Tuesday, May 31, 2011

sometimes I'm vain/photo booth is addictive

so there is this camera built into my computer. and there is this program called photo booth that makes it really simple to take pictures with this camera. So I do. a lot. Pretty much whenever I'm bored (and when you work 12 hours a week in a time zone that is 6 hours ahead of 90% of your active facebook friends, this is quite often!) I generally just snap a few photo booth photos (or, you know, 20...).

Recently I was going through these photos, which have been accumulating unorganized for over 3 years, and I thought it was really fun to be able to see how much I've changed even in the past year. So, since I'm feeling a little vain, here is my year according to Photo Booth

My first day in Edinburgh - You can sense the excitement.

My first night in Forchheim. No Internet, no telephone. Just alone.

Oh look how long my hair is getting! and what great new style. And great face....

At the Frankfurt airport on my surprise trip home

I particularly like to take pictures when I've bought new things like my new scarf and hat seen here.

Taken just a couple weeks ago... longer hair, new hair style and the sun is shining
(cause that clearly has everything to do with me)
So what can we learn from this? I'm really awesome. And you're jealous. And it's fun to see how much you can change over just one year. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

the royal we

Let me set the scene for this post: 
There are 7 ETAs in Franken (remember, that's the area of Bavaria I live in. Keep up, people!). Two in Nürnberg, two in Erlangen, one in Bamberg and two in Forchheim. The 7 of us get together pretty regularly (if not all of us, at least different combinations of us). And, as you might have guessed, the two in Forchheim are Gemma and I (omg! Who saw that one coming?!). Out of the 7, we are the only two that live in the same apartment. Also, Gemma is the only British assistant. Which means she moved in about 2 weeks after the first six of us. She also (maybe unwillingly) got thrown into this group of Americans because we lived together and therefore did things together, which inevitably were also together with the other ETAs. 
So since we have the same main circle of friends, everyone figured out after a while, that when they needed both of us, they only had to call one of us. Our one friend even dubbed us "Gemily" to save time when talking about us or addressing us. When I talk about us (e.g. inviting friends over to our place) I like to go with the 1st person version of our collective name: "Gemmani" (Gemma and I... get it?).
Over the past nine months, Gemmani have accepted our role as a collective. When one of us is invited out, the other is almost always automatically included. When one of us goes to the store, we both usually walk down together. When one of us emails the group to set up plans, it both approved and co-signed by the other. When we have a lesson to plan or a decision to make, we always discuss it with the other. 
Why am I telling you this? Well, besides Gemma being my other half and an integral part of my Fulbright year, I realized the other day that it has now become difficult to refer to myself in the singular. 
In the beginning, we always joked about responding as a collective "We think that would be fun!" "Do you want to come out with us?" "We 

like that idea!" But as time progressed, it became less of a joke and more of the norm. In a weird kind of way. "Can we call you back?" "We're done with school at 1pm."We thought it would be best to go ahead and book the flight to the US."  It finally reached the point that I had to give it pause last week on the phone to one of our friends from Erlangen. She called my phone to tell me a story while Gemmani had made a brief stop on our way home from school. This is pretty much how the conversation went:
J: Hey! I have to tell you this story about something that happened today!
E: OMG, sounds exciting, but we're in Aldi [Gemma was outside] can we call you back when we got home? Or you can call us?
J: Yeah sure
E: Actually we'll probably be on skype when we get back. 
I had an entire conversation that was directed at just me using only plural pronouns and Gemma wasn't even with me at the time. That's when I knew this Royal We situation was getting serious. 
But I'm already dreading the de-pluralization of my pronouns. That sad day when the "we" becomes "me". The end of the Gemily era. And it's getting frighteningly closer everyday. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

that time I went to Berlin in March.... 1978

you know how I keep talking about how I went to Berlin and that I forgot my camera. I know it probably sounds like a really elaborate lie to make my life sound so much more excited ("no, I don't just sit in bed all day watching episodes of How I Met Your Mother 3 times over, I go to cool places... like... uh... Berlin. Yeah, I went to Berlin."), but it is in fact true, and after 3 months, I finally got the proof developed! 

Since I'm normally the kind of person who a. likes to take about a million too many pictures of anyone given subject and b. has to review every picture I take to make sure it is "just right", being forced to use disposable cameras for my trip to this famous city felt both limiting and a little depressing. 

However, when I got the pictures back on Friday, I have to say, I was pretty pleased with results. Yes, it is sad that I spent 5 days in Berlin and only have 36 pictures to show for it, but i think I got all the necessary pictures and they even turned out pretty well (for the most part... I mean there were about 20 frames that didn't even turn out enough to be developed).

And as an unexpected surprise, they all seem to have a really artsy, vintage look about them. Some I really think could be played off as from the 1970s. But I'll let you be the judge of that; here are some of my favorite disposable pictures of Berlin (ca. 1978/2011): 
We stopped by the Berliner Dom just about everyday
at the Brandenburg gate... with my crazy Indian friend on the left
a fountain and a Rathaus
Fernsehturm/TV tower
The "Ampelmann" famous for being the 'stop' and 'walk' symbols on traffic
lights. I took a picture these Ampelmann lights, but alas, it did not turn out!
all up on that Berlin Wall. David Hasselhoff would be proud
Me, Andy and Jennifer (2 other ETAs) in our favorite Platz: Alexanderplatz

Thursday, May 26, 2011

really, it's a piece of cake*

When it comes to food, I think most Americans would association Germany with bratwurst, beer (hey, one of my students told me this was a food group in Germany), and probably bread. 
But did you know Germany has some delicious cake? I'm serious, there is cake everywhere - there are some regular choices you can find all over, and there are some very unique cakes. But there is one thing they all have in common: not only do they always (this is without exception, people!) look picture-perfect and like the most wonderful thing you could ever have the pleasure to eat, they usually live up to, or exceed your expectations in taste!
Today I'm hanging out in Erlangen at our favorite cafe (Coffini, and their wonderful free wifi**) and after eating a life-changingly delicious piece of strawberry-yogurt cake, I had to share this fun fact with you.

*please excuse my very pathetic love of puns
**free wiifii if you're my mom

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

from au pair to unemployed to ETA in 10 days or less

Sometimes it's funny how quickly life can turn around. For example, I'd like to give you a break down of the last 10 days in regards to what I'm going to be doing next year. 

Sunday, May 15: Get confirmation that the au pair job in Zürich would help me organize my visa to start working in August.

Monday, May 16: Book my round-trip flight to Georgia for 3 weeks in July.

Tuesday, May 17: revel in my seemingly flawless future plans

Wednesday, May 18: continue reveling

Thursday, May 19: Find out Gemma has gotten a job to tie her over for a while in Germany, we celebrate our mutual having of a future

Friday, May 20: Gemmani (that means Gemma and I) throw ourselves a little we rock at life/still can't afford to go out on a Friday night party and think about how awesome life is going to be next year when we're still [almost] in the same country

Saturday, May 21: Wake up to a shocking email from Zürich that they will not be able to procure an au pair visa for me. Something with my horrible American passport and government and blah blah. The next best option is a student visa. I spend the rest of the day sunk into a depression.

Sunday, May 22: Get to avoid my sudden lack of future because of all day band rehearsal. Will face reality later.

Monday, May 23: Start attacking my future. Email a university about a masters program, sign up for 3 au pair websites and one questionably legit "Help Americans find Work in Germany" website (just the free version, though). The day ended with a response from a family in Munich looking for an au pair. 

Tuesday, May 24: Respond to Munich au pair job, and get a call from them, a sort of mini interview, and an offer to come meet on Sunday in Munich for a real interview. Get another response from another family looking for an au pair. Get excited about the Munich job and pretend I've already got it.

My acceptance letter, because I'm that lame ;)
Wednesday, May 25: Spend half my day convincing myself that I'm crazy excited to be working in Munich next year (mind you, it's not even actually decided) and that I'll still be close to Gemma and Forchheim. And there will be babies! Then, out of nowhere, comes the letter that I've gotten a placement as a teaching assistant for a second year! No visa worries, no money worries (well, significantly less than the standard au pair rates), and it's in the German state that was my original first choice last year!  Yes, yes, and yes! Done, where do I sign? OMG, I'm moving to Nordrhein-Westfalen! 

so this week has been an exhausting emotional joy-ride of sorting out the future and trying my best to find legal ways to stay in Europe. And what have I learned from it all? Well, suffice it to say I'm going to start planning my post-2nd year ETA life probably in September instead of May (even if the world is going to end shortly after my next assistantship)! 

I also would like to take one brief (and mildly cheesy) moment to say that I recognize how truly lucky I am to have fallen into something (anything) like this. Ever since I lived in Zürich, all I've wanted to do was to come back to Europe and stay as long as possible. And somehow I'm making that happen. And I do not take that for granted! 

Also, you can now disregard this post

Monday, May 23, 2011

why I'm not above a year of professional childcare

As much as I love facebook, I kind of hate it. Why? Because all those really amazing and impressive things people are doing with their lives are all over my newsfeed. And they make me feel the need to explain my choice to work as an au pair next year. 
fyi, put this pic on my au pair profile and got an email
almost immediately after it loaded. Just sayin.
  1. I get to stay in Germany
  2. May not be the best money in the world, but you can't argue with a free place to live 
  3. Get to have a complete cultural experience living with a German family
  4. language language language! Speaking German for another year = win.
  5. you don't need a stupid EU passport to get work as an au pair
  6. I will have time to be focused on things like applying for grad school
  7. I will probably be more motivated than ever to apply for grad school
  8. I won't just sit around twiddling my thumbs all day
  9. It is in no way binding if I am able to find something better along the way
  10. Did I mention I get to stay in Germany?
  11. I have a lot of experience in the field of childcare 
  12. You can only do it for a maximum of 18 months, so there is no way to get sucked into a lifetime of professional childcare 
  13. Even if the economy sucks and jobs are scarce, people still have children that need caring for
  14. I get to avoid the "real world" for at least one more year
  15. don't have to lay awake at night fearing deportation 
so maybe you're going to some incredible university, sorting through amazing job offers, or getting paid buckets of money. But I'm going to live in someone's spare bedroom and take care of their kid. And I'm ok with that. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

how to celebrate a royal wedding with the natives

I don't know if you heard anything about it, but about month ago, Prince William married Kate Middleton. Maybe you heard something in passing... 

Being the first big royal wedding in my lifetime, it was already an event I was looking forward to - but then I decided to get even closer to the action and head up to Manchester to partake in the festivities with the natives (Gemma and her family). 

After the actual ceremony, though, is when the real fun started. So I've compiled a few pointers that helped make our party such a success

Tips for a wildly successful 
Royal Wedding Party

1. The key to any royal wedding is your look. Now, if you followed any of the royal wedding gossip, you'll know that Kate did her own makeup. Personal preparation is not only important for the bride, but for all the guests. Some royal wedding must-haves are Union Jack nails and crowns

2. A royal wedding is a day you're going to remember for a long time, so not only do you want to look good, but you want to celebrate with all your favorite people. Of course you want to have all the royals at the top of your guest list, but if (for some reason) they can't make it, I would suggest inviting all your closest family and friends and forcing them to wear these amazing royal face masks

By the end of the party, after all the  champagne and wine (this is a royal event, please keep it classy), you really might believe that you're throwin' deuces with the queen and Wills. 

3. To keep the excitement high even after vows and the first kiss, we suggest keeping some games running throughout the party. Royal-themed games such as Pin the Crown on the Princess make a great addition to any royal wedding party. But even if your game doesn't have an obvious royal theme, just force your guests into those royal face masks while playing - as seen in this royally-masked version of the egg-spoon race.

I hope these simple royal wedding suggestions will help you throw a party to be the envy of your friends, enemies, neighbors, and random passers-by for the next royal wedding*


Thursday, May 19, 2011

a list for Georgia

In 6 1/2 weeks I'll be back in the US for almost a month (remember?). Even though it's only a visit, and I'll even get to come back to Forchheim for a little bit afterwards, the more I tell people (teachers, friends, myself, etc), the more I realize/think about things I'm going to miss in Germany while I'm away. Besides this being obviously ridiculous because, in the scheme of things, 3 weeks is not all that much out of the 52 in a year, it's also incredibly irrational. Any 24 day trip is going to cause you to miss something, no matter when you go. 

So to balance things out, I've decided to make a list of things I'm excited about for my visit home:

1. Family and friends. Had to get the obvious one out of the way at the beginning. But really, it's true. 
2. Mexican food (with margaritas, of course!)
24-hour shopping possibilities. Not that I'll actually take advantage of that
Terrapin beer. Mmm, Hopsecutioner, I know you're waiting for me
Customer service. Or should I be more specific? Good customer service.
Knowing that when someone asks "wanna go swimming?" they don't mean go swim laps for an hour, they mean, grab a drink and a float and sit in the pool gossiping all afternoon
7. Having said pool to sit in right in my back yard 
8. Hulu
9. wearing nike shorts and t-shirts any- and everywhere possible and not standing out like a sore thumb (now if only I had the matching ugg boots...)
10. Sweet tea!
11. catching up on
a year's worth of gossip (probably in the pool). 
12. driving (maybe... mom? dad? please?!)13. unlimited texting!! (double exclamation point for that)
14. no randomly restricted youtube videos due to copyright laws. Seriously, wtf?
not being the one with the strongest southern accent in a 100 mile radius.
16. Choo choo, Mirko, Transmet, and
all the usual food places...
Downtown Athens, specifically the Globe and Trapeze
Those flip flops and various other things I've forgotten about because they didn't make the 2010 European packing list cut. 

Of course the list would be a lot longer if I went into individual family and friends and the various things we're likely to do together... but then we'd be here all night. So there you have it, the list that is keeping me going! There will be a lot of things I'll look forward to coming back to Germany for (let's not make that list, then I just won't know how to feel!), but I think they can only be appreciated so much with the occasional break for amazing (and severely missed) family and friends, pools, and sweet tea. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

German MTV - the newest hits from 2001

Remember that TV our landlords bought us? Well, ever since our TV watching experience was enhanced tenfold, Gemma and I try to remember to turn it on more often (tv watching has become educational for us language-wise, even when we watch Daniela Katzenberger*). One of our favorite channels, of course, is German MTV

Well today when we turned it on, we were greeted by the "music video" of "You're the one I want" from Grease
Right, by music video I mean the clip of the song from the movie... from 1978. And, if that wasn't a sign enough that we should probably just change the channel, it was followed immediately by Nelly and Kelly Rowland's "Dilemma" (Hello 2002, how's it 
been?). And to round it all out, "Bonnie & Clyde" by another child of Destiny's, Beyonce, and [former?] husband Jay-Z (ok, 2003, we're getting closer...).  Finally, after a few more questionable videos, we finally made back to this decade with Rihanna and Eminem. 

Listening to the radio is a similar experience of today's greatest hits, where "today" is more likely to mean yesterday or 30 years ago. It's worse than Atlanta's unrelenting love of Usher (where, I'm pretty sure "Yeah" has been played at least once a day on the radio since it's release in 2004). Kind of.

*she is THE German reality TV star. She has a reality show just for being famous and she's famous for having a reality show. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Coming to America

When I left the US in August, I remember planning on not seeing dear old Murikah again for a year, at the very least. That's me all excited in the Atlanta airport on August 23, 2010 before my flight to Edinburgh! ----------->

Well here it is 9 months later (omg, has it already been 9 months?) and I've just booked my second trip home. I was honestly amazed to find a cheap flight home for Christmas, so I was surprised to find out I could be lucky enough to find another good deal in the middle of summer. 

After fighting with the Delta website for an hour or so (I ended up just having to call the service people and buy the ticket over the phone), I finally booked my visit home for June 30th. Since I couldn't get a direct flight out, I opted for a ridiculously long lay-over in Amsterdam to be able to spend a day in a city I've never been too, before heading all the way back to Atlanta on July 1st

You'll notice, however, that I keep referring to this trip only as a visit home. And alas, it is true. I'll heading back to Germany on July 24. I can have a week or so back in Forchheim (for Annafest, really... as it's all anyone has talked about since I got here), before heading off for the next big adventure back in Zürich for a year.  But more on that later. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

a night at the [drive in] opera

Let me start this post with a very generic statement: Vienna is an awesome city. And from the perspective of a [former] (<---yikes!) student of music, the city is that much more awesome.

One of the greatest things I've found about Vienna was how much it embraces it's rich musical culture, both historic and current. But I guess when you've got such strong ties to the musical world that go back centuries, it's hard not to show your pride

So, based on my recent excursion, I would like to present (in no particular order) my favorite musical findings in Vienna:

the Music Mile
If you take a few looks down every now and then while walking through Vienna, you'll start to notice little walk of fame stars pop up. If you take a close look though, you won't find Mickey Mouse or Brad Pitt on any of them. Instead, this stars are filled with the names of famous musicians from J.S. Bach to Tchaikovsky to the Vienna Philharmonik. Together, they make up a path through the city known as the Music Mile. The first star I stumbled across was from world famous director Herbert von Karajan

Composer Chocolates
Though not specifically exclusive to Vienna, the city makes sure these commemorative treats do not go unnoticed. Mozartkugeln (literally: Mozart balls, they're basically little chocolate, pistachio balls that have pictures of Mozart's face on the wrappers) are the most well known of these chocolate composer treats. But what I really appreciated was that in Vienna (and probably most places in Austria), Mozart is not the only composer to get a chocolate. 
Johann Strauss (composer of the Blue Danube waltz, which seems to be an unofficial Vienna theme song), although not the most well known composer to the general public (let's be honest, most people who don't know anything about music, even if they actually did recognize the name "Strauss" would probably be thinking of Richard anyway), is just as celebrated in chocolate form as his child prodigy Kugel counterpart. 

Conducting Hero
On our last day in Vienna, I wandered off to the museum Haus der Musik (House of Music). First of all, I would definitely recommend this museum to anyone who is visiting Vienna, whether you're a music enthusiast or not (and plan to spend at least 2 hours there). The museum contains exhibitions on the Vienna Philharmonic, famous composer (both Austrian and not), and a large portion dedicated to production and perception of sound (like I said, cool even if you're not into music). 
But the most exciting part comes right at the very end. Conducting hero. Ok, so it's not really called that, but that's basically what it is. You get to direct the Vienna Philharmonic through playing one of three different pieces. The best part is, the orchestra really follows your command. It slows down and speeds up depending on your conducting. If you go too fast, the strings start smoking before the orchestra stops and a violin player yells at you for being the worst conductor ever (not even kidding!). Unfortunately I didn't have time to wait to take a try, but I was glad to see this exists! 

The drive in opera
Ok, technically it's a "walk up" opera (I was just going for the poetic parallel to a drive in theater). This was by far my #1 favorite musical finding in Vienna. Outside the main Opera House, a large screen displays live feed of the opera being played inside. The huge screen and incredible sound (not to mention the whole, it's completely free thing), had already drawn a large crowd by the time we stumbled upon a public viewing of Wagner's Parsifal on our first night. People had brought chairs and blankets and picnics. Some you could tell had come for the whole show, while others (like us) were just caught walking by and drawn in. From what I could tell they do live public showings of every opera, weather permitting. I'm pretty sure I would be out there almost every day if I lived in Vienna. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Beer Gardens and Lederhosen

Stereotypes is a topic that comes up quite a bit in my job*. Especially when I meet a new class for the first time, I always get asked what stereotypes Americans have of Germans. I address this issue more in depth in a previous vlog post, but my answer is basically always the same: the American stereotype is a that Germany is a giant Oktoberfest 24/7, with lots of beer drinking, lederhosen and singing and dancing. (Convenient that I'm living in Bavaria**, right?). 

So what better place to live out these stereotypes than in Munich? The heart and soul of Bavaria. The place where Germany is really what people expect. And what a great first impression for Patrick and AJ who spent the first 4 days of their first trip to Germany in Munich. 

So I gave them the full "German" experience: 

We went Lederhosen shopping: 

We enjoyed our liters of beer at Hofbräuhaus:

<--------Ate giant pretzels

were entertained by an oompa band over dinner: 

Enjoyed a beer at the famous Chinesicher Turm beer garden in the English Gardens (which are famous for nude sunbathers -- who we never encountered, luckily):

And, finally, tried out fancy German-made cars: 

*I use the term "job" loosely.
**Not really, I'm living in Franken. Bavaria has nothing on us. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

one man's trash is another man's Pfand

Disclaimer: while I recognize that some states in the US partake similar systems, it is not commonly accepted in the state of Georgia, making the following practices a mildly foreign concept for me. 

For most Americans, when we pick up a bottle of coke with the price labeled as 0.89€ (or whatever currency you may be using), we're not generally phased when we are asked to pay 1.14€ at the cash register. Of course I know Germany doesn't have sales tax (or at least they fix it in to the labeled price unlike the US when it's always a surprise to check out), but having been raised in country that did, minor price differences from shelf to check out don't generally catch my attention. 

However, that mysterious 25 cents is not lost forever

In Germany (and I'm sure many, many other European countries), most plastic or glass bottles are charged a Pfand (or a deposit), so when you take the empty bottles back, you get your 25 cent Pfand back. While it might not seem like much lost when you toss that single 25 cent bottle into the trash (well, let's be honest, in Germany, you'd still recycle it with the other plastics...), imagine collecting all those deposits until your one 25 cent bottle turned into a collection like this - 

When Patrick and AJ came to visit in Munich (along with two of their friends from England), a lot of bottled beverages were purchased over the first 4 days. But fear not, I did not let a single bottle go astray! Thanks to my unnecessarily large purse, I was able to gather the above pictured collection of 15 and 25 cent deposit bottles. 

The return of that impressive collection yielded a staggering 4.50€, which paid for my lunch the next day. 

So if you're ever in Germany, don't forget the Pfand

Please note: although you may now be thinking "woo hoo! I'm going to collect empty bottles and make free money!!", please consider your actions. While I neither condemn nor condone such behavior, you'll kind of look like a homeless person... 

*sad news, for those of you that know how much Gemma and I love wine, wine bottles have no pfand. :( 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Where I've been and what I haven't been telling you

Oh hey faithful readers of das Blog (I appreciate all 5 of you!), you might have noticed that my posts have been increasingly infrequent since the beginning of March (or at least that I annoy you less with plastering links to my blog all over your fb newsfeed or twitter). Or you might have noticed I keep saying "so and so is here/I'm going to this awesome place, but I'll tell you more details about that later" and then never actually tell you any details. 
For the past two months my life has been a whirlwind of traveling and having visitors. So as yet another teaser to the excitement that is my life, I wanted to recap what the past two months (oh so very briefly, don't worry) and promise to finally start giving you those aforementioned details (that I know you're all on the edge of your seats biting your nails for.)
So here it goes...
It all began with Edinburgh [March 7 - 14]

the season opened with a trip to see Shahida in Scotland, but since I've already posted quite a bit about this trip, you'll know that...

Then Fulbright had a conference in Berlin [March 20 - 24]
I've eluded to this trip a few times, but never actually posted about. Why's that? Well, you may or may not remember that I forgot my camera and was forced to document my 4 days in this awesome city on two amazingly tacky disposable cameras with 27 exposures each. That's 54 pictures for four days and countless sites. Rather limiting for the person who took almost 200 pictures in the 24 hours I spent in the Scottish highlands last September. So until I manage to take these cameras to get developed, this is all you get from Berlin. 
-- Here I had my longest "down time" of 10 days without visitors or traveling. It was ok --

I had my first visitor when Kristen came [April 4 - 8] 

Kristen studied German at UGA with me. We both did our study abroads the same year, Kristen in Bamberg and me in Zürich. While she wasn't at all new to the area, I had so much fun being able to spend time with her in her "European home" (and I could empathize with her excitement as I'm dying to get back to Zürich). 

Then I met the boys in Munich [April 15 - 18]
Patrick and AJ decided to begin their 2011 European tour in Munich, so I got to make my first real trip to Munich (I say real because Oktoberfest and a Harry Potter premiere don't really count as trips to Munich). 

 We eventually made our way back to Forchheim
[April 18 - 20]

I got to show Patrick and AJ around Forchheim and various other Franken cities for a couple days. We made it to Bamberg and Nürnberg...

Then we were off to Vienna [April 21 - 24]

After several days of having them on "my turf", the boys and I got to discover Vienna together. I've been there once before, but it was several years ago and right before Christmas, so I really enjoyed the city and all it has to offer in the spring! Definitely going back. 

I ended up back on that island in the north in Manchester [April 26 - May 1]

Ok, really I was about an hour outside Manchester, but I got to visit Gemma and the fam and experience the royal wedding in it's natural habitat. 

And it all ended with Shahida again [May 4 - 8]
To round out these exciting couple months, Shahida came to Forchheim to visit last week. It was so great to see her and have her here, but I honestly don't know where the time went! 
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