Hello friends and family and people I miss! I know it’s been ages since I posted here.. I apologize for my lack of writing. The funny thing is, I already had this post written, and my sketchy Italian wifi managed to erase it… I pouted and didn’t rewrite it and so I’m finally getting off my butt to do just that! So… hello!
It’s been over a month since my last post (crap), and a lot has happened! When I wrote to you last, I was about a week in, hadn’t done much traveling, and was still totally terrified to talk to anyone other than my teammates. I’m now ~two months in, I’ve seen Mac and Kayla, been to Munich twice, Zurich, Hungary, and Austria a couple times too, and I’m sliiiightly less terrified to talk to waiters/etc. Growth, people!
So let’s start where I left off. The week of October 15th, I hopped on a bus to Munich to visit Kayla and Mac for a couple days. For those of you that don’t know, they were my linemates/best friends/roommates/sanity back in college. Now, they’re four hours away from me in Europe so life is pretty good. I managed not to miss my bus (because I was a full 45 minutes early..oops) and made it to Munich without a hitch! My phone stopped working as soon as I crossed the Italian border, which had me in a bit of a panic, but I found Kay and Mac really easily at the bus station, so no need to attempt any German.
After picking me up, we took a quick ride on public transportation to their place, dropped off my stuff, and wandered into Munich! Unlike me, Mac and Kay don’t live in a “suburb,” but rather right in the city! I got there in the early afternoon, and we wandered for a bit, had an AWESOME lunch (probably the best I’d had since in Europe):
Lunch in Munich
and went to a beer hall. I loved seeing the city, and it was nice to grab a beer with friends. I think that’s still my biggest “aw shucks” thing about being out here alone. I wish I had gone on this adventure with a friend from home, but at the same time I’m very proud that I’ve managed to stay sane in Italy on my own.. mixed feelings, and they change depending on the day. But safe to say, I was very happy for a reunion.
ANYWAYS (no more sappy stuff I swear) while we were at the beer hall, we ran into a group of people we had seen around the city earlier that day. To set the scene, imagine walking through an underground train station in Germany, and seeing a group of like 30 guys all wearing Ricky Gervais masks on the back of their heads. It was bizarre, and we laughed, but had to run to catch our train so we didn’t get to ask what on Earth they were doing. Cut to later that day, in the beer hall, and the Ricky Gervais gang wanders in, with more guys, and at a higher level of intoxication than we’d last seen them. They immediately became the loudest group in the place, and stood on tables, chanting, and chugging (strong!) German beer until we had to know what was going on.
I wandered over and asked a soberish looking man in a horrible tie what was happening. He pointed to his friend, a large man who was wearing soccer shorts and a jersey I can only assume were made for a small woman, and a bright red wig. He explained that they were from England, and they were in Munich to celebrate this guy’s stag (bachelor) party. Before we knew it, we were smashed on benches between drunk Englishmen, learning drinking games (if someone slipped a golfball in your stein, you had to finish it!) and getting free beer! It was hilarious to look around and just sort of absorb what was happening, but eventually we had to say goodbye to the group of 45 drunk men and move on.
Prost! to being reunited
After touring Munich for a bit, we went to one of the girls’ teammates apartments for dinner. Homemade pizza is so much better out here.. I seriously recommend it if you get the chance! We drank some more beers, told a couple embarrassing stories about college, and just had a very relaxed night. We went back to the apartment, and hit the hay. The next day, Kayla’s mom arrived for a visit! We were picked up in the am by the owner of Mac and Kayla’s team. We drove to the airport in this giant van (which the team uses to travel) and the speeds and partial deafness of our driver (I believe his name was Klaus? It’s been awhile.. ) made for an interesting wake up call. Ah, the autobahn in the morning! After a semi-emotional reunion with Jackie, we stopped for breakfast. No eggs and bacon here.. Weisswurst and a tall beer at 9:30am made for a strong start to the day.
One of the few pictures I actually took of Munich
We toured Munich and walked to the Olympic park, the BMW buildings, and dinner, and wandered back home for a movie night. The next morning I hopped on a bus back to Bolzano, and while I was sad to go, I was (and am) very grateful for the boost a quick visit with friends gave me.
After arriving back home in Bolzano, things went back to “normal.” I had hockey practice a few days a week, tried to stay up to date on things like dental school applications, and spent a lot of time walking around the city. While it was great to have so much free time, it got to be dangerous.. BZ is a city based largely on shopping, and I couldn’t afford to have too much free time! I signed up for an online biochemistry course, which I’m now spending a large part of my days on, and it’s given me something to focus on.
At the end of October, the team packed up for a weekend series in Budapest! I was very excited to cross another country off my list. We managed to win the one game in a shootout (which I scored in- finally!) and the second in overtime, earning 4 of 6 points on the weekend. We didn’t get to see a ton of Budapest, but it was very cool to be in yet another country in my first month here!
The rink in Budapest- the spikes on top lit up at night!
I also had a dental school interview at the end of the month. I was very excited, and lucky that the school allowed me to interview via skype. It was a learning experience, and while I’m sure many people can say they’ve interviewed for a position at a school, not all can say they’ve done it from an ice rink in Italy!
Ready to go in my last-minute interview suit
And that was October! I don’t want to make this post ridiculously long, so I’ll write one in the next few days for the start of November. I’m so sorry I’m behind- I’ll try to do better. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes this last weekend! They mean a lot. I’ve gotten better at keeping in touch. I’ve received letters from friends back home (Ohio’s mail system had issues finding Italy but that’s completely unsurprising) which I love. It can get a bit lonely now and then, but don’t worry guys- the local Irish pub serves beer AND they speak English. I’m coping 😉
A couple things to summarize:
-I was SO wrong when I thought bus rides were long in college
-You can be the strongest person in the world, but sometimes we all need a friend.
-Drunk English bachelor parties are awesome/hilarious
-Too many dad jokes about being “Hungary” for a win
-Interviews on skype are best when figure skating practice isn’t playing weird music in the background, and your interviewer asks (incredulously) if you’re listening to music while doing this
-Ohio’s mail system sucks
-I took things like peanut butter for granted
-I really love Bolzano
-But I still miss home
SIDE NOTE: Exciting news people, that I don’t know how many of you have heard/probably know- my little sister Natalie has committed to play hockey at the University of Connecticut! Unfortunately, the number 62 will stay in retirement, but I am so excited to see Snodgrass back on that jersey. I’m so proud of her accomplishments, and she’s the most deserving kid this could happen for. Glad to see that all of her hard work, and my amazing teaching skills, have all paid off. Can’t wait to have more of my records broken.. that’s what little sisters are for, right? #bleedblue
So – signing off from Italy, and hoping that everyone and everything is good back home,
Emily/Snoodles/Snods/anything else you weirdos call me