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The Best Kind of Coffee Dates



Do you have a friend that will always be one of your best friends regardless of how much you actually see each other? You know like the High School friend that you used to give your parents hell with? You could hangout everyday and never get bored. Attached at the hip. That’s my friend Emily. We grew up in the same small town and we did everything together. Then college came and life became a whole new level of busy for the both of us. Our everyday hanging out turned into seeing each other a couple times a year, usually for a quick coffee date. I was doing everything in my power to balance basketball and school and she was studying her heart out to get her biology degree with aquatic science concentration.. little nerd is going to be a badass scientist.. It's okay though, after college we’d see each more! Yeah wrong.. she got an internship in Alabama and I landed myself in Germany to continue my basketball career.


I loved our random coffee dates but they were few and far between. Whenever we finally had chunks of free time, we typically didn't spend it back in our hometown. At least for me, if I didn't have any school basketball obligations, I was planning a trip somewhere. So since we were both never home, we decided it only made sense to start planning our coffee dates else where. I mean what better way to catch up with one of your best friends than over a cup of coffee in a new city?? We’ve now seen more of each other in the last five years in different states and different countries than in the state of Wisconsin.


Each trip was spontaneous and usually began with me (being the planner I am) texting her something like this...

“Hey, how are you?? Miss you SO much.. Hope all is well!!! Want to grab coffee next month? At Starbucks?? Like the first ever Starbuck in Seattle? :-)”

Some of our adventures include…

  • Las Vegas NV - where we got kicked out of every building owned by Ceasers Palace (ya, that's almost the entire strip of Vegas hehe), fake IDs don’t go as far in Vegas as they do in Green Bay. Live and learn kids.

  • Seattle WA - where we both took in our first WNBA game and slept in a lookout tower in the mountains and woke up to the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen

  • Short Sand Beach OR - where attempted to surf and made the beach our bed for the night

  • Salem OR - where we experienced complete darkness at 11am thanks to being in the line of a full solar eclipse

  • Boulder CO - where we learned what a longboard was and how terrible we were on them

  • Victoria, Canada - where we got a taste of Somersby - my favorite drink of all time

  • Bad Homburg, Germany - where I got to be a tour guide in my new home and where we both fell in love with German Christmas Markets.

** Pictures from the past adventures can be found on my Facebook page!



"IT'S BOOKED, SEE YOU SOON!!"




My favorite text. It was again a very spontaneous trip, as I had just moved to Germany at the end of October but that didn’t stop us from looking at our schedules and planning a visit. She had just got accepted into LSU, where she will continue school and get a Masters Degree! With this program starting in the spring, she found herself with a few weeks of freedom before having to pack up all her belongings and move to Louisiana. Much like myself, she likes to use all moments of her down time wisely. So soon she found herself with a ticket to Germany.


This past week was one of the more special trips we have done together. Mostly because I got an opportunity to share my everyday life with her. She was able to meet Rhein family, who I am living with and got to experience the German culture by being completely immersed in it. One night over dinner we were being tested on our German pronunciations. I butchered every word that was tossed in my direction and she would follow me up with a seamlessly pronounced German word. Except for squirrel. We waved the surrender flag.

Squirrel = Eichhörnchen

**Squirrel is apparently the mother load of German words and quite comical to try and pronounce.. Like c’mon.. That’s just too much for a furry little animal.


Christmas Markets


According to Google, Cologne is home to one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets. With it only being 2.5 hours away, we decided to jump on a bus and see for ourselves. Google proved to be very accurate. The markets were absolutely beautiful. Lights everywhere and the whole city was filled with a Christmas feeling. This was the first Christmas Market for both of us and it did not disappoint. Back home, I get giddy for farmer's markets. They’re great; fresh foods, live music, homemade crafts, exc. So now imagine a farmers market back home and then imagine Buddy the Elf got ahold of. That’s the Christmas Markets in Germany. They are filled with Christmas decorations and lights EVERYWHERE. It’s hard to walk through one without smiling ear to ear.


Food, food, and more food

We again were able to use our good friend Google to see all the MUST try food/drink when going to a Christmas Market. It can be difficult walking around and seeing signs like Reibekuchen & Kartoffelpuffer and expecting to know it means hash browns.


Our Menu:

Brezel (Pretzel)

Champignons (Mushrooms)

Wurst (being from Wisconsin I could decipher this one… BRATS)

Fruchtspieße (fruit skewer dipped in chocolate)

Dresdner Handbrot- (Hot pocket x 23769576)

Schaumkuss (I don’t even know but it’s a delicious marshmellowy dessert)

Glühwein (Popular hot wine)


We ate more foods that first day in Cologne than I probably ate the whole beginning of the week.. Okay not really.. but we felt the need to try everything on the list. It’s not like the Christmas Markets carry a light cuisine either. Breads, meats, and chocolate everywhere.


My take away from our menu.. I loved the mushrooms.. Hot, cold, red, white, doesn't matter wine is always good.. And there's no such thing as being full.


We went to more markets during the week, continuing to try new foods and take in the Christmas spirit. (I LOVE CHRISTMAS) Each market had its own personality and feel. It was nice being able to explore the markets and my area with someone from back home. I’ve done a lot of exploring by myself because I find myself with a lot of down time and well it’s quite obviously I enjoy exploring. Don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy exploring by myself but it is nice to be able to share the beauty of nature or a city with one of my best friends. The ooos and the ahhhs can be expressed instead of just having the inner appreciation. It was also nice to have a fan in the stands for one of my games. That's been a big adjustment for me. I was always spoiled with having my family and friends at almost all of my games.



The week flew by. I hadn’t seen Emily in over a year and instead of just having one coffee date over Christmas; we got seven. One every morning, over some of the best coffee one could receive from home. (Seriously, this coffee machine is heaven) We got to travel around Germany together. There were times when we would stop and look at each other and be like “We are in Germany” and just smile because it was actually hard to fathom the fact we were wandering Germany together. We added another adventure to our friendship and I can’t wait to see where we grab our next cup of coffee.



-Laken




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lakenjames03@gmail.com
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