Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year

Okay so a lot has happened in the two months since my last post.  I don't really even know where to start....

For the past two weeks we have been on Winter Break but tomorrow it is back to school.  Last week I went to Austria to ski with my school.  It was so tiring but also really fun.  We left on Monday afternoon and drove the whole night, for 14 hours.  We got to the ski resort at about 8 in the morning, had breakfast, and then it was time to start skiing.  Every day there were lessons for 2 hours in the morning, from 10-12 and then in the afternoon from 2-4.  I was first put in the beginner group with people from my school but was then demoted to an even more beginner group of mostly adults that I didn't know.  One advantage was that the lessons were in English because my teacher was Swedish.   For the first three days we stayed completely on the bunny hills practicing our technique and stuff.  The last day we took the lift up really high and skiied down a huge hill, it took us like 1.5 hours to get down!  Skiing was difficult but I was definitely starting to get it by the end.  The weather for the first two days was really warm!  The sun was shining and it was just really beautiful.  Then it started snowing the third day which made it harder to ski and harder to see.  The last day the temperature was -8 degrees Celcius!  That was really cold.
I loved taking the big lift up to the top of the mountain for lunch.  It was a ten minute ride or so and the views were beautiful.  At the top of the lift was a restaurant and of course a hill to ski down.  The lunches were pretty good, they had spaghetti, pasta, hotdogs, soups, salads.....  I tried a different thing every day.
I shared a room with my exchange friends Makayla (from the U.S.) and Annlaug (from Norway).  That was really fun, we stayed up late talking every night. 
We got back from the ski trip on the morning of New Years Eve.  I was so tired that I took a nap before the evening begun.  After that we made olie ballen (a type of pastry with raisins and apples) and apple benjes (also a pastry with apples). A bunch of neighbors came over and we had a nice little gathering in the barn.  After that it was 7 or so and we still had quite a few hours until the new year.  We ate dinner and then I played wii and other games with Stella and some of her friends.  At midnight we could see fireworks going off outside our window.  Then we went outside and set off our own "kid" fireworks.  (the sticks that sparkle.)  It was a nice way to bring in the new year.
Monday I went to Oestengeest with Stella to visit some family I have here in the Netherlands.  It is my mom's cousin, his wife and their two kids.  The trip was really fun.  Monday we went on a walk to see a little bit of the forest and their city.  Then I watched a movie (Matilda) with the kids.  The next day we went to Den Haag.  It was a really nice city but the weather was terrible.  It was raining the whole day and the wind was really strong!  We saw the Escher museum and a panorama painting which were both really neat.  We also walked around a little.  It was fun to see all of the buildings, they were really old and pretty. 
Thursday I went ice skating (inside) with my friend Tonhon (from Thailand).  It was fun, I have been a couple other times so it didn't take me that long to get back into it.  Tonhon had never been before so he had a little bit more trouble. 
There is a lot more I could say and tell about but I am tired of writing for now... hopefully it won't take me another two months to write again :)


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