Sunday, October 18, 2015

Thirteen Days of Halloween

Can someone explain to me why halloween isn't a thing in Germany?

The stores skipped right over halloween and straight to selling Christmas-themed candy. Not a single kernel of candy corn in sight. It's killing my soul just a little bit. Hater-of-all-things-halloween, Ryan Craig, is loving it. But that's probably more due to the fact that everything on the shelves is now almond flavored. 

I can't even complain about that because it's all so delicious. 

Anyway, the good thing is, I already convinced the hater to a halloween movie marathon. And since he helped pick out the movies he can only complain about half of them. 

So starting tomorrow, here's our plan for...


  1. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

  2. Halloweentown (1998)

  3. Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge (2001)

  4. Return to Halloweentown (2006)

  5. Hocus Pocus (1993)

  6. Practical Magic (1998)

  7. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

  8. The Addams Family (1991)

  9.  Ghostbusters (1984)

10. The Mask (1994)

11. Beetlejuice (1988)

12. Young Frankenstein (1974)

13. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

What would make your list?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thursday Catch Up


I want to meet the person who controls the weather in Germany. Because I'd like to register a complaint. In less than a week, the weather has gone from high-fifties to high-thirties. And to top it off, it's been rainy. The dwindling light doesn't need any help from storm clouds. kthxbye.


I'm 99% positive I would never get Ryan to agree to a halloween party unless he was under extreme duress. And I mean, EXTREME DURESS. For whatever reason he hated it growing up and didn't like getting free candy. I know, I know. I married the strangest person ever. 

Anyway, I did convince him to watch halloween movies for the thirteen days leading up to halloween. So I'll consider it a success. 

On Monday we'll start our thirteen days of halloween. Since neither of us are into scary or gory movies, we're watching a good mix of comedy and kid movies. To be fair though, Disney has some pretty awesome halloween movies. I'll share the movie list as we get closer. 

Now all I need is candy corn. 


As we truck along in our half-marathon training, we try to switch up how we attack our scheduled runs. Since tonight was a relatively short two mile run, we made it a "tempo run." Which just means run balls to the wall. And because Ryan is a freaking gazelle and I'm a snail, we ran separately.

Now, something I really struggled with when I started running was getting out of my head. I would run and the only thing I could think about was how much I hurt, how I couldn't breath, or how slow I was going. When I came over here to Germany, I used music to distract me so I could keep running. And then, once Ryan came, we started running together and we always talk about our days. 

Today was the ultimate test, With no one but me, myself, and I to talk to and no music to distract me, I just ran. It was without a doubt one of the best runs I've ever had. While these thoughts have run through my head before, today's were more like this:

"I'm not that far off Ryan."
"Look at those calves."
"He's really picking it up."
"Do not try to catch him, you're not a gazelle."
"Where is he?"
"These kids with scooters!"
"Would it be bad if I pushed one?"
"Avoid the wet leaves."
"Seriously, where is Ryan?"
"Don't look at your watch, don't look at your watch."
"Woo! First mile!"
"I just did what?!"
"Okay, you can do this. You're a gazelle."
"So smooth, so fresh."
"Why do bikers always have to sneak up on you?"
"Come on, people, move it. I'm running here."
"Okay, only half a mile left."
"He must be done by now."
"Wasn't he going to turn around and run back with me?"
"Swing wide on the corner, you don't want to run into Ryan."
"No? He's not there?"
"Seriously, where is he?"
"I'm doing what?! I'm on fire!"
"Light as a feather."
"There he is! Look at him, all surprised."
"Fist bump, because I'm crushing it."
"You got this."
"Run. Run. RUN."
"Sweet Jesus, hallelujah. Two miles."

And with that, I ran my fastest mile ever. Best day ever. Complete with chocolate and cookies. Because how can you not celebrate a personal record? 

Which, in case you're curious, is a 10:28 now. Down 21 seconds from my last PR. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thursday Catch Up


Fall is officially here and I love it. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. And I'm 99% sure the smell is the best part of it all. You get out of your car at night after a rainy afternoon and it smells so so good. I want to bottle it up and make a candle. 

Now, I know I talked before about the WIDE variety of songs they play, but here, the songs are all played in their original format, profanity included. Imagine my surprise the first time I heard "The Real Slim Shady" uncensored. I'm definitely not in the US anymore. Amazingly enough, though, people aren't crude and everyone's pretty pleasant. So maybe the FCC needs to do some thinking about being such a prude. We can probably handle a little swearing.

One thing that had me swearing this week? My car was towed yesterday morning. The first time I've ever had my car towed and it's in a foreign country. That was a 190€ lesson I won't be forgetting easily. Especially not after Ryan and I had to go to three different companies looking for the damn car at eight in the morning. Seriously, how many Colonia's can there be in one suburb of Cologne? It probably would have helped if we knew just a littttllleee bit more German. Or if we knew that "towed" isn't a word here.

I suppose that if it has to happen once in your life, though, it's better to get towed sooner rather than later. Yay?


Reading this article I want to binge watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Because, hello, Charlie Day. I just want to hug him. When I brought it up to Ryan he was all over it. The Netflix binge, of course, not the hugging. I think we found our weekend plans.

Next weekend though, since being here for such a short time, Ryan and I have been traveling like mad with so many more trips planned. It's funny, considering when we're in the States, we go nowhere. Like, we take zero weekend trips. No close-to-home trips. But in the short month that Ryan's been here, he's come to realize he wants to do more exploring around home. You know, when we do finally get there.  Ryan's started planning some hikes in the Adirondacks and a Finger Lake beer/wine tour. I am super excited. Not only for the long awaited Finger Lake wine tour, but I'm pretty sure I can convince him to show me Niagara Falls. Since I've never been. And I'm also pretty happy because it's about as much wanderlust I can inspire in my self-described homebody husband.


I somehow stumbled upon this shimmery wine/vodka the other day and I cannot wait to try it. It freaking sparkles. I can't wait to celebrate with it. I just need something to celebrate.

The weekend? A long weekend? How about running. Ooo, yes. Let's do running. Because nothing says healthy after running than wine/vodka.

Training for a half is actually pretty fun. And I have the best partner. I'm getting faster and I think my technique is getting better so those are definitely things to celebrate. In moderation of course.

If you're on them, you can follow me with Garmin or Smashrun

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Germany: Cologne Zoo and Aquarium

I think I've officially tapped out every touristy thing to do in Cologne.

Rounding out the list? A visit to the Cologne Zoo, Aquarium, and Insectarium.

If you're wondering if the insectarium is as gross as it sounds, you can bet your bottom dollar it is. The first thing you see is an empty butterfly enclosure, followed by a two foot long millipede. As soon as Ryan saw a tarantula the size of his face we NOPED right out of there and headed to the land of all things cuddly and fluffy.

Not that you can actual cuddle with a tiger, but there were cows, chickens, and turkeys you could pet. And those are much more pleasant to look at than a freaking spider. 

It's hard to choose my favorite part of the day. Although it would have been feeding giraffes, if that had been a thing. Ryan attempting to order lunch in German was a thing though. And that was pretty funny.

It was a little chilly when we went so some of the animals were either sleeping or lounging around. We did get to see some of the animals during "feeding" time. That was a treat...

In case you're curious, the bears get fruits and veggies. The lions get cow legs.

Far away from the carnivorous cats, Ryan found his spirit animal. The penguins. I'm not sure whether it's the love of cold weather or their quirky personalities that bond them. I just know that wherever there's pengiuns, Ryan must see them. It's almost too cute, just like these dapper guys! 

We walked around for a good four hours and it was the perfect way to spend a quiet Sunday morning. I'm loving all the animals we saw and I wish I could play with them all day. How awesome would it be to pet these sitatungas?

Besides the penguin enclosure, the zoo had a couple other areas for the birds. One was a giant lake were all the flamingos and ducks hung out. The other was an aviary where storks and cranes played keep away with a stick. 

Do you think they fetch?

In another life I should have been a zoo keeper. But once someone found out I day dreamed about riding Capybaras, I probably would have been fired. Look at them though. Those cute little giant rodents.

A day ticket for the zoo is €17.50 per person. For lunch we spent about €15.00 for a huge basket of fries, chicken nuggets, and a bottle of water. And if you must ask, yes the nuggets were shaped like animals. Hello childhood.

The day was a bit on the expensive side (or is that just me?) but the conversation and company were worth it. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thursday Catch Up


Slowly, but surely, my apartment is falling apart. The washing machine has broken. I've broken a fridge shelf. Ryan's broken a light bulb. The shower head is springing new leaks daily. And in the past two days a smoke alarm started chirping, the heating element in the oven fell out, and the handle on the oven door fell off. Our only tool to fix  them? A hammer. 

You want to know what a hammer can fix? NONE OF THOSE THINGS. Seriously, we can't even figure out how to change the battery in the smoke alarm. 

I promise, I'm an adult.


I've thought about it for years and after reading this article I'm deadset on creating a capsule wardrobe. I love, love, love the idea. What do you think? Could you do it?

Fitness wise, Ryan and I decided before we moved here that we'd strictly train for running. It's my weakest sport (in a triathlon) and I'm super, super slow. Since Ryan has a lot of free time, he's been researching training plans and watching running documentaries. Which, if you have a free half hour watch Wonderland. All this free time also let's him find a crapload of races for use to do next year. So far the list includes: three sprint triathlons (June, July, August), the 10K Turkey Trot (November), the 15K Stockade-athon (November), a half marathon (March), and a full marathon (October). The list doesn't include any other 10K or 5K races we'll "pick up."

And if someone can reassure me that I'm not going to have a heart attack that would be lovely. Either that or tell me how hawt I'm going to look after logging all those miles. Pretty please?


Last Sunday, I celebrated my birthday in Munich. Like actually celebrated. Then again, it's kind of hard not to celebrate during Oktoberfest. But I didn't try to avoid it and pretend the day didn't exist like I always do! I can't believe I've been missing out on enjoying it for the past five years. I need a V8 smack upside the head for that. 

One win for the home team? I'm slowly picking up more and more German. I can almost make my way through dinner at a restaurant. And just the other morning, someone asked a question at work and I understood the entire sentence! By the time I'm conversationally fluent it'll be just in time for me to go back to the States. 

Now, if only I could convince Ryan to have a Halloween party, my fall would be made. Especially considering I have the perfect costume idea.