Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why I love my bike and why it's relevant to talk about here



Since moving to Long Beach, I decided to get a bike. I use it to ride to the train station, to the supermarket, to the gym or anywhere for that matter.

It improves my endurance.
It makes me feel healthier.
It helps me to lose weight.
It relaxes me after a long day.

AND

It contributes towards saving the environment.
It saves GAS!

I'm so glad that something that makes me so happy personally, is actually contributing to bettering our world. Specifically UN Millennium Development Goal number 7 "Ensure environmental sustainability."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where I was: Germany FINAL ENTRY

May 29, 2007

The last week of our trip was really relaxing, and I am definitely thankful for that because both of us were very exhausted. After a long series of trains and missed trains on the so-called efficient German train system, we made it to Heilbronn where Sabrina, Lisa's cousin and Sabrina's mom Diana picked us up.

They took us to a beer garden type restaurant where we met Lisa's relative Horst and her younger cousins Tobias and Sarah. I had beer with sprite which was really good - usually I don't like beer but it's ok with some sweetening. I ate some beef with onions and these German noodles, which were surprisingly delicious. Germany's food is weird for me, but it's really good.

After dinner we headed home--it was nice to have a clean bed, towels and a shower. We were able to get a "real" German experience by staying with Lisa's family.

Anyway, in the morning we woke up after sleeping in a little, and had breakfast. Breakfast consisted of a smorgasbord of liverwurst and pretzels. Everything was so good. I love liverwurst. My mom loves it too--I wish I could have brought some back for her. After breakfast, we hung around and showered while we waited for Sabrina to get home from school. I got to blow out my hair for the first time all month and I finally felt like myself again.

We went to Stuttgart all together once she got home. Horst took us to the TV tower, which is actually the world's first. We went to the top and enjoyed the view and then we had drinks up there. Lisa and I both had frozen chocolate, which was delicious. Then we walked around and went to a bunch of shops in Stuttgart.

We went out that night with Sabrina, which was fun. The next morning we woke up, and Tobias and Sarah waited for us; it was so cute. They made us coffee and tea. We took this kids to the pool, and even though the kids spoke just a little English and we spoke no German, we had fun. I guess playing around doesn't require language. Sabrina threw a BBQ party that night on the family's vineyard--it was such an authentic experience.

The next day, Horst drove us to Lisa's dad's friends Kiersten and Krumel's house. We stayed in their upstairs apartment. When we got their, Krumel took us to a fair in Mannheim. We ate sausage and kebabs and just enjoyed the music that was there.

When we went back to their house we had a great dinner and then decided to stay in and watch EUROTRIP--which was all so true.

At around 12:30 a.m. I hit my bed, but 4:45 a.m. came too soon and we had to get up to go to the airport. I slept the entire flight that when we landed, I didn't even know we took off.

I am so ready to be home with family and not deal with willy-nilly Europe for a while. This definitely, however, was the best experience. All of the mayhem actually made it even more memorable.

Lisa was the perfect person to do it with, we got along so well and stayed positive. I am amazed at all we did and wish I could share this with everyone I know. For now, it's back to reality and maybe some day I'll do somewhere else--Africa, Asia, Latin America...who knows...

To be fair, the choice to do this was pretty last minute.