I’m here already for 4 months. I have a lot of things to tell. So be ready for a long story. I wanted to update my blog earlier, but I didn’t have time to update it…
The USA is preparing for Christmas right now. The houses gets lights and a Christmas tree, and the radio stations start to have Christmas music, or they even change into a Christmas station. We didn’t have a lot of time so our Christmas tree is half done and we don’t have lights outside yet. Right now I’m on my way to St. Louis, Missouri so I have finally time to write my blog. One more week of school and then the winter break starts. Then I will have some more time I think! 🙂
So let’s start with this blog at Wednesday November 26th. Hannah and I went with Nicole and her sister to Mockingjay! 🙂 Hannah and I went right after practice to the cinema where we meet up with Nicole and her sister. Unfortunately I lost my hat at the cinema 🙁 (I don’t know why I took it..). I enjoyed the movie a lot. Now we have to wait for the next one again. Haha
Since I’ve been here I’ve been more times to the movie theater than I’ve been last year in the Netherlands. I went to three movies until now (in 4 months) and we’re still planning on going to the third Hobbit movie and probably Unbroken.
Then Thursday it was Thanksgiving day! This day we went to the parents of my hostmom to come together with some family. We ate turkey (of course), smashed potato, corn, stuffing and more. I don’t remember all the food exactly anymore. After we ate we just walked around in the neighborhood with some of the family. We ended up at a playground. Luke, Noah, Leah, Hannah, Micah and I stayed there and the others walked further. After a while at the playground we went back. (It was a fun playground haha)
My hostgrandparents were a few years ago in the Netherlands and showed me pictures of their visit. Here I recognized the church of the (small) town where I live. They were like 1 mile (1,6 km) from my house. I didn’t expect that, so it was fun to know they were in my town.
Friday was BLACK Friday. This means a lot of stores have big sales. At some stores it already started at Thursday so we went after our visit at the family to a store to get yarn. My hostmom will make slippers for me with that. 🙂 When we got home I was tired and I was ready to go to bed. But Leah and a friend went black Friday shopping and they asked if Hannah and I wanted to come. Of course I wanted to come. It is a new experience. So we went shopping. I didn’t buy much. Only one movie with Hannah because I said she had to see that movie (Pitch perfect, now we can go to the movie theater for the second one too :)) After getting late home we went fast to bed.
*fun fact: If you ask for slippers in The Netherlands you will get flip-flops. The translation is different. I first thought about flip-flops too instead of the slippers they mean here (pantoffels/sloffen).
Friday morning we had our alarm early and we went to world market. The first 100 visitors got a free Downtown Abby mug and we were one of the 10 first visitors so we got a mug too. I did buy 2 scarves at world market. I still needed a scarf because I didn’t take it with me from The Netherlands. The second scarf was for free. So now I have two! 🙂
After we came home Hannah and I watched the movie we just bought. Some friends of skating would come over but they came later than we expected. When they were there we played some games on the Wii and we went to Oak Brook Mall. I didn’t buy anything (even they had the awesome sales). After that we went to a pet store to get a mouse to feed to the snake (which was still at my room). The pet store didn’t have the mice I needed so we had to go to another store. Brandon and Ethan already went back to our house and Hannah, Michael, Jan-Eric and I went to the other pet store. Here they also had Christmas dog cookies which smelled like ginger cookies. So we bought them to give to Brandon and Ethan. Then we went to the store to get other cookies and then we went back. We put the Christmas dog cookies in the cookie box and got a lot of the real cookies out. Brandon picked a real cookie but Ethan picked the dog treat. We laughed a lot. Haha
Saturday we got out of bed early again because we had time trials for skating in Milwaukee. I skated 2 personal bests. On the 500 meter and on the 1000 meter. I didn’t skate long track meets in 3 years so it wasn’t really a surprise. After the time trials we went to a mall somewhere in Wisconsin. Jan-Eric drove with us so he came with us to the mall. Again, I didn’t buy a lot. I think I don’t need a lot of stuff now and I prefer save money then.
We bought our Christmas tree on Sunday. On Sunday we didn’t do much besides buying the tree I think. I have a little notebook which I use to write stuff in that I do so I can put it in my blog. But I forgot to take it. So I can’t check now.. I probably made some homework that day because school started Monday again after my week off.
This will be really long.. I didn’t tell about Minnesota and Sinterklaas yet. 😉 I hope you (still) enjoy reading this. 🙂
The school week was pretty normal. The only new thing is that I started doing track after school. So now I go after school to track practice and then I go home to do skating practice (one of the reasons why I don’t have a lot of time). I only went to track practice twice that week. Wednesday I went up to Milwaukee for skating practice and Thursday we left to Minnesota! 🙂 We did also bring the snake back on Thursday. I watched him during Thanksgiving break, I wrote more about the snake in my last blog.
So Thursday after school we left to Minnesota. I came home and I had like 45 minutes time to pack all my stuff. We left a little later than planned. But the trip to Minnesota was good. We went to Minnesota to do a skating meet (AM-cup longtrack). It was on an outside track and it was really nice. The first racing day was on Friday. We could sleep in because it started later. My hostmom woke Hannah and me up with a Sinterklaas song. Because it was December 5th. My family here knows the song ‘Sinterklaas kapoentje’. They learned at school when they were younger. On our first racing day we did the 500 meters and a 10 lap mass start. My 500 meters was pretty good. I wasn’t close to my personal best. But it is on an outside track, times are normally slower there. I started the mass start pretty good. But after 6 laps I got behind and my legs felt really bad. I only speed up with 2 laps to go so the others won’t pass me again. If I was a lap behind I wasn’t allowed to finish, and I wanted to finish. So with one lap to go I slowed down a little again and I did the last lap easy. After the racing day we went to Dano her house for a pasta party. Here was also someone who went with AFS to Switserland a while ago. It was pretty cool to meet him. I wore my AFS sweater, that’s why we started talking about AFS. 🙂 The world is small!!
Saturday was the second race day out of three. We had the 1000m and the 3k. The first 600 meters went really good with the 1000 meter. The last lap was really bad. I decided not to do the 3k because my legs were tired and I also had the 1500 meters the next day. I just made some pictures of races. After Hannah was done with the 3k we went to the hotel to change and shower real quick and then we went to Mall of America. The Mall was huge!! I think I only saw like 20% of the mall and it looked like a big part. In the middle of the Mall is an amusement park with rollercoasters. I didn’t go in a rollercoaster because I tough it could be bad for the next racing day. I also meet up with Mikey. He went last year with AFS to the Netherlands. He was the same weekend in Minnesota (really close to me) with school. We were at the same time at the mall! We were already planning on meeting up this weekend. This was a good time to meet up. I gave him some stuff that he will bring for me to my parents. He will go to the Netherlands in winter break. It was really nice to see him again! 🙂
Sunday was the last racing day. We had the 1500m and a team sprint. My 1500 meters went really good. The wind was blowing hard and I came really close to my personal best of a few years ago. Others skated like 10 seconds above their personal best. So I think I will do the 1500 meters on time trials soon. So I can set a new personal best. With the team sprint we had a team with 3 persons. Everyone is starting off and after 1 lap the first one stops and the second one (which was me) takes the lead and the 3rd lap the last person finishes. I made a little gap with the 3rd person and I found that out a little late. But we still did a good job. After that I took my camera again. Ethan had it to take pictures of my races and now I could start taking pictures again. I stayed on the ice for taking pictures. I think I have some pretty good ones. 🙂 I also made pictures of the rink from the ice.
After we were done and got all our stuff we left to Hayward, where the lake house of my hostfamily is. It is really pretty there. We didn’t stay there long.. We walked on the lake which was all frozen and we went out to eat pizza (BBQ chicken). In the evening we watched the movie ‘Elf’. I didn’t see it before, or I just don’t remember I saw it before, but it is a popular Christmas movie here. People where staring at me with open mouth when I said I didn’t see it before haha. So now I saw it! 🙂 The next morning Hannah and I made homework and we walked on the lake again. We left that day to go back to home. In the car we made some homework too. We didn’t have practice that day.
We did ‘pakjesavond’ on Tuesday. This is an evening where Sinterklaas brings presents. Sinterklaas did send the presents by mail and we had now time to open it. Luke and Noah came over too. Leah wasn’t able to come and Tessa is still in California (she will come home with Christmas. So then I can finally meet her! :)). Everyone was happy with the presents! I got the chocolate letter A, a disc with sinterklaas music, the book ‘The fault in our stars’, mix to make ‘kruitnoten’ and ‘amandelspijs’. It was a really nice evening. The dogs got a present too.
The next day (December 10th) was not fun for a couple of reasons. The first one is that my uncle past away exactly a year ago. So it is a sad memory on that day. Second I twisted my thumb during track practice. I still feel it and I hope it will get better soon. Then there is one more reason. One of the dogs of the hostfamily got killed by a coyote that night. My hostmom told it to me when she picked me up from school. I couldn’t image that it was true. When we came home it was really quiet.. (the dog always barked). So now it is quiet in house when we come home. I’m happy Tiara had an awesome last night (with her own Sinterklaas present). It is only really sad that it happened. I probably took one of her last pictures that night.. We will miss her.
Right now I’m in a hotel room in St. Louis with my hostmom. I paused writing the blog. We left this morning (Saturday December 13th) to St. Louis to see the place and to do the Hot Chocolate run (and get an awesome jacket). After we arrived Becky and I walked into St. Louis to pick up our goodiebag for tomorrow. After that we went to the City Museum. We knew there would be some playing areas. But later we found out it is a big playing area. Not really a museum. So we walked around and went of some slides. After we left there we went to the hotel. And there I started writing my blog further. So now I’m up to date. We can see the Arch from our hotel room. So that is pretty cool. 🙂
Tomorrow we will run the Hot Chocolate run and we will go into the Arch. I will tell about that in my next update. I hope that will be soon. I have winter break soon. So I will have some time I think. 🙂
Have a nice day everyone and Hi from St. Louis!! 🙂