Uncategorized

10th week / Shenandoah National Park

Posted on Updated on

And another week that past so fast. It feels like time is flying and there are so many upcoming events, it’s unbelievable.🙈

On Monday we went on a movie night with the whole family, to watch Ghostbusters with the whole family. It was not just a movie, it was called a movie-party. Everybody got 2 light sticks, one in red, one in blue, a whistle, a huge marshmallow and a little bell, which we should use when it’s also used in the movie. We also were allowed to talk the whole time during the move, as long as it were the correct lyrics. 😃 It was really fun and we all enjoyed it very much.😊

FullSizeRender 156FullSizeRender 157 IMG_7927

I also got my Virginia driver’s license this week, which is the third license I have now 😊

FullSizeRender 154

The rest of the week went pretty normal until Friday. On Friday I worked my two hours in the morning and afterwards I was off, because I was supposed to work on Saturday night. So I had long Skype talks with some of my favourite people (7 hours, to be honest), and I thought, this would be a really laid-back weekend. Until I got a text, that I would not need to be with my host family saturday night (To make one thing clear: I really love them. I also don’t mind working on weekends. But if there’s the possibility to spend time with my friends after a week of work, I will always choose that.😉 )

So I packed my bags and went of to Rabea (again 😃 ) where Vicci and Marie had already arrived, too. We spend the night eating pizza and nachos and watching High School Musical. (Yes, we’re grown up! ) On Saturday, we drove North to go hiking in the Shenandoah National Park. At least that was the plan. It took us about 3 hours to get there (instead of the 1,5 hours the gps had told us before.) But we had good music in the car, so the bad traffic was not THAT bad. When we arrived there, we were looking for a nice hiking trail, but first, we stopped at some overlooks to take some pictures. Then we stopped, to have a nice picnic and then we got into another traffic jam in the Skyline Drive, the only road through the mountains. So we just took another stop at an overlook and decided to turn around and drive back again. (that sounds really short, but we really spend about 3 hours in the park!) And yes, we constantly sang Country Roads and we got to see the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River! 😍

IMG_8166 IMG_8197 FullSizeRender 158FullSizeRender 152 FullSizeRender 155

On our way home we picked up Alex and drove to Rabea’s again, where we had dinner, and decided to go on with Disney movies, so we watched Camp Rock 1 and 2 and Mean Girls afterwards (or at least we started that one, we went to bed during that one.

Sunday was really lazy, we slept in, got some rolls from the German bakery in Arlington, and watched some more movies. (finished mean girls, started chetah girls and went on with Twilight. Yes, we’re weird.😃) When I came home a few minutes ago, I just talked to my boys and my host mum a little bit and went straight to my room, to fall in my bed. I’m so tired and I can’t really believe that the weekend is already over again. Time is flying so fast! One more week until Halloween, two more until our trip to Philadelphia, then it’s Thanksgiving and soon afterwards Christmas and then 2015 is already over! That’s crazy!

Oh btw, my trip to the Rocky Mountains is cancelled, we’re trying to make it in December, but there’s nothing fixed yet, which is really sad, but we can’t change it…

Hope you all have a great new week! 😊

Love, Kathi ❤️

Advertisements

7th week/ Oktoberfest

Posted on Updated on

My weekend was AMAZING. Seriously, it was awesome.❤️

Monday to Thursday were normal days. The boys went to school, we did their homework, we tried to go outside afterwards, we had dinner, everyone went to bed.

On Friday I only needed to work between 6am and 8am. Afterwards I slept again (as always😃) and shortly after 2 I left go to the cheescake factory with Alex. We wanted to have a late lunch, which turned out to be a tea time because we decided to skip the  meal and directly do the dessert. And that’s never a mistake. The Cheesecakes are so delicious! Even though I could not finish my piece because I was way too full.

FullSizeRender 134FullSizeRender 132

Afterwards, we just walked around in the mall, to do a little shopping, but I didn’t have too much time because I needed to get pack my stuff for the weekend and drive to the metro. That turned out to be really hard, because of the upcoming Hurricane and the little rain we had. Did I ever mention that American people are horrible drivers?! Yes, it was raining, the streets were wet, but that’s no reason to drive 20mph when you’re allowed to drive 45mph. Seriously, there are people who want to be on time.

Anyway, I got to the metro, Rabea picked me up in McLean, we picked up Hanna and Julia (2 other German au pairs) and went on our journey to upstate Maryland. The weather was really bad, but someone heard our hopes and it got better during the weekend, even though it was still cold.

Yes, it's in Celsius
Yes, it’s in Celsius

After driving on the crazy American roads, visiting McDonalds and a typical American highway diner (there’s no way to not stop twice on a 4 hour trip with 4 girls in a car), and seeing a lot of deers, we arrived around 11 in McHenry, where Rabeas host family has a cabin in the woods, where they were already waiting for us. So we brought all our stuff inside, got something to drink from Chris, Rabeas host dad, talked to him a little bit and went to bed to get some rest.

The next morning was when all the fun started. The plan for the day was an Oktoberfest, that we (as the German girls) should help organize, to have a fun night. But first, Hanna wanted to go for a run, so we decided to take the Quad, so we can by her side, without moving too much ourselves (aren’t we lazy?!) But it was so much fun!

Then Julia and I decided to prove the men, that we are strong women, so we chopped some wood, to make a bonfire at night. That was our workout for the day and it really was very exhausting.

FullSizeRender 135

This all happened even before noon, so we had so much time left to do stuff! We helped Chris and his friends, who arrived shortly after us on friday night, to bring their Kayaks down to the river where they went for a short trip. The forest we were in was beautiful, so we took a few pictures, before we climbed the mountain again, to get back to the house. 😉

IMG_6644IMG_6650

IMG_6673 FullSizeRender 138IMG_6652

Then we went to the grocery store, to get everything we needed, and then the kitchen work started. We made homemade Bretzels, Julia made Kässpätzle, we had Sauerkraut, Weißwürste, Sausages and Salads, that needed to be prepared before all the guests would arrive. It was a lot of work, but it was totally worth it. The food was awesome and reminded us so much of our lovely homes! ❤️

FullSizeRender 136

FullSizeRender 139

The other guests of the Oktoberfest were different than we had expected! It was not only ‘old’ people, but also some boys, who are kayaker friends of Chris, who were just a little older than us, who were really nice. So we had a lot of fun and the night was very long and so amazing! I am so glad I had the chance to be part of this! 😊

On sunday, we wanted to have a little fun before we needed to go back home, so we went to the biggest water falls of Maryland 😊

Afterwards we took a lot of pictures on the Quads, to have some prove, that we really did that!

And then finally it was the moment, we were waiting for. We went down to the river again to fire some guns. Chris was with us all the time to give us instructions while we were shooting all the poor sprite cans we emptied the evening before. We were really good although it was the first time for Julia, Hanna and me. It was a big experience and we all agreed, that it might be fun with cans, but we could never point a gun on something that is alive, no matter if it’s a person or ‘just’ an animal.

The weekend was a lot of fun and it was way too short, but it was time for us, to pack our bags and go home again, not without stopping at an Olive Garden, to get some delicious Pasta (because we didn’t have enough food during the weekend!😃)

I’m so happy we had this weekend and I’m sure, I will see that little cabin in the woods again one time.😊

the cabin we lived in :)
the cabin we lived in 🙂
Cans, where we alreaedy shot into it..
Cans, where we alreaedy shot into it..
We had Leberwurst and German bread!
We had Leberwurst and German bread!

I hope everyone in Germany enjoys all the little things I don’t really have here. Like German bread, or even the meat to put on it. Appreciate what you have! I miss so many things, it’s incredible.

Love, Kathi ❤️

6th week, Ed Sheeran, Friends

Posted on Updated on

Oops, almost forgot to give everyone an update!

This week was exciting! Not my job, that’s sure something with highlights (may they be good and evil), but this week was special. Wednesday night I got off from work earlier (but not before preparing some pizza for the boys so they won’t starve). Esra picked me up and we drove to the Metro station in Reston (Yes, we may have spent 24$ on toll roads on accident and because we were in a hurry. Oops.) we jumped into the next train, switched at Metro Center, got off in Chinatown and were where we wanted to be. THE VERIZON CENTER. which was visited by the one and only ED SHEERAN on that evening. Yes, we had crappy seats, yes, we payed a lot of money, but yes, it was so totally worth it.

FullSizeRender-3-1 IMG_6494-1IMG_6495-1

Yes, getting up on Thursday morning was hard. It really was. But my life really does love me. My host mum had an early meeting and could drop the boys off at school, so that I was in bed again at 7:15. Yes, life is good!

So the week was almost over, I went shopping with Chiara on Friday morning (the first time I didn’t buy anything since I’m here!) and in the afternoon, I took my boys to the basketball court again. but it was raining, so we just played for an hour before we went home to do their favorite activity: watching TV.

After dinner I went out for dinner (yes, twice!) with Daleen, which is always fun.:) we just had salads because we didn’t want to eat unhealthy burgers, but she somehow managed to make me order some dessert, which is why I had this beautiful little chocolate cake 🙂

FullSizeRender-5

On saturday it was time for some cultural education, so I went to the museum in DC with Tom, who is a German guy who lives downtown. We went to the National Museum of Natural History, which had many stuffed animals and some that were alive and told us about evolution and everything related to that. It was interesting and it’s worth going in there (especially because it’s for free! 😀 ) Afterwards we went to Vapiano, which is probably my favourite place to eat at all time (or at least since I’m here) and had some pizza! 🙂

IMG_6504

On Sunday I got up at 7. (wtf?! exactly.) I got a shower, got dressed and took the  car to the metro (which was half an hour late.) Thanks god I’m German and always too early (just kidding, this was the first time I was early. And I won’t do it again). But I still made it on time to the George Mason University in Arlington, where I had my first class about Philadelphia, the Declaration of Independence and the culture of Amish People. It was really interesting and I got to meet some new people which was great!

FullSizeRender-4-1

Afterwards I picked up Nina and we went to DSW, to buy some new shoes (you can never have too many!). And no, I didn’t buy one pair…

I bought two! (and again. Oops.) But they were on sale. like really hard on sale. Like you safe 100$ and only pay 23$ for them on sale. So who wouldn’t have bought them?!

And because we had not spent enough money yet, we went out for some awesome and really delicious Sushi at ChinChinCafe.

IMG_0854

I know it’s a short entry, but it’s already late and I’m way too tired to do anything else but sleeping.

Oh, but I do have a picture of a red supermoon for you. (But only if your imagination is good enough)

IMG_6514-1

And next week I’m gonna tell you about my plans with someone I’ve known for 13 years now, someone you would never think of.😃

Love, Kathi.❤️

4th week, daily routine

Posted on

Mornings are always stressy. ‘Brush your teeth!’ ‘Put on your shoes!’ ‘Don’t forget your bottles!’ ‘Go and brush your teeth!’ (Yes, it’s twice. Yes, I need to say everything twice. Or three times. Sometimes 5 times.)

‘How was school, did you learn anything?’ ‘It was okay. We didn’t learn anything.’ Same conversation everyday. Then the talks about poisonous animals and pet lizards they want to have. (No, I don’t know who came up with that idea. I needed to google lizards, to find out, what it is.)

‘Come on, do your homework!’ ‘Sit at the table and do your homework!’ ‘Why are you in the kitchen? Start doing your homework!’

‘ I don’t eat that.’ ‘Why did you put this in it?’ ‘Can’t we just have Mac n Cheese?’ ‘Do I need to eat the vegetables?’ ‘Can I go and watch TV now?’

Things that happen everyday. Always.

Daily routine is coming. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know. On some days it’s good, I know exactly what to do, nothing really changes during the week, except when I get a call to take one of the boys to the ER, because his stomach hurts so bad, he can’t stay in school. Don’t worry, it was not as bad as it seemed, first thing he did in the hospital was turning on the TV.

But sometimes I’m afraid it could get boring. Everyday the same. Every day the same fights about the same meaningless things. Everyday the same problems with doing their homework. Every day the same comments about the food, what they had in their lunch boxes, what they don’t like…

But when they come at night, just before they go to bed, hug me and tell me, that they love me, then I know, that this year is gonna be exhausting as sh***, but it’s gonna be totally worth it. Because no matter how hard or boring or exhausting it can be, at the end of the day, my boys love me and I love them.❤️

And thanks god, we don’t only have weekdays! There are two and a half days a week, that I have free time. That doesn’t mean, that i will be on my own, because I obviously live with my host family and having three boys next door to your room, will always wake you up at 7 in the morning. But that’s okay. I can live with that. Because I know, it’s not my business at the weekend. I have my plans and I let them do whatever they want to do (mostly watching TV and playing IPad. What else?!)

This friday I met with Daleen, an au pair from South Africa, who lives here since August 2014. We went to Rebounderz, which is a big Trampoline – Centre. We had a great time, although it is really exhausting, just jumping around. After half an hour we were so tired! But we kept on jumping, because we payed for a whole hour and it was too expensive to just stay one hour…

yes, we're sweaty, no, we don't care. :D
yes, we’re sweaty, no, we don’t care. 😃
cause everyone's a little craycray :D
cause everyone’s a little craycray 😃

Saturday, all of my plans got cancelled. And it was raining. So I decided to stay the whole day in bed with my friend Netflix 🙂 This worked pretty well, until Daleen convinced me to grab some dinner in the evening. So I got myself out of bed, and we went to this Italian restaurants (The blue ridge grill was full, we should’ve waited until they had a table). It all looked really fancy and the people there were more than nice and the food was not too expensive. That all sounds pretty good. But instead of the Italian Insalata Cesare with Grilled Chicken that we ordered, we got something that tasted like the salad mixes you can get in every supermarket. Definitely not worth the money. It wasn’t even worth a picture. It was just not what we expected and we won’t go there again.

On sunday I made some nice breakfast, just because we had strawberries and I wanted to have them right after I woke up. So everyone got a few strawberry pancakes and we had some more strawberries, it was delicious.😊

IMG_5950

After I went back to bed and had a nice after – breakfast – nap, I did my exercise (yes, it really said exercise. I’m getting fat and I don’t want to stop eating.) and I got ready for my first au pair meeting ever.:D Although I’ve been here for three month now, I never had one of the meetings you should have every month. (I didn’t have a Community Counselor back in West Virginia, and there weren’t any au pairs to meet up with) So we went bowling and had some coffee afterwards and it was really nice😊

We are three German girls and one French girl and we all live really close to each other, so we will probably do some things together in the future 😊

IMG_5971

German girls :)
German girls 😊

And that’s already it for this week! Tomorrow we will start all over again with school and discussions and fights and homework and dinner and everything else we’re doing all day every day.😊

Love, Kathi.❤️

1st week, summer

Posted on Updated on

From now on, I’m trying to write more. About what happens here, what I experience and how I feel about everything. I will try to give a weekly update, we’ll see, if that works out.😉

My first week in my new family was exiting, exhausting and educational.

After dinner on Sunday I fainted a little bit, because I hadn’t slept in two days and sitting in a train for the whole day is not the best for your circulation. So we decided that I needed to sleep and would not work on Monday, which was possible because one of the former au pairs is here for a visit until September 3rd, so she took over for a day. I had a nice long sleep and had enough time to unpack my suitcases and arrange my room as I wanted to.

The boys came home for lunch after a morning at a playground and in the afternoon we drove to the pool. We stayed there a few hours and went home for dinner.

We did this program with the boys the whole week, because that’s the best to do with boys, who have a lot of energy. In the mornings, when it’s still a little cold, we were at playgrounds and spent the afternoons at the pool, which was always fun. We only needed to stay at home on Thursday because it was raining, and that’s when I learned, that these boys should not be in the house for the whole day. That only ends in fights and endless discussions about who did what and why and who’s fault it is.

The work is exhausting, but totally worth it. Especially when we have some Frozen Yoghurt afterwards or go shopping or have some cake at the cheesecake factory.😊 All the money I saved during my time in West Virginia, will now just fly away,  I already know it. But I will give my best to take special care of it and save half of the money I earn to be able to travel and have a great 13th month, when I’m over with this year.😊

On Saturday we drove to Elysburg, Pennsylvania, where we visited Knobles, a big amusement park. We stayed the whole day and had a lot of fun on all the different rides. We mostly did the ones for the kids, but that was totally okay 😉  It was a great day and we were all really tired when we came home late at night.

this does not even show, how many people were there...
this does not even show, how many people were there…
you're never too old to take a ride on a carousel!
you’re never too old to take a ride on a carousel!

11925994_10153565596388850_4850124002821024988_n

took a tour on one of those old cars.
took a tour on one of those old cars.:)

On Sunday, we decided to take the Metro to DC, so I could go there for my first time and the former au pair can see it again, before she leaves us to go back to Germany next week. We went shopping, visited the president and had great dinner the Vapiano in Chinatown.😊

DSC_0232
he didn’t want to talk to me, so I just waved, but no one waved back…

That’s it about last week, hopefully until next week!

Love,

Kathi ❤️

Chicago

Posted on Updated on

The kids haven’t been with us the last three weeks, so I figured to use my free time to make a first weekend trip. Well, it wasn’t really a weekend trip, I departed on Wednesday night with a train from the really small train station. It took me 13 hours to arrive in Chicago, in which I got to know a guy from California, who had the seat next to me. He was really nice and we talked the whole time (except the time we were asleep). Sleeping in a train is the most uncomfortable thing ever. You wake up every half an hour because you can’t really find a good position that doesn’t look too weird, without lying on the person next to you.

When I arrived at the station, I thought it would be a good idea to stretch my legs after 13 hours of sitting and walk to the apartment I was staying at ( which it wasn’t because it was way too hot to walk 30 minutes through the crowded city. But I got a first view of the city, which was great 😊

When I got to the apartment, I met the girl who lives there, who is nice and showed me around the city a little bit.:)

Cloud Gate -  das bekannteste Wahrzeichen der Stadt
Cloud Gate – das bekannteste Wahrzeichen der Stadt
Promenade at Lake Michigan
Promenade at Lake Michigan
just a few really high buildings around Millennium Park
just a few really high buildings around Millennium Park

On Friday I just had a chilly day on the beach and shopping on Michigan avenue, and spent the evening at the beach again, which was lovely.

Chicago at night
Chicago at night

Before I got on the train again on Saturday evening I spend a little time in the city, because I had to leave the apartement at noon, so I just walked around a little bit, bought enough to eat for the train (which was of course not enough 😃) and was was on time at the train station. The way back was even worse because the AC was broken and even if it was okay in the beginning, the later it got, the hotter it got and sleeping was kinda impossible. So I was really glad when I finally got home again and was able to sleep in my own bed for a couple hours.

I had a great time in Chicago and I’m glad that I went there, even if sitting in the train for 13 hours is not the nicest way of travelling.

Tomorrow the kids are coming back and I’m already excited to final see them for 2 weeks in a row and get to do why I’m here 😊

Love, Kathi ❤️

New York, New York! 🗽🇺🇸❤️

Posted on

The last weeks have been filled with buying stuff I need, preparing everything for the big goodbye and having a great farewell party with all of my friends and the people I love.

Yesterday we landed in New York to stay in this great city until friday. We are 24 au pairs in a training school right next to the Central Park, which we already explored after our long flights. It’s been a really long day for the European au pairs because of the different time zones, but we’re never too tired to explore a big city!
The next three days will be filled with a workshop about how to take care of babies and children, what to do and what not to do with them. It’s not that interesting because I already know all of the stuff that we’re getting told, but our coordinator Abby is pretty cool and tells a lot of things she already experienced in her life.
Our evenings will be free for everyone and as we have no curfew, we can always going to the city or the park or do whatever we want to do. It’s really cool here, but I’m also excited to finally meet my hostfamily in three days! Then I will have a new home and my year as an au pair in the US will finally begin!

Love, Kathi❤️

IMG_3620

<a

IMG_3632

<a
Central Park

IMG_3636
Sweet fruit shop 😍