"Down here at Cape Spartel is the celebrated cave of Hercules, where the hero took refuge when he was vanquished and driven out of the Tangier country. It is full of inscriptions in the dead languages, which fact makes me think Hercules could not have traveled much, else he would not have kept a journal."

-"The Innocents Abroad," Mark Twain

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Holiday Season Has Begun! (Part One)

Yes, I am aware that it has been almost a month since I last posted.

No, I don't have a very good excuse, other than I have not had much time at home.

SO, to make up for lost time, I'm not really sure what I should do.
If you're as busy as kind-of I have been, you're not going to want to sit here and read one excessively long blog post that is almost the length of one of those NY Times political articles. I have decided to break this into two posts with some highlights, and hopefully, you'll have the time to get to at least one of them.

Since I last posted, I have gone hiking with my host family (alas, not in Germany this time, but still stunning):

We celebrated Thanksgiving! (I hope yours went well, and your Black Friday shopping successful.) I made sweet potato casserole, which my family has never had before, as they have never had sweet potatoes! They absolutely loved it, especially with the pineapple and pecans. We are going to make baked sweet potatoes sometime, as well, so that my family can see how they taste without all of the added flavors. My mom and I made the pumpkin pie and brownies together on Thursday. On Friday, we actually celebrated, as the Austrians do not have school/work off on Thanksgiving Day itself and I come home late on Thursdays. We were able to find a turkey (not common here for anything other than Christmas), and had green beans, corn, and corn bread (brought by one of the people who came to celebrate with us).

Here are some random pictures I have managed to take throughout this past month:
Along the Salzach

Christmas decorations beginning to go up in my town...
(they are finished now)

And decorations in Salzburg!

Sorry about the quality of this (it was taken from the bus window), but I just wanted to show you how thick the frost is here! This was late morning, and it looked like snow.

MORE frost...
Just regarding the weather here in general:
*apparently, it is not common for this area to be so beautiful; we have had the lowest level of precipitation in about 150 years!
*other than the brief bit of snow back in September, there has not been any more
*we alternate between warmer days and absolutely freezing temperatures!

More coming soon!
mary beth

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