The month of December felt like it lasted 3 days. But it was a good 3 days.
Dirk and I did manage to make it to a few Christmas Markets. You can read about that adventure here.
Best yet, my nursing buddy from Michigan (who is currently living in Amsterdam) made the short trip to visit me here in Köln! Julie and I had been discussing the idea of visiting the Christmas Markets together, but kept putting it off, always saying we would do it later. Finally, at the last minute, Julie booked her tickets for the Saturday before Christmas.
I still had things I needed to get done before the big holiday. So, Dirk and I created a plan, and the plan seemed flawless.
I would get up early on Saturday(Already the plan sounds ridiculous to my ears. When do I ever get up early on Saturday??), and Dirk would drive me to the grocery store. Grocery shopping could not be avoided, if we missed getting the shopping done we would starve to death over the holiday as nothing in Germany is open for days on end during the Christmas season. (I may be exaggerating a tad bit). We also had to stop and get Jack the Dog his special dog food from the pet store. (Dirk insists on spending large sums of money on this food.) We also wanted to get him a bone for Christmas.
Next, Dirk would drop me off at home so I could put the groceries away and we could have a quick breakfast. So far, so good.
Finally, Dirk would bring me with him to Brühl so that I could buy the Christmas turkey. (Some stores carry them here in our area, but not all of them like in the States.) I also wanted to get a food processor so that I could make some Christmas goodies.
I quickly made it to the Rewe and got my 5.5kg turkey. Then wandered over to the new overstock store and found a great deal on a food processor.
I managed to get myself and my purchases to the tram station quickly and even caught the tram just in time. Didn’t even have to wait a minute.
Up to this point, the plan held together well. I felt great, and was confident the plan would hold together! I would easily be able to get back to the house, quickly change my clothes, and get back to the train to meet Julie in Köln. No problem.
Then it went pear shaped and turned to shit.
I got off the tram at my station and hurried over to the bus stop. Normally, the bus is already there when the train arrives. It wasn’t this time, and according to the app, it wouldn’t be there for another 20 minutes! This was going to seriously screw up the timing of my plan! But no worries, I could walk to the house in 20 minutes, I do it all the time. I just didn’t want to walk up hill carrying the turkey and the food processor. But again, no worries.
The walk is normally a lovely one. It takes me about 20 minutes or so, and the path goes through a pretty, wooded area. It’s normally quite peaceful.
On this particular day, I felt no peace walking up that damn hill.
There was a misty rain, the path was slippery, and I was carrying a fucking turkey and a food processor, up the damn hill. ( For my American friends, I was carrying a 12 lb turkey up a hill!)
Now, 12lbs doesn’t seem like much normally, but try to carry one for 20 minutes, up hill. I try to avoid doing Cardio at all costs, I hate it. I love a nice walk, or a swim, I even enjoy some gentle yoga, but, I do not like to sweat.
By the time I made it to the top of the hill I was breathing like I had run a marathon, mouth wide open, gasping for air. I had sweated through all of my clothes, including my coat! My hair was soaked and I had streams of salty sweat dripping down my face. I thought I might die. How did I ever get this out of shape? Why did I decide today was a good day to carry a 12 lb turkey up a hill. I was NEVER going to make it to the city in time to meet Julie!!
I stood there, trying to catch my breath and not scare anyone who might see me in this condition. With my luck someone would call an ambulance, yes, I looked that bad! Luckily, another plan came to mind. I quickly called Cheyenne.
Cheyenne arrived a few minutes later, with our grocery cart to save the day.
I dropped the damn turkey into the cart and we hurried back to the apartment. Well, I tried to hurry, but my legs felt like Jell-o. Cheyenne was even kind enough to carry the cart up the 4 flights of steps. I think she was afraid I would collapse, I was afraid I would too.
I managed to take the fastest shower ever, and washed my hair since it was drenched in sweat. Threw on some jeans and a sweater and I was off to the train station, again.
My legs felt like rubber, and I about fell down the stairs. It was going to take me longer than 20 minutes to make the walk back to the train station the way I was feeling. Although, it was much easier sans turkey and this direction was almost all down hill.
After all of my struggles, it is amazing that I was only 15 minutes late getting to Julie. She had decided to take the time to get some pictures of the Cathedral and wasn’t even bothered by my being late.
We walked all over the city of Köln, and saw five of the seven Christmas Markets there. We did a little window shopping and of course took a few minutes to visit the Cathedral. After seeing the city we hopped back on the train to go meet Dirk in Brühl.
There we walked through our sixth Christmas market of the day, and had a wonderful dinner together. We ended our adventure at a local bar for an AC/DC cover band. It was there that I introduced Julie to the “German mini beers” AKA Kölsch glasses. Many people are surprised by the smallish glasses that are used for this beer. And, many people fall victim to the hangover you get after drinking so many of those “mini beers”. They just go down so quick and easy. I think Julie really liked them!
It was a great visit. I had a great time showing my friend around my new home. We are looking forward to making a trip to Amsterdam soon to see Julie again. I can only imagine the adventures we will have there!! (Blog post material for sure!)
OK, the turkey wasn’t this big, and it no longer had feathers, but I tell you….It was heavy!
Anyone else out there have a tendency to over estimate their abilities, or over book themselves on a regular basis? What kind of crazy things do you do to yourself to get things done?