Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas sledding

Finally it was Christmas Day!! The big day for children across the world... well those that celebrate Christmas.... and those that don't celebrate it on Christmas Eve...ehem. Any ways it was a big day for us. I was certainly looking forward to activities for the day, almost as much as I had been looking forward to seeing the Northern Lights. Because on Christmas we were going dog sledding!! Surprsingly enough I've heard some bizarre comments about how people are surprised that I would want to go and they can't imagine me doing it... well to that I say "Pbbbbbbbttttt"! <- insert preferred Raspberry sound here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve with Aurora

Ice Lanterns for Christmas Eve
So with a small view of the Northern Lights from the previous day, Mariko and I awoke full of energy and vigor...... well maybe not that enthusiastic as it was still early, but we were certainly enjoying ourselves. Once again the morning started with breakfast and talking, but things were starting to quicken as it was Christmas Eve! For those of you who are not aware, Christmas Eve is when the Swedish celebrate Santa's arrival.... not Christmas morning.

The "Hunt" begins!

Our first full day (second actual day) in Junosuando (Juno to the locals) started relatively early for Mariko and I.... breakfast was at 8am every day. And of course we went downstairs and were awake (mostly) and ready for breakfast......only to find out that it was only 7am (our phones were still set for Finnish time). The hour went by quickly, as we were checking out the event board and the town map. The other guests started coming down and soon breakfast was served and finished.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sven Puts the Hammer Down

Mariko here! It's been a while, I know. As promised, the details of our trip from Kittilä to Junosuando...

Friday, December 23, 2011

From Redlight to restful

Frankfurt.... oh Frankfurt, such an international city. Mariko had only visited briefly during one of our tours with the language course, but seeing as we were flying out for our Christmas vacation we were happy to get to see some different aspects of the city. And let me tell you we definitely saw aspects that they don't show you on city tours. Having booked a hostel near the train station (we needed an early start the next day) we knew that it was going to be a louder neighbor.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Goose-Girl and Glühwein

Gänseliesel- Goose Girl
So Weihnachts Markts here in Germany are pretty dang cool, but what is better than visiting a Weihnachts Markt? Well that's simple, visiting a new one with a group of friends!! Since every city really has its own Markt there are quite a few around, and they are all a little different. Mariko and I wanted to visit a few just to see the variety of styles and vendors.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

When Germans get together.....

Tis the Christmas season around the world, and here in Germany that is an important holiday. Mariko's lab held a small (unofficial) Christmas party on Tuesday night, as usual it was potluck style (most of the food was desserts). Mariko and I brought an Apple Coffee Cake.... and I won't mention how Mariko got the date wrong of the party and we were scrambling to get something made in time! Ahem... oops. Honestly though it wasn't too bad, and Mariko came home for lunch to help me make it!! I was happy with that so I'm not going to complain.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

A child is an "it"

The German language is a little bizarre at times, at least for me a native English speaker. And sometimes its really hard to wrap my brain around why they have certain words like they do.  Let me give you a small bit of info for those of you who are not familiar with the German language.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Season- BS style

The Holiday season is upon us now, and seems to be rushing ever closer (as it is prone to do) though here in Germany it has a whole different feel.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Germany in a week!

Fun Berlin Graffiti
As most of you know my dad was able to visit Mariko and I while we are here in Germany. And since it was his first visit to Europe he wanted to see as much as possible. Sadly our trips were all situated in Germany, as we only had one week and were coming and going from Braunschweig. But of course there is plenty to see in Germany, so I had planned as much as I could for him.... this is how our week went:

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Surviving Germany- Walking

When one is in Germany it is almost certain that one will be walking.... and walking a lot. Since that is the case, I thought that I would give a few tips for you all:

Tip #1: Know where to walk.
Obviously this is an important one, but the most obvious answer is the sidewalk...and that would of course be the correct answer as well. But German sidewalks aren't always as simple as American. most of them are for bicycles as well. The easiest way to tell is the color difference, both sides will be of different color stone/cement. The section closest to the road is for bicycles, the one furthest from the road is for walking.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Life is a game

Mariko and I have met some good friends during our stay in Marburg, though they all tended to be of varied personalities (which is nice, I always enjoy variety). The nice thing about making friends, other than the obvious thing of having friends, is that people come and visit. And one such visit happened to us once more over the weekend. That's right we've had 3 friends stay with us now, and this time was Kirsten. She is the oldest of the three visitors, and closest to my age, so rather laid back and enjoys talking..... we get along nicely.

Kirsten decided to visit us Saturday night. Her train got in late, but she is quite the night owl so it was fine (I made Mariko take a nap so she would stay up longer). We walked home, got comfy, made ourselves some drinks (vodka and apple juice proved very yummy) and started playing our new board game: Das Spiel des Lebens.... aka The Game of Life!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bureaucractic fun

Germany is a funny country about certain things. And when I say funny I mean they are anal retentive about certain things..... and some of those things they also suck at handling... take bureaucracy for instance. The Germans are horrible at handling things of that nature.... kinda of reminds me of Futurama. If you have not seen any of the episodes of Futurama that deal with bureaucracy let me give you this short video to give you an idea:

I feel as if Germans give you paperwork solely on the basis that they like paperwork. One instance is registering your TV, because guess what? In Germany there is a TV tax, you have to pay a tax just to own a TV. They may come to your door and actually ask you how many TVs you own, and you will have to pay taxes on each one.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A bizarre question

So Mariko and I were having a conversation about what she wanted to do after getting her doctorate, and being as sleepy as she was (it was past her bedtime) she commented that she wanted to grow Cowplants. Like I said it was late.

But then she asked a good question: if you could grow beef on a plant, would vegetarians eat it? Inquiring minds want to know! I mean it no longer legitimately comes from an animal right? Though could you technically call it beef, or would it be a beef substitute? I guess it depends on the genetic structure.... but I think it is perfectly reasonable to say the it should be vegetarian (considering you could actually grow Cowplants that is)

BSing it up

So Mariko and I have a friend, a fun friend, and her name is Mary. And Mary lives in Düsseldorf. Now Mary was feeling a little lonely and sad. So what did she do? Thats right she came to the happening city of Braunschweig to hang with us!

It was a long train ride for her, 5+ hours aboard regional trains all the way here. But she survived and arrived here in good spirits. Of course Mariko and I picked her up from the train station, and since it was dinner time we all elected to go out to dinner on our way home. The restaurant Mariko picked was of course not "on the way home" but it was our favorite restaurant so far. We had a good walk and a good dinner, though we were the last customers of the night, so we felt a little bad as we were leaving. We got home, popped in some BBT (Big-Bang Theory for those of you who don't know) and just relaxed for the rest of the evening.... which wasn't too long as it was late and everyone had a long day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tiny German Kitchen- Ep. 2 Potato Croquette

The Second episode of my little cooking show:

As you can see near the end, my recipe didn't turn out as well this time as a previous attempt. Should have gone with no butter and hotter oil

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The feel of Fall

So finally Fall has made its way to BS! During most of our time here in Germany has been with hot summer weather, so Mariko and I have been looking forward to some cooler weather.... and hoping that we have an actual Fall (unlike Colorado most years).  And of course our Fall started with some REALLY cold weather. We went from one day being short-sleeve weather to the next being jacket and scarf weather. It was raining and blustery for a few days, making us worry a bit... but luckily it warmed up for a few days once more.

The weather since then has slowing been getting more fall like each day. Now it truly feels like Fall out! The skies are mostly cloudy for the whole day, but grey clouds that hint at rain... not the dark boiling clouds that promise to soak you. Add to that the wind that is almost constant.... which varies from a light breeze to strong wind. But any wind makes it difficult if its raining, because if you are attempting to use an umbrella then the wind will either turn it inside out are try to wrestle it out of you hands.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pizza, Movies and Visitors.. oh my!

The day was Sunday October 9th, 2011. The time was approximately 4:15pm. The place... Braunschweig, Germany. The event... Mariko and I had our first visitor to our German apartment!! Our friend Rachel lives in Göttingen, which is 40ish minutes SW of us by ICE (high-speed train), decided that she wanted to visit us poor lonely folk in good ol' BS. And of course we were quite ecstatic to have her over.

We picked her up from the train station, and even though it was the coldest day that we have been here (not Colorado cold, just windy cold) it was a pleasant walk back home. Luckily we had an idea that she might be visiting, so we had plenty of food for the 3 of us. We made Flat-bread pizza, which actually turned out rather well! Mariko and Rachel did the cutting of all our toppings: Pineapple, Mushrooms, Garlic, Green Peppers, Onions and of course Pepperoni!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Dining out

So Mariko and I have decided that every Friday night will go out to eat. We want to be able to try new restaurants and experience more of what Braunschweig has to offer. I won't talk too much about our first attempt, suffice to say though it was expensive for soggy onion rings and bland schnitzel strips... not fun.

However our second attempt was MUCH better. Our original goal was to try one of the Mexican restaurants here in town, and it was rather simple to find (as I've been scoping the city out). However we looked at the menu and saw two problems... First was the price. It was a little more expensive than we would have liked to spend, each meal costing between 10-14 Euro per plate. Secondly, and most important, it wasn't safe for Mariko as they had molé!

So with that option removed, we had decided on walking back home and choosing something along the way. And as luck would have it we spotted an Italian restaurant almost immediately... it was about 3 building over from the Mexican place. We checked out the menu: It was safe and prices looked decent! Our restaurant had been decided!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Double or nothing

GO GO GO!! Stop!! Relax.... repeat!! That is what it feels like the German way of life is. Being in Germany for two months now, I've come to realize that Germans have two modes...

  1. Moving. When they are moving Germans are moving fast, you either need to go or get out of the way.... they will run you over. This is also evident by their stop lights.... it goes green->yellow->red (like the US also) but then it goes red->red+yellow->green (they want you to know its time to move!
  2.  Relaxing. When they are not going, Germans are usually relaxing and relaxing just as intense as they move. It is customary when eating at a restaurant here to take 2+ hours to eat.  When walking behind a German who is relaxing be prepared for sudden long stops (and the easiest way to tell if they are relaxing is if you are walking faster than them-> they are relaxing)
The two modes of Germans are interesting in the fact that they are intense about both methods. When they are moving, nothing better get in their way and woe to the person who does. When they are relaxing it doesn't matter how long something takes, they just enjoy it. All or nothing, it just happens to be the extreme ends of the spectrum.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tiny German Kitchen- Ep. 1 Beer Opening

Here is my first video for cooking in a Tiny German Kitchen:


Hopefully you all enjoyed the simplistic beer opening. Next time actual cooking will ensue!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Fun with Street signs #1

I've decided to add another game... but this only works if people post comments and guess... and that mean you! Like my fun with words, I'll post something German (this time random street signs) and you'll have to guess what they mean.
Only rule is: NO search engines!!

Here is the first:

Good luck everyone!

Home Sweet Home

So Mariko and I have arrived in our new home for the next 10ish months or so. It was a rather smooth transition from Marburg to Braunschweig.... mainly because we did the move in two trips. But it was still sad to leave Marburg and all our new friends. Our train left around 9:50 and we were on the same train to Hanover as two other couples, Gabe & Leighanna and Caetlynn & Tyson. We weren't next to them, but I was still able to walk back and talk to them during the ride (Mariko was sleeping as usual).

Once we made it into Braunschweig we were greeted by Tobi, Mariko's supervisor, once again. He drove us home and helped us drop off our luggage.... and then was kind enough to take us to IKEA for some essentials. And this was both of our first time in IKEA!! I'm curious to compare a German IKEA to an American IKEA.... have to check one out back in the states to see if anything is different. We got mostly kitchen and bathroom things, as we brought nearly everything else with us.... if you're surprised you should have helped us carry our luggage, then you may not be.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Goodbye Marburg (insert sad face here)

So sadly our time in Marburg had to come to an end at some point, though I would not have minded if it had lasted longer. Marburg was a very fun and cute city, I plan on returning to it again before leaving Germany. Maybe even have a small Fulbright reunion there before we all head back to the States, who knows.


We have now peaked my first 1000 views! I'm so excited, and thank you all for reading my lovely ramblings.  Hopefully you've all enjoyed my past posts and enjoy my ones to come! Plus there is a new poll up... since I've heard that some people still have problems commenting, while I know others can comment, I want to see how many people are please let me know (its to your right and down below the search)    

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Real German Cooking!

So it has been much longer than I would have liked since my last post..... but lack of internet will do that. Hmmm where did we last leave off..... ah yes I had made my post about restaurants and food! Wonderful topic, which is why this post will be about food... but this time about making it.

Mariko and I attended a cooking class that Raphael, our coordinator in Marburg, so graciously setup for us. Only about half the Fulbrighters were in our class, as the other half attended a prior class. We arrived at the place at about 4pm and met our instructor, who incidently did not speak English (which worked out fine for everyone). She was going to teach us to make some classic German food!! Of course minus whatever allergies and food preferences (Vegetarian, Vegan, etc) we had. Brigitte, our cooking instructor, had done quite a bit of work before we even arrived. First off she had decorated the dining room with table clothes, flowers and grapes (both flowers and grapes came from her personal garden)! She had also prepared an appetizer for us all to try before we started working, with some white wine of course... it was a dinner meal after all. Brigitte also made copies of all the recipes that we'd be cooking for every person in the class (which I hope to translate and put for everyone). And lastily she even set up little work stations for us too work at, with all the things we would need and the recipe that we would be making.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fun with Words #2

Ok here is the next word for our little game:

                           fahren: to drive                                                         Stuhl: Chair       
                           Fahrrad: Bicyle
                           Fahrer: Driver

And this is not the answer

This one is tricky so good luck.

Food and walking

Food! Yes food is good and truly an amazing thing! And not just for sustenance, but for the flavors, textures, and experiences. Food feeds the soul as well as the body. If you can't tell I love food, and have refrained slightly from posting too many pictures about food (Mariko said something crazy about not everyone enjoys pictures of food).

But this entire blog post is about food! So I am sorry, but if you read on it will contain pictures of scrumptious food and locations in which we ate said food. Those who can not handle pictures of such tastiness turn back now! You have been warned!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fun with Words! #1

I have decided to start a little segment on the blog, and it is called (points up) Fun with Words! IT goes like this:
  1. I give you a German word, including the DIRECT translation
  2. You attempt to guess what it actually is (points down to the comments) 
  3. Only rule is no German-Enlish Dictionaries, Google Translate, etc.... (I want it to be fun for everyone)
  4. If you are fairly fluent in German and know exactly what it is, please try not to ruin the game.

And the first word is:

Glüh= Glow     Birne= Pear 


A Univer-city

As our time in Marburg begins to reach its end, I look back and realize that I have not really talk much about the city of Marburg much at all. That just won't do, as it has been our home for just over a month. Now everything I'm writing is my opinion and what I've seen, as I'm sure other Fulbrighters have different opinions and that is just fine.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

History has many sad stories

Being in Germany gives one quite a bit of time to discover the history of a land that had been around for a long time, especially when compared to the USA. Sadly some of the history is not always pleasant.... but it is still something that I think should be viewed and examined. Mariko and I had the opportunity to go to one of the Inner German Border Museums with other Fulbrighters. The museum was in Eichfeld, and it geographically at the center of Germany.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Gut gemacht!

Being as we are in Europe for sometime both Mariko and I wanted to make sure that we are able to visit and experience as much as possible. A group of Fulbrighters had planned to go to Heidelberg for one of the days (Friday) in our long weekend, so naturally we jumped at the chance to join them. I have been to Heidelberg before, during one of my prior trips to Germany.... many, many years ago.

There was 10 of us in the group, which meant that we could get two Schöneswochende tickets and split them for cheapest price!! We left Marburg around 9:30 and had a layover in Frankfurt (all roads lead to Frankfurt!). The nice thing about changing trains, is that you get to stretch your legs and get some food instead of having to be on the train for the entire time. We arrived in Heidelberg around noon-ish and visited the tourist info booth to get all the info we might need.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Drinking, Dancing and Frankfurt

Marburg as a city, is a cute little city compared to some of the other cities here in Germany. Full of hills, trees and people you recognize. One thing that Marburg does still have, and we have just recently experienced some of it, is a nightlife. Thursday night a group of us met up at a BierGarten with Raphael, it was a small walk from the Cineplex (but then everything is a walk here).  The BierGarten was nothing new, as we have been drinking beer quite a bit here. Though it was nice to go with a large group (we got to people to watch quite a bit). Mariko and I only had one beer each, I got a Radler once again... but Mariko tried the WeißenBoch. It was pleasant, and tasted like a fruity dark beer (her words).

The dance club was rather interesting to say the least. It didn't really look much like a club from the outside, more like a closed industrial building. There were a lot of Germans hanging around the outside though, so that gave me the impression that something was going on here. We each paid our 3 Euro and headed in. The dance floor was much smaller than I was used to, but there was also a stage with a few couches and chairs setup. Mariko and I dubbed them the make-out couches! A bar was naturally there as well, off to the side, and the prices looked fairly cheap too. Mariko and I refrained from getting another drink, purely on the basis that we knew we would have to walk home after this.

Monday, August 22, 2011

GamesCom 2011

Being in Germany is a cool enough experience in its own right, but being in Germany during GamesCom (the biggest gaming convention in Europe) makes it so much more epic. I was super excited to hear that we would be able to make it there, and doubly so that Mariko was going to put up with me for that long! There really aren't many gamers in the Fulbright group here with us, but we had one other person join us for our excursion!

We opted to use the Schönswochende (Happy weekend) ticket, which is an awesome deal if you have plenty of time to get where you are going. Our train from Marburg left at 7:26 and we were right on time! The next stop, Gießen, we had about an hour to wait for our next connection. So we decided to grab some breakfast. We grabbed some food from the only place open at that time, a small bakery, but before I could start eating my pretzel we saw McDonalds open up. Now I'm not one to usually crave McD's, but the I suddenly really wanted some. Fun little fact about train station McD's in Germany.... no breakfast menu. So at 9 in the morning I had a Double Cheeseburger for breakfast!! And it tasted amazing!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kanu fahren

So today we went on a canoe trip with the Fulbrighters down the Lahn. We met up around 9:30 and took a bus to Roth, a small town where we launching from. We were going to be in 2-3 man canoes, wearing lifevests of course, and going around 10km. We put our things in water resistant bags, and lugged our canoe down to the water (it was really heavy for Mariko).

 Mariko was in front and I was in back doing the steering, and luckily the guides gave us some info on how to steer and paddle. It took some time to get the hang of things, and it was amusing to see our group zig-zagging across the river trying to get things controlled. A few bumps ensued of course but the beginning was fairly good. The current was moving slowly, but carried us about 2-3 km shortly.... and that's when things got complicated.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beer and Bacon

Life has normalized for Mariko and I now that our language classes have started. Classes started for us on Thursday August 11th, Mariko began in Class 2 and I began in Class 1. I knew that I had forgotten a lot of German over the last 12 years, so I opted for the lowest class. I was hoping that it would help me build my basics back up and restate what I had learned back in high school. Well it didn't work like that, I was bored for the two days that I was in class... pretty much already knew everything that was being taught. Since I did want to make sure that I knew how to speak/read/write German fairly competently I decided to go up to Class 2. It has been tough for me, but I think I need that challenge to learn much more than I needed some of the basics. Mariko also jumped up one level, to class 3, but she was just put into the wrong class and is learning more in Class 3.

Other than that we have been doing a lot of grocery shopping, as we only shop for a single day or two every time we go. It's been mostly pasta style dished for us, as it is simple to cook and there are a variety of ways to cook it. We only have one pan at this point in time, we don't want to buy too much and then have to move it with us when we go to Braunschweig..... so we have had to be creative with our cooking, but it hasn't been to difficult.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Culinary extravaganza

Our week felt as if were going by fairly quickly by the time Wednesday dawned, though I'm fairly certain the Earth's orbit around the sun hadn't changed in the slightest. But our trip down to town was rather rushed, as was breakfast... but that's ok compared to the morning following it. We sat in the lecture hall and had an official information session about Fulbright and German education. It lasted over 3 hours! It was some decent information, but just way too much to take in at once.

Lunch was once again provided by Fulbright, and it was tasty once more! We had salad, pretzel bread (different, but very good), Cornmeal chowder and open faced sandwiches. It was a light meal, but was relaxing. Of course after food came more information for us....I feel as if they like to rotate food and info. Stuff us with both and then let us digest mentally and physically. The later information was regarding our health insurance during our stay here.... which is SUPER important, but was fairly standard things for most insurance companies.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Acclimations all around

So Monday is the beginning of the first day for us in Marburg. We were a little excited to see more of the city, especially since we were more awake than the previous day. We took the bus around town a little more, to try and recognize stops that we might need. And of course we did some grocery shopping!! We wanted to have some basic food in our dorm, mainly so we wouldn't have to eat out all the time, but also because its nice to be able to relax "at home" and eat.

The grocery store was rather similar to the ones in America, though smaller. The prices felt quite similar, though they are obviously in Euro. The main differences are:
   *A LOT less Frozen food
   *A LOT of variety of cheese and meats
   *More bread in the bakery, and better bread in the packaged section.
   *More ingredients, and less "prepackaged meals"
   *Deposit on all Glass and Plastic bottles
   *Bring your own bag- nearly no store has bags and those that do charge
     for them
A man on the Lahn
We bought some simple bread, cheese and salami (Which we later found out was chicken salami) for our breakfast by the Lahn (The major river through Marburg). It was very pleasant to sit there just snacking on a light breakfast, almost like it was a natural thing for us to do. Though in Marburg there are wasps everywhere! If you are eating outside they will find you and buzz around you until you are done or you leave. They haven't been very aggressive, and resemble bees more than wasps, but are very annoying!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.

So it has begun.... this dangerous business of going out your door! It has been a number of days since we arrived in Deutschland, however we have been without internet for most of it. But now that we have some internet occasionally, I figured that I can try to make some posts. I hope that I can remember everything, or at least as much as possible, that happened to us. And don't worry, the past week won't all be in one post!

Morning over Great Britain
So Mariko and I flew out of Denver International Airport at 10:30 on Saturday Aug 6th. It was rather fun checking all our luggage in at that time. We had 3 large rolling suitcases, a medium rolling suitcase, two backpacks, a small duffel and one purse! Yeah WAAAAYYYY too much. And it gets better! When we attempted to check in, we discovered that our large rolling suitcases were all overweight by 10 lbs. We were able to purchase another small duffel and shift around some luggage so that only one suitcase was overweight.  Getting onto the plane was rather easy after that, security went smooth and plenty of time to get to the gate. Our seats on both flights were on the side, and luckily there were only two seats near the window and we got both of them... I was nice enough to let her have the window. Our second leg of the journey left from Dallas/Ft Worth, and was much simpler than our first part.  The nine hour flight across the Atlantic was fairly standard.... some sleep, some eating, some reading and then some more sleeping.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Ding Dong Wedding Bells - Part 3.3 (Bonus Features??)

Mariko here! I'm finally posting, as promised. :) Dave covered the wedding synopsis pretty well, so I'm just going to make a few additions.

When we were planning this wedding I was totally lost on what needed to get done and how to go about doing it. I read some blogs, magazines, etc., but I hadn't been to a wedding in quite a while and wasn't really sure how they were supposed to work. We were trying to keep the cost down but still have a nice, semi-formal event that we could invite our (many) close family members and friends to. So in honor of our friends that are planning weddings, here are a few things I learned while planning our wedding:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ding Dong Wedding Bells Pt. 3.2 "The Finale" (Extended)

So yes, the wedding posts are much longer than I originally planned. But then again it makes sense, as A LOT went on. This one should be fairly short, though I do tend to ramble at times. I know that Mariko said she'll have a post after this one about her day, since I don't know what happened prior to the ceremony..... but this is Mariko so anyone's guess if/when she'll post.

Last we left you the wedding blur of fun was ending and we were making our way to the hotel, and yes it was the same hotel that had been giving us so many problems. Mariko arrived and checked in, both of strutting our stuff in formal attire. Luckily we got into our room quite nicely, and began to cool off. Sadly though our change of clothes were in Mariko's parents room, so we had to wait a bit to get comfy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ding Dong Wedding Bells Pt. 3.1 "The Finale"

I'm sure this is the post that most people have been waiting for... the wedding info! Though it was a rather busy day for me, I'm going to try and remember the details as best as possible. And though we don't have the photographers photos yet, we still have a few from family members (and if you have more PLEASE send them to Mariko and I)!

My day (Dave) started off a little earlier than I had planned, waking up around 6:30. I mostly wondered around the hotel room, declining breakfast with a few people.... I don't like to eat in the mornings and my stomach was already a little nervous. I had to do checks with Mariko's family to make sure we didn't wander the around the hotel at the same time, didn't want any accidents happening.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ding Dong Wedding Bells Pt. 2

And so we move on, they story continues with the next chapter of our little wedding posts! Last we left off, Mariko and I were working on all the wedding prep at the beginning of the summer. I won't bore you all with the dirty details of wedding planning, but as I'm sure you can all tell we got things finished!

We'll do a little time jump around this point to July 20th, 2011. It is Wednesday before the wedding and people are starting to arrive in town. We had visitors from California, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Utah and even the far off land of Japan. We were lucky enough to have quite a few friends and family make the trip.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ding Dong Wedding Bells Pt. 1

Yes the big day has come and gone. I am now officially married to my beautiful wife Mariko (though I guess saying married to my wife is rather redundant). A LOT of has happened in the past few days, probably more than one blog post could handle... or more than I can handle writing in one post. So I am going to break it up a bit and do three posts of all the fun-ness. Post #1, which if you can't guess is this post, will be a little background on Mariko and my relationship. Post #2 will be pre-wedding fun, while the wedding day and post-wedding day fun will be included in Blog post #3.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Its been about 2 weeks since my last posting, and though not much new has occurred I wanted to get myself in the habit of posting... so I don't forget once we are in Germany and things are more exciting.  On the wedding front not any big news, decorations are just about done.... Gretchen and Midori have been working hard to get those finished (with help from family). Final guest count is due on Tuesday, July 10th. And the current count is........ 78 people plus one baby! Now that is given those that RSVP show up, and those didn't RSVP don't show up. We shall see!

Other than that the wedding is getting closer, and I as of yet am not stressing out. It is a big step for Mariko and I, but doesn't seem scary to me at all. Plus I am always optimistic and generally need to be not stressed (to help counter Mariko's built in stress factor).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Licenses, parties and packing... oh my!

We are nearing an end to the lovely month of June, and as it does so, both Mariko and I reflect on how much we've accomplished in the past 30 days or so......... and then realize once more that our wedding is in 24 days!!!! And yes we did a little bit of panicking, but not much. I would say just enough. Honestly things are going well and I am almost certain we have things under control. Mariko and I just picked up our wedding license yesterday, so things are starting to feel a bit more "real" but not scary. We have toured the venue once more and hammered down things like the menu, color of table clothes and other such things. Things are looking well on that front.
The Pavilion for the Ceremony

The Reception room

All that is really left is to finish some decorations/flowers that we are making, finish the table assignments and to turn in the final guest count (which is due in 2 weeks). So that means we will only have 1 or 2 minor things pop up and stress us out as we get closer.... it is inevitable and thus I am actually planning for them.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Prelude to the adventure

So in approximately one  month we will be getting married, and by we I mean Mariko and myself of course. 30 small days until all the planning for the past year come into play. We will have family and friends flying, driving and making their way here from where ever they may be.  All the planning and bustle that we've been doing will culminate in a flash of 5 hours, that Mariko and I will probably barely remember without photos, and then we will be married.

Judging from what most people say, after the wedding is when you can take time to relax and just enjoy the new sensation of being married. Well we all know how Mariko and I love to be different, because that just isn't our plan. A mere 15 days after our wedding we will be packing up what we can take with us and moving to Germany. That's right we will be traveling 5004 miles over the Atlantic Ocean to make our home, albeit temporarily, in Braunschweig Germany.