Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve in Manayunk, Philly

For the last day of the year we had several options to chose from. The first one was going to Andrew's college party. Andrew is the American intern who already a legendary Halloween party. The second option was attending Artur's house party in Manayunk, a suburb of Philly. But somehow I felt like going out. Mona, Tim, Svenja and her boyfriend Stefan were in as well, so the girls started the research about the bar scene in Manayunk. Mona and Tim live in Manayunk, so we all had a place to sleep, that was the perfect point about it. We were a bit late to get tickets for the brewery which would have been our favourite location as we heard that it is supposed to very good. Unfortunately also Bourbon Blue was sold out as well. But in the end we found a good deal. Our ticket was $60 with entree to 2 bars, the Bayou bar, an American sports bar and the Cactus Cantina, a mexican bar. The ticket included mexican buffet and open bar from 9pm-1am. Sadly enough, Mona didn't join us for so long after we entered the bar. We were walking from the car to bar through the cold and it was very hot in the bar and Mona suddenly went pale and grabbed Tim's arm. She had problems with her blood circulation. So we sat down and she tried to recover but even after one hour she didn't feel better and realised that it would be the best to go home bc of the air in the bar, the smell around, the music and so on. It was really sad to let her go but if you would have seen her, you would agree that it was the best she could do as she was white as the wall. Tim brought her to the taxi and came back later. The atmosphere was really good, the DJ played good music, the people were roughly about our age and it wasn't too crowded, so that we still had enough room to rock the dance floor. In the last seconds of the last year, everyone started to stare at one of the TV's around to see the ball dropping at Times Square in New York and all of us counted the last 10 seconds. After midnight, the bar emptied pretty quickly and so made our around 1am to Artur's party to go on.

There we a few other interns at Artur's place like Corinna, Christian, Miri, Poldi and Phillipp, so it was great to celebrate the first hours of the new year.
Later on Tim, Svenja, Stefan and me took a taxi and went home to Mona who sleeping like a baby. Our first day of the year started around 12am and until everyone had a shower and until we had breaky it was after 2pm....How much better can it be???

Watch all the pictures on my digital photoalbum:

Friday, December 25, 2009

Xmas 2009 in the US

December 23 was the big travel day. It felt like everybody left for home. Interns were driving interns to the airport or picking up the incoming girlfriends, boyfriends or family members. I also gave another intern a ride to the airport and then I made my way down to Washington. I wanted to catch up with a friend there and then come back home on Christmas day (December 25) in the afternoon. Ryan and me spent the whole day (December 24) cruising around, hunting for Christmas presents for his family, picking up presents or dropping presents at a different family members. In the evening, we went to his mum's house in Chestertown which lies half way between Washington and Philly which reduced my travel time the next day by half. We helped her wrapping all the tons of Christmas presents and I was admiring the huge Christmas tree and the mass of presents the whole evening.

The next day I was home around 3pm and prepared our dessert (which we couldn't eat because were so full after the dinner) and then I went over to the neighbour's house. Bill stayed at home, taking care of the turkey. Betty was already there and we joined them for a glass of wine for about one hour before we headed home for dinner.
As I missed the traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving (because we have been in New Orleans) and I never had the turkey in the traditional American way with all the veggies, the stuffing and the Cranberry sauce, they both promised me a few weeks before that they will prepare the turkey for me as the Christmas dinner. I was so looking forward to it! Our neighbour Kevin joined us and brought the veggies. It was all so delicious, I really liked it, especially the mixture of the turkey with the sauce.
After dinner, we all sat down by the fireplace with some wine and talked. Of course, it was a bit different than Christmas at home because my family was missing but it was still so nice and so relaxed.
The days before Christmas actually made me kind of homesick and I was a bit sad not to be with my beloved ones. But I guess, it was good that I didn't stay at home (in Wayne) the whole 2 days (23rd and 24th) because I would have been all on my own as Julien left for France, Stefan for Germany and Lalo for Delaware to spend Christmas with his girlfriend. As I was on the road and having my friend around in Washington actually distracted me which was good. And once I came back home, Betty and Bill were around, so all was good then. Now all is fine and I am back in shape ;-)

You can see the pictures on my digital photoalbum:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The big snow storm....or...let it snow:-)

On Friday, December 18, everyone was talking about only one topic the whole day: The heavy snowfall that has been forecasted since days for the upcoming night. We had a few of our sales people in the office for a meeting and all of them wanted to leave the office as soon as possible in order to catch certain flights before they got cancelled. For me, the whole talk seemed a bit overreacting because we still had blue sky in the afternoon, honestly!! But also my boss told me before he left the office for the weekend: "Gerry, it can get nasty this weekend, I don't know how hard it's gonna snow but if it stays the whole weekend, don't risk to come into the office on Monday. You better work from home then." I somehow got the feeling that they just didn't know how to deal with snow.
We had Watchi's farewell and Petra's birthday dinner on that night in a bar in West Chester. It was a cool party night, even though the DJ played not always the very best tunes...
Anyway, when we left the bar at 1am in the night, it had started slightly to snow! Wuhu! But nothing to go crazy about! Just very tiny little bits...You cannot even call them snow'flakes'. Driving home was not an issue at all.
Jillian stayed over at my house this night and when she opened my blinds, the next morning everything was white and not just powdered, we really had a thick layer of snow.

And it was still snowing. When Jillian left, Betty (my landlady) was already out and shoveling the snow out of our driveway.
It went on snowing all day so I placed myself in our dining room, overlooking our garden and watching how the snow layer got higher and higher...It looked to peaceful outside and Bill cooked some hot soup for us. We drunk hot apple juice with cinnamon spice and watched the snowflakes. If I get somehow sentimental or sound like a little child, it is just maybe, I have never seen so much snow and it reminded me on my childhood, when I used to built a snowman with my siblings in my granny's garden.
In the afternoon, Betty went out again, to remove the new snow and by the evening it was not possible to leave the house anyhow. So I ended up with Julien watching a movie.
What a nice and perfect winter day!
The next day it stopped snowing. The news were had no other topic to talk about than this massive snow fall. It usually doesn't snow that much and not on one day here in this area my landlord Bill told me.

We had about 25 cm but there were also other cities who got even 10cm more. Two interns were supposed to fly to Germany and Canada and also 2 of my colleagues wanted to leave for the holidays but all the flights got cancelled on Saturday. My car was covered with snow and I wondered how to get rid of all the snow as a simple handbrush would not be of much help...Well, I ended up, removing the snow with a snow snow shovel...never did that before...but it was kind of funny.

Then I also helped Betty who was removing the new snow from the night before again. Later on, Julien and me went to Valley Forge National Park and took some nice winter pictures there.

You can watch all the winter pictures on my digital photoalbum:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas time - Time for Cookies!

It is December 13 and Christmas is close. And what comes definitely with Christmas? Yes, for sure the cookies! We were talking and planning to make a cookie-baking-day since weeks. Finally we found a suitable date for everyone.
For me personnally, it was a bit exhausting as I came back that night at 6 in the morning from New York and got up at 12 again because the girls came. Petra and Anni took care of all the shopping and stuffed our kitchen with tons of baking ingredients. Then also Svenja, Jackie and Jillian arrived. Our schedule was tough: We wanted to bake 6 different recipes...As Jillian helped and 'trained' us to carve the pumpkins we told her that she had to join us for the christmas cookies session. Petra and Anni started with 'Vanillekipferl' and cookies with jam while Jil and me picked the easy recipe: "The Best nut cookies in the world" (that was the name of the cookies). I really wanted to go for these ones because we could use cookie cutters with this dough ;-) We also prepared 'Nusskipferl' and 'Kokosmakronen'. The last cookies we tried on were 'Zimtsterne' but something went wrong with the dough because it was far to liquid to cut the stars with the cookie cutter. So we messed this one up but the rest was pretty good for so many chefs in the kitchen...Especially the 'Kokosmakronen' were so yummy!!! But I also had a lot of fun to decorate the 'Best nut cookies in the world' with chocolate.

The whole session took us about 5 hours and we all got pretty tired from it. Not only tired also hungry and longing for something salty as we were munching cookies all afternoon..'Just to try..' Lucky we had Julien cooking scallops in lobster bisque and wild rice for us. That was a delicious and well deserved finish of that day. After that weekend, I fell tired as hell into bed, you can believe me!

Find the cookie picture here on my digital photoalbum:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Clubbing in New York - 4 years of Pacha with Erick Morillo&Steve Angello

One party at the weekend is not enough...just recovered from the "Ballermann party" the day before and back from a funny road trip with Tyra (trying to visit the Christmas market in Bethlehem... - no comment), I had to get ready for our next party event: Going to Pacha in New York where Erick Morillo & Steve Angello were playing that night for the 4th anniversary of Pacha in NY.
Mona and Tim suggested this trip a few weeks beforea and I really liked the idea. The tickets were only $30 which was a pretty good deal as you had to pay for each of them around $100 at Thanksgiving weekend in Florida to see one of them djying.
Mona voluntered to be our DD (designated driver) for the night. We left my place around 7pm and arrived at NY around 9pm. It was time to eat something and far to early to enter the club. So we found a nice dinner and got prepared for the night.

The club was packed and everyone was excited. I cannot describe the atmosphere there, it was so much fun!

We left the club at 4 in the morning. It was so funny because as soon as we left NY City, all the 3 of in the back seat fell asleep immediately while heroic Tim fighted his tiredness and tried to stay awake to entertain Mona while she was driving. I felt so bad for her but I could not stay awake, so hard I tried. The way to the club from my place to Pacha is about 2hours and many people would say that it is not worth to go such a long way for a party night. But first we don't that every week and second, it was again..all worth it!!!

Just watch the pictures and videos on my digital photoalbum:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Watchi's & Albi's Farewell party

Summer feeling in December: Watchi and Albi, our next leavers decided to bring the summer back to town...or to be more detailed: Celebrating a 'Ballermann' party as their farewell. The first big challenge was to explain this to our American domestic interns so that they got an idea how to dress. The most agreed description was:"Dress like in the summer when you go out along the beachside and behave like an idiot...start by drinking sangria with a straw out of a bucket!" What was super cool about this party: Tyra came down to visit me! The absolute bad thing about this was the heavy traffic she hit on her way up here. She left work at 3pm to avoid the weekend commute traffic but she got stuck right in the middle. I called her from time to time and motivated her that google maps displayed fluent traffic for the next 50 miles...:-/ It took her 5 hours in total which absolutely insane and we both decided not to visit each other on a Friday night again. But then she was here and ready to go to the 'Beach'.

Watchi and Albi designed our party location very well, especially the heaters produced a nice temperature in the middle 20°C which alowed us to wear summer clothes. As we have a bunch of interns who are not from Germany and cannot understand German, we couldn't play the whole range of the typical 'Ballermann' songs. I would say the most favourite song of this night was the Macarena song: Everyone knew how to dance it at the end of the night. But also, as the Sangria came to its end, more and more German songs had been played and everyone who is not familiar with songs like "Das rote Pferd" or "Cowboy und Indianer"and their dances, looked at us as we were insane...But it was a very funny party for everyone!

You can watch the bes pictures on my digital photoalbum:

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Icehockey - Flyers vs. Islanders

There are still so many trips or events on my 'I-wanna-see-or-have-to-do-list' even though I made quite a lot of trips the last weeks...One event was watching an icehockey game. It was absolutely surprising that my boss offered me two tickets for the Flyers (Philly's team) game against the New York Islanders on December 8. I saked Mona if she would like to join me and she directly in. So we left work together and went to the Wachovia Center (similar to our 'Kölnarena'). When we arrived, the game was already on but this doesn't really matter as the game ususally 2-3 hours because of all the breaks. Some of the other Siemens interns went to a game the week before we went and they saw them lose. Mona and I were lucky: The Flyers won the first time after 5 losses in a row. They scored 6:2, so we were cheering a lot.

Even though it seems like everyone is waiting for the players to fight (like they did last week...), the whole atmosphere is gross: All the music intros and the actions in the breaks like the 'Mites on Ice' (little kids in the age about 3-6) playing a little game.

They were soooo cute, they cannot even walk and it looks so funny when they scate on the ice. What I also really like is the organ playing all these tunes during the game. Like u know it from the movies. But also in this week they had a little fight going on but that not really serious. I placed the video on my photoalbum...:-)

Here are all the pictures on my digital photoalbum:

Friday, December 04, 2009

Weekend in Texas: San Antonio mit Mona & Tim

On the road again! Just back fromt the New Orleans trip on Sunday, on Friday it was time to leave the state again. This time the destination was San Antonio in Texas. It is about 4 hours flight time away from Philly.

Mona's husband Tim had to attend a tradeshow in San Antonio for the whole weekend. As the hotel was paid by the company anyway and had two queensize beds, Tim suggested that we should come as we just had to pay the flight...No big deal, the ticket was just $180 return....BARGAIN!!!
Mona and me left work on Friday at 3pm for the airport. We didn't have a direct flight, so we flew from Philly up to Chicago and then down to San Antonio. Quite tired and exhausted, we arrived there around11.30pm and Tim was picked us up from the airport. We stayed at the Marriott at the Riverwalk and the view from the balkony was amazing.
The next morning, Mona and me slept long, while Tim had to work at the show. Before we left the hotel, we grabbed a coffee from Starbucks and off we went to find a nice spot for breaky or we better say lunch...
We took the next stairs down to the Riverwalk where all the bars, restaurants and shops are. It looks so beautiful! And it is still so green because of all the palm trees and cypresses and tropical plants. We found a nice place to eat along the river. The weather was perfect, sunshine and clear sky but unsusual cold for this region, around 3°C. But it was perfect to stroll along the Riverwalk and explore the City.

San Antonio is very close to the Mexican Border, so you can see already a lot of Mexican influence in the architecture and also in the shops. They also have a Mexican market which is very colorful and where they also performed traditional Mexican dances when we went there.
It was coincidence that exactly at this day, there was a German x-mas market going on....No question: Mona and me went down there!! After my disappointing experience last year in England with "big European x-mas market" I didn't expect that much which was exactly the right attitude. The market was organised by the German community in San Antonio and they had around 20 booths but some of them really with German products like fruit cake, homemade x-mas cookies or selfmade mulled wine. Of course, we had to try the mulled wine and it was really good!!! We also bought some Santa Clause hats and put them on for the rest of the day.

Then we went back to the hotel and chilled at the pool and in the whirlpool while we were waiting for Tim.
In the evening we went for dinner with Tim's team members to a Mexican restaurant. That was so nice and soooo colorful! The food was good, the Margherita's as well and from time to time, a Mexican band came in to sing some songs.
After that, most of the colleagues went to the hotel but 2 went with Mona, Tim and me wanted to stroll along the river during the night as it looked so romantic during the night. The decorated all the trees with holiday lights and set up 'luminarias' along the river. 'Luminarias' are little paper bags, filled with sand and a candle in it. There were tons of them...

Then, we went to a bar Tim recommend before. It is called 'Howl at the moon' and there exist a few of these bars in America. They have 2 pianos, drums, a guitar and a bass guitar on the stage and people perform all the famous songs in a very broad range. They play everything from the 70's to today, Bon Jovi, Britney Spears, Uncle Cracker, Village People, The Killers.....and so on...All is live and the interesting thing is that they switch instruments with the blink of an eye. For the one song, the girl was singing and playing the piano, for the next song, she jumps behind the drums. This makes it very interesting and they just played soooo good! The whole bar was rocking!!

As we had such a great night, Mona and me slept in again the next morning while Tim again had to get up earlier..hihihi
We grabbed a coffee at Starbuck's again (it was so practical, there was a shop in our hotel lobby) and hopped on one of the Riverwalk cruise boats to make a river tour around San Antonio.

Afterwards we met Tim for dinner in the 'Rainforrest cafe' and had our breaky/lunch there. In this restaurant, everything is decorated like in the rainforrest and they have animated animals which start to make noises and movements at certain times. More for kids but still an interesting experience.
After the dinner, Tim went back to the show and we strolled around the shopping mall to buy accessories for the upcoming farewell party of Watchi and Albi next weekend.
At 4pm it was time to return to the hotel, pack and getting ready for the airport. Tim brought us to airport at 5pm. Again we didn't have a direct flight, so we flew from San Antonio to Dallas and then connected to Philly. We were so lucky on the second flight as we had 3 seats for the 2 of us, so we could make us bit more comfy and try to sleep. Finally, we arrived in Philly at 1 and returned to Mona's appartment at 1.30am in the night.
This weekend was very short but we had such a brilliant time together and the city is defintily recommendable!!! So again, all worth it!

You can find more pictures on my digital photoalbum:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Orleans - Roadtrip on Thanksgiving

It was Wednesday, November 25, 2009. I was waiting on time on the Siemens' parking garage for my three car mates Phillipp, Alvaro and Alex. We were ready to go down to New Orleans for 4 days. You guys in Europe have to know that Thanksgiving is celebrated on every 4th Thursday in November each year. The Friday after is free, so we had a long weekend which we could use for a trip.
During my trip to England for Graduation, a lot of the interns already made plans for Thanksgiving and booked trips, so that especially all the girls had certain plans when I came back. In the end, I went down to New Orleans with 7 guys. Just to give you an idea about the distance between Philly and New Orleans: The trip by car is 1960 km.One way.
We started around 3.30pm from Siemens and after half an hour drive, Alex realised that he forgot his passport which is for most of the nightlcubs the only acceptable way to identify ourselves here in the US. After we picked up the passport, we finally on the tour. The other was about 1,5 hours in front of us but we decided anyway to make our way down there seperately. On the way, we made funny jokes that I am the only girl in the car and that if we or one of the guys during the trip ends up in a critical situation I could help with the charme of a lady. As we wanted to go down straight to New Orleans, we changed drivers every few hours. I was driving from 1.30am in the night until 6.30am in the morning, mainly through Virginia, on the deserted highways in the middle of nowhere, just surrounded by woods and no other car in sight in front or behind of us...The guys were sleeping and our GPS was telling me to go ariound 160 miles (approx. 257 km) straight. Funny enough it was me driving, when suddenly out of nothing the partylights of a police car flashed behind me. With one glimpse on my speed display, I already knew why he stopped me... So I had to pull on the side of the highway and wait for him to come to my car. Actually now it was myself I had to get out of the situation. The guys woke up and I told them that we gonna add the costs of a speed ticket (between $100 and $200, depending on the speed) to the cost calcualtion of our trip ;-)
When the officer came to my window, he asked me: "May I ask, young lady, why you are such in a hurry this early morning at 2.30am?" (I thought that was a funny was to get in a speed conversation). I told him from where we came and where we wanted to go. He told me that he catched me with 20 miles (32km/h) more than the limit and asked for my driver's license. When it came to hand him my license, I tried to make an experiment. I asked him in the best way: "Officer, I have a German license and the International license. Do you need to see both or just the international?" (bling, bling. bling...;-) He answered: "Oh you are from Germany? I have been there and worked there for a while. In Hanau. Do you know it?" He got so excited and at that point I knew already that I won and would not get a ticket. In the end I had to promise him to slow down ("the deer here are soo dangerous, you know?!") and he reminded me: "Please remember, this is not the German Autobahn"! Oh, it was soooooooo funny! I loved this officer! The rest of the trip was ok, no incidences at all.

We arrived finally in New Orleans at our hotel at 11 am, so it was a 19,5 hour drive in total.
After checking in and parking the car, we met the other 4 guys who arrived 2 hours earlier for lunch. Full and tired we all decided to have a little nap and relaxing before going out in the evening. Back in our hotel, we slept around 2 hours until Alvaro started to rush around (we 4 shared one room). He had found the swimming pool!!!5 minutes later, we were all splashing around and enjoying ourselves in the pool with view of the skyscrapers of New Orleans.
The other 4 guys got dinner in their hostel, so Phillipp, Alvaro, Alex and me went out for dinner and we ended up with a typical New Orleans dish: Jambalaya. It is a Louisianan Creole dish of Spanish and French influence.
Later on we met the other guys to explore the party scene. New Orleans is famous to be the cradle of Jazz and for its various music styles. The main party street is on Bourbon Street. One bar and club after the other. The have all the doors open, a lot live bands are playing and very interesting in comparision to other states in the US: You can drink on the streets. Because of that all the people hang around in the street and chat. It gives you a real feeling of summer holidays.
In addition, there are no entry fees for entering a bar or a night club, so you can hop from bar to bar. You all can probably imagine that we had a hilarious first night!!!!
The next day started late after sleeping in and a round in the pool. Together with the 'hostel group', we had our breaky around 2.30pm...After that, we were strong enough to discover the city.

This second evening brought a bit of surprise, when we entered Bourbon Street again. Poldi got to know that every 2nd weekend, it is the big party weekend in New Orleans. Everyone from the region is heading down to the City. I tell you: The streets were packed! And furthermore what was a new experience to me: On that night, there were approx. 99% black people around. No white at all. We really felt like the minority. That was an interesting but also weird feeling. It was so interesting to see all the different people and some of them really fit in the stereotype which are promoted from all the Hip Hop and R'n'B clips.
For the next morning, the other group decided to sleep longer because of the long car ride but we left our hotel at 11am, brought our luggage to the car and explored the French Quarter by foot which is also famous for New Orleans.

After 2 hours we were all really hungry but we also used the stroll around the Quarter to walk to one of the famous restaurants for fried chicken in town. Even though I am not a big fan of fried meat, I have to admit that this one was really good. And the portions were huge!!!We could not even finish it, so we had some left-over for the ride.

The weather was really nice, so we explored the French Market after and took a break at the waterfront, looking at the Mississippi steam boats and relaxing. After that we went towards the city center and there was break dance group of 4 black people, entertaining a huge crowd. We watched their artisitics for a while and had a coffee before we actually started our trip home around 6 pm.
This time we took less and shorter breaks so that we only spent 17,5 hours on the return trip. Very tired but full of experiences, we arrived at Malvern before noon. We were so lucky that we didn't have any traffic jam at all, not on our way down, nor on the way back, even though every American warned us that we gonna be stuck in traffic for hours because of the Thanksgiving weekend. You might declare us as crazy, to go down on such a long distance trip for only 4 days but guys, I tell you, such a road trip is so funny and this is such a unique experience, I can recommend to do at least once in a lifetime!

Watch all the pics on my digital photoalbum:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Philly Marathon

As mentioned before, I went home from New York only for the Philly Marathon. As I was witness of Julien's (my roomie) training for the marathon for the past 4 months, I promised him once that I will come to see him running the marathon.

So again, around 7am in the morning, my alarm was ringing. I execrated Julien for a second because the Marathon started at 7am. But Julien was not the only one who was particpating...
Mona and Tim were running the 8km run and Anni even managed to run the half-marathon. Therefore I had enough reason to raise. Miguel and me met at the train station and went to Philly.
Once we arrived, we followed the running track for while until we realised that it was still 20 miles to the finish....As a consequence, we took a shortcut to the finish and waited for the Mona, Tim and Anni. Anni just finished 10 minutes before we arrived. So altogether, we sat together at the podium and waited for Julien to arrivel. It took him a bit longer than he wanted too because he had to walk in between for a while but then he showed up!

(it is the little man in the blue shirt and the sunnies behind the one in the yellow shirt on the left side:-) I was so proud of him!!! But just a few yards before the finish line he got cramps and stopped. All of rose and we were encouraging him, shouting at him and motivating to go on. Finally, we all run together with towards the finish and so he run his first marathon in 4 hours. I was soooo proud of him! And the atmosphere was great!
Also, another friend of him showed up and together, we went to a nice little bar after he recovered to have breaky/lunch and to celebrate his achievement.

For more pictures, visit my digital photoalbum:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New York with Tyra: Iceskating at the Rockefeller Center

On Saturday morning I had to get up early. Tyra and me wanted to meet in New Year. My ride to New York takes about 1,5 hours. As we are not allowed to drive into New York with our rental cars, I parked it for free in Jersey City and took the PATH (train) into the City. As I had no traffic and Tyra was also lucky with Greyhound bus on time, we met almost on time. Before we made our way to the Rockefeller Center, we took a cab to Jörg's appartement, a friend of Tyra where we left some of our bags.
Then it was time to for Iceskating!!!!Tyra and me saw it in so many movies, so both of us wanted to do it once in a lifetime. We got our tickets and iceskaters and off we went on the ice for 2 hours.

It was soooo cool!!! And in addition we were witnesses how someone proposed to his girlsfriend in the middle of the ice rink!!!That was soooo cute and everyone started to cheer and applause.
The rest of the afternoon we spent strolling up and down 5th Avenue and doing some window shopping. Tyra also showed me Grand Central Station.
Our plan for dinner was meeting Jörg and eating out in a Mexican restaurant. It was very delicious and we had a good time together. Jörg invited us to a party of one of his friends but unfortunately I had to return to Philly this night. The reason for that was the Philly Marathon the next morning. My housemate Julien was running the Maraton and I promised him to come.

Watch more pictures on my digital photoalbum:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Simon's & Bene's farewell party - Bad taste!

With so many interns around in this community, we have someone leaving more or less every month. This time unfortunately we had to say good bye to Simon and Bene, two guys I had a great time with and I will really miss them here! The good thing about our farewell ceremony is that it is always related to a party which takes away the sadness of a farewell and turns it into fun for all us. The party is the last statement before you leave and you always want to remember the good time here! Simon and Bene chose a very funny theme for their celebration which allowed a lot of creativity and craziness :-)

Everyone tried to find the most ugly clothes to wear or just simply combine clothes in a very odd way.

You can see all the funny results on my digital photoalbum:

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Graduation - Back to the UK!

November has started and within came my Graduation week. As this is a once in a lifetime experience, I had decided before to return to Southampton to receive my Graduation certificate.
My roomie Lalo gave me a ride to the airport on November 3. Even though there are a lot delays at Philly airport, my plane took off on time. That was very important for me as I had a really tight schedule at my arrival.
I arrived in London Heathrow on time and surprinsingly no long queues at the immigration and also customs let me pass without problems. So I was actually able to catch one coach earlier down to Soton which allowed me to have a bit more time before the whole ceremony started.
Before we could enter the Guildhall, we had to get dresses in the sports hall of the university and pick up the tickets. Then I was so happy to meet my Mum, my Granny and my Granddad. It was such a nice feeling after 3 months! When my Granny saw me in that Graduation dress, she was so proud that she started to cry. That was sooooo cute!

Well then we made our way to the Guildhall and met all our fellow students from last year! That was sooo cool!
The Graduation ceremony lasted about 2 hours and was very well organised. Everyone actually entered the stage on his/her own by called by their name to shake hands with the chancellor of the uni and then receive the certificate.

After the Ceremony, it was picture time at the stairs. The moment we all waited soooo long for actually was there:

In the evening I went out with my family for dinner. It was not only my Graduation dinner but also the dinner with them as they left the next day for Germany.
The follwing days Charlie and me stayed with the best hosts on planet: Ali and Abba!! More or less every night was another party and on Saturday we went to London for shopping ( well niot for me as I buy everything half price here;-)
On Monday finally I made my home to the US because I had to work the next day and I could not take any more days off.

Even though it was a quite stressful trip, I have to say it was all worth it! To see all the people again was wonderful, the feeling of being a Graduate now and celebrating it was gross and seeing my family gave me some good comfort as well. But what we also experienced in these 6 days: Even though we knew the city, the ways and the locations by heart, we didn't feel home here anymore. We realised that this chapter of life is over and the new one had already begun....:-)

But when I came back to the Siemens office for work on Tuesday, I had a surprise waiting for me: My whole organised a huge cake (of course with a lot of icing:-( and two ballons with a card to congratulate me for the Gradution!

That was soooo nice of them and I was speechless! One of the ballons is enduring quite long so I kept on my desk as a memory.

Watch more pics on my digital photoalbum:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween - finally!!!

Well, finally after all this pumpkin carving and freaky trips Halloween was coming up. The weeks before I was trying to think about a scary costume which is not a witch, a vampire, a skeleton or a devil...Kind of lost and without any clue, I was talking to all the Americans around to get an inspiration. And then I learned something interesting that would probably surprise most of the European people who consider Halloween as a scary event with freaky costumes. But this is not really the case. I learned that girls first of all should dress sexy, no matter what. Second, Halloween is taken as an opportunity to dress in costumes, so it is not really important to dress "halloweenish". After this new insight, guess how I ended up??? I went as a Spanish Flamenco dancer...

The whole Siemens intern community was invited to Andrew's house party. Andrew is an American intern with Siemens. Before we went to the party, Miri and Miguel came over to my house as we girls promised Miguel to turn him into the 'Joker'. That was great fun and we were really proud of the outcome:

If you would like to get an idea about all the costumes, check out my digital photoalbum:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Six Flags - Safari Park & Rollercoaster

After that relaxing Saturday afternoon at home with the Pumpking carving event, the alarm threw me out of bed on Sunday morning at 6.30am. "Why the heck", I asked myself,"am I doing this on a Sunday morning???" But I have to admit after this adventurous day, it was all worth it.
We were 8 people, cruising down to Jackson, New Jersey. Our destination was "Six Flags" which offers a Safari Park and also a theme park with a lot of different rollercoaster. We first decided to ride through the Safari park until the theme park would open. Guys, it has been a long time ago that I went to such a Safari Park so it was great to do it again!
We saw all kind animals from all over the world but definitely the funniest part was the section with the giraffes. They were luring their heads into the cars when the windows were open and licked the roof and the windows or just blocked the car. It was unbelievable to watch it and we laughed so much!

After more than 1 hour of Safari, we finally entered the theme park. The weather was brilliant, no cloud, just sunshine, perfect for such a day. The most important action before we went on the first rollercoaster was to pick up and activate our "Fast Pass".

It is a little device which allows you to enter the attractions via the fast lane therefore you don't have to queue for hours. Believe me, the price for it was all worth it. For many of the rollercoaster the queuing time was between 2 and 3 hours!!!

The attractions of this park are simple to describe: rollercoaster of all kinds and variations. Thanks to our Fast Pass, Bene, Miri, Miguel and me were riding the "Nitro" 5 times in a row because there was no waiting for the Fast Pass lane. No wonder that we felt pretty dizzy afterwards...

This park holds also the fastest and highest rollercoaster on Earth at the moment: "Kingda Ka" Absolutely crazy how they boost you up from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds and catapulting you 45 stories into the sky. The way up is far worse than down! And you will get the best out of it when you jump in front seat of the vehicle...

Trust me: Your ears, cheeks and eyebrows start to shake when you go up...I cannot describe that feeling, you have to do it!

We had a pretty long day but even though we left the park around 10pm just shortly before it closed, so we got the most out of it. Absolutely knackered after the 1,5 hours drive home, we arrived at home at around 12pm. Pretty exhausting day but I don't regret any minute!

Watch more pics on my digital photoalbum:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Halloween is almost there...All the scary trips have been made, so what is missing apart from getting a Halloween costume? Correct: Pumpkin carving!:DD
On that rainy Saturday afternoon, the 5 girls came to my house, all excited to carve a pumpkin the first time in our lifes...All but one: Gillian, one of the domestic interns with Siemens who is joining us for lunch and coffee breaks at work. As she is American and we came across that pumpkin topic a few weeks before Halloween, she volunteered to help and show us how to prepare the pumpkins.

We all had nice, large pumpkins and after cutting out the lid and removing all that disgusting, spiderweb-like inside stuffing and the seeds, we started to draw the fancy faces on the pumpkin.

Some more successful, me less...
:-/ I don't know where all my drawing skills went but they left me behind that day...So I ended up by carving out the little, friendly ghost, while the others were working on their more sophisticated art.

But this allowed me to cook the pumpkin soup while they were still working.

And Gillian? Apart from giving tips and instructions, she did a great job, removing the seeds from the net and baked them in the oven. A very delicious crunchy snack!

We all had great fun with that new experience and I think that all of us will remember that day once we will carve another pumpkin in our life.

Watch more pics on my digital photoalbum:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Haunted Hayride

As the time draws closer to Halloween, all the haunted and freaky attractions come more and more in the focus. :crazy: After I already visited and survived the haunted prison in Philadelphia, I decided it is time for another haunted trip. Petra, Lalo, Bene, Julien and me drove down in the middle of nowhere to get scared. I cannot even remember the name...
This attractions consisted of 3 different areas: The Bates Motel, the haunted Corn Maze and the ride on the trailer torn through the dark forrest by a tractor.

Even though I had been to a similar attraction already, it was still scary again for me again and I was screaming, jumping around and pinching the guys in the arms all the time. The difference here to the haunted prison in Philly was that the actors actually really touched you and were holding you back, tearing your hair or locking you in a small closet which happened to Bene and me. We wanted to avoid to pass that scary, freaky guy who was crawling around on the floor and decided to take a short cut out of the room...But of course, the door in front of us and behind us slammed shut the second we entered. We were suddenly trapped in that closet and the guy started to reach after us through the fence. The most horrible moment was when suddenly something from the ceiling crawled down and was starting to rush around our hair and pinching us in the shoulders....We didn't see this girl before hanging on the ceiling...The others we standing outside and were entertained by us freaking out(or me...freaking out). After a few more moments, they released us from that torture and we continued to walk through the rest of the house.

That was definitely extremely scary! But also the walk through the Corn Maze and the Hayride held some exciting moments!

More pictures on:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rehoboth Beach - October, 16-18, 2009

Finally it knocked on the door: Our long expected weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. We rented a huge beach house right at the waterfront which hosted around 30 people.

This house is just unbelievalable huge: 14 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a seperate pool room, a huge main area and th emost important: the heated Jacuzzi on the roof with a huge terrasse.

Many of the interns stopped working on that Friday very early to make their 2,5 hour trip down to the coast. As I was leaving Malvern as one of the last persons together with Petra and Miguel, we arrived straight when the party started. All was set and people were sticking together for card games, Godzilla (an electronical version of Tabu, more or less), Jenga, Wii or simply just talking.

We had a few new interns around who arrived just a few days ago, so that was a good chance to get to know them. You can tell that we had a lot of guys around because the first Keg was empty at 1am. That was more or less the time when we decided to check out the heated Jacuzzi. What a brilliant idea!:DD It was so much fun, in the middle of the night and once the Jazucci started to cool down a little bit, we reheated.

No wonder that some of us stayed several hours in there, climbing out with fishy skin. This night ended around 5 or 6am for me, after we decorated one of our fellow interns with hot dog and cucumber slices...

The Saturday started with a healthy breaky and after watching an extremely funny movie (Eurotrip) that Bene brought, Mona, Miri, Dominik, Miguel and me made our way out into that nasty weather...Our destination was the huge outlet store just down the road. Of course we entered the A&F and the Hollister store as it was still cheaper than in the normal shops. Unbelievable! In the end, everyone was carrying around several bags with a happy smile:-)

Back at the house, we found people playing Monopoly or Playstation or just hanging around. Sooner or later everyone had dinner and we all started to warm for the 2nd party night. Some people didn't make it that long as they were tired from the first night. But of course the Jacuzzi was opened and heated again...After that we played a few rounds of Mario Kart on the Wii, before I fell into my bed at 6.30am in the morning.:yawn: The sunday morning started at 12 for me and after a nice breaky with the whole crowd, Petra, Anni and me decided to explore the beach even though the rough weather conditions.

It had been raining and it was pretty windy all weekend but fortunately on that Sunday afternoon, at least the rain stopped.

We had to leave the house at 5pm, so after we packed and cleaned up, Petra, Miguel and me made our way home.
It was a funny and interesting weekend and I kept up with the less sleep the week after. Watch the best pictures on my digital photoalbum: