Moving to Holland is not easy, but it's worth the effort. This blog tells the story of shifting from American life in Pittsburgh to Expat life in the Netherlands,
and all of our European adventures that follow.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Kanick's East German Christmas Vacation

To sum it all up, we had a wonderful time with the Taylors this Christmas. They have a great apartment, and Brandi had everything ready to make us feel right at home (complete with house slippers!). We spent a lot of time laying around in our PJ's, cooking great food and watching classic Christmas movies on repeat. They also showed us around Dresden, which is a really interesting East German city, with a lot of history and beautiful buildings.

The famous Frauenkirche

The Christmas Markets
One of the best parts about being in Germany during the holidays is visiting the Christmas Markets. There are several markets scattered around Dresden, but the main "Strietzelmarkt" is the largest, and nicest, one that we have seen in Germany. It is touted as the oldest Christmas Market in Germany, and has been around for 576 years. It also has the tallest "candle pyramid" which towers over the entire market.

We especially enjoyed the stand that sold tiny little doughnuts sprinkled in powdered sugar that melted in your mouth. One stand sold sweet heart shaped waffles, and another had the standard potato pancakes (kartoffelpuffers) served with applesauce. There was also a stand that sold delicious barbecue beef sandwiches, which had an entire cow rotating over a spit. And, in addition to the traditional glühwein, they sold all sorts of variations including a honey based 'mead,' eggnog, and glühbier.

We bought some traditional wooden handcrafted decorations, including a nutcracker, a candle pyramid (the one with the spinning top), and a smoking man selling glühwein (you put incense in him and smoke comes out of this mouth).

Gotta love the German-style Santa hats

Best Idea of the Week: Nominee

Chris and Chad went out on a snowy adventure to take an empty crate of beer back to the store, and pick up another full one, using Austin's sled. Once at the store, they decided that it would be better to get not just one, but three cases of beer to take back. Needless to say, when they finally got back home, they both had their coats off and were sweating heavily. The three full cases of beer may or may not have been heavier than they thought it would be... hmm.

We did manage to have some fun in the snow, though:

Best Idea of the Week: Winner
We were so caught up in enjoying the Christmas Markets and the great food, that we didn't get around to picking up a tree until Christmas Eve. Only they did not have any tree stands left, and Brandi and I could not find one in the few remaining shops that were open in town. So, we got creative and used what we had, a beer crate. It actually worked perfectly.

Best Quote
During the cleanup of the great Apocalyptic Boxing Day Flood of 2010 (when the washing machine accidentally drained into the hallway instead of down the bathroom sink), Chris pointed out that the stack of old rags that he used to keep, and that Brandi had made him get rid of, would be perfect for "just such a water based apocalypse." She concurred. This is the cleverest way we have ever hear anyone say "I told you so." ;)

Christmas Day
Brandi had covered all of the bases for Christmas morning, including stockings and stocking stuffers. It was great to see Austin's face when he came upstairs and discovered all of the presents that Santa had brought. He enjoyed unwrapping all of his gifts, and in typical fashion wanted each one taken out of the box immediately so he could commence with the playing.

During the unwrapping process, Austin managed to sit on one of the bows and it stuck to his bottom. It was too cute, so we had to let him walk around with it all morning.
For dinner, we cooked a goose! Her name was Gertrud (since we name all of the birds we roast), and she was tasty. I kept thinking of a Christmas Carol when Scrooge sends the boy out to fetch the best Christmas goose he can find.
It was great to spend time with the Taylors in Dresden, and it was long enough that we had ample time to just relax and enjoy everything. We all Skyped with our families, which was great. If you have to be away from home, it's nice to have good friends to spend the holidays with to help keep the home sickness at bay.


Many more pics are up on Flickr:

The Taylor's also have their pics up:

1 comment:

Brandi said...

LOVE IT! We were so lucky to have you here with us. You truly did make our holiday special!! Hope you had a great New Year :o)