Weekend report: Christmas markets and board games

After a 2020 full of covid and a 2021 still full of covid but also of other mild to moderate family-related traumas, I had been looking forward to this weekend away with my Italy friend crew with much anticipation, and it did not disappoint. Unfortunately I skidded into Friday evening somewhat exhausted but satisfied after another overly full week of work and then a few hours trekking around Parma after work sourcing the perfect birthday items for my best friend. I plopped into bed on Friday evening wishing that I had a) some time to myself to just exist and regain energy before the weekend, b) enough time to catch up on sleep before leaving, and c) time to pack my weekend bag in a leisurely manner, but I had none of those things.

However, I managed to awake on Saturday reasonably well-rested, in enough time to pack decently well, and with my good mood and anticipation about the weekend fairly restored. From there, the weekend proceeded to be wonderful, including:

  • the Christmas market of Bolzano, complete with a pretzel and mustard (Christmas markets are traditionally German-ish, so in Italy they are usually accompanied by German-type food)
  • a lovely rented apartment – nice and new and tidy, complete with mini kitchen for a cozy dinner later, and a mini spa with a hot tub and sauna facilities
  • time in the mini spa, just chatting companionably with these good old friends I haven’t been able to spend nearly enough time with this year
  • a cozy dinner heated up by the aforementioned mini kitchen, and a joyful evening of SNL videos and board games
  • a good night’s sleep! despite being in an unfamiliar bed! Win!
  • a walk around the cute little town our rented apartment was located in, including an abandoned-looking manor house/castle situation
  • a bowl of delicious goulasch with canederli (canederli are a sort of bizarre traditional food of Trentino… I honestly don’t even know what’s in them; the best I can do to describe them is: a blob of carbs plopped into soup – see photo) that warmed us through at just the right moment (when we were feeling just about frozen through and peckish)
  • the Merano Christmas market – gorgeous

All in all, a wonderful start to the Christmas season! I can only hope it continues even a fraction as delightfully as this weekend did. Today after work I have grand plans to surprise the boyfriend with a Christmas tree and a cozy dinner, since I finish work well before he does.

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