girls

week 43/44/45

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Summer has started and everything and nothing is happening.😊

We went indoor skydiving, watched me before you, had my oldest’s birthday party (2 weeks early), went to the pride festival in DC, saw Melanie Martinez, Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor live.

Celebrated my oldest’s graduation from elementary school and the beginning of summer, went to the pool a lot, had a girls’ night, watched me before you, watched now you see me, went to see Finding Dory.

Had day camp where I helped out, shot some arrows with bows, shot some BB’s, learned something about medicine, tried not to die in all the thunder storms and tornado warning (don’t worry, we all made it), played some soccer, watched some soccer, went to the pool, went out for brunch, tried to not spend money, met for ice cream, watched another movie, went to parks, went out for dinner, spent time resting, went for walks, and again to the pool.

Days are long but with not so much stress. 4 days until my next vacation and 14 to the last plane that I’m gonna take in this adventure. 15 days until I’m landing in Germany and need to go back to my old life. 15 days that couldn’t be any slower and a whole year that is over and went flying away. It’s a weird stage and it’s gonna be hard to leave, but good to be home 😊

Love, Kathi ❤️

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week 39/40 Cali/New York

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It’s been 2 crazy weeks a´with a whole lot of new impressions and a lot of lovely people around me.☺️

Monday morning, I needed to say goodbye to Lydia, who had been staying with me for almost a week, who’s journey went on towards Philadelphia and Chicago. But it didn’t take too long (just the normal working day), until we had another guest in the house. one of my best friends, Hanna, (most of you may know her), had come to visit me for a little more than 2 weeks (yes, she is still here☺️). We had planned to go on a little vacation together, so Wednesday night, we got into our plane and flew all the way across the country, where we landed in LA, in beautiful California. We stayed with a couch surfing host in San Pedro, about an hour away from downtown, who was really nice and flexible.

The first 3 days we spent exploring in LA. We went downtown, to Hollywood, took a walk up towards the Griffith Observatory, drove to Beverly Hills, walked through the pretty (and REALLY expensive) shopping streets, saw the famous Santa Monica Pier, walked down to Venice Beach with it’s cute little stores, had some In’n’out Burger (not as good as everyone says!), went to Long Beach, got really sunburned, ate a lot of food, and took even more pictures ☺️

Saturday night we caught a bus to San Francisco, drove the whole night, arrived there without any sleep early in the morning and went for a good breakfast first. We walked around the town, saw the fisherman’s wharves, walked up to Lombardi street, took the famous cable car, climbed all the way up to the Coit tower (but didn’t go up, the line was huge!), took a bus to the painted ladies, went on to the beach, got back to downtown, because the beach was too cold and windy, grabbed dinner at California Pizza Kitchen (Not as good as at the east coast!) and met with our couch surfer there, to just go to bed and sleep after a long and exhausting day. The next morning, we grabbed some coffee and a little snack, before we went to the one spot that no one in San Francisco should ever miss! The Golden Gate Bridge!

Standing in front of it seems a little unreal, because we’ve seen it in pictures and drawings and books, but going in all these cities in the US and visiting all their famous sights, sometimes seems to be surreal and you can’t really believe it.

We took a lot of pictures, and decided, to walk all the way to the other side, to also get a great view of the bridge and the San Francisco skyline. From there we took an Uber to go to a place called ‘Hippie Tree’. I had only seen pictures and we didn’t really know, what to expect, but arriving at the top of the hill, we found a huge tree with a swing on it and an incredible view over the bridge and the city. From there we took a ferry back to downtown and went a little shopping because we still had time until our bus back to LA left again.

After a long and restless night in the bus, we arrived in LA super early and made our way to Inglewood, where we met Louisa and Magda, friends from back home, in their hostel. We took a cab to Venice Beach again, had breakfast and caught up about our adventures from the last year. we spent the day walking up towards Santa Monica, doing some shopping, watching the sunset at the beach and having a nice dinner there.

Back in San Pedro, we spent the last time with our couch surfer John, who was an amazing host! ☺️

And then it was Wednesday already, our last day in the sunny state. We brought all of our stuff to Louisa’s and Magda’s hostel, because it was close to the airport, drove all together to Hollywood, where we had dinner and walked down part of the Walk of Fame, before we drove downtown again, where we found some great spots to take pictures and also a really cute store. As the time went by, we headed back to the hostel, ordered some pizza and off we went to the airport, to fly back, across the country to DC.

We arrived at home around 7, had a typically crazy morning with my host family, did some laundry, unpacked our bags, packed again, and left around 10 to get to DC for our Bus to New York.

Arriving there, Lydia was already awaiting us at the Bus Terminal. Because we couldn’t go to our couch surfer right away, we went to Times Square (What else to do in New York? 🙈)

We had some struggles with our couch surfer, but had a roof over our heads during the night. So the next morning, we packed all of our stuff again, arranged some other place to sleep, stored our luggage at the train station and went on with our touristy sightseeing trip. We visited the 9/11 Memorial, which is always beautifully sad. I think they did a good job with putting up the two pools with all the names on the edges and the water falling down at the exact same place where the twin towers had been standing.

We went on to the Brooklyn Bridge and even crossed it (first time for me!), had some coffee in Brooklyn and took the subway back uptown. We had dinner, walked a little through midtown, picked up our stuff and made our way to our new host. Who kicked us out the next day again (We got really lucky with shitty hosts in ny.🙈). But before we got his message around 7pm, we had breakfast, went to central park, met Marie and her friend, took pictures, got some coffee and went shopping.

Then it took us another 2 hours to find another host for the night, we found one while we were trying to get food, so we just took the pizza out, met with our new and final host, had dinner on his rooftop with a beautiful view of the city and finally went to bed.

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We spent our last day having some delicious Sunday’s brunch, saying goodbye to Lydia, doing some last minute shopping and finally getting into the bus to make it all the way to Ashburn again, which took us about 7 hours today.

Here we are now, totally exhausted from all the impressions we got and things we saw, so we’re just gonna sleep and not think about all the work that needs to be done tomorrow and pretty much every day after that.

Have a good start in your week!

Love, Kathi ❤️

21st week

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It’s been a school week again and we’re going back to our normal routine. The boys don’t wanna go to school, they don’t want to get up in the mornings, they don’t want to do any homework, it’s daily fighting and arguing about every single thing they need to do. Work has really been exhausting this week and I was so happy to be able to meet up with Marie and Alex on Friday night right after work to get some dinner.

I love my family very much, but it really is a piece of work and I really appreciate having friends here that take all the stress away during the weekends. I love you guys! ☺️

So Friday night we just went out for dinner in Reston where we did the catching up for the past week and just had a nice time.☺️

Saturday morning I met with Alex and Marie and we drove to Great Falls (the Maryland side). We went hiking on the Billy Goat Trail (even though I really don’t like hiking). It was a rocky trail and there was a lot of climbing and trying not to get to wet and dirty because it had been raining the night before and everything was wet and slippery.

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Afterwards, Marie and I dropped off Alex in Ashburn and took the Metro to Falls Church, where Rabea picked us up and we planned to go bowling. The  Army base where we wanted to go first told us, that there is no public bowling anymore since 2 months and the second place we tried had a waiting list for about an hour. So we went home to Rabea’s where her host parents were about to make cheese fondue, where we happily joined in. We watched a movie with them afterwards and went to sleep..

Sunday we woke up early, had breakfast with the family (they made Crepes for us and I really love them for that 🙈). Then Marie and I skyped a long time with Helena in Ukraine while Rabea was getting ready to meet up with some boys from her gym. We met at a sport bar, where we were watching the play off game because the Redskins (the DC team ) was playing. We had a great time and we decided to hang out again with the boys soon 😃

So, another normal week went by and here we go right into the next one.🙈

Love, Kathi ❤️

12th week / Philly :)

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So this week started out with a little work. The boys didn’t have school on Monday and tuesday, so I worked both days ten hours in a row. We spent lot of time outside on playgrounds and and walks, the big highlight were the three hours at the Zone, the Lasertag place in Ashburn. We ran into Daleen while we were there so we all together hat lots of fun there 😊

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Even though we had fun, I’m not looking forward to snow days during the winter where the boys will be home the whole day because work is on a whole other level on those days.
So the next few days were pretty easy again, breakfast, school, homework, dinner, bedtime. As always.
And then finally it was friday 🙂
Guess, where I spend the night 😀
Alex picked me up at 10, we shopped at harris teeder, got enough money for the weekend and drove to Rabea, where R and M were already baking appepies, to take them with us. We went to bed way too late and needed to get up way too early, so we could be at our bus at 8.
From that moment on, the weekend had officially started! We spend about 3 hours in the bus to get to our first stop: Lancaster Central Market. We spend a little time there, which was really nice. There were amish people and farmers who were selling their vegetables and fruits and self-made quilts and meat and everything you wanted to have. They even had a German stand which was really nice, but also way too expensive for us poor au pairs 🙈 So we basically just went through the big hall, looked at everything and went out again before we spent all of our money in food 😃
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Back in the bus we headed towards a little quilt store, where everything was handmade. we got everything explained and had time to buy some stuff and take some pictures, before we went on to a Mennonite farm (because Amish would not let you look around on their farms or even take pictures of everything). It was really interesting and we had a mennonite with us who told us a lot and showed us around.😊
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‘just’ a blanket for 700$

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totally in love 🙂
Then it was finally time to eat and it was DELICIOUS. We got everything the amish would eat and it was more than enough 😊
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After dinner we finally drove to Philadelphia, but as it was already late and dark when we arrived there, (and also we are underage), we walked around in the city a little bit and then went to bed, so we would be wide awake on Sunday.😉
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When met for breakfast at 8:30, we went to the Reading Food Market, where we had some delicious food and of course coffee..

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yummy berry – waffle with strawberries and whipped cream 🙂

..before we were at the bus around 10 to have a 3 hour sightseeing tour.

The tour was okay, we had enough time to get off the bus to take pictures, which was good 🙂
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our tour guide :)
our tour guide 🙂

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we made it!
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the liberty bell
We had the afternoon for ourselves and because we were so many people, we splitted up our little group and Marie, Victoria, Juan and I rented some bikes and drove through Philadelphia and got some (GERMAN!)  food afterwards, before we left the city behind us and headed home again, which took us about 4 hours.
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yes, it’s Radler. yes, it’s even without alcohol.:D
I had another great weekend with probably the best people I’ve met since I’m here.:)
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Love, Kathi ❤️
oh and btw, we got ourselves those necklaces with our names, just because we always wanted to have one and we had the possibility to by them.✌️

9th week / Haunted.

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Fall is coming and it’s coming fast. I need to remind the boys now every morning to bring sweaters or jackets to school, because it’s freezing cold in the mornings. During the day it mostly gets warmer, which gives us the possibility to go outside after the boys finish their homework.

So on Monday we went to one of the playgrounds again and played a little basketball on the basketball court in the middle of the park.

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Fall is here!

On Tuesday we had the annual pediatrician appointment, where the boys got measured and weighed and their flu shots and also told that they are all not tall enough to get out of their car seats, which created a big drama, because they think it’s really embarrassing. But safety goes first, of course, so they will have to be more patient until they are big enough to ride without carseats.

Wednesday the oldest one had his scout meeting at school, and because of the nice weather we had, we decided to all go, so I could spent the time with the twins at the playground behind the school. That was totally fine  until it was really dark and really cold outside (and maybe I didn’t wear the right clothes, even though I always tell the kids what to wear.🙈)

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But the meeting was over at 8, so we could go home again and crawl into our warm and comfy beds.☺️)

We kept it easy at the weekend. My plans about going to New York got cancelled, so I went to Rebounderz once again with some girls from my college class.☺️

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We had a great evening there (as always) and especially the pizza afterwards is always the best part of the night.😍

Saturday, we went to Tyson’s Corner (a mall, what else😉), but we spend most of the time eating at California Pizza Kitchen, which was awesome. We also did a little shopping, but then it was already time to drive to Sterling, where we met with my counselor, to have our monthly meeting, which was in this case a haunted forest and a haunted asylum.

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Let me tell you something:

IT WAS HORRIBLE.

I ALMOST DIED IN THERE.

I can’t even tell you, how scared I already was before, but it got even worse, as soon as we were in there. We did the Asylum first, which took about 5 minutes. It was so dark in there, you couldn’t see ANYTHING. And there were all these crazy people, who slandered around us and followed us and appeared out of nowhere. It was even scarier, when we were in one room, where we couldn’t find the way to the next one and I was talking German, to not curse to hard in english, and one of the people in there suddenly was in the room and said “Wo geht’s lang? Rechts oder Links?” They were talking German to us and I was screaming bloody murder. It was so bad.

So when we finally came out of that, someone made us realize, that the forest was still waiting for us. And we had two little boys in our group (because noone was allowed to walk with less than 3 people in there). That’s when one of the constructor told us, that the forest would be about 25 minutes. Noone was allowed to run, because it was too dark. Each group got one red flashlight (without it, you could not see anything in the woods. There were no cellphones and no other flashlights allowed. It was really bad. There were people with (real!) chainsaws, people in/behind/on/next to bushes and trees, you needed to cross a lot of scary places, walk over bridges, where you had no chance to get out of the people’s ways and we went through huts, where no one could expect anything. At the end of the trail, my voice was almost gone. I was so scared of everything, I even asked the policemen at the end of it, if he was real.

I know one thing for sure now. I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN: (even though I’m also a little proud that I did it 🙈). But also my counselor agreed, that she will never do that as a meeting again and that the next meeting will be in a nice restaurant, where we just can eat delicious food without anything that could possibly scare us.😃

So we drove home (or to Rabea’s house again), to get some sleep (yes, I was happy to be able to cuddle with her and not be alone in a big bed, where all the monsters could come and get me😵).

On the next morning, Sunday (already?!) we went to another cluster meeting, this time the one from Rabea’s agency (AIFS/APIA). We went to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in DC (or short: the zoo). There were about 200 Aupairs from al over the world (and many many girls from Germany). We went treasure hunting, which was not that much fun, but we got to meet a view new people and also a few, that we already know 😊.

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Julia 😍
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Julia 😍

The challenge was not really hard, so everyone got a little panda at the end.☺️

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yes, I’m wearing one of their shirts, because my agency is not cool enough to have shirts🙈

And that already was it! This is all I did this weekend. After the zoo, I went home, got in my bed, tried to warm up (it’s really cold outside!) and just spend the whole evening in my bed. Typically lazy Sunday.😍

I am already making plans for the next weekend, so stay tuned!

Love, Kathi ❤️

8th week / Tyler Ward / Weekend Class

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Hello! Another exciting week went by, here’s what happened:

About 2 weeks ago, I read a blog entry of a girl who is an au pair in Atlanta at the moment, who went to a Tyler Ward concert, which made me a little bit jealous. But I didn’t really think about it afterwards until Monday, when I read on Facebook about him being in Vienna (a small town 25 miles away) on Tuesday. So I called a few people, found 3 more who wanted to see him, bought tickets and on Tuesday night, we got to go there! It was a really nice show with a nicely small crowd, we all got to talk to him afterwards (which was weird because we needed to wait in line), and we met his friends, who are on tour with him, because they were selling t-shirts (yes, of course I bought one!) and we had a great time with them while we were waiting.:) He is a really nice guy and I feel so lucky that I saw him! 😍

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I used my Wednesday morning to talk to my all time favorite people in Ukraine and Ulm, because we didn’t get to talk about all the interesting stuff that happens to us and to the people we know. I really enjoyed it and I definitely need a repetition of that!😊

I love you, girls!
I love you, girls!

On Tuesday morning, I went shopping with Daleen, because we really needed some winter clothes. Guess what we bought. And guess what we still need 😃🙈 (yes, all the shirts were on sale!) So I will need to give it a second try, but that’s totally fine, we still had an awesome time 😊

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And then it was finally me my favorite time again: THE WEEKEND!

I worked until 7, because I went to a parade of a few schools with my family. It’s comparable with the German carnivall. Students have small groups (the Footballers, the basketballs, the cheerleaders, the homecoming kings and queens…) and they make a parade where they march from one school to another and give candy to the people who are standing on the sidewalk.

Afterwards I went to Rebounderz again with Rabea, Julia, Hanna, Alex and Emily. It was Family Friday, which means that every group with more than 3 people gets to jump 2 hours, plus 2 slices of pizza plus one soda! We had a lot of fun jumping around, and the pizza at the end (you’re not allowed to have the pizza first, so no one can vomit on the trampolines. yes, it’s reasonable.)

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We were so exhausted afterwards but we also decided to do this now once a month, so we get enough exercise. (And pizza! ❤️🙈)

We left Rebounderz because they were just about to close, so Rabea and I drove home to her house, where we met her hosted and his father. We talked to them for a bit before I needed to face my homework for our weekend class on Saturday. It ‘only’ took me 2 hours to complete an essay about G. Washington, a comparison about the German and the American Constitution and a worksheet we got in our first lesson. It was horrible. We went to bed at 2:30 and got up at 7 again. Thanks God, there ist this amazing place called Starbucks, that gives you as much coffee as you need to wake up, so we were at the Archives (the place where we met our teacher) on time. We went to 3 different museums, which were okay, but not the most interesting ones. The lunch break was good, though, we went to Vapiano with all the German ones in our group (and the spanish girl, Rabea and I are sharing room with in Philadelphia)

And yes, there is ONE boy in our class. I’m not sure if this is heaven or hell for him🙈. But he is very nice 🙂

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After our class, we decided to make some plans for the night, to hang out in DC together, but the plans turned out to be starting right after class, because there was not enough time to drive all the way home again. So we did a little shopping, had some more coffee and wanted to go play pool. We got to the pool bar, just to realize again, how hard it can be to be under 21. There is no chance of doing something fun in cities like DC. (We asked some firemen about it, they told us to go home and watch tv.) I FEEL LIKE I’M 15 AGAIN! 🙈

So we just went to the cheesecake factory, where we had some food, and afterwards we went home, not without making some new plans for Sunday.

I slept over at Rabea’s again (sorry for giving you a hard time while I was asleep). Btw, thank you for the last 3 weekends! There will be more! 😊

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We kinda slept in on Sunday, had breakfast and headed out to pick up Vici, to go to a Miniature Golf and Baseball place, where we met everyone else from the day before again. We had a fun time on maybe one of the last sunny Sundays and I’m excited to see you again next weekend! (Or at least in 2 weeks.😃)

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I had a wonderful weekend and I hope the next one will be even better!

Love, Kathi ❤️

P.S.: Tomorrow is Columbus Day and I can sleep until 12! 😍