Tag Archives: brother

España, muy bien, gatos y pantalones, por favor

In case you were curious as to what my post’s title is all about (no, I’m not crazy, yes, I’m very bad at Spanish)… I’m going to Spain! You might have guessed. But I’m going, like, really really soon.



Woaaaaah, you might say. When the hell did that happen? Well, my friends, it happened like, five days ago. I said to my pal Layla, “Hey, Layla– Barcelona?”

And then Layla was like, “You know what? Yeah, yeah I think so.”

And that’s the story of how Layla and I ended up traveling to Spain.

But really though, it’s not much more in-depth than that. I’ve been really hoping to go to Spain ever since last year, when it seemed like everyone I knew in Germany had either 1) already been or 2) somehow already finalized plans for a trip without me. I KNOW, RIGHT? I got over it, but I thought my hopes and dreams of attaining Spain were far off, drifting even farther, away from me… Until one night, when I got so preoccupied by the idea that I posted on Facebook and Layla was all “SPAIN INDEED.”

And, to be as prepared as I possibly can me, I’ve just suddenly had a brilliant idea of how to spend the next hour or so of my life. It makes complete sense, in order to become aware of the ins and outs of Barcelona, that I proceed to watch the Cheetah Girls movie, the one where they hit up Spain and sing and dance all around the city (thank you very much NETTTTFLIXXXX, holla).



And seriously, I am gonna mean it.

I am so excited though. 5 days in Barcelona, what a beautiful way to spend my break from school. Oh joy! And then, if you wanna really get into the details, I’m pretty pretty pretty positive I’ll be in Berlin almost immediately after that reuniting with some cool kids and cool cats, like Bernie and Luke and Professor Nik and Babz and all those Salzburg kiddos I met down in Österreich a few weeks ago.


I’ve got some cool Barcelona recommendations from cool people like my brother, Colin, my home girls Ashley and Maria, my singing-as-talking partner, Paul… all is well, all is lookin’ good.

So, until next time, friends, when I tell you ALL ABOUT my magical time at the beach, eating tapas, drinking copious amounts of sangria, and basically just being a badass who can up and decide to head over to Barcelona a week ahead of time.




Leave a comment

Filed under Travel

Ireland is Green & More Astute Observations

Shocking developments as I join you, my dear readers, to report that I have been to Ireland and back, and I will never be the same.

I'm now living in this tower.

I’m now living in this tower.

Yes, that is correct: the Ireland trip has come and gone! Two nights in Dublin, a night in Westport, a day on Achill, two nights in Galway and another night in Dublin to finish it all off: Ireland was a treat. My expectations were high and that beautiful island delivered, my friends, it truly did.

First of all, it was amazing to see my family. My parents, my brother, my grandparents, Aunt Eileen, Rhiannon and Doug, too! We’ll count Doug as a bonus. Everyone flew into Dublin early Wednesday morning and I joined them later that afternoon, after a harrowing journey around approximately one city block for around an hour, attempting to find my dad and/or the hotel in the rain to boot. But I finally did find my family, shortly after young Colin joined us from his apartment somewhere in Dublin that no one ever saw (I do believe he’s living under a rainbow in the shade of a pot of gold…)

Anywho, we had two nights in Dublin, a magnificent start to our journey, in which we par-tayed har-day, like you do, visiting Temple Bar (naturally) and a few other locations that my brother’s become quite familiar with. It was nice having a tour guide in the family, and that most of his highlights were bars was an extra plus. While in Dublin, Doug and I became professional whiskey tasters.

Effectively adding one more superfluous credential to my resume.

Effectively adding one more superfluous credential to my resume.

I sure made the family proud.

After Dublin, it was off to Achill Island, a literal island off the west coast of Ireland where, in fact, my ancestors lived. And when I say “ancestors,” I don’t mean “we’re guessing and it was like 300 years ago so who really knows but how cute of us to visit” (well, I do, but!) — I mean my grandfather’s grandfather was born there! And then came to Cleveland! Because I guess that’s what people did!

It's real!

It’s real!

Achill Island was legitimately an indescribable experience. Our last name was originally spelled “Patten,” before my grandfather’s grandfather made his way to Ohio and it got changed somehow to “Patton,” and it was unbelievable the number of Pattens we were faced with just driving through the place for a few hours.

We stopped at a coffee shop shortly after crossing the bridge onto Achill Island and asked a barista for directions to the castle– in addition to telling us she knows “Pattens all over the island,” she unwittingly directed us to my favorite destination of perhaps the whole Ireland trip, Patten’s Bar, as well as a statue of Johnny Kilbane, a boxer from the early 1900s who I am also ACTUALLY related to (through the Kilbanes on my grandmother’s side). He’s her cousin! We also stopped at a graveyard along the way and I was astounded by the number of Pattens who stayed there well after my family had gone.

Can we move in any time?

Can we move in any time?

From Achill we went to Galway, where I strangely ran into a friend from Austria in a bar (die Welt ist ein Dorf– fo real, though). That was bundles of fun, and we also managed to squeeze another castle in there, too. Shout out to the poor souls that live in Bunratty, a lovely place with an unfortunate sounding name. Sadly, all good things come to an end and I returned to Germany while much of my family returned to Ohio.

But! A twist! My parents and grandparents came back to Germany with me and we all spent some time exploring Oldenburg et. al as well as Hamburg together, culminating in their departure earlier this morning. I was sad to see them go, but I’m stupidly excited to sleep in tomorrow.

And that, my sweet friends, is what happened. Another thing that happened is that I have almost literally zero Euros now, thanks to too many pints of Guinness and the bus ticket to Paris that I finally got around to buying today. Ooh la la!

If I do not come back to Germany exactly like this guy, it will not have been worth it.

If I do not come back to Germany exactly like this guy, it will not have been worth it.

For now, and the next few days, I will enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with it being Osterferien in Niedersachsen and all of my friends away traveling. I have a new hot water bottle to my name (I’ve been in this country too long) and a few shows to catch up with, so until Thursday (spoiler: Netherlands!), I’ll just be here, in my chair, eating Haribo.

Ahh, the life!

Leave a comment

Filed under Travel

November means Thanksgivingmas & Weihnachtsmärkte

WELL, hasn’t November just FLOWN by? Time really FLIES when you’re here in Deutschland. Especially when your social life really TAKES OFF, you know?

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's-- yeah, no, it's a plane.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s– yeah, no, it’s a plane.

I have made all these lame flight references to one end– I am officially going home for Christmas. How exciting! December 23rd to January 2nd, so I’ll be spending my 23rd birthday in Germanland but ringing in the new year Ohioside.

Hands down, the most exciting thing going on in my life right now is the ever-fabulous, month-long, magic-happening that is the WEIHNACHTSMARKT. For those of you that are unaware, the Weihnachtsmarkt is a great idea that Germans had to celebrate Christmas all damn month. And not even all December, but in November, too! The Christmas market in Oldenburg opened this Tuesday, and I’ve already collected enough Glühwein mugs to supply a small village with spiced wine goodness.



This zauberhaftes Fest features drinking, eating, and shopping– which basically is just a list of my three favorite things that this world has to offer. I’m pretty sure almost every German city/town has one, and it’s freakishly adorable to see. All these cute little traditional-looking stands are set up, winding through the streets of the Innenstadt, just peddling their wares as if we are in a medieval village that prospers through the sale of miniature Santa hats. It’s great. It’s amazing. It’s the best thing I’ve ever experienced. I plan on going every day.

But, let us backtrack a little, for the sake of continuity, and recount what else has happened in this month we call November. Hmm…

1) I went to Kiel and visited Harrison

Pretty cool time, didn’t see too much of Kiel the city, but left on Sunday morning with a feeling of exhaustion and just enough nausea to know that I’d had a pretty good time.

2) Finally met some of the other ETAs that live in Oldenburg

Shout-out to Ruth, my home girl, and Craig, who I already knew but who deserves a shout-out of his own.

3) Ashley came to visit (finally) and it was great

We ate great food (as per the usual), did some shopping (also typisch), went to a bar with beds inside, stayed out until 7 AM at some party that is apparently pretty well-known around here… so, you know, we’re pretty cool.

4) Finally got to help my Betreuungslehrerin with her “English group” of adorable 4 year old German girls

Super cute, super fun, I love children, the end.

5) Began my very on Projekt with the 7th graders that I love, in which they will all be writing their own fairytale and at the end, we will have a book 

SO excited, they are adorable, I can’t wait to read these stories.


In the same vein, for those that haven’t seen these on my Facebook already, I feel obligated to share a few quotes from some “If-Sentence Stories” written by some 8th graders at my school. Who doesn’t love a country where kids say the darndest things?

“If the older people had been more interested in kids, they would have got more sexual intercourse. If they have got more sexual intercourse, the population in America might have grown a lot.” 

– Jannik

“If Jimmy hadn’t gone to partys, he wouldn’t have gone home with a women. If Jimmy hadn’t gone home with a women, he wouldn’t have poison from the women. If Jimmy hadn’t poison from the women, he wouldn’t have died with only 27.”

– Klaus

“If she hadn’t lived next to Jack anymore, she wouldn’t have become pregnant of him. If she hadn’t been pregnant of him, she wouldn’t have a nice child. If she hadn’t have a nice child, she wouldn’t have braught him to kindergarten every day and met the kindergarten teacher, Paul. If she hadn’t met kindergarten teacher Paul, she wouldn’t have had a child from him now.”

– Florian

“If he wouldn’t been very happy about her excuse, he haven’t have kiss her a lot. If he haven’t kissed her a lot, she haven’t have get pregnant. If Caroline haven’t got pregnant, she haven’t have must abortion cause she didn’t love her boyfriend anymore.”

– Friederike

Right. Moving forward!

Now we are heading feet first into December, which promises to be great in and of itself. I do love this month, as Christmas is the BEST, I’ll be seeing my family and friends in a few weeks, which is pretty cool, Weihnachtsmarkt is open DAILY, school is going AWESOME, I’ve got more friends than I did just a few weeks ago, love my apartment, my roommates are great (thank god, there’s been a few horror stories floating around from other ETAs)… not to mention, after December comes January, which means my birthday, my brother Colin’s arrival in Europe, and my subsequent visit to Dublin… basically, everything is TIP TOP, guys. MINT, if we’re being British, apparently.

British slang = ???

British slang = ???

Oh, and also, Happy belated Thanksgiving from Germany, where Thanksgiving doesn’t exist and I just celebrated early Christmas instead, because that’s better, anyway. Though it was nice to Skype with the whole family, and I’m looking forward to seeing those fine people in real life in just a few weeks (man, have I been here that long already!?).



Drink Glühwein, be thankful.


Leave a comment

Filed under Travel