New Years Eve in Innsbruck!

New Years Eve is always an interesting holiday for me. Every once in a while it’s really fun. Some times it’s been horrendous (ask my comrade Brittnee Cooper about our New Years FIASCO 2 years ago), and many times it’s been rather boring or underwhelming.

As is also standard, I was scrambling to figure out some plans a couple days before. Luckily my dear friends in Innsbruck- Kate & Andy Hein and Erik Shoji (along with his girlfriend Sydney Yogi)- let me come crash their festivities!

Talking to Kate the night of the 30th about our plans, she noted that her and Syd are running a 5k through the city around 5pm on New Year Eve. Now, I’m no long distance runner, but getting some exercise in before throwing all caution to the wind that evening sounded like a decent idea so I said, “Count me in!” 3 minutes later I thought to myself, “What did I just get myself into.”

Downtown Innsbruck

Downtown Innsbruck

Anyways, I drove down to Innsbruck the morning of the 31st and met up with the Hein’s in the afternoon to do some errand running and grocery shopping for the evening. The race came around awfully quickly! We went into Old Town and met up with another couple we know- recently married Emilie (Stewart) and Stefan Menghin. The 5(.6k I later found out) was one of the COOLEST things I’ve ever done. First of all, I didn’t do half bad and didn’t die. Step 1, complete. But the race really was through the heart of Innsbruck, so we’re running past all the gorgeous buildings and then we run along the lightly lit water, and not to mention there’s mountains with some small, sporadic fireworks all around us. So neat, and something I’m going to remember for a long time.

Pre-race with the crew

Pre-race with the crew

We finished just over 35 minutes not too shabby for people that have not at all prepared for it! And then we proceeded to pop the first bottle of bubbly right away 🙂

We made it!

We made it!

Cheers to 2014!

Cheers to 2014!

We regrouped and began a wonderful feast/celebration at the Hein’s. I made some Skyline dip 😀 we had salad, apples and dip, and awesome homemade pizzas courtesy of Chef Andy. Around 11, we made our way through the crowds towards Old Town and the water for the countdown (we counted quite loudly in English) and watched a nice fireworks show. We then proceeded to have our own dance party away from the big stage and we sure did start 2014 rocking out.

Innsbruck

Innsbruck

Crazy  but fun out on the streets

Crazy but fun out on the streets

I stayed with Erik and Syd and we had a great lazy start to the new year. In fact the highlight of the day was starting a 1000 piece puzzle. Well, the puzzle was second to meeting up with Emilie and Stefan for some delicious coffees and cronuts! (That’s a cross between a croissant and doughnut, and they are unreal scrumptious).

We don't need someone to take the picture for us. Stefan can do it all (check the reflection)

We don’t need someone to take the picture for us. Stefan can do it all (check the reflection)

All in all, NYE 2013 turned out to be a ton of fun and totally exceeded my expectations 🙂 Here’s to a great 2014 filled with exceeding expectations!

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Day Tripper

We don’t get a ton of free time but I am trying extra hard to take advantage of it when it presents itself. So when we had a Sunday off, Tama and I decided to take a day trip down to Innsbruck, Austria to see a couple of our friends from the Men’s National Team who are playing there.

It takes between 2.5-3 hours to get there, so we started the drive off early. That was a great choice because we started it right with a FULL rainbow. The German countryside is something I I fell in love with at first site. We took backroads (don’t ask why) for the first half of the trip, and although it was a bit sketchy not knowing exactly where we were, it was BEAUTIFUL. The rising sun reflecting on dewy fields and rolling hills; there’s nothing like it.

Sidenote: driving on the autobahn is exciting! I like driving fast- don’t worry mom, not THAT fast- so driving without a limit and at my desired pace is great. I think I’m driving pretty quickly and then all of a sudden a car whips by you.

We ended up having such a nice time in Innsbruck. We met up with Erik Shojo and Andy Hein along with Erik’s visiting friend from college Jake and Andy’s wife Kate (I can’t leave out Andy and Kate’s lil’ dog Harry). We filled up on an all you can eat late brunch at Cafe Moustache, strolled around the city, then went to the ski jump area in the city to get a nice view and have a coffee. I was actually in Innsbruck 2 years prior visiting Ellie Regan (Blankenship at the time). It was fun seeing a city for a second time. It was as beautiful as I remember and this time it was warm being a nice fall day.

That evening, we all went over to Andy and Kate’s apartment to make a family dinner and watch some NFL football on their Slingbox.It turned out to be such a great time. Having an evening to relax, eat, drink, and feel so very American on a Sunday evening felt right.Unfortunately, the evening came too soon and Tama and I got back on the road to head back to Vilsbiburg. The trip was absolutely worth the drive and I’m looking forward to doing it more in the future!