August 28, 2009

We'll be on Skype

Greg and I are making a Skype date with whoever wants to show up. We'll be on Skype (look for Ayelet.Drori) on Sunday between 6-8 pm Munich, 11-1 pm Central US time. And I promise to have our Web cam working by then!

Talk to you later *hopefully*!

August 26, 2009

Being Vegetarian in Germany

Yes, it is true that Bavarian food that they have in biergartens everywhere sucks for vegetarians (except the bretze--pretzels--they're so good!). But in every other case, I've found the food here to be great. We're so close to Italy that there are quite a few Italian restaurants around and you can see the Italian influences in other restaurants, too. Greek and Turkish food also abounds here. And, if you cook a lot at home as we do, it's heaven with all the great whole wheat products and fresh veggies.

They have a wide range of whole wheat flour in Bavaria--it's not just one bag you find in normal American grocery stores. Here it ranges from all-purpose to stronger bread and whole grain flour. The flour is given type numbers and are stocked in every grocery store, not just the specialty stores. The whole wheat breads they sell are filled with all sorts of good seeds and nuts packed inside and strewn on top. Makes it easy to eat healthy!

I might have a biased opinion because it's summer right now, but the variety of fresh veggies and fruits here have been awesome. Everyone shops for their veggies and fruits daily rather than stocking up large quantities as we do in the States. Going to the store every other day takes some getting used to, but I'm having a good time experimenting with new ingredients here. Grocery stores also post signs that show clearly where the veggies and fruits come from so it's easier to shop locally by buying just the food that comes from Bavaria or Germany.

Lastly, the cheese! We're finding personal favorites and figuring out that cheddar is just nonexistent here (looks like Mexican food is taking a backseat for the next two years). We've discovered yummy goat cheese, sheep's cheese, emmentaler, and spreadable cheese so far. There also was incident of extremely smelly cheese while on a daytrip with the family. The smell of it stayed on our hands for hours, even after we scrubbed with soap and water several times. So, it's not all good. We just have to steer clear of anything like that again.

So no worries, Greg and I are eating well while here. Maybe Greg'll even post about the various wursts he's tried here...once school gives him a little break!

August 20, 2009

New clock and good luck cookie

Of all the things I set out to get yesterday to put the finishing touches on our home, this is what I actually ended up buying. I love it--we showed it to the new teachers at the biergarten yesterday and people had a hayday with it! One teacher suggested glazing fruit and sticking them on the forks so that we could say "Honey, we've got to get going, it's almost strawberry o'clock!" And there were more comments and funny looks, but it's such a perfect clock for us, I don't even care!

Greg came home with a lebkuchen, although my aunt Na'ama had warned me that you're not supposed to eat the cookie because they can be months (if not years) old. We've seen them all over and MunichDailyPhoto has a great post about them here. Apparently, this cookie inspired the story about Hansel and Gretel. I'm pretty sure Greg's says All is Good. Let's hope as he starts school next week that all is in fact good.

August 19, 2009

Staff Orientation

Later today, Greg and I have a street car tour with the other staff from his school and then dinner and drinks at the Viktualienmarket, which is a plaza with a large farmer's market.
I'm going to head downtown a little early this afternoon and try to find some things we still are missing from the house (e.g., coffee cups, tablecloth, other kitchen utensils, etc.). I never know what I'll actually find because they tend to have smaller stores than the all-encompassing department stores like in the States. So if I find the right store, I'll be in luck. If not, the search will continue.

Our new apartment

I made a quick video of a tour around our apartment so that people can get an idea of how/where we're living. Since our Flip is acting up, I had to do it with the camera and the picture quality and sound are not as good on it. Hopefully, you'll still get a good idea of our life here. Enjoy!

video

August 16, 2009

Nymphenburg Castle (Schloss)

Yesterday Greg and I biked around the area close to our apartment. We stopped off at the Nymphenburg Schloss (castle in German), which was started around the 1670s and added on to throughout the generations of royalty. Unfortunately, since it was a religious holiday, we think the museum was closed. In any case, it's amazing to think about all the people who have walked through those gardens going back to the 1600s.


We also went to a biergarten called Augustiner Keller with a guy from Greg's school who's been in Munich for 7 years now. Fantastic biergarten with a very nice atmosphere and of course, lots of beer and food. Today we're off to have a traditional Bavarian breakfast (white brat for Greg and omelet for me) and then we're meeting the teachers and staff of Greg's school at a place called the Andechs, which is apparently a centuries-old monastery and brewery. All week he was orientation, city tours, and biergarten visits with his new colleagues (and of course, I'm tagging along for the fun parts of it :-)

August 12, 2009

Eichstatt: Vacation with the family

We started off our trip last weekend by breaking our never-again-canoeing-together rule. And now we remember that that rule had been in place for a reason. We spent the first part of the afternoon sideways on the river. Luckily, because we were rowing with kids, we placed the blame on them and changed up the canoe configuration for the second half of the trip.

Later after a quiet dinner out in one of Eichstatt's plazas, we met the family back at our six-bunk bedroom at the youth hostel.
The next morning, we headed out for an all-age excitement tour of a quarry where we hunted for fossils. Greg walked away with a slab of fossilized worm poop. And Ayelet is amazed that none of the kids or adults injured themselves with the hammers and metal chisels.




















Our group of six adults and six kids then went for an afternoon hike before we headed back to Munich and settled into our new apartment. We've spent the days since the weekend putting together furniture, cleaning, and getting Scoots used to the new place after having multiple homes over the last 4 weeks. Looks like he's happy here.

August 11, 2009

Get e-mail updates to this blog

Just a note: If you don't want to check back often and would like to get updates from the blog automatically, you can put in your e-mail address at the bottom of the page. You'll only get an e-mail when we post something on the blog.

To sign up for automatic e-mails, go to the bottom of this page and enter in your e-mail. It'll take you to a Feedburner page that will say you need to check your e-mail to verify that you signed up for this update. When you see the Feedburner e-mail in your inbox, click on the link to verify that you want the updates. The link will take you to a page that will ask you to type in what you see in the box (this prevents spammers from using it) and click confirm. You should be all set to go then! If you have any questions, just send me (Ayelet) an e-mail.

August 2, 2009

Morning beer with the teachers

Today Greg and I woke up with sore throats and headaches, but not even the common German cold was going to keep us from meeting some new teachers out for beers and snacks at the Englischer Garden's Chinese Tower biergarten. It was a perfect day for it and we met Greg's new teaching colleagues and the directors of the school under the shaded canopy of the biergarten's chestnut trees. We met a new teacher who was from Mequon, WI, and others from Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
We even got a HUGE pretzel. As you can see, it was bigger than my head.

Tomorrow we're going to move into our new apartment and set up all the light fixtures. German apartments rarely have the light fixtures in the apartments (and often don't have the kitchen appliances or cabinets in as well--but luckily, we made it mandatory to have one). We've already done one IKEA run and managed to fit three bookcases, a desk, a fully-assembled large table, all of our lights, and everything else you need for an apartment in my aunt Na'ama's van. I still don't know quite how we did it.

This week, we're searching for a bed, futon, washer, bikes, and internet/phone. Oh, and figuring out our banking situation as the Germans don't take our credit cards, only their bank account cards or cash. Ahhhh, the practical joys of living in a foreign country! ;-)

Out in the Alps

Na'ama, Gil, Yuval, Greg, and I headed into the Alps yesterday for a little tour around. We were already starting to feel under the weather so we took it easy, no big hikes. We walked around a cute little mountain town that I don't remember the name of now to see its beautiful church and cloister, which ran a brewery. The Alps are not as high as the Rockies for sure, but they are much more steep. We tried hiking up one with Gil last weekend and it left us both winded. The picture below is of the church there with the mountains in the background.
We also walked around Oberammergau where Greg and Gil found these hats at a stand and decided they wanted to look like the locals. Yuval is on Gil's back, but we couldn't find a hat his size.