After finishing my last blog post at about 3:30am and going to bed at around 4, I woke up at 5:30 so I could go say goodbye to Robbie who was leaving at 6:00. Then Megan and I finished packing and I dragged both of my 50-lb suitcases to the front door. Our minicab picked us up and took us to Heathrow. I didn’t cry as we left but I was pretty sad. It didn’t feel real that I was leaving.
There are advantages and disadvantages to taking a minicab vs. an actual licensed, metered cab. Minicabs are basically independent cab companies. As a general rule, metered cabs are better because they are just less sketchy and very regulated. Within London city limits, it’s definitely better to take a metered cab because you can get pretty much anywhere for pretty cheap anyway. However, a trip to Heathrow in a metered cab would cost about £80-£90. Megan did some investigating online, and the company we ended up using charged us a £30 flat rate and picked us up at the door. Splitting it made it really cheap, but it ended up costing me an extra £10 to be taken to Terminal 5 since it was the farthest one. Oh well.
I got dropped off at Terminal 5 around 7:45am.
Did I mention my flight was at 3:10pm??
The only reason I went to the airport that early was so I could split a cab. Since I was only going to Germany, my flight was a lot later in the afternoon than pretty much everyone else’s who were going all the way to America. So I was at the airport alone with 100lbs of luggage. I optimistically tried to drop off my bags at the baggage desk at 8. The woman told me I couldn’t drop them off until 3 hours before my flight. Sooo at 12:10pm. Sooo then I was stuck in the airport on less than 2 hours of sleep with 100lbs of bags with me. I had a coffee at a café and then took about 15 power naps that lasted between 2 and 10 minutes. I was suspicious of someone trying to steal my bags (ha. as if.)
Eventually, one of my friends from Regent’s, Emily, arrived in Terminal 5 and we hung out for about an hour or two (she was also disgustingly early for her flight). I finally dropped off my bags and went through security and later to my flight. I fell asleep almost immediately after boarding and we for some reason sat on the ground in the plane for about an hour before taking off, but we still arrived in Frankfurt early.
It didn’t take long for me to get through Passport Control (there weren’t many non-EU citizens on that flight) and get my bags. And then I made it to Moritz! ❤
Before going back to his apartment, we stopped at a restaurant in Heidelberg that we always go to to have schnitzel. Moritz said it was for my birthday dinner! It was pretty good. Then we went back to his apartment and he blindfolded me while he set up a “birthday surprise.” When he finally let me in the room, he had lit lots of candles and put hearts all over the room saying things that he loved about me. He also made a tiramisu cake like he did the very first time I came to Germany 🙂
I unpacked a little and we ate some cake and watched the end of the Chiefs game against the Raiders (it had a much happier ending than the one today did). I think that was about it for Sunday.
Monday, Moritz had class in Heidelberg in the morning. He drew me a map so I could walk to the tram station which would take me to the city. I had a pretzel and a cappuccino at a bakery and then we met outside a Starbucks. We walked around and looked at the Christmas markets and we also shared a bratwurst. When we left, we went to the grocery store and picked up the ingredients to make some spätzle with some sauce, and some drinks. We used his spätzle shaker which worked a lot better than it did when I tried it at home last year. It was a pretty good meal. I think we watched Notting Hill that night, because I went to Notting Hill when I was in London.
Tuesday I woke up and I was sick. I had a cold and was coughing with a sore throat and runny/stuffy nose. Moritz decided to skip class that day and he made me some noodle soup which was really good 🙂 We watched some How I Met Your Mother and I took a nap in the afternoon. When I woke up, I took a shower and then we went to a place called Mandy’s which is a diner and we had the “Heidelburger” and also went to the store to get some more noodles for making soup.
Wednesday I felt a little better. Moritz had class in the afternoon and I went to Heidelberg and had a cheese pretzel which was really good. I walked around some more and we went back to the apartment and had soup for dinner and some snacks. Then we watched Pitch Perfect and then Moritz worked on his presentation for the next day and I fell asleep twice.
Thursday he had class pretty early so I slept and then went to Heidelberg and had another cheese pretzel. I walked around the Christmas markets and looked for candles for the Christmas pyramid I bought my mom in Berlin last year. Then I went to the river and took some pictures and then went to the Heidelberg University library while I waited for Moritz to be done with class. When he arrived, we walked all the way up to Heidelberg Castle like we always do. Then we left to go back to Tübingen for the weekend to see his family. Moritz and I played a game of Phase 10 Dice before bed (I won).
Friday morning we got up pretty early to go pick out a Christmas tree with Moritz’s sister, Klara. We went to Hornbach which is pretty much like the German version of Home Depot. It was a lot easier to pick one out there than it was to cut it down like we did last year 😉 When we got back, we decorated it. We ordered Kebab for lunch. Then Moritz and I took a nap before going to the Esslingen Christmas market with Moritz’s dad and girlfriend. It took about an hour to get there, but it was really cool because the Christmas market was medieval. It was like a mixture between a regular Christmas Market and the Renaissance Festival. I had a Nutella and banana crepe, some Käsespätzle, and some Kinderpunsch. Then we went to the games section. There was a “bow and arrow” game and I was pretty good at it. I hit 5/6 targets. Then there was a game where you throw axes into tree stumps. I got two to stick in, by the handles. Everyone was pretty impressed by that. That night we played International Café (I lost).
Yesterday, we went to Moritz’s grandma’s house. She is a really good cook and made lunch for us which was delicious (salad I like, meat, mashed potatoes, and spätzle). We also had dessert and Christmas cookies and then we went to a nearby church to look at a display of Nativity scenes. I think we spent about an hour there looking at them and there must have been about 50. We went back to her house and then Moritz and his grandma played a game, and then all three of us played a game. Around 9pm we went back to Tübingen, and got back at 10. Starting at 10:30, we played Phase 10 (the card version) with Klara, Klaus, and Birgit. There was a little drama and the game ended at about 12:45am with Klara announcing her surrender.
Today we woke up pretty late, showered, had lunch with Klaus and Klara, and then I packed and we headed back to Heidelberg since my flight is from Frankfurt tomorrow at 8:45am. We ordered Chinese food and watched the dismal Chiefs game, and now we are watching The Shining.
It’s weird to think this is my last post on this blog and my last night in Europe!
I’ve really enjoyed writing here for the past four months and thanks to everyone who has been reading! 🙂