Dinner in Forchheim:
My friend Emily lives in Forchheim. On the evening before my birthday, she cooked dinner and invited us over for a little bit of an early celebration. The meal was so good! It was some sort of vegetable quiche...with chocolate cake for dessert. My friend Matt also brought me Mozart Kugeln and said, "I know how much you love Salzburg and I thought this would remind you of it." so we passed around some Mozart Kugeln for dessert as well. How nice is that??Lunch in Erlangen:
I taught a class on the morning of my birthday and then I was done for the day at 10:00 am. There was a cake for me in the teacher's lounge and all of the teachers (many of whom I had not yet met) wished me a happy birthday and gave me hugs. Then I went to Erlangen and my friend Andy met me at Arcaden (the shopping mall, seen below) and when I showed up, he had 2 ice cream cones and told me to pick one! We then walked to his apartment and he cooked me lunch while I took a nap (I got back from Forchheim really late the night before, then had to do lesson plans, then had to wake up at 6:00 so I didn't really sleep at all). Then I left his apartment and met my friend Zach at my favorite coffee shop in Erlangen for an apple juice!
Dinner in Erlangen:
I got to choose where to eat for my birthday dinner and, to everyone's surprise and slight confusion, I chose Subway. Much like I am going through an "apple juice phase", I am very much in the middle of a Subway phase. Why? Well, for starters, you can get a toasted veggie sandwich, a drink, and a cookie for under 5 euro. So, this is cheap, yummy and...did I mention you get a cookie (and it's next to impossible to find cookies in Europe). Plus, the cookies (oatmeal raisin, of course), are naturally the same American "Subway cookies", which reminds me of my childhood (when I'd get a Kids' Pak and a pink lemonade!).
Zach, from Texas:
Gemma, from England
Emily, from Georgia:
Andy, from Wisconsin:
Drinks at Bogart's:
After Subway, we went to our favorite street bar/cafe in Erlangen. We're not sure why, but the name is Bogart's and it has Humphrey Bogart's face on the menu and a Confederate flag flying on the roof... ???!?!?! Anyway, my friend Matt came in from Nuremberg and we all sat out at the street cafe for drinks. It was freezing. In these pictures, it looks like it is snowing or something. The bars and restaurants here bring out blankets, though, which helps a lot. We also all ordered soup toward the end of the night. We had eaten dinner at 5:00 so we were hungry after a few hours, and it was so cold that soup sounded amazing. (Sometimes I forget about acid reflux, though and I order things like tomato soup, which I am then unable to finish.)
I think everyone expected it to be a late night, but I was so exhausted that I chose to go home pretty early. I think I took the 10:22 bus home..?? Not exactly a typical "birthday celebration" but with no sleep the night before, all I really wanted was to go home to a warm bed. I also got to open my birthday presents from home & skype with family, which was a good end to a good day.
I think I was surprised at how fun my birthday was, for being in a new place with semi-new friends. I was expecting it to be just a little mediocre but my friends here made it super fun.
21 was definitely the best year of my life....22 is pretty close, though. It definitely wasn't bad.
According to Kayla, however, 23 will be my best year yet, which I think could be true. :)