vacation

Semester break / March/April

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We’re traveling to get out of our daily routines. To find happiness in adventurous places we’ve never seen before. Many people do so. And even if I’m happy with my life, traveling will always make it better. It doesn’t matter how far we go and for how long. It only matters that you go somewhere new and either take people you love or meet people you never would’ve talked to if you’d crossed paths somewhere else. Sometimes even both.  😊

So after the weekend we were in the Netherlands at the beach, I drove up to Paderborn, just to spend a few days home, since I can’t handle living with my parents for too long. I enjoyed the days in my own apartment and I once again was positively surprised that this city really feels like home, even after I’ve only lived there for about half a year.  I met some of my friends and we enjoyed the spring weather outside 😊

On Sunday, I drove back and brought Eva and Lennart to Trier with me, so they could get a picture of the beautiful city I always talk about.

We spent a whole day exploring Trier, walked from one Roman building to another and grilled for the first time this season! On Tuesday we drove to Luxembourg and spend the day exploring. On Wednesday they took the train home again, not without promising me to be back!  😊

 

And since that wasn’t enough adventure and exploring, My sister, my mom, my mom’s best friend and I packed our stuff, took a train and ended up in Dresden, where we spent 3 days of sightseeing and a day of hiking in the area of the Elbe Sandstone Highlands (Nationalpark in Saxony and the North Bohemian region). It’s been a great time and I’m glad I’ve finally made it to the eastern part of Germany. It was a shame I’ve traveled that much last year but I haven’t even seen all these beautiful regions of my own country. 😊

We got back yesterday and I’ll spend a few more days and the Easter weekend in Trier before uni starts again next week and we’ll be trying to get smarter once again.🙈

Until then,

Love, Kathi ❤️

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47 Yellowstone Nationalpark 

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My hostfamily left Friday morning to go to their grandparents’ house for the weekend, so I started packing, hung out with Marie for a bit, emptied out half of my room already, packed my bag for the next week and went to bed pretty early, to get up early and catch my flight at 7 in the morning.

Destination: SALT LAKE CITY.

Layover: Denver, 4 hours.

It took me 14 hours to get from my house to the hotel in SLC I was gonna stay in for that night. After some trouble with my shuttle to the hotel, I finally made it and got to know the tour guide of the tour I had booked (Not Chinese, thanks god!🙈) He was, besides to other man who were there with their Chinese families, the only white person in the bus. Everybody else was Chinese or Taiwanese. But I knew this was gonna happen, so it didn’t surprise me ✌️

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The next morning, we took off at 6am (or more 6:15, since Chinese people are apparently not good with punctuality 😫)
Our first day we drove north out of Utah and all the way towards the north of Wyoming where we spent our time visiting  Jackson hole, where we had dinner, Grand Teton National Park, the most regular geyser in the US Old Faithful, where we got on time to see it’s eruption,  Grand Prismatic (more geysers 🙈), Fountain Paint Pots and we stayed the night in a Hotel in West Yellowstone, Montana.

Antlers Arch in Jackson Hole


On Monday, which was also Independence Day in the US, we went to another geyser basin called Norris, then went on to Artist Point, which is a overlook over beautiful waterfalls within yellow stones (which is why the Nationalpark is called Yellowstone). Afterwards we went to a Mud Volcano, which is exactly what it’s called. A geyser that erupts all the time and covers its surroundings with mud.

From there we drove to Steamboat Point, where you have a great look over Lake Yellowstone, the biggest lake in the Nationalpark, followed by Wyoming Overlook, where you could see many many miles of Wyoming’s beautiful countryside. Monday night we stayed in Gillette, where we stayed in a beautiful little hotel ☺️

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Artist Point in Yellowstone

Lake Yellowstone 

Wyoming Overlook
Arbuckle Lodge Gillette

 

On day 3 we went to the most famous sights of the tour: Devil’s Tower, Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse.

Devil’s Tower was America’s first National Monument and is a laccolithic butte composed of igneous rock in the Bear Lodge Mountains.

 

Devil’s Tower


Mount Rushmore is a massive sculpture carved into the mountain showing the 4 presidents and founding fathers Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Theodore Rosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

 


Crazy Horse is another sculpture that is being carved in stone (since almost 70 years) which will show the Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, when it is finished.

 

Crazy Horse in Construction
Scale Model of Crazy Horse


Day 4 and the last day of our tour we climbed Independence Rock, a rock where Mormons, when they were on their way to find new land for themselves, stopped at Independence Day to celebrate and carved their names into it.

 

 

Independence Rock

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On our way back to Salt Lake City we stopped at the Olympic Park in Park City, where the Winter Olympics happened in 2002. It is a great recreation center now where you can do all kinds of sports and activities.

 


In Salt Lake City we visited the Capitol building, saw the Mormon Temple on Temple Square and saw the Great Salt Lake, the reason why the city got its name. We ended our tour at the hotel we stayed in the first night and a shuttle took me back at the airport, where I got on my plane to Denver, hung out there for about 2 hours and took one last plane back home, where the baby girl in front of me cried for about 2 hours, so when I arrived at 5:15am, I had not slept a minute 😫 But my boys are not home so I got plenty of time to just fall in my bed and stay there for a couple hours ☺️

 

Capitol Building of Utah

Great Salt Lake

Sunset on my way to Denver


It’s been an amazing couple days and I am so glad I got to experience it! ☺️

 

I’ll be home for another 5 days now before I will have to say goodbye to the US and hop on to a plane back to Germany again.

See you soon! 🙂

Love, Kathi ❤️

week 41/42 / Virginia beach

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The week that Hanna was still here, we spent with shopping, picnics, planes starting over our heads and finally some sleeping, after we hadn’t had slept in during our whole vacation.🙈

We had some nice last couple days and I am really glad she got to come here and spent time with me 🙂

We also needed to say goodbye to our beloved friend Rabea, whose year (or 2)  as an au pair is finished here and she’s going back to Germany. We already miss her and we’re glad that we spent so much time together and will definitely see her again as soon as possible!

After I had dropped her off at the airport and spent the first time alone in my bed again since over a month(!) (since Lydia and Hanna were here right after each other), we packed our stuff on Friday again and went off to go on another vacation (or more like a weekend trip🙈).

My host mum and me picked up the boys right after school and hit the road towards Virginia Beach! We had planned to go camping for the next three days. Let’s see how that turned out:

We got there late at night and needed to set up the tent in the dark, which wasn’t that easy, since American people, whenever they go camping, they don’t just bring air mattresses and a tent. We have a 8-person tent (for the 5 of us) and brought bunkbeds. (yes, you heard right: BUNKBEDS.) Since we got not really lucky with our neighbors, the campground service people moved us somewhere else while we spent the day at the beach, ate pizza and spend the evening at the pool on the campground.

For Sunday there was a tropical storm predicted, so we packed up our stuff, booked a hotel for the night, spend the morning at the beach, the afternoon at the Virginia Aquarium and headed to Newport News that night, where we finally had a comfortable bed again.🙈

When we woke up on Monday morning, Memorial Day, we went for breakfast, spent some time at the Virginia Living Museum and had dinner with my host mum’s sister and her family in Richmond.

We got home late, after a fun, but really exhausting weekend.

Since it was Memorial weekend, the pool season has officially started! We spent a few afternoons this weeks there, since the boys don’t have a lot of homework anymore.

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Summer is finally here! 

We didn’t do much this weekend, though. I was sick on Friday and spent the whole day in bed. On Saturday I had one last cluster meeting and spent about 7 hours a mall with Marie, before we went (once again) to Rabea’s host family’s house, to get to know the new au pair better and see her little host kid again and talk to her host parents, and make sure, that we are still welcome there 🙈

I worked Sunday (the disadvantages of being an au pair) and skyped with some of my loves at home (or in Ukraine).

I guess the next few weeks are not gonna be too exciting, even though they are my last ones. The days that I have left are counted and I can’t wait to finally be back in Germany!

37 more days and I will leave my home here to return to my actual life and home and need to worry about where to go and what to do with my future 😃

But until then, there’s a pool waiting for me and a lot of sunny days here in Virginia 🙂

Love, Kathi ❤️

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 ❤️

week 36/37 / New Orleans

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Another weekend I spent at home!

But I also finally got to finish my classes on Saturday when Marie and I went to the Air and Space Museum. Last class! 😊

The rest of the day we went hiking with Rabea and Damien in great falls, which was kinda nice and had dinner at Clare and Don’s 🙂

Sunday I met Mina for lunch (after we went to a flea market that pretty much didn’t exist 😃), and had a cluster meeting afterwards. We went to a weird Museum and had some coffee afterwards.

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And then, finally, Monday came and Tuesday came and after I had worked the morning, Marie picked me up, we had lunch and she dropped me off at the Metro station and there I went into a new adventure!

My flight should’ve left at 7:15pm, but we actually started a couple hours later…😫

So it was past midnight, when I finally got to New Orleans where my dear friend Lydia was already waiting for me.

We met our couch surfer in town and went back to his house where he wrote down everything we should definitely do during our stay, before we all went to sleep.

Wednesday morning, we walked to a cute cafe to have breakfast (yes, you can actually walk places down there!🙈)

We walked through the Garden District, visited one of the famous cemeteries, took the St Charles Street Car and ended up in the French Quarter with its beautiful houses and stores and all the crazy stores and bars and live music everywhere! It was really nice, at least until it started pouring rain and we were kinda forced to sit in a café for a little over an hour. Afterwards we went by the Mississippi a little bit and made our way back to the house, which was uptown.

When Robert (the couch surf guy) came home from work, we went out for dinner with him and his friend to a really good sea food restaurant (what else would we eat in New Orleans) and we went to the famous Cafe du Mond afterwards. We had a really nice time! 😊

On Thursday, we went to whole foods to buy some breakfast and found some really good bread! Then we didn’t really have a plan and because it was rainy and kinda cold, we went to the french quarter again, sat in a cafe, went through a couple stores, and went shopping afterwards, because we were so wet. In new shoes and jackets we went home and cooked some dinner ourselves to save some money and hung out with Robert again.😊

On Friday, our last day, we went to the Jazz and Heritage Festival, which is one of the big festivals in New Orleans, that everyone said we shouldn’t miss!

It was a lot different than the Festivals where I have been before and the music was kinda different than we had expected, but we had a great day! It was warm and sunny the whole day (I got really sunburned😫) and there were people everywhere and the food was good and in the end we got to see Paul Simon, who was really good 😊 (and pretty much the only person we had heard of before)

We spent the rest of the evening (jazz fest ended at 7🙈)  at home, watching movies, eating and packing our stuff and that was already the end of our vacation! 😔

On Saturday morning I got up around 5 and it was time to say goodbye already. My Uber driver (who was really funny and really southern) dropped me off at the airport and back I flew to Virginia again.

I was back around 2 and went out for lunch and some shopping with Daleen, before I really had the chance to get in my bed and sleep. Which I also did pretty much the whole Sunday.🙈

New Orleans has been a great city and everybody who ever gets the chance, should definitely go there!

And I can’t wait to have Lydia over at my house for the next week ☺️

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Love, Kathi ❤️

week 25/26 – Canada!

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We’d just arrived home on Saturday and the week started and everyone went back to work. Everyone. Even me. But just for a couple days. I worked Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, before it was time again to pack my suitcases and start my journey to another vacation! 😊

Once again, I had decided to leave the country and get to know the part of North America that I hadn’t seen. YET. On Thursday afternoon, at 4:30pm, my host mum and the boys dropped me off at the airport and I went to check in. (Once again my passport brought some trouble but after about 20 minutes the people were able to check me in.🙈)

My flight left at 6:50pm and I got lucky to not have someone sitting next to me. After a little overlay in Seattle, and another hour in a plane, I arrived safe and sound in Vancouver at the airport, where I waited for Luisa, who was flying in from New York.:)

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We spend a couple hours at the airport (we both arrived around 1am and had time until 6am to make our way to the meeting point for our tour). So we had some food, changed our clothes, put on new make up and brushed our teeth, to be a little fresh again. Afterwards we took the train downtown, grabbed some breakfast, met up with all the people who booked the same tour as we did and around 7:30am we finally were in the bus and on our way. (And of course, life proved us wrong one more time. We had expected the people on the tour to be more American or even Canadian, I don’t even know why. But of course, about a quarter of the group was German!🙉)

Final destination: the ROCKY MOUNTAINS.😊

We spent a lot of time in the bus, not without stopping at some nice places to take pictures, get some food or using the bathroom.

Our first stop was HOPE, a little town just 1.5 hours outside of Vancouver. It is famous for the movie RAMBO that was filmed there. It’s a cute little town within the mountains 😊

We spent another hour or 2 in the bus before we stopped in Kamloop for a lunch break. We didn’t get to see a lot of the town because we just stopped at the mall to get some quick food and our journey went on towards Revelstoke, where we were able to get our dinner and boos for the night and we made it to the Mountain View Cabins around 6:30pm.

The cabins were super cute little houses with beds and a little bathroom. There were 15 of these and a huge one with tables and benches and a little ‘kitchen’ (more like a fireplace and a microwave).

We made a campfire and everyone ate the dinner we had bought before and the volunteers had prepared everything to make some s’mores and we had some beers. The atmosphere was amazing and we had a great night and the chance to get to know the other travelers better.😊

The next morning, we got breakfast (muffins, bananas and cereal) and we went on a little snow shoe hike. The cold air helped us waking up and we were all in a good mood, when we went on with the bus to our next adventures.

Our next stop was at the Rocky Mount Buffalo Ranch, where the owner told us a bit about his buffalos and we got some more stunning views of the mountains around us.

Afterwards we had another activity that we really enjoyed. We went snow tubing! It was all fun and we went together and in big groups and got stuck in the snow and enjoyed it so much. As we still had time we went to have a coffee and warm up a little  bit afterwards, before the bus took us to Lake Emerald.

 

Lake Emerald is a huge lake right in front of the mountains and it was just BEAUTIFUL. We got the feeling that we just jumped into a picture book, so pretty was everything. It looked almost unreal.🙈

Before we arrived at the hotel that night, we had one last stop at some frozen waterfalls. It was a little hike through a canyon and we were exhausted afterwards, but it was totally worth it. We needed to go through a little cave to get there and it was all icy and slippery, but as soon as we were there and saw the waterfalls and the water that was still running under the ice in a little lake.

When we arrived at the hotel later on, we were all so exhausted. We had about 2.5 hours of free time where we could go and eat and get ready to go out that night, but we were way too tired, took a little nap and slowly got ready. When we finally figured out that we should eat something, we had about half an hour left, so we just went to eat a slice of pizza, before we met with the group again to go to the nearest pub. It was nice there, the drinks were cheap and we all were in a good mood. It was funny and because we knew, that this was not our last stop that night, we didn’t drink too much. Which was a mistake. When we got to the Club later on, everything was so expensive. We didn’t really know what to expect, so I just figured I would buy three of the girls and me a shot to start with. These turned out to be 30$ in total, so that was the only drink we had in there. We went dancing for a while and it was a really fun night 🙂 after a couple hours, Luzi and Laura and I decided to leave the club and go back to the pub, to give the evening a nice ending. (And we were REALLY thirsty.🙈)

We had a nice night and were just a little tired the next morning, but as soon as we went outside, the freezing air made everyone wake up.

We drove to another frozen lake, where we had the possibility to sled down on it and we took a lot of pictures and videos and it was once again just stunning ☺️

Afterwards the ‘hangover activity’ was next. We drove to Banff’s hot springs, where we had a little time to enjoy the hot water, before we drove back to Banff to eat and shop and explore the little town a little bit. In the afternoon, we stopped at the Eisenhower Mountain, which are impressive mountains, that are just huge, before we went on to Lake Louise, where we went ice skating, played a little ice hockey, had hot chocolate and took many many pictures.🙈

We had a great time and enjoyed our evening in a little Club in golden, where we spent the night in a Motel.

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The next morning was the final morning already and we had a long journey ahead of us. So we started driving at 9, stopped only for food and restroom breaks and to get a last view  of the mountains and some good shots of the whole group.☺️

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Around 7 we were back in Vancouver and it was time to say goodbye to most of the group. We had already made plans for the next days, though, so the goodbyes were not forever. Luisa and I went to our hostel and since Luzi didn’t have a place to stay either, she spontaneously joined us ☺️ So the three of us had some dinner and drinks and went to bed early because we were so exhausted from the tour!

 

Tuesday morning was beautiful, so we went up the Harbor Center, to get a great view over the city and walked towards Stanley park afterwards, which is a HUGE park right next to the city. We walked through forests and by the famous Totem Poles and a little light house and it had gotten really warm and it was just beautiful! ❤️

In the evening we went up the Harbor Center again to get a view at night, before we met up with Ida, one of the Norwegian girls we met at the tour. We went out for dinner and had some drinks afterwards (if we’re able to drink, we gotta do that every singe day!😉)

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On Wednesday the hostel offered a free hiking tour in Lynn Canyon, which we decided to join and it was BEAUTIFUL! It’s a place where it always rained and we went over a suspension bridge and saw some great spots in the forest. It was so different then the Rockies and it is so amazing to have spots like that right outside the city!

We spent the evening with the people from the tour again, we went out to have some Poutine (something Canadian) and went to the West Trek Reunion afterwards where they showed the video of our tour that we’re all gonna get on some point. It was a nice evening and a great last night in Vancouver.

The next morning we got up super early to catch our bus to go to Seattle to spend the last two days of our trip in the city of flowers.

We stayed with a friend of Luisa’s mum, who was super generous and nice and even though they had two dogs, I am happy I got to meet the couple.

We went sightseeing and spend a couple hours in the Pike Place Market (they have delicious tastings, having lunch before that was kinda unnecessary!) We also got a glance from the top of the Space Needle over the whole city ☺️

Furthermore we went to one of the islands in front of Seattle, Bainbridge Island, which was really sweet, and of course we visited the gum wall and sat on the golden pig in front of the market place (it’s supposed to give you luck). ☺️

 

It’s been a day since I’m home now and I’m still proceeding all the impressions I got and I still can’t believe that I got to see so many beautiful things in such a small amount of time.

I only saw a tiny little spot of Canada and I’m totally in love. So in love, that today, I booked my flights for my next trip there! I’m excited to see another city of this beautiful country soon and I already know it’s gonna be amazing! Especially since my sister’s gonna be with me and also my lovely friend Marie 😍

I hope you all do okay and consider your next vacation to be in Canada! 😉

Love, Kathi ❤️

 

 

 

 

week 23-24 / Cruise

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Hello my Loves! ❤️

I hope you’re all doing good, are not freezing to death, survived Jonas, dug out your cars and everyone is able to leave the house again.

Virginia has been covered in snow for the last 10 days and I consider myself happy that I have not been there.🙉

On Thursday, January 22nd, the day before the storm, we had all our suitcases packed and loaded in the car, I had prepared snacks for the ride, cleaned the house, did all the laundry that was left, I made sure we didn’t leave anything important, picked up the boys from school, drove to my host mum’s office and as soon as she could leave work, we hit the road. Our destination: MIAMI.❤️

For Thursday, our goal was it, to drive south enough to not see any snow and to not have any icy rain or ice on the road. So we drove through Virginia and North Carolina and finally, at 2am, we stopped at Walterboro, South Carolina, to spend the night there.

Friday morning, it was raining, but while it started snowing in Virginia and Washington, DC, we didn’t have any trouble with the weather. We were lucky that we had decided to drive long before the storm had been announced. Friday night the airports in Virginia cancelled all the flights. No one was going anywhere, because it had shown about 3ft within hours.

We didn’t drive straight to Miami, but made a stop in Orlando, where me met my host mum’s sister and her family, who also joined us on the cruise.

We had dinner there and went to Disney Springs, which is one of the shopping and dining complexes of Walt Disney World, which was really nice. We spend a few hours there, slept in one of the hotels in the Resort, went back again shortly the other morning and finally made it to Miami on Saturday night. We stopped at Miami Beach, being really excited to finally see the ocean and the beach again, and went to our hotel to have a last night on land.

Sunday morning, we woke up, had breakfast, got all excited, the excitement went over to nervousness, when our shuttle didn’t show up, we made people call us a taxi, we made it to the ship in time and checked in right when we were supposed to.😊

On Sunday, 01/24/2016 at 1pm, we finally were, where we all wanted to be this whole trip. On the DISNEY MAGIC, starting in our Disney Cruise.

 

It took a while until we actually left the port (but when we did it was beautiful!), because there were 5000 people who all needed to check in. (Rumor has it, 60 people didn’t make it out of the storm that shut down pretty much the whole East Coast.)

 

So we took a first look at our staterooms (which were pretty empty yet because the luggage hadn’t arrived yet), had some lunch at a buffet, explored the ship, checked out all the pools, the spa, the basketball court, the dining areas, the adult areas, the kid’s places. When we finally left the port, it was already dinner time (every night at 5:45pm, we had reservations in one of the restaurants, where we ordered from a menu.) The food was DELICIOUS. So good. (And they even had wine from where I’m from!) Take a look!☺️

 

So the first night, Julie (my host mum’s sister’s au pair from Switzerland) and I looked at all the adult areas, and sat at the pool, and went to bed pretty early, because we were still a little exhausted from our long trip.

Monday, the second day, we were the whole day at sea, so we had some great breakfast at the buffet, relaxed at the pool, read some books, ate a lot, and watched the show after dinner at the World Disney Theatre.☺️

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Every night there was a little show in the Theatre. On Sunday we got a preview on what us expected the following 4 days, and on Monday we had the first real show. It was a slightly different Cinderella story shown by Broadway Musical singers, which was amazing. On Tuesday they played Tangled, Wednesday was a show by the Juggler and Comedian Charles Peachock, which was nice (to be honest, he didn’t do much more than my sister can’t do, so I was not too impressed. But everyone else thought he was really talented.🙉)

The last show we saw, on Thursday, was a great Mash up of many Disney Stories, made up in a new, really lovely story. It was about a little girl, who got visited by the Blue Fairy (from Pinocchio), Peter Pan, Aladdin, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, Simba and the other animals, and, of course, Elsa and Olaf. They had amazing effects and it was a really entertaining show! I wish I could show pictures, but taking them was prohibited, so if you wanna see it, go on a Disney cruise! 😉

Tuesday and Thursday were the days that we docked on land, which made them the best parts of the whole vacation!

On Tuesday morning, we had a kinda early breakfast and met up at 9:20am, to leave the boat and be on the beautiful island Cozumel in Mexico! ☺️

 

Our little group got picked up by shuttles and they drove us to the Dolphinarium, where I had an experience that I will never ever in my life forget! We swam with Dolphins! We were able to hug them and pet them and they gave us kisses and they pulled us through the water and it was just amazing! I was so excited to do that and that’s definitely my #1 favorite of the whole vacation! ❤️ After we were done with that, we went snorkeling and saw some beautiful fish and stingrays under water.

Afterwards, we had some lunch that was included, and we decided to walk around the island a little bit and my host mum fulfilled my wish to go and sit in a bar and finally being able to order my own cocktail again. So we sat in a nice bar with view on the ocean (and the road with all the bad smelling cars and scooters driving around) and we really enjoyed it. It was a sunny day and everything was just perfect.😊

 

 

Back on the ship, we had dinner, watched the show, Julie and I went for a second dinner (at the 24/7 pizza place), sat in the hot tub, went to the Irish pub to get a third dinner (they always had a buffet for the people in there with vegetables and fruits) and when we finally decided to go to sleep, we found a really seasick boy our age sitting in the hallway, so we talked a little bit (or like 5 hours🙉) and even played a little basketball before we actually went to bed.

Wednesday was a day at Sea again, so nothing much was happening. Our hopes to at least hang out with the boy from last night again, didn’t come true, because he was no where to found. (Too many people on too many decks in a huge ship and no wifi or number to connect with people, it was a shame.) So we basically slept and ate the whole day again.🙉

In the evening there was a ‘Pirates in the Caribbean’ party, where everyone had a lot of fun and they even had fireworks in the middle of the ocean!

On Thursday morning, we docked at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. It was a beautiful, sunny day, way warmer as the forecast had said and we all spent the whole day at the beach, not without meeting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on our way there! We also took a look at the stores, but the were all souvenirs shops by Disney, so I didn’t really buy anything. I just sat at the beach, played in the water with my boys, spent the rest of the day in the shade, covered in 50+ sunscreen and returned to the ship with the worst sunburn I ever had. It was a really nice day though and I know how happy I can be to have had a few summer days in the middle of the winter, while everyone at home couldn’t leave the house because of too much snow.

It was the last evening on the ship, so we really enjoyed the show they gave us, we ordered all the desserts they had at dinner (just because we could🙉), and enjoyed every single second.

Friday morning we had breakfast at 7am and everyone was supposed to be off the ship at 9. So we left the ship, got our suitcases, called our shuttle service, went back to our hotel, where we had parked the car and started driving towards home again. Our goal was at least to go to South Carolina that day (which would have been half the trip), but as we didn’t really stop too often an the desire for our own beds was really big, so we drove and drove and drove and decided we were not too tired to drive until 3am at night. We drove a 17 hour trip in one day. ONE DAY. It was crazy and it made us very happy at the same time. That gave us the possibility to enjoy the weekend at home, before school and work starts again on Monday morning.

 

The whole trip has been amazing. I had such a great time and I am definitely doing a Cruise again very soon! (probably not a Disney one though, because it’s very expensive and made for families, not for 19 year old girls, who are too old for kid’s activities and too young for adult activities (basically drinking🙉)).

 

After sleeping in on Saturday I went outside in the snow with my boys for a little bit,

before I decided that I should really go and see my friends again, since I’m not gonna be there for the next 2 weekends again and I had not seen them in 3 weeks. So I got picked up by Rabea’s host dad (my host mum had left her car at work, so I didn’t have one) and we spent a nice evening at their house with Rabea and Marie, we cooked a delicious dinner, slept, made an amazing breakfast and it was just good to see my friends again.😊

We went out for dinner and since we were already at the Mall, we did a little shopping,

before I picked up my host mum’s car, dropped off Marie at home and finally went home again, not really ready to go back to work again tomorrow.😔

But that’s just life, I guess. We can’t just stop it and go on vacation all the time.

Or can we?

I hope everyone is doing great and I’ll be back in two weeks with hopefully a lot of new experiences and a new country I visited.

 

So much love, Kathi ❤️