had done all I could. It was out of my hands.
I received a kind reply. As kind as a rejection reply can be.
But I didn’t throw up.
I was at peace. I was relieved.
I did all that I could do.
I said everything I wanted, needed him to know.
And most surprisingly, I’m here to tell the tale.
I survived and I have absolutely no regrets.
That’s how I hope to live my life, after all — don’t we all?
With no regrets.
So no matter where I am in the world, what adventure I’m seeking, or the people I’m meeting, my parents have let me live it all though knowing I am a sensitive soul with a heart I wear right out there for the world to see—or write about on this blog…
…Then they comfort me when my heart gets soggy and they celebrate with me when it soars. But they let me live my life how I want to.
If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
The snow keeps falling, falling, falling here in Munich. The city goes on despite the inches that continue to accumulate each hour. Groceries must be bought, meetings must be attended. Life continues.
I love the snow. It’s not like Kansas snow. It’s much more powdery and it’s a relief to brush it off my car with a mere swipe and not have to chip away a layer of ice beneath, as it so often goes in Kansas winters. It’s the kind of snow depicted in picture books. It’s the most beautiful snow I have ever experienced.
And so I am happy it continues falling, falling, falling.
I am — after much time — starting to feel more confident in my decision to come to Munich. New job opportunities are popping up and I have started meeting many wonderful people.
After so many months, I think I’ve found my place in this beautiful city. Or at least I’m finding my way more and more each day.
For this I am oh, so very thankful.
And of course — after all this time — I still wake up every morning feeling blessed to be on this amazing adventure.
P.S. Thank you for your support in helping find my friend. Keep praying! Keep spreading the word!