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FOUR MONTHS, zusammengefasst

It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve written on here, but I will not apologize for this absence. Frankly, my dears, I have been having a damn good time and couldn’t be bothered with updating! No offense, or anything, but life is for living, is it not?

The weather has been INSANE and beautiful as of late. Today, it got up to 33 degrees Celsius!

(91 degrees Fahrenheit, I know you were wondering.)

(91 degrees Fahrenheit, I know you were wondering.)

It’s June, time is almost up here in the great D-Land of my heart, but the past few months have not been wasted, and the coming 24 days shall not be, either.

Since we last spoke, I’ve had many things happen, but I will only detail a few of them here.

I went to Berlin and met up with the OU Salzburg group! ‘Twas a delight, truly, and I think I showed them a bit of what Army Chelsea of 2011 was like on all those group excursions. At a time in my life, I was, indeed, a badass.

Bernie & Marianne came to visit in Leipzig! That was pretty sweet, they shared their intimate knowledge of our collective city and I got to find some hidden gems that I’d not yet stumbled upon. Shout out to Substanz, the most delishhhh place in Reudnitz, probably (possibly).

I had the beautiful privilege of visiting my roommate Vanessa in her hometown, Wittenburg! Saw that 95 Theses door, hellooooo Martin Luther! HISTORY COMES TO LIFE SOMETIMES, GUYS.

At times more literally than others.

At times more literally than others.

Another pastime of mine became what I’m now referring to in my head as STADTWALKS, just long, often aimless walks around Leipzig for hours at a time. I’ve come upon some pretty cool things. One day I took a train out to a tiny village 15 minutes away from Leipzig and decided to walk all the way back to my house, a trek that Google maps correctly estimated to be 4 and a half hours. Why would I do this, you might ask, why on earth would I do this!? Well friends, out in the tiny town of Beucha, one finds a truly delightful sight.



THIS IS THE BERGKIRCHE BEUCHA! So pretty. So so pretty. I couldn’t deal I almost lost my shit marbles.

On the way walking back from Beucha, I got yelled at by a scary German farmer man for taking a picture of his crumbling barn. He chased me down the street and wouldn’t believe that my intentions were anything but malicious, and told me that you just can’t DO that, this isn’t AMERICA after all.


I explored the Sächsische Schweiz! I was treated to homemade, traditional cuisine at my lovely mentor teacher’s house! I went back to Salzburg! Because I love Salzburg. And I can’t not be in Salzburg for very long, apparently.

Stiegl for life.

Stiegl for life.

Luke was here! We went to the zoo! Kat was here! We went to Berlin! Maddy was here! We stayed out until six in the morning really enjoyed catching up!

Goth Week came and went, Leipzig filled up with the darkest of souls for a long weekend and oh my, so many heimliche pictures were taken. I sort of wish that was what Leipzig was like ALL the time, like 1/3 of the city just always walked around in period Victorian wear with dog leashes around their necks, painted from head to toe as a skeleton.

What a world, you guys.

What a world, you guys.

And now, we are in the throws of Stadtfest, what has been a wonderful week-long celebration of Leipzig’s 1000th birthday.

That’s right. ONE THOUSANDTH BIRTHDAY. Leipzig has been around for ONE. THOUSAND. YEARS. Take a moment and try to fathom that, because seriously, you cannot.

The coming days of June promise to be warm, sunny, and delightful. WHO CAN SAY what is yet to come, but I’m going to Berlin tomorrow (again) with Layla and Nathan (not again), so that’s already a good sign.

Perhaps I’ll update you on that trip once it happens, and perhaps not. Holding a grudge is a sign of weakness,


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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.




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This Post is Basically Just About Food

So I concede, it’s been quite a while since I’ve last detailed the intricacies of my absolutely fascinating life on the internet for all (Mom) to see. Please excuse me, but like, really guys. I’ve been a little busy, you know, doing totally cool stuff and being a badass.

Just to clarify.

Well, a lot has happened since, what, November? Things like Christmas and my 24th birthday and the apocalypse I joined a gym. These are just a few examples.

All of December here was truly amazing, as you might expect. If you remember correctly, December is the time of CHRISTMAS here in the Vaterland. Weihnachten, that is. And Christmas markets. I cannot tell you how much I love the Weihnachtsmärkte. It’s probably my favorite thing about being in this country– for a month in what might otherwise be a dreary time, weather-wise, you can almost certainly be brought into a sort of fairy-tale like world of delicious food stuffs, lights, singing, overpriced handicrafts and, oh you thought I’d forgotten, Glühwein.


Ahh, Glühwein. That most sultry and cinnamony of winter-time beverages.

I do declare that from here on out, never a Christmas season shall pass that I do not sip on this most delectable of treats. As per the usual, I made sure to bring some along to my Christmas festivities at home, because yes, once again, I was most warmly welcomed back into Ohio for two beautiful weeks of family and friends and far too much alcohol.

It was great being home, as one might think. I have a tendency to forget that being around people you’ve known for years and years is pretty cool, and I like that my time spent away (so much time) has allowed me that perspective. Here’s to keeping that idea fresh and fancy forever (we’d hope).

Returning to Leipzig was bittersweet, of course. I’d come to really be used to a steadily stocked fridge and the cozy comfortableness of having absolutely nothing to do all day. Yet I was happy to get back here, see my beautiful roommates, hand out the few little things I’d brought back from my time in the crazy place that is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (exotisch), and begin preparations for what would be the day that marked my 24th year of life.

For my birthday, I decided we’d cook fajitas.

Fajitas? You might ask. But Chelsea, really, fajitas? Didn’t you just return from America, the magical land that allowed you to eat Mexican food for six straight days in a row while you were home?

Yes, I’d answer. Yes, I did, but get ahold of yourselves. There is no such thing as too much Mexican food.

So! The effort began to bring the delight of fajitas to Germany. It’s not exactly an easy task, since what Germans lack in the Mexican food department they make up in, basically, just sausages. We toiled and shopped and spent a while at the grocery store, but eventually emerged with appropriate supplies. I made guacamole, we had some sort of strange taco-seasoning to add to the mix (in the hopes that it’d impart some of that flavor food around here sometimes seems to be missing), and a whole lot of peppers. Cause fajitas means peppers.

This is not a picture of the fajitas we made.

This is not a picture of the fajitas we made.

And lo– we did it! Fajitas were created. I managed to even find some black beans, cause I love black beans, though they were drenched in some strange chili sauce so I washed them off and they were actually pretty good. Gotta buy me some more of those, mental note. I was pleased, not only by the fajitas, but by the three different kinds of sangria I also purchased as a taste-test to go along with the meal (Spanish/Mexican/whatever, it worked).

Muy bien!

The week after my birthday, dear Eva, my roommate, celebrated hers. We threw a big ol’ party on that Thursday that we got sponsored (??? still confused) and therefore had like 6 cases of free beers and a bunch of free Bacardi to offer our guests. Pretty fly. Good times had by all, and the following day, I departed for a grand adventure to my most favorite of European locations…

If you've ever met me, you  know how stupid happy this sight would make me.

If you’ve ever met me, you know how stupid happy this sight would make me.

Salzburg! My homie Bernie just got there a few weeks ago for his last semester of college, so I traveled on down, aboard a bus, mind you, and spent the weekend in my European hometown. I love getting to continue visiting that place. I made so many of my best friends there.

To top it all off, we got to spend the day in Maria Alm, a little village surrounded by Alps (that were obscured entirely by some kinda wonderful snowstorm) just a few hours away from Salzburg, with my former German professors and their crazy cute adorable bilingual children. And we went to lunch with them at this wonderful little restaurant place named after a Farmer’s Cabinet (no time to explain, the dog’s on fire!) and I ate some Käsespätzle and my life was complete.

You guys, I almost couldn’t leave.

But then I did, because Leipzig, and I reminded myself that I love it here too, in different ways and for different reasons. I got back here at like 5 AM on last Tuesday morning and I was so happy to see that Hauptbahnhof, you guys– this place is fabulous.

Also, while in Salzburg, Bernie and I made the important discovery that my target audience for everything I write/do/say lately is really American people (or people who have a vast familiarity with Americanness) who speak/study German. So, if nothing I write/do/say comes off as funny to you, that’s not my fault. It’s all on you, for refusing to partake in the joy that is the German language.

See like it's your own fault if you don't get that.

See like it’s your own fault if you don’t get that. YOUR SCHULD. Sorry.

Since then, life’s been sailing along pretty smoothly still. Friday night I went with Kim and Vanessa to a party thrown by the university’s sport-department. The theme was Fasching, aka Karneval, aka German Halloween, and I dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood (or Rotkäppchen, if you wanna be authentic) in a cape I sewed myself, out of a 2 Euro red fleece blanket (bargain, eh Madre?), along with a little wicker basket I used to hold my purse.

That was, shall I say, preeeetty fun. Just affirming my belief that Leipzig belongs on the list right next to Salzburg of Chelsea’s Favorite Places on this Earth.

I also finished my graduate school applications! 9 schools, all submitted, almost late just in the nick of time. Just all send out positive thoughts that I don’t suck so much that I can’t even get into one of them. Oh god oh god, why did I even just put that out there.

Oh, and yeah, I joined a gym. Crazy stuff, but shut up. I’ve got a wedding to be in this summer, and I better be lookin’ damn good. No more Schnitzel hips for me, kids.

Dude I've been fighting you for like four years. GET OUT.

Dude I’ve been fighting you for like four years. GET OUT.

We’ll see. Cause really, sometimes that stuff is kind of delicious.


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Herbstferien, the triumphs and tribulations

A week of Herbstferien has already passed us by, and I’m just now finding time to update the world on my life here in Germanland. Hello, all. What’s new? Did you get a haircut? Lookin’ sharp, my friend, real sharp.

Since last speaking, plenty of really important interesting things have obviously happened in my life that you deserve to know all about. But… I don’t know, I just don’t really feel like telling you about everything. Sorry, guys. Disappointing, I know.

I’ll cover a few highlights…

Most importantly:

I went to Oktoberfest

And check out my authentic "German Folk Man" costume!

And check out my authentic “German Folk Man” costume!

That is RIGHT, my little friends. The real deal, real German, real Bavarian, real beer-soaked Oktoberfest. And, to be fair, the above picture is not actually mine, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t see similar things all throughout the day that I was there.

Eh, what the hell. I saw some things like THIS:

Our new friend, the old man with the loose lips, ahem-hem.

Our new friend, the old man with the loose lips, ahem-hem.

Annnnnd… THIS:

When we finally made it into a beer tent, having come thiiiis close to selling ourselves for entrance.

When we finally made it into a beer tent, having come thiiiis close to selling ourselves for entrance.

But for real, though.

It’s damn hard getting into those tents. We never bothered to make a reservation and only managed to get inside toward the end of the night, when people were already drunkenly staggering out and occasionally clearing some tables.

We met a LOT of Italians, a few Spaniards, and ate a ton of fatty southern German foods. It was magical. A beer cost 10 Euro, kinda crazy, but when you put into perspective that you’re getting a whole liter, it makes it a little more okay.

At the end of the night, I was ready to unzip my dirndl and let my beer belly fly free. Which is exactly what I did. Them dirndls really do you a favor while marathon drinking all day.

We're actually all 300 pounds or more.

We’re actually all 300 pounds or more.

But oh no, that’s not all!

Along with this trip down south to Munich and beer heaven, Ashley and I got to visit/stay with our good ladies in Salzburg. Maddy kindly hosted us in her humble home and Natascha, ever a charming hostess, got us wasted and made us dance until five in the morning. Good times, galz.

Our walk home. YOLO, right?  Right?

Our walk home. YOLO, right?

Ignore me.

Anyway, since returning to the North, I’ve been having  a pretty good time as well. I had a bit of a freak-out moment when, for some unknown reason, my debit card was frozen by Chase for “suspicious activity,” thanks to me taking money out of my account in Austria. WAY TO NOT TAKE NOTICE OF MY TRAVEL ALERT, GUYS. Ugh.

However, that’s fixed, and, best of all:


Finally. ENDLICH. There is now money in my German bank account. I didn’t open it for nothin’.

Girl be rollin' in them Euros.

Girl be rollin’ in them Euros.

To celebrate, I got myself some sweet deals in the Fußgängerzone yesterday, cause all the clothes I brought with me suck and clearly I have a shopping problem (don’t worry, Mom, I didn’t go crazy) (according to some).

But, yeah. Basically I’ve been having a ball during Herbstferien (fall break, for those of you who haven’t caught on yet). I’ve gone out a few times (with my roommate, with student teachers at school), have eaten some nice foods (Alice and Paul, here’s lookin’ at you), and even found myself partaking in an age-old German tradition of watching crime shows on a Sunday night.

Almost Tatort.

Almost Tatort.

I’ve still got a week left before school’s back in session, and with a few more Euros in my pocket than before, I’ve plans galore to fill my time.

Who’s excited, this girl’s excited!

Until next time, internet.



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Erdbeer Fields Forever: Rostock, and other tales

This is me, right now, in a photo I’m calling “Chelsea, Who Is Bored.”

I'm also wearing what I've decided to call my "German Power Outfit."

I’m also wearing what I’ve decided to call my “German Power Outfit.” Note the large infinity scarf.

So, what better to do than write a blog post? Surely this will help alleviate the tedium of my day between the hours of 2 and 8 PM.

Luckily, it’s not all just the daily grind here in Deutschland. I had a fabulous weekend in Rostock! Visiting my dear friend and fellow ETA Ashley, as well as the other ETAs posted up in that North of all Northern cities (not counting anything in Schleswig-Holstein, of course).

I spent a lovely three nights and four days in the good German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, something I’m sure no one has ever heard of, but we’re gonna roll with it, because it’s real. For some reason, I’d heard less-than-positive things about Rostock from people here in Oldenburg, though I now can’t imagine why. It was an absolutely lovely place.

Though not quite this bright and sunny, it being mid-September, and all (damn, time flies).

Though not quite this bright and sunny, it being mid-September, and all (damn, time flies).

Not to mention the myriad of attractions surrounding the place! Not only did I get to enjoy the various ethnic restaurants and communist ice cream shops that line the streets of Rostock, oh, no. I also had the pleasure of visiting this place:



Karls Erlebnisdorf/Erdbeerhof! A MAGICAL WORLD OF FRUIT AND WONDER. I ate cake! Went through a corn maze! Slid down a giant slide! Spent way too much money on strawberry-related souvenirs!

The best part: The Probier-Bar. Free samples of strawberry wine, blueberry wine, cherry wine, sea-buckthorn wine (huh?), plum wine! AND– the kicker, free samples of various house-made liquors! Drop a coin in the little metal bank and SAMPLE, my friends, SAMPLE. It’s supposed to be 50 cents, but we figured as long as a metallic clanging sound was heard, it was all okay.

Speaking of strawberry souvenirs, these are now in my possession:

Red wine for KINGS.QUEENS).

Red wine for KINGS.

And! The Erlebnishof also houses the world’s largest collection of porcelain coffee pots! Guinness Book of World Records Certified! So, there’s that.

If you weren’t sure, I love this place. It is absurd and whimsical and delicious.

Another magnificent Ausflug made during the weekend was the jaunt up to Warnemünde, a beachy-resorty-touristy-town a bit more north and on the Baltic Sea. It wasn’t exactly “beach-weather,” but we had a nice time walking around, eating fish-type-foods, and drinking beers in the sand (and sand in our beers).

Best moment: Old German man walks up to our group and asks if we’ve been in the water yet. Like sane people, we say no, and recommend that he also avoid the freezing waves of death just a few yards away. As we start walking back toward the town, we turn and observe said old man stripping down to his underwear and galloping into the water, all while his wife and daughter look on and take pictures. He got in all the way to his chest, spent a little time doing whatever-the-hell one does in a frigid sea, and retreated to the safety of shore amidst our applause. His family was so delighted by the showing of support from confused onlookers that our efforts are now forever documented in their vacation photos.

And don't forget the harsh winds. YOU CAN'T FORGET THE WINDS.

And don’t forget the harsh winds. YOU CAN’T FORGET THE WINDS.

I had a great time, and I’m looking forward to visiting those Northern Peoples again some time. If for no other reason than I’m bound to run out of this strawberry wine by tomorrow over the coming months.

I made it back to Oldenburg safe and sound in the wee hours of Monday morning and have been enjoying being home after such a hectic few days. Ate some Nordsee with Alice, bought some pants (10 Euro– sweet deal!) and am starting to begin to consider thinking about planning my trip to Salzburg and Oktoberfest in two weeks.

In closing, I leave you with these remarks.

  1. Rostock is a very nice place.
  2. No matter how many people think it’s “so capitalist of you (quote),” go to Karls Erlebnisdorf/Erdbeerhof and get your buzz on at the Probier-Bar.

You never know what awesome photo-ops will rise from such merriment.

Perhaps one probier too many.

Perhaps one probier too many.

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