Exploring: Osnabrück Weihnachtsmarkt

Weihnachtsmarkt 1

You know how I said Christmas was my favorite time of the year? Well, let’s face it, nobody does Christmas quite like Germany and it’s famous Christmas markets.

Once the end of November rolls around, Germany turns into a sea of Jack Wolfskin jackets, hats and scarves (they’re always well prepared for the cold weather) and everyone heads to their local Christmas market. In the German’s case, this is Osnabrück, and last year we managed to fly in just before the market closed – you can imagine the excitement on my face when I realized we’d make it to Osnabrück before the market closed!

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Well hello there 2014!

OK, so I’m a day late with this one but HAPPY NEW YEAR peeps! How was your New Years Eve? Did you wave goodbye to 2013 and say hello to 2014 in style? We welcomed in the year with some of these…

Hello 2014 1

So what have you been up to the past couple of weeks? At the moment I’m in England – yay! But this follows that trip to Germany where we went to the Christmas market, caught up with friends and family and did some all important wedding planning! Eeeek! It’s not too far away now!

But before we launch ourselves into 2014 I thought I’d take a look back at what 2013 had to offer, and man was it a HUGE year for me and the German! Where do I start?! Well let’s start with January and the first major change to our lives when we got those visas, packed up our little flat and headed 4 thousand miles across the pond to Atlanta! I’m not going to lie – its been an amazing first year as expats – exploring our new city, meeting new friends and having so many exciting experiences it’s unbelievable, from our first baseball game to a trip to the aquarium and the most amazing ribs ever! And we still have so much more to explore – that makes for some great blog posts next year!

Then, a few months into our new life, and completely out of the blue, the German did something mahoosive – he popped the question!! Yep, he didn’t get down on one knee and didn’t have a little speech prepared (but that’s a-ok for me because I didn’t expect that from him anyway – he’s not that type!) and literally said I’ve got a question to ask you – ‘Will you marry me?’ I know he’s a cutie! I then replied with the best line ever – ‘Are you being serious?’ Yep, ever the subtle, gracious and clever person that I am! Anyway, he was and of course I said yes! I mean, who wouldn’t want to be Mrs Richter? It all happened in front of the water fountain in the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta – perfect!! You can read more about that big moment here. And here’s a little pic from just after I said ‘yes!’

Happy, happy, happy!!

Happy, happy, happy!!

Next on the agenda was a roadtrip to Florida with our friends from Germany! We covered a fair few places including Clearwater, the Everglades, Miami and the Florida Keys! We saw gators, amazing beaches, the art deco of Miami and the scenic road down through the keys! We also played a came called corn hole that Jannis was determined to win, sadly for him though he didn’t! He has one at home now though so I’m sure he’s been practising ready to take us on again!! It was fab! Here’s the road trip crew:

Hello 2014 4

Then, just 3 weeks after the question was popped we did something nobody expected – well they did one day but maybe just not yet! Yep, we jumped in the car (after some previous behind the scenes preparations!) headed to Destin, said ‘I do’ and became Mr & Mrs Richter!! It was amazing, just me, the German, a registrar called Patty and a photographer called Larry on a pure white beach with bright blue sky, clear sea and of course the sunshine!! It was perfect! Although I am pretty glad we’re doing it all again this year in Germany – I couldn’t imagine having that as my only wedding – I need my pops to walk my down the aisle, best friends to be bridesmaids and have all my friends and family around me! Bring on May! You can read more about our first big day here. And here’s another picture – this time of the day I lost my name on the beach!

The new Mr & Mrs Richter!

The new Mr & Mrs Richter!

All that happened in the first 5 months of the year! Phew!! The rest of the year was taken up with trips back to the UK and Germany for family events and another trip to the US Embassy to get my Mrs Richter visa! A constant stream of guests to the Hotel Richter including my mum, brother and sister-in-law, our friends from Germany and my aunty, uncle and cousin, days soaking up the sun by the pool, job searching and lots more exploring including a trip to a cabin in the woods that I STILL need to blog about! I will get round to it I promise!

All in all 2013 was a pretty amazing year for the Richters! I started it as a Cook, living in England with no thoughts of becoming Mrs Richter (well I did think about it but really didn’t think it was going to happen just yet!) and ended it as Mrs Richter who’s lived in America for a year! That year passed really quickly by the way! It definitely doesn’t seem that long at all! Time definitely does fly when you’re having fun!! I am one extremely lucky lady – no doubt about that! I’ve bagged myself the best husband in the world, I live in America (thanks to said husband and his cakes!) and I’m having an amazing time making new friends and exploring our new home! Don’t get me wrong, I miss my friends and family back home – it’s hard being away from your parents and best friends (especially when they’ve just had a baby!!) but there’s no way you can pass up the chance to live in America!! FaceTime and Skype get you through the tough times and it’s even more special when you come home and get those all important cuddles!!

Now though, we’re saying a big, fat hello to 2014 and all it has in store for us! I’m sure it’s going to be another amazing one – for a start I get to marry that lovely husband of mine again! Yep, once again we’ll be saying ‘I do’ in May but this time in front of all our friends and family! (Lucky lady I know!) I personally cannot wait – I just wish it would organise itself!! Running off to Florida was so much easier!

So, my lovely little blog friends, here’s to an exciting 2014, full of more adventures and exploring, visitors to the Hotel Richter (it will be re-opening again soon!) and of course that all important wedding!! Three words people – bring it on!!

I miss the great British weather.

There, I’ve said it. I confess – I miss the great British weather. I never ever thought I would say that but right now I do – well maybe not right now, today it’s raining like a trooper out there and looks stereotypically British! Now, all the Brits reading this are probably sitting there, staring at their computer going seriously? You miss this? And looking out of the window. Well the truth is yes, yes I do – and here is why:

Christmas Tree 10

Ok, so right now you’re thinking ‘what the hell is this girl on about’ well let me explain…last week in the beautiful place that is Atlanta is was 76 degrees, in December. Now this, for me, is very weird indeed! Back home in England December is a very cold month where every time you leave the house you need 3 layers, a scarf, hat, gloves, Ugg boots and the thickest coat you could ever imagine! So when I stepped out of the house on Friday afternoon in jeans, flip-flops and a t-shirt it felt very wrong indeed!!

And here’s the biggest reason why it feels wrong – it’s the run up to Christmas and sitting in your living room with your Christmas tree up (if you want to find out how we got the huge tree into our apartment click here!) and balcony doors open because it’s so hot just doesn’t feel right to me at all! Christmas time means wrapping yourself up in a throw on the sofa to keep warm whilst sipping a hot chocolate or something just as warming in front of an open fire!

Another reason – we went to a German Christmas party the other night where we drank Glühwein and for once I agreed with the German – it was too warm for Glühwein! Usually we’re wrapped up in our thickest clothes, standing outside at a Christmas market using the Glühwein mug and it’s delicious contents to keep us warm! It was also bizarre when we walked out of the Christmas party complete with festive decorations and into the warm, muggy 70 degree air at 10pm at night! It’s just not what I’m used to!

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining at all, I am definitely one lucky lady! I don’t want people to think I’m not grateful for this amazing adventure I’m on right now, with the (usually) perfect weather and experiences I could only have dreamed of a year ago, but when it comes to Christmas (and as you know I am a HUGE fan of Christmas!) I miss the great British weather and the way it gets you into the festive spirit!