Wednesday, March 16, 2016
This past week I had the wonderful pleasure of my best friend from back home, Sam coming to visit! It coincided with my birthday which was super nice. We spent all of his five days in Hamburg and I enjoyed exploring parts of the city I hadn’t really seen before and also showing Sam some of my favorite things. Here’s a bit of what we did:
Tuesday: Sam and I met at the central train station. From there we went to St. Michel’s church, a beautiful building where you can also climb to the top and see the entire city. Then we walked around the downtown area and had lunch looking out over one of my favorite places in Hamburg, the Alster. Then we headed back to my little town to pick up children and do our usual Tuesday night dinner with family friends. We had traditional German spatzle which is kind of like mac n’ cheese – YUM.
Wednesday: I turned 22 woohoo!!! It’s family tradition here to light the candles and sing “happy birthday” and open presents in the morning so that’s exactly what we did! My host family really made me feel special J They sang the whole birthday song in German which I love and my host mom even made me a cake! She knew I was making my own because I’m me and I want icing on everything but why not have 2 cakes? While Sam was still asleep I had a nice little morning break drinking coffee and reading the New Yorker he brought me. My host dad even brought some croissants from the bakery after.
Then we went into town and went to Miniatur Wunderland! It’s a world-famous museum with plenty of Guinness Records for all of the tiny tiny things on display. Sam and I went on a mission to push as many buttons as we could throughout the exhibits as they provide special effects. The best one was by far the chocolate factory in Switzerland because it gave you pieces of Lindt! Then we went next door to the Speicherstadt Kaffeerosterei and enjoyed nice coffee and tea. After that we headed to a French restaurant for crepes. Mine had goat cheese and honey and was to die for. Before heading home, we walked around the Planten und Blumen park and climbed trees! For birthday dinner we had salmon with brown sugar and mustard (shout out to Nick), salt potatoes, and brussel sprouts. All in all, I was pretty tired, but I’m still feeling 22!
Thursday: We visited the Museum for Art and Industry and saw the Christoph Niemann exhibit. He’s a truly clever artisit and I enjoyed seeing his exhibit again! Then we went to Ottensen where we ate falafel baked potatoes (exactly as good and as stomachache inducing as they sound) and went shopping. Sam actually bought things and I just bought 50 beautiful tulips that are still sitting on our dining room table. After going home for a quick bite to eat, we went back into the city to have drinks in the St. Georg district. I had an Aperol Spritz, my new favorite.
Friday: Sam and I met up with an Au Pair friend and took the ferry around the harbor. Then we walked through the old Elbe tunnel which was pretty cool. After that we went to Sternschanze and had burgers because you have to have one of those in Hamburg! Then we found more cool bakeries and coffee shops to sit in before heading down to the soccer stadium. My host mom has had season tickets to Sankt Pauli games for over 20 years and since I have been here I have always wanted to go. She managed to get us 2 tickets where she stands around midfield and it was awesome!!! Even though Sankt Pauli lost, it was 3-4 and a super exciting game. Sam and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the cheers. Then we met up with same Au Pair friend to go out on the Reeperbahn woohoo! After visiting some local bars we went to an Irish pub the foreigners love and had fun dancing before going home to do my favorite activity and sleep.
Saturday: We had family breakfast/brunch, one of my favorite weekly events. Then I showed Sam around my town and he was a trooper and helped me watch the kids that evening. I can safely say Sam made a new best friend in the youngest girl.
Overall, I had an absolutely wonderful time with Sam! It really meant a lot to me that he and my host family were able to make my birthday so special. Now to rest up before the next adventure: learning to ski while on vacation next week with my host family in the Austrian Alps!
On top of St. Michel's
Happy birthday to me :)
My goat cheese crepe <3
Find the Sam
Inside the old Elbe Tunnel
Let's go Sankt Pauli!
I heart tulips
I heart this even more
Vegas in Miniatur Wunderland