Abroad and Beyond: Germany Trip Recap!

Alas, the Reisepost is here. It’s been tough since I’ve been back home, but I think that I’m getting back into the hang of things here in Normalville, USA. And so.. let’s begin (don’t worry, this won’t be a day-by-day recap… that would be too much!)!

I still can’t believe that it all started two weeks ago already. My coworker and I flew to Germany together, so my flight anxiety was at ease. It was also a very smooth flight, strangely we only had some turbulence over Arizona. Of all places. I even enjoyed my airline food. Haven’t had that in a while. I read my history book and finally got to watch Gone Girl to kill time. When I could, I’d sleep. One other transfer later, we finally arrived in Germany.

I was a bit jet lagged afterwards, and even throughout the whole trip I never got a good night’s sleep. We met up with the rest of our team members the next day and we set up our booth at Messe Frankfurt, aka the LARGEST CONFERENCE HALL EVER MADE. Setting up was a cinch, and we headed to dinner: of course, it was at a traditional German restaurant!

You wouldn’t believe my luck, because when I slept that night… I GOT SICK. Yep. Full blown sick. And when I woke up the next morning, I thought I just had a sore throat. It had finally caught up to me – the sickness I had been dreading. Although I started the morning as normal as I possibly could, I felt nauseous, and my team let me stay behind to recoup. After a quick, unexpected date with the toilet, we had all decided it was best for me to rest the whole day. I couldn’t believe it. I had missed the first day of the trade show!

For the rest of the week, my sickness pretty much lingered. Although I felt much better and was able to function the next couple of days, I lost my voice. So just my luck, I couldn’t even talk to visitors at our booth. Luckily there were enough of us to tend to people, but still. The more better I felt as the days passed, the more I lost my voice, the more phlegm I accumulated, the more I coughed. It was ridiculous.

REGARDLESS, we still got to see a lot of Frankfurt when our days at the show ended. We got to see the Römerberg, which I had been wanting to see, ate at some delicious restaurants which included Ethiopian food (my first time!) and the best restaurant in Frankfurt, got to see the view of the city from the Main Tower, and got to see the beautiful Main river. When we got out of the more financial area of Frankfurt and got to see the more traditional areas, it was exciting because it was just so beautiful. Unfortunately, since all I had was my iPhone, I didn’t exactly capture the best photos. The exquisite beauty remains only in my memory. 🙂

The Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof - main train station. Absolutely gorgeous on the outside, even better on the inside!
The Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof – main train station. Absolutely gorgeous on the outside, even better on the inside!
This was our first German meal. I had butter spaetzle (my fave!) with veal in cream sauce. SO DELICIOUS. Everyone had the pork hock, but I was craving something creamy!
This was our first German meal. I had butter spaetzle (my fave!) with veal in cream sauce. SO DELICIOUS. Everyone had the pork hock, but I was craving something creamy!
This was our view every morning on our walk to the exhibition hall.
This was our view every morning on our walk to the exhibition hall.
Just a photo I took of a gorgeous apartment down the street from where we stayed!
Just a photo I took of a gorgeous apartment down the street from where we stayed!
A view of the Main River with the bridge, and the city in the background. :)
A view of the Main River with the bridge, and the city in the background. 🙂
My photo of the Römerberg at night! I wish we got to see it during the day. Had to lighten the photo a bit.
My photo of the Römerberg at night! I wish we got to see it during the day. Had to lighten the photo a bit.
Delicious Ethiopian food! A must try!
Delicious Ethiopian food! A must try!
A view of the city from the Main Tower: this side showed the Hauptwache and the shopping center as well as the Römerberg - if you look really closely!
A view of the city from the Main Tower: this side showed the Hauptwache and the shopping center as well as the Römerberg – if you look really closely!
A little later that evening - here you can see the skyscrapers!
A little later that evening – here you can see the skyscrapers!
One of our other true German meals. We split all this among 6 of us and we still didn't finish everything!
One of our other true German meals. We split all this among 6 of us and we still didn’t finish everything!

Before we knew it, the trade show was over, and my team and I went our separate ways. My boss and my other coworker went off to explore Prague, two of my other coworkers went home, and I lingered in Germany to visit my family in Baden-Baden, a spa town about half an hour South from Frankfurt.

Like a true traveler, I took the train. The German countryside is a sight to see. First, heavily wooded, and then green pastures. I passed by small towns. It was just great to see a little side of rural Germany. You just don’t see that everyday.

When I finally arrived in Baden-Baden, my aunt wasted no time showing me around her beautiful city. While Frankfurt was much more modernized and comparable to San Francisco (it really reminded me of it!), Baden-Baden captured the essence of antiquity and history. The buildings were just absolutely gorgeous. Seeing as the small city is on the cusp of the French border, I could see the French influence in the architecture of some of the buildings.

Waiting for the Deutsche Bahn (DB) train at the Hauptbahnhof. So pretty!
Waiting for the Deutsche Bahn (DB) train at the Hauptbahnhof. So pretty!
The view from Lichtentaller Allee. It's a trail next to the river, with some gorgeous homes along the way.
The view from Lichtentaller Allee. It’s a trail next to the river, with some gorgeous homes along the way. This could’ve been the best spot to run!
The Kurhaus - one of the oldest casinos in Baden Baden!
The Kurhaus – one of the oldest casinos in Baden Baden!
A view from a street in the shopping center in Baden Baden. Beautiful architecture.
A view from a street in the shopping center in Baden Baden. Beautiful architecture.
More gorgeous architecture.
More gorgeous architecture.

Since my aunt was essentially German, she fed me homecooked German meals as well as one Filipino dish. It was great hearing stories of how life is in Germany and how it was when she had first come with her late husband. I really enjoyed spending my time with her!

On my last day, we went out to dinner with my aunt, my cousins and their significant others. Funny enough, my last dinner in Germany was – you’d never guess – Chinese food. A buffet, at that. The food tasted much healthier than the buffets here in the U.S. (as I’ve heard from my aunt, Germans prefer healthier foods, although hearty), but nevertheless still tasty. Afterwards, since the restaurant had a small bowling alley below, we went downstairs to play – it was a lot of fun!

The next day, I was off. My family dropped me off at the train station and I began my trek back home. I took the train directly to the airport, and from the airport I flew to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I had missed my connecting flight to LA since there was an issue with our plane taking in gas in Frankfurt – yes, I was terrified, but happy that everything was resolved and we got there safely – so I was booked on the next flight… which was the next morning. At first I was frustrated, but the airline did issue me a hotel voucher, so I got to stay at the Doubletree Hilton. Comfy bed and the Oscars – not too shabby!

I finally arrived in LA the next morning, and was again, surrounded by hella people (yes, hella) and hella cars. WELCOME BACK TO THE UNITED STATES. Fortunately for me, California greeted me well with rain… and In N’ Out! 😀

Overall, the trip was a blast and was also the fastest two weeks of my life. It still feels like I had just left just yesterday!

Now that I’m back, it’s back to the old routine. I made a yummy pasta bake last night and had a fast 2-mile run this morning. I’m most likely going to sign up for a local 5k that’s in two weeks – actually, the same 5k I PR’ed and placed first in my age range last year. Eek. I doubt I’d make it this year… I’m just shooting for under 30 minutes!

Till next time!

P.

So what’s been up?

It’s been about two weeks since my last blog post, and about 3 days since I’ve been back from Germany! Apologies for my late, late, LATE post, but I’ve absolutely been busy while abroad and had very little access or time for internet duties.

I plan on writing a longer post about my trip this weekend, photos and all!

I would also like to add that unfortunately, I did not get a run in while at Germany. AT ALL. More on this on the very lengthy blog post to come.

I’ll just add in that today was my first day pretty much getting back on track. A 40 minute walk + run, 3 miles total. I know, totally slow. But hey, after not running for two weeks, I gotta inch my way back in slowly.

I hope that everyone has had a great month so far! I’ll be late to read on what you all have been up to, and I’m sure it’s been swell. Can’t believe that February is almost over!

I promise, I’ll be back again this weekend. 🙂

Till next time,

P.

The longest week.

This week was pretty much a drag.

Since Sunday, I’ve been feeling extremely tired and sleepy, even though I’ve been getting enough sleep. My throat has also been toying with me: at times, I’d feel as if a sore throat would flare up. Then, all of a sudden, it would go away. The next morning, the feeling would come back again. I just don’t know. I’d get the aches, I’d get the chills. For the past couple of days I’ve been piling on the green tea and vitamin C.

This week, I’ve only run 4 miles. Total. That’s it. I wasn’t kidding when I said I just felt like I had no energy. I think I can also point it out to good old Aunt Flo – but even so, I haven’t felt this tired before. On Wednesday, I managed to get up and do a morning run. Earlier tonight, I went to go on the bike and rode for 4 miles, and then ran 1 mile on the treadmill afterwards. Now that I’m all showered up, I still feel a bit under the weather but at the same time a part of me is happy I at least got my scheduled work out in.

This weekend, I’m just going to take it easy. I actually need to pack! After all, I’m leaving for Germany in 3 days! That’s something that I’m definitely excited about – but something that also made the week seem to lag on. I just want to go! A part of me is still in disbelief that I’m going to the country I’ve been wanting to visit since I was a wee child, so I feel like it won’t hit me until I’m actually at the airport, boarding my flight. Our place is all set, our booth is pretty much ready to go! I’m more nervous about the flight than I am about meeting with some of our interested distributors – let me handle one thing at a time!

I’ve already made a mental list of places I want to visit while I’m in Frankfurt. I haven’t gotten around to planning what I’ll be doing in Baden-Baden afterwards, but maybe my aunt and cousin would have some ideas. I know that they have beautiful gardens and museums, as well as spas – my cousin works at one of the most well known in the area – so I’m pretty excited for that as well!

For the rest of the night, I’m thinking of just drinking some more tea and possibly binge watch some Friends or some History channel show on Netflix. :p Friday night in for me, ya’ll!

Till next time,

P.