Wow, I can't believe its been a week since I've posted. I guess my life is pretty boring. Actually, my life is totally stressful, and boring is something I would love, just nothing is really blog-worthy.
I did manage to spend the weekend with some of my colleagues in Austria though. They do a weekend every year, and I decided this year would be a good time to go.
We left work at 3 pm on Friday, and headed to Tschagguns, Austria, nestled in the Alps. The ride was about 3 hours, and was really easy and a lot of fun, because I rode with two of my friends, Maxine and Iris. We were the assistants car, and am sure we were the most fun too :)
We arrived at the house we had rented for the weekend around 7 pm, which was great. The house was lovely, and fit all 16 of us perfectly!
Even better, since we arrived earlier than most, we scored the best room in the house! This was our view-
We had a nice dinner of Maultaschen, a traditional Swabian meal. After dinner, we all played one of my favorite games, Apples to Apples.
What made me laugh was that I have played the game many times before, but only with Americans. In a mixed nationality crowd, I began to notice the American culture which comes out in the game, something which other countried believe our nation lacks. It was fun!
After an amazing breakfast on Saturday morning, everyone left for a hike in the mountains. The hike was supposed to be four hours, and involved taking a gondola high up a mountain, and then walking down. I knew that the hike was a task that would be far beyond my capabilities, so I chose to stay at the house and study for my driving test. It was really great to have four hours, which turned into five hours, to myself. I had no distractions (laundry included,) to study for my test and to start reading for my upcoming class. Not only was the solitude useful, but I had an incredible view while studying!
This was the view from the terrace of the house. Obviously, we were also incredibly lucky because we had amazing weather. And the view was enhanced with the beautiful colors of autum.
I did take a study break, and take a little walk around the area. I even made some Austrian friends.
After everyone returned, all extremely sore and limping, my decision was confirmed. Dinner on Saturday night was a delicious Raclette. Raclette is in a way similar to fondue. It comes from Switzerland. In raclette, diners sit around a small grill, under which small trays of vegetables covered with cheese heat up. People usually grill small pieces of meat on top of the grill. It is a definite party meal, and takes a rather long time. But, sparks some great conversation.
After our delicious meal, we had some singing. At one point, we even tried to call a retired colleague, who is now home in Australia. Sadly, she did not pick up the phone. Although I can't imagaine why, it was only 4:30 am her time! After our song time, it was time for another board game, Loaded Questions. It was fun, but nothing like Apples to Apples.
Sunday morning was another beautiful morning. We left the house around 11:30 and headed into the valley, the starting point of another smaller hike. The group took another gondola up a mountain, and hiked about 2 hours. Unfortunately, my friend Maxine was not feeling well at all, and decided to leave early. I chose to drive back with Maxine for various reasons. It worked out fine well though as we had a lot of great laughs on the ride back. It was nice to be able to spend so much time just with Maxine, as she is really a great person.
All in all, it was a nice weekend. I'm glad I went. It afforded me the opportunity to get to know some of my co-workers. It was also a great time to spend with some of my friends that I rarely get to see!