My Baby Sis

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She is so beautiful I cannot help myself and share this. My sis can give you the middle finger while looking smashing doing it. Photo shoots with live models are typically challenging especially as an amateur, but half the battle is taken care of when you have someone who is both photogenic and a natural superstar.

A few shots of her and her husband pre-baby days.

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Compliments of Poppy’s amazing photography skills with this one here at the EPL

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A timeless classic

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Hubba bubba hotel

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Giggling while reading a German children’s book

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I know right?

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I can’t wait to be an auntie again

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Back of Hardware Grill

I heart EPL

I heart EPL

Germania in Canadia

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The Bavarian Schuhplattlers

The Bavarian Schuhplattlers

“I am going to go in front of you, because I am older”.

This is the line our 86 year-old friend uses to bee-line in front of us. We exchange a few german words and before long he is off again to gently weasel his way to the front of the bar and successfully orders his 6 Warsteiners before the show.

Standing in front of us is the ex-consul of Germany and he asks Klaus where is from.

“Leipzig”.

“A fellow Leipziger! I come from Leipzig too! Let me buy you a beer”.

As I stand there with a grin, once again witnessing the all too familiar small world moments, we later find ourselves seated together with a fun group who are finishing their graduate studies at the UofA – a few Canadians, a Costa Rican, and an Australian.

Then the show begins. The Heimatabend was titled  “Cirque d’Ole” and the organized event is a fundraiser for the Bavarian Schuhplattlers, whose mission is to preserve the German tradition of folk dancing and culture.

As per Google, Schuhplattler is a traditional dance in the Alpine regions of Bavaria and Austria used back in the day for the men to impress upon young women.

As per Google, Schuhplattler is a traditional dance in the Alpine regions of Bavaria and Austria used back in the day for the men to impress upon young women.

Through our years dabbling with the German Canadian Cultural Association (we are guilty that it is rare), I’ve learned that they are a group of friends who have twined to be more like family, tied through common ancestry and/or interests. Apart from wanting to maintain a smidgen of German culture in a city 7280km away from the mothership, they are more about having fun and creating a microcosm to help some feel more at home.

The lion of the Cirque d'Ole

The lion of the Cirque d’Ole, in lederhosen

Back at the party there is traditional Schuhplattler dancing, live accordion music blaring across the room with elegant ballroom and not-so-coordinated dancers, a variety show with pleasant slap-stick humour, bonding with long-time-no-see friends and mingling with new acquaintances all the while drinking beer and munching on pretzels the size of steering wheels.

The Herr Klein and the ringmaster's assistant

The Herr Klein and the ringmaster’s assistant

Dancing in lederhosen, yodeling, beer and pretzels are representations of the southern part of Germany so that explains why I didn’t see any of this – other than the beer part – while living in Leipzig (East Germany). Although different, it was really nice to be able to practice my rusty German and to be reassured that we fit somewhere in-between.

“My grandfather still lives in Leipzig”, later says our long-time friend at the party. What a small world.

I can’t help but think again that the gap is closing between Edmonton and Leipzig.

Have a Happy Easter everyone!!

 

A New Home

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Germans love labeling too.

Some of you may know that Klaus and I have been recently on the move again and this time I think we will call Canada our home permanently – for now at the very least. Reflections and reasons? I think I’ll save that for another day, another post.

Planning for our next home has been a chore. Not that I don’t enjoy the simple pleasures of living in my parent’s basement with Klaus or anything. Other than the funny ring whenever we answer the question “where are you guys staying right now?”, it’s been not half-bad.

Living in Leipzig has helped us confirm a few things about us – we are city people who like to be central, we like trees, recycling and composting makes sense, and we really appreciate good city planning. We also like decent weather, but you have to give some to win some to live in Edmonton.

To remind us of some of the beauties that we’ve come across during our travels and to inspire our own happy living back in Edmonton. I think I might just tag happyiveson on this.

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A few things to have in your backyard: Mature homes, check. Proper lighting, check. A castle, check – Town of Wernigerode

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I love this home because it’s crooked.

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A proper city must have amusing signage.

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Alternative energy – Wind parks are popular in Germany.

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Barely plants to make the home comfy.

Whimsical pieces to make the home your own.

Whimsical pieces to make the living space your own.

Vibrant city life in the heart of downtown.

Vibrant city life in the heart of downtown.

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Encouraging everyone to share the roads.

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Street markets for people to take advantage of what the city has to offer – Christmas Market

F.O.O.D.

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Our daily greeds

Our daily greeds

Apart from kittens, food is the general obsession on most popular social media feeds where we see the collective taking the time to snap foodie shots of the perfect meal all the while knowing that your food is screaming at you to ‘eat me’. Yes, I am unshamefully one of them.

Usually these photos that I painstakingly and embarrassingly take at fancy restaurants or standing on the streets end up casted into a vault somewhere in my laptop, prepared to never see the light of day again.

Not today mi amigos. I thought I’d showcase some of my many delectable photos to recap some of my belly’s European memories to you.

Harvest from the in-laws. One could not ask for more

Harvest from the in-laws.

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The “Hamburger” style Schnitzel. I guess the German steak and eggs.

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Cheesecake baked by Opa. Afternoon cake and coffee is quite the ritual that must not be broken.

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Ham, sauerkraut and potato dumplings at one of our many lunch visits to Oma

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Prices of beer at the grocery store. As a comparison, bottled water costs about 0,70 euro.

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At the Currycult. Great fast-food eatery that specializes in Currywurst which is pork sausage cut into slices and is seasoned with curry ketchup. Sounds weird, but it’s addictive.

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We had this mini “Spritzkuchen” in Weimar. It’s a honey cruller and upon our arrival in Leipzig, our goal was to try every version of Spritzkuchens we came across.

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The German donair. It’s great street food for those who have an appetite. The paper-thin meat and the marinated cabbage combo makes the sandwich less heavy when biting into the freshly grilled flat-bread that contains all the goodness.

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“Leipziger Lerche” – is named after the singing lark. This pastry is a shortcrust filled with marzipan

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A classic grinder that we used to shave our bitter almonds for a classic Christmas cake.

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I learned that butter and fat comes in many varieties.

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Our “Stollen” – which is a fruit cake traditionally served during Christmas time in Germany.

Flammkuchen - literally translated 'flame-cake'. It's a savory flatbread baked in a fire-oven

Flammkuchen – literally translated ‘flame-cake’. It’s a savory flatbread baked in a fire-oven

Mulled-wine has a special place in my heart. People gather around on the streets drinking this to stay warm and merry in cool temperatures.

Mulled-wine has a special place in my heart. People gather around on the streets drinking this to stay warm and merry in cooler temperatures.

A foot long bratwurst. We just had to try it.

A foot long bratwurst. We just had to try it.

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Again proves no matter where you go, you will find a Chinese restaurant – Prague.

Great tasting pizza is not difficult to find and usually easy on the pocket as well.

Great tasting pizza is not difficult to find and usually easy on the pocket as well.

Baked stuffed bread that was once only found during festive events - but a genius decided to open his very own to not disappoint

Baked stuffed bread that was once only found during festive events – but a genius decided to open his very own and did not disappoint

White beer has become a drink of choice. Prost!

Wheat beer has become a drink of choice. Prost!

Cospudener See

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Hier sind ein paar Fotos von Cospudener See. Die Fahrradtour zum Cosi war wunderschön und mit der Hilfe von unserem Reiseführer, haben wir sogar mehr Natur von Leipzig entdeckt. Unglaublich.

auf den Weg

auf den Weg

in Markkleeberg

in Markkleeberg

Wir sind "half-way"

hier waren wir “half-way” zum Cospudener See

Froh dass wir "half-way" waren

Froh dass wir “half-way” waren

COSI!

COSI!

lieber stehen

lieber stehen

ein Zeichen des Frühlings

ein Zeichen des Frühlings

und das ist ein Zeichen der Liebe

und das ist ein Zeichen der Liebe

Erlangen und Bamberg

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Bamberg ist eine Weltkulturstadt

Bamberg ist eine Weltkulturstadt – Bamberg is another World Heritage Site

Hier sind ein paar Fotos von unserem kleinen Ausflug nach Erlangen und dort haben wir unsere Kusine und ihren Freund besucht. Es hat mich gefreut, dass wir Bamberg sahen, Zeit mit der Familie verbrachten und sogar unsere einzige Olympische Skisprüngen durch das Wii spielten. Der 178m Skisprung von Rudolf war die beste Leistung. Schade dass er nicht in Sochi für Deutschland war.

Here are a few photos from our little weekend excursion to Erlangen to visit our cousin and her partner. It was a relaxing trip seeing a bit more of southern Germany, enjoying time with the family, making our own Olympics happen through the Wii and playing a few round of cards together.

Das alte Rathaus

Das alte Rathaus in Bamberg – The old Cityhall in Bamberg

Leider hat es den ganzen Tag geregnet, aber ich fand es romantisch

Leider hat es den ganzen Tag geregnet, aber ich fand es romantisch – Unfortunately it rained the entire day, but I found it extremely romantic.

Echt romantisch, nicht wahr?

Echt romantisch, nicht wahr? – Romanticism

auf der Straße

auf der Straße – A little like Gene Kelly on the streets

bei der Bamberg Dom

bei der Bamberg Dom – At the Bamberg Cathedral

Schäuferla mit Kloß

Schäuferla mit Kloß. Supi – Roasted pork shoulder with a gigantic potato dumpling. It was delicious

man kann nur Feld hinter dem Haus sehen. Wie wunderschön.

Die Terrasse von unserem ‘Gasthaus.’ Der Feld vor der Terrasse ist echt wunderschön – The terrace that belongs to our family. The open fields are really something to wake up to.

spazieren gehen in Hessdorf

spazieren gehen in Hessdorf – Walking in Hessdorf, a neighboring town from Erlangen

Hühner!!!

Hühner!!! – Chickens.

der Wald in Hessdorf

der Wald in Hessdorf – The forest in Hessdorf

der happy Tanz

der happy Tanz – The happy dance