This is gonna be a long one folks. hang on!One week. I only have 15.5 of those, and already, one has passed me by. I feel like I filled it with lots of fun stuff, and I have learned a lot (already, i know!), and there is so much more. here are random impressions and thoughts I've had all week.
1. I live in fairy-tale land. Literally. The forest is something straight out of a disney movie. You know how the wizened old owl sits in a knot in a tree? yeah, i thought those were pretend. wrong, they're real. COOL!
2. Where i live is called the Konigstuhl. In the english guidebooks they call it "fairytale paradise", and the path up from the schloss to my place is called the stairway to heaven. Seriously, i have a great life.
3. the forest is a lot like Oregon, but cleaner, and a little redder. it's prettier - i might be romanticizing, but it really is lovely. thick vines grow on the trees, not quite choking them but creeping up the trunks ever so maliciously. sorry, i have this love/hate relationship with ivy.
4. people drive crazy here. Dad would be in heaven. they actually do drive on the correct side of the road! except for buses; they drive wherever they want, and usually at whatever speed suits their desires. it's never dull coming down the mountain.
5. i am ridiculously happy to figure things out on my own. for instance, i was told to go grocery shopping at this one store. it's a little pricy. so, i found one that was cheaper, bigger, better stalked, and had friendlier staff. all. by. myself. i was proud.
6. it was more overwhelming than i thought; that being said, i didn't think it would be at all overwhelming. SO, it's not really that bad, just a little confusing sometimes. THANKFULLY, the people here are super-nice, and i have never felt scared or lost or anxious or anything like that.
7. my ward is super-duper awesome possum! i have already been adopted by an older couple that wants me to marry their son (who just graduated from west point). I'm not complaining. :)
8. the YSAs in my ward are so nice and welcoming. I was worried that things would be awkward, clique-ish, or dull. nope, nope, nope! The YSAs are fun, happy, silly, adventurous, intelligent, and kind. and so many more things - i have made new friends already, and i am so excited to get to know them better.
9. Today was my first day at a professional conference. Not to scare you all, but recently i have wondered if astronomy is my true calling in life... should i be a physicist? a cook? something else? is grad school even for me? after today, i know. It is astronomy. it is grad school. for.ev.er. nothing interests me like space does; nothing makes my every sense come alive like astronomy.
10. This morning i had a moment. You know those moments where everything is just so perfect, and you know life is right where it's supposed to be? yeah, it was one of those, and it was one of the best ones of my life. i was coming down the konigstuhl on the bus, and right as we turned a corner, dave struck my favorite chord of my favorite song, bright morning sunlight (my favorite light - yes, i have favorite lights) filled the bus, and i had a sweeping view of the Neckar valley with apple orchards on the hillside. beautiful, wonderful, amazing life.
11. say what you will about catholics, but they sure know how to build a cathedral. i walked into the one just off the main square, and my breath was literally taken away! stunning, beautiful, amazing. words are trite. if it's like this in heidelberg, i don't know how i'll stand italy! plus, it was in the renaissance style (maybe tipping into the baroque).... i'm going to be floored when i hit real baroque and roccoco (oh, heaven help me, roccoco....).
12. I need to figure out this stupid stuff with my bus pass. it's driving me nuts.
13. did i mention that i'm amazingly blessed? cause i am. so so so so so blessed. so blessed.
14. sister missionaries are so nice. i love them oodles. elders are so kind. they deserve chocolate.
15. I'm absolutely exhausted. happily so.