2009 marked my first Christmas spent entirely in Germany. We flew back home on Monday. I have to say, Christmas was a little sad here. Since we didn't know we would be spending the entire holiday here, we had no tree, no decorations, nothing. We spent Christmas Eve with Joern's parents. Very quiet. We had würstchen and "special salad" which is a potato salad recipe from Schlesien, the area of Germany where Joern's dad was born. It is pretty tasty. After dinner, we watched Christmas Vacation in German, with Joern's parents. It was a rather enjoyable evening, even though I kept thinking of the ham sandwiches I was missing at Cheryl's.
On Christmas Day, Joern and I were pretty quiet. We went to Joern's parents' for Christmas Dinner, we had duck, dumplings, and sweet-and-sour red cabbage. Quite yummy. It was nice, and very quiet. Unlike home, where we rush between relatives on Christmas Day. But, I did miss home, and miss my dad, and the rest of the family.
We left for home on Monday morning, after running to the Rathaus (town hall) to get an alien registration form since I didn't have time to get my residency permit placed in my new passport.
The flight home was uneventful, and we arrived at 1:30 in the afternoon to find my cousin Bill and my cousin Katie's boyfriend waiting for us. I have to admit, it is always nice to see a friendly face when you get off the airplane. Makes you feel loved.
We were home for about 11 days. We spent a good portion of time with my dad, and my sister Ginia. We also spent some time with my aunt and cousins, but they were all sick, which was sad. It was ridiculously cold at home, so we decided to cancel our annual New York trip. Much too cold. We did manage to spend a great deal of time on Long Island though, at the outlets in Riverhead. We had dinner with my godparents, which was an enjoyable night, and we were able to talk about our upcoming trip to New Hampshire in February.
Of course, we made our obligatory restaurant stops too: Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Duchess, Bagel King, and the Cracker Barrel.
The time home flew by, and before we knew it, we were back in the airplane to fly home.
Of course, I haven't mentioned my back yet. A few years ago, I had the most horriffic experience with my back, all from sleeping in a bed that was far too soft. When were home this year, we were sleeping on an air mattress. I don't think we had the mattress properly inflated, and after a week, I could feel my back starting to rebel. I was getting nervous that the flight back would be miserable, but surprisingly, it was okay. It was the 2 hour car ride back from Frankfurt that was the beginning of the end. My back has now been miserable for a week. I went to the doctor on Monday, and he gave me a shot, perscribed some pain meds and muscle relaxers, and wrote me out of work for a week. Now, its Friday, and I can't say things have improved at all. Its been a miserable week. I feel good and would love to get back to the kids and my friends at work. I have an appoinment again with the doctor in about an hour. I hope he can help!