Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Frohes Neues Jahr!

Monday, Dec. 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

So here we are, spending the last day of 2012 with great friends in Germany!  It's like a dream!  Speaking of dreams, look what they eat for breakfast:
Fresh baked roll (of course) with butter and chocolate sprinkles.  YES.
Stefanie couldn't get the day off of work, so she had to leave.  She is a nurse in an NICU.  But she very nicely made us spaghetti for lunch before she left.  We also prepared for the dinner which she said would be "Raclette."  I had no idea what this was, even after they explained.  All I know is we cut up some meat, cheese, she cooked up some veggies.

We were able to visit Stefanie at work, which was so exciting!  Stefan took Lainie and I, and we even got to go in the NICU.  I wanted to cry!  Because all newborns make me want to cry and because I have never seen such tiny human beings.  And there were even twins!  Oh every baby was so adorable I could have just died right there.  We saw one born earlier that day, and one that was about 2 months old but still tinier than my babies were.  She started off less than a pound.  It was really a great experience.  I couldn't take any pictures of course.  I am certain those parents don't want their adorable tiny babes on some crazy American's blog.

We hung out for awhile and then Brad, Stefan, Philipp and I took a walk.
In front of their house, looking down the street

Brad and Philipp played football the whole way

There is Lambsheim in the distance!

The creek right by their house
We started prepping more for the Raclette.  I still had NO IDEA what we were having.  Stefan got out the Raclette grill pans.  They have one and their other NYE guest Carmen brought one.  Here they are:
Round one...little pans cook under the grill

Rectangular one
So we got tons and tons of food ready for this enormous feast!!
Cheeses, ham, salami and onions

Sausages, tomatoes, little hot dogs

The table...all ready!  Raw meats to grill on top, lots of choices for the broiled parts
So you can grill meat on top, or anything, really.  Lainie toasted bread, we grilled onions.  Then you take your individual pan and fill it with what you want.  Then top with cheese if you want and broil it under the grill pan.  It is so delicious!  And fun!!
A good view of everything cooking!

My first one...made with ham, salami, grilled onion, broccoli, cheese

Sliced potatoes, corn, grilled onions, cheese

Brad's with broccoli, corn, cheese and ham
This was so much fun!  Reminds me of the fun of fondue.  I was envisioning dessert this way...thin cake slices, chocolate chips, marshmallows....

The girls tried some cheese!  Since they have been eating a bit of milky stuff, they both decided to risk it (and were fine, thank God!!)
The Schaefer's friend Carmen spent the evening with us.  She is their neighbor and very nice!  In Germany, we have seen many "Good luck pigs" for the new year.  Carmen made her own out of marzipan and brought one for everyone!! They are so stinkin' cute!!!!
We played games...Wii, Uno Extreme, and one called Ligretto which is a super crazy card game that had us laughing and screaming in frustration at the same time!!

The big Wii Challenge...Wii Party.  Manly :)
So all over Germany, people watch this short film from the UK called "Dinner For One."  It's even in English.  It plays on many, many channels and is on throughout the evening.  It was totally hilarious!  Since the showing we watched started at 6:50 pm, we discussed TV show start times.  I can not believe shows start at such odd times.  Here is the proof:

Seriously.  The strangest thing about Germany so far.  I don't get it!!! 
Stefanie got home at about 9ish and we played more games.  Then it was almost time!!!  We got ready for the ball drop!  (Oh wait...that's the US.  We got ready for the fireworks!!)
Fireworks ready: check!

Champagne ready: check!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  FROHES NEUES JAHR!!  (Lea was upstairs feeling safer in a quiet place.)  Lainie is NOT drinking champagne.  Ok she is.  Don't judge me.
Then we ran outside for the most spectacular fireworks all over the neighborhood!  Everyone does this at midnight!  Other than the Windsor-Detroit Freedom Festival near July 4, I have not seen so many fireworks at once!  And that is, of course, professionally done.  This is just people in their neighborhoods!  It was really cool to see so many, all around us, all at once.  I wish pictures could do it justice.

Oooo, aaaaahh

From Lainie's sparkler

More sparkler fun
We came back in and played some more games, like Schwarze Peter which means black Peter.  He is a chimney sweep.  It is the same game as Old Maid.  Lainie thought this card was particularly funny:
Hee hee
We had some snacks.  Stefanie showed me in the grocery store that you can sometimes find American snacks.  The bags have a picture of the Statue of Liberty on them.  She had these things that are like Cheetos.  But taste like peanut butter!  Peanut butter Cheetos!  Now I have seen everything.  (Yes, they were very good, in fact!!)

We went to bed at about 2.  A truly amazing New Year's Eve!  It can be scary to go off somewhere new and leave behind all of your old traditions.  But sometimes, making new traditions can be wonderful!  I foresee us watching Dinner For One every NYE from now on, while we eat our peanut butter Cheetos!!

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