Happy New Year from Stuttgart!

Happy New Year!

This poor, neglected blog. It hasn’t been touched, visited or even thought of (it’s true) since my last post about Christmas markets!

Since then, well, life has been a bit of a whirlwind. My mom and I enjoyed 10 packed days of Christmas markets, with a side trip to Rome thrown in, and then less than two weeks (and a couple of days spent in sick quarters) later, John and I were off to the States. As it always does, the Christmas season flew by.

BUT! There was a grand finale before officially closing out the season, which was not taking down our Christmas tree that is still in the living room. It’s potted, so I believe I can get away with it for a little while longer! No, the big closeout to our holiday season was spending New Years Eve in Europe for the first (but hopefully not last) time ever.

I had high expectations, and little knowledge of what to expect. I knew all-night fireworks were to be expected and that downtown Stuttgart was a free-for-all, fireworks-wise. Bring your own, because everyone else does! Every local supermarket sells fireworks from 29 – 31 December. While it’s illegal on post, it’s perfectly acceptable to set them off while not on post!

I clearly had to buy some for John and I!

I clearly had to buy some for John and I!

I’m not sure what I expected, but we arrived in downtown Stuttgart at around 10:30 p.m., and the fireworks were already in full effect! It was a sight – exactly what I imagined either a war zone or a USA protest to look like, except more safe and less scary!

How we were greeted immediately off the train!

How we were greeted immediately off the train!

I honestly can say that I was so happy we went down there. It was INSANE and something I will surely never experience in the states. Never once did I feel unsafe. Sure, there were some morons who would launch a “popper” (not sure of the correct name) into the crowd, but no one was bothered and there were no fights. Again, I can’t ever imagine this kind of organized, understood chaos in the states. Someone would surely get offended and start a fight. Even with fireworks going off everywhere I never, ever felt like I needed to leave. Everyone was friendly and having a good time!

About to join the masses by lighting and throwing my first firework!

About to join the masses by lighting and throwing my first firework!

Getting ready for 2015!

Getting ready for 2015!

Our friend Craig joined us on the Schlossplatz!

Our friend Craig joined us on the Schlossplatz!

John at midnight...the fireworks masked by the smoke!

John at midnight…the fireworks masked by the smoke!

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!

Being honest, I was a little apprehensive about cutting my time in the states short, but it was definitely worth it to say that I have experienced at least one New Years in Europe. If you ever get the chance, don’t miss out. Everyone is happy, the fireworks are crazy and like most new experiences I have had over here, I spent most of the time looking around in wonder and at least once pinched myself for being so lucky to get the opportunity to be here.

The night was marred a bit when I left my wallet in the cab we took home, but all’s well that ends well – the taxi driver returned it home to me with all of the cards and money inside two days later.

Oh Germany, I love you. And I can’t wait for 2015. I know it will be full of more fun adventures! 🙂

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