Tuesday, March 20, 2007

FYI: Sparky is a saint

I swear, that man deserves a medal for what he put up with on the weekend. Five gold stars for you, honey bunny. We liked your t-shirt, too.

The participants (in alphabetical order just because I say so):

Ann (Ann ona Moose)

Brigit (Eurotrippen)

Christina G (An American Expat in Germany)

Christina W (Her blog should be going up any minute now. Working title: Of Mice and Men or What Does a Girl Have to Do to Get a Little Help around Here?)

Claire (My Euro-American Life)

Jessica (In Search of Dessert)

Kim (Stepping Stones)

Maria (Country Hopping)

Penny (a delightful friend of Jen's who has yet to be sucked into the blogosphere)

Tatiana (Organic Consciousness - if you only read one thing today, read her entry - THAT was what it was all about)

Martina (American im Odenwald) was plannning on being there as well, but strep throat thought otherwise. She has started a blog, though, so I thought I'd give her a little linky love.

Well, the first rule of the meet-up was "What goes on at girlie weekend stays at girlie weekend". But I think I can tell you a little bit about it without compromising anyone's integrity. And really, is it still a secret if 10 people know about it? Don't worry though, my lips are sealed.

Our lovely and talented hostess procured only the most exquisite food and drink for her guests. Can you say Taco Bell? Can you say Taco Bell in Germany? Almost unheard of unless you have the right connections. The last time I had a Taco Bell burrito was back in 1985 in Oregon. Thanks for the memories, Jen. But it didn't stop at burritos. There was Sangria, there were Cosmopolitans, there were fine wines. And then there was that weird stuff that Claire brought last time she visited Jen. You don't want to be drinking that if you know what's good for you. It'll keep you up until 6 in the morning.

On Saturday we enjoyed Jen's award-winning pasta sauce and a gorgeous Caesar salad. Other treats included Dr. Pepper, Fresca and Doritos. The Germans just don't know what they're missing in the junk food department.

So what else did we do besides eat? Well, nothing, really, except talk. And talk. And talk. Not just small talk, BIG talk. About anything and everything. Yes, everything. I learned some new words. Once in a while someone would say, "I hope I'm not offending anyone?" and we'd all say, "Heck, no! Tell us more!".

What a wonderful group of women. Women who understand the meaning of the phrase "I don't think I can stand this for even one more minute" and tell you in reply, "We'll help you to stand it for a minute, or a day or a year or however long it takes." This weekend changed me in a profound way.

We all started leaving in dribs and drabs on Sunday, and when only Kim, Claire and I were left, J showed up for a short visit. This is the 5th time I've seen J and there's always something to talk about.

Jen whizzed Claire, J and me to the train station while Sparky headed off to the Frankfurt airport with Kim. J had told me he had some time to kill and was meeting up with a friend at the train station so we found a cafe and settled in for a chat before my train left. Little did I know that J's mystery friend would be Rich. The Rich who hasn't blogged since Christmas. "I don't like typing." is NOT an excuse, OK? The first thing he said to me was "Hi Mausi, I read your blog all the time and you're better looking in person." Heh. Ain't that the truth! But hey, I take my compliments where I can get 'em. Thanks for the cup of tea, Rich - it was great meeting you.

Sooo...I settled in for the four hour train ride home, expecting things to run smoothly. Wrong-o. Things never run smoothly with the Deutsche Bahn. On my way down to Jen's my train left Hannover an hour late but somehow managed to make up for lost time and got me there only 25 minutes after the expected arrival time. On the way back tragedy almost struck. About an hour out of Hannover the train suddenly stopped in the middle of nowhere in the pitch dark and a shaky female voice informed us that some children had been seen playing on the tracks(!!!) and that the driver wasn't sure if he had hit one or not. Gulp. We'd have to stay put until they inspected the outside of the train to. I made eye contact with a few other passengers and they were obviously just as horrified as I was at the thought of a dead or maimed child lying on the train tracks. After a very tense 15 minutes, we were told that no one had been injured, thank god, and that we could continue our journey.

We arrived in Hannover an hour late and I took the bus back to Dullsville where Mr. M picked me up at the bus stop. I was exhausted (A friend suggested to me today that perhaps I'm just too damn old to stay up so late two nights in a row! He may be right.) and pretty cranky and happier to see him than I've been in a long time. See what a weekend away will do for a girl?

Thanks, Jen and Sparky. It was a blast. You guys are the best.

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At March 20, 2007 10:44 p.m., Blogger woman wandering said...

Sounds fantastic, made me smile and wish I'd been there. Then again, I might have ruined the talking time ... rumour has it that a kiwi accent takes a wee bit of adjusting to.

Glad you had a good time!

At March 20, 2007 10:58 p.m., Blogger Berlinbound said...

It sounds like huge fun was had!

At March 20, 2007 11:09 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you had a good time last weekend and I'm curious as to where you're off next.

Woman Wandering... I have to speak to our NZ offices sometime when I'm at work. It's kinda funny cos they call me "Nuk"... and I'll be like "no... Nick"... and they're like "yeh, thats what I said... Nuk"

Fush and chups!! :-)

At March 21, 2007 12:14 a.m., Blogger Dixie said...

You know I wish I could have been there! I always have the worst timing when it's girls weekend!

Glad y'all had a great time.

At March 21, 2007 1:45 a.m., Blogger hexe said...

Sounds like a great time and great conversation. I am horribly jealous :)

At March 21, 2007 4:21 a.m., Blogger susan d said...

Good Story! I'll have to look for "Dullsville, Germany" on a map.

At March 21, 2007 10:13 a.m., Blogger cara said...

dr. pepper?! oh, i am so jealous!

At March 21, 2007 10:45 a.m., Blogger Andrea said...

Sounds like a ton of fun. Sorry to have missed it!

At March 21, 2007 11:06 a.m., Blogger christina said...

woman wandering - I wish you'd been there too. :-) And I think those Belgians are feeding you a line - I have *never* had trouble understanding a Kiwi accent and I'm sure yours is lovely.

berlinbound - Oh yes, it was fantastic. Interesting group dynamics.

ellasdevil - I thought the herring had given it away. More details later in the week.

Dixie - I know! Next time for sure!

hexe - Yes, it was just what we all needed.

Susan - You can't miss Dullsville - it's right smack in the middle of nowhere. :-)

cara - Yep, regular AND diet. You know, Dr. Pepper isn't really my soft drink of choice, but I drank a lot anyway, because who knows when I'll get the chance again.

andrea - Well, I'd say a wedding anniversary is more important, but we'll catch you next time if you're still here. There's sure to be a regular blogger meet up later on this year.

At March 21, 2007 12:54 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

Since I'm not a REAL expat, Christina, I'm guessing I would have sat there and just listened intently the entire time (who, me?). Two years in a row I've missed this. Maybe next year??? That would be splendid! Will we get any photos???

At March 21, 2007 1:30 p.m., Blogger Jul said...

I'm so there next year. Sounds like a blast.

At March 21, 2007 1:56 p.m., Blogger Betsy said...

Sounds great! Glad you had fun and hope I can come hang out with you guys next year! :-)

At March 21, 2007 3:44 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

sounds like so much fun! I think it's incredible that Kim came too!

By the way, the cheesecake turned out perfectly and tasted even better than that!

At March 22, 2007 11:16 a.m., Anonymous jessica said...

Yes, I had the same feeling about Jon when I came home. Perhaps certain conversations were helpful in that regard :)

At March 22, 2007 3:32 p.m., Blogger Pam said...

Snifff. I'm weepy over missing the expat girl's weekend. Some day. Some day. I wish y'all would come for ex expat girls weekend at MY house!

At March 22, 2007 5:58 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Ginnie - Oh no, I think you would have fit right in. It was so nice to have so many women of different ages and walks of life all together. We learned a lot from each other.

Jul - Absolutely!

Betsy - Next time for sure!

Expat - It was awesome having Kim there. And yay for the cheesecake. I'm glad it worked out.

jessica - Oh YES! Mr M was *quite* interested in what I had to say. ;-)

Pam - Aww, there there. I REALLY wish you could have been there. And who knows, maybe some day we WILL all show up at your beach house in the 'burbs. :-)

At April 08, 2007 7:45 p.m., Blogger Sparky said...

Mausi, you ARE much better looking in person - even if youlook gorgeous on your pictures already ;).

Thanks for the compliments, by the way - and sorry that I only get to read this TODAY. I've been quite busy recently....

- Sparky


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