Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wine and Design

Last night I went to Wine and design with Hillary and Ashley, two of my very funny friends from DSI Comedy. I've been wanting to go forever but never was able to go on the days they had the paintings I wanted to do. Usually, everyone paints the same thing and the instructors tell you step by step what to do. It obviously works because I've seen group pictures on their website and all the paintings look great.

Last night was open studio night. That means you can sign up and paint any painting they have offered in the past. There are hundreds of paintings you can chose from. I knew I wanted to do one of UNC's Old Well and there are about a half dozen of those available.

When you arrive at the studio they have a canvas set up for you, brushes, and paints for your specific painting. Since there is no step by step instruction for open studio night they also provide a color copy of your painting to use as a guide. Oh AND you can bring wine and snacks!!!

I chose Old Well/Starry Night, this was the picture they gave me:

ON WHEELS event The Top of the Hill, 100 E. Franklin St. Chapel Hill

And this was the canvas. They outline the shapes in your painting for you in pencil (CRUCIAL!). Then you just go for it!
 Wine and design

After an hour my painting looked like this: 
Wine and design

And an hour later:
Wine and design

Then they kick you out (not really you can stay longer if you want). But it's a good idea because I know we could have stayed for hours more.

Hillary and Ashley also did amazing paintings. Hillary chose the mushrooms and Ashley did "Kiss":
Wine and design

I know I'll be back again, probably for paint your pet night (!!!).

Monday, April 1, 2013

The drinks of Germany...from beer to gunpowder

I know everyone is curious about the drinks in Germany. Yes, they are mostly similar to drinks you can find anywhere else in the world...with a few exceptions.

Of course we must start off with the traditional Berlin Pilsner.

And traditional Kolsch from Cologne (Koln)

Eventually we expanded from beer to wine, gin fizzes a very unique and salty pretzel stick drink that you must drink by first chewing.

These pretzel stick drinks were free so we all indulged.

Later, Kate dared to branch out and try a bigger gin drink.

And then an even bigger gin drink...

Then we all got in on the action!

Anna courageously tried the very intimidating Cookie Colada

I decided to have the was on fire.

And, finally, we met our match. Yes..a drink no one dared try....


If you click on the picture and look at the drink called will see the following list of ingredients: "Ein aromatischer Tee mit Minze, Lemongras, Hibiskus, Orangenblattern, und Gunpowder."

This translates in English to: "Aromatic tea with mint, lemon grass, hibiscus, orange leaves, and Gunpowder.".....yes Gunpowder. While we were willing to try almost anything, we didn't drink the gunpowder.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Making Ritter Sport candy bars

Today we visited the Ritter Sport Chocolate Creation lab in Berlin!
For the low low cost of $3.90 Euros you can MAKE YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE BAR!!! The steps are easy!
1. PAY!
 2. Select chocolate: milk (on the right) or dark (on the left)
(TIP: Choose dark)
 3. Chose your chocolate bar ingredients!
(Kate couldn't believe the selection of ingredients)
Then this young man mixes it all together and puts in in a Ritter Sport mold
Spreads it around...
He shhhaakes it up!
 Until it looks perfect
Then you can buy whatever you want....and we did.
I'm not sure how I'm going to get these back to America....

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The mysterious Kölner Dom

Der Kölner Dom, aka the Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church. It is Germany's most visited landmark attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. Construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 but mysteriously stopped in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work mysteriously restarted in the 19th century and was completed to the original plan, in 1880. Its towers are approximately 515 ft tall, mysteriously.
Lindsay and I went shopping during the afternoon while Kate and Anna went with Sebastian to see his sister. Cologne has massive pedestrian streets that are FULL of shops. So many shops that the shops started to repeat. I thought we might be walking in circles. I saw about 4 H&Ms! We were feeling dizzy at this point so we stopped at the cutest cafe for tea.

We desperately wanted to climb to the top, which you can do, but only until 5pm....very unfortunately Kate and Anna couldn't meet us until 5:45... Oh well....we were well intentioned!

The inside was beautiful! There were stained glass windows all over the place and the ceilings were sky high.

After a very long day we stopped by a couple different pubs trying to find food. We finally found a great pizza place which was AMAZING. Tomorrow we catch an early flight to Berlin!

Bis Morgen!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hello from Germany!!!

I made it to Dusseldorf from Newark in an easy 7.5 hours. I watched Breaking Dawn (Part II) and forced myself to sleep for a couple hours. I arrived at 6:10am Germany time (1:00am EST) and waited around for Anna and Kate--who were NOT there to greet me on time (what!!?)--and Lindsay who arrived at 8:40am. 

When I went through customs I was SO prepared to answer in Germany when they asked me why I was in the country. "Meine Freunde's JUNGESELLENABSCHIED!!!" (My friend's bachelorette party!!!). But even though I tried to look as shifty as possible, the customs man didn't even ask! I have been speaking lots of German though, EVEN when they tried to shut me up by talking back to me in english.

We left the airport and took the train to Kate's friend Chris's house and headed out for brunch. 


After that we took showers and packed up for our train to Cologne.
The trip was a quick 40 minutes. We were met at the train station by Kate's fiance, Sebastian, who greeted us with beers! Kolsch is Cologne's special brew.
 One of Sebastian's friends graciously let us stay at her apartment only one block (aka 7 blocks) from the train station! This may not sound like a big deal but Anna packed a bunch of bricks so it was a bit stressful (see all of Anna's bags below)

After arriving at the apartment we had a few more drinks (more Kolsch)
 Afterwards we walked to a nearby restaurant for a traditional German meal of chicken wings, bacon wrapped dates, french fries, and bread with goat cheese and honey. Also, a special treat thanks to Sebastian: champagne!

Cheers to Cologne!
Oh no! I am getting really sleepy! Opps I just fell asleep so I should go!
Thanks, Sebastian, for engaging Kate so we had an excuse to come out to Germany and party machen!
I miss you little blade!!
Tomorrow we head out for shopping and a visit to the famous Dom! Stay tuned!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Remembering the good times

As I get excited about my upcoming trip to Europe, I am sad that one of the other bridesmaids, Elizabeth, can't make it. This is sad because Kate, Elizabeth and I all became friends when we went to Germany in 2004 as part of a St. Olaf German course during our Interim.

We had way too much fun. We were underage in the United States and found ourselves in a country where we were not underage. We became very fast friends.

Kyla Kate and Elizabeth back in our St. Olaf Days:

And almost every year since (it's been almost 10 years!) we meet up with Kate and Anna in Red Lodge Montana either a week in the summer of for New Years Eve. Here is a quick back history.

Spring Break 2006 with Diana and our favorite bartender Richie!

Skiing in Red Lodge 2006

New Years 2007

New Years 2009

Summer 2009

Summer 2012: Kyla, Elizabeth, Kate, and Anna

Summer 2012: Lindsay, Anna and Kyla

The engaged couple: Kate and Sebastian

And since Anna is already overseas, here is a preview of what I am MOST looking forward to (after seeing my friends, of course......)