November was a slower moving month. We were not able to travel this month due to Tracy’s knee injury but we are planning a trip for December, so we have that to look forward to! Our team played 6 games this month, leaving for one off weekend.
Our first series was against Memmingen and both games went into a shootout, with us winning one and them winning the other one. Our second series was against the newest team to the league, Mannheim. Our scores against them were 12-0 and 11-0. Our third and final series this month was against Bergkamen and we won both of these games 2-0 and 2-1. I am truly enjoying playing for my team; everyone is very enthusiastic about doing very well this season! The ages on teams can range very widely from 15 year-olds to 30 year-olds, definitely something different than a college team where everyone is between the ages of 18-22 usually! This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the ERC Ingolstadt panthers being a club. In that honor, there was a gala held downtown that we attended. Even though the entire gala was being carried out in German, it was still a very cool event to be a part of even though we understood nothing! They had a huge ice bar – yes, a bar made completely out of ice – and ice sculptures on every table. This club has accomplished a lot between our men’s and women’s teams and I am honored to have a hand in the program growing even more!
The end of November means that Christmas is right around the corner. I am flying home back to Minnesota for Christmas on the 23rd and not flying back to Germany until the 4th of January. We only play one game in December and it is during the beginning of the month, which leaves us with a big break for the holidays. It is going to be awesome coming home for just under 2 weeks. Anyone that knows me knows that my first, second, and third stop is 100% going to be Chipotle. I am not even sure if they are still in business with me being gone and all … 🙂
With Christmas being right around the corner, the Christmas markets have begun to open up as well. I have heard so much about the Christmas markets not only in Germany, but around Europe as well. We went to the Ingolstadt Christmas market and it was gorgeous! They set up and entire outdoor ice rink for the public to use strung with lights, music playing, and holiday cheer everywhere! Christmas lights can put a smile on anyone’s face, hands down the best time of the year. The Christmas markets consist of a bunch of booths selling all sorts of trinkets, food, and hot winter drinks! One of the most popular Christmas/winter drinks here in Germany is called Glühwein. Glühwein is translated into English as mulled wine and is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star aniseed, citrus, sugar and at times vanilla pods. It is most often an alcoholic beverage (but doesn’t have to be) and is drank mit Schuss (with a shot), which means that rum or some other liquor has been added. Another drink we tried was called feuerzangenbowle. This is also a traditional German alcoholic drink where a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips into a mulled wine. It is often part of a Christmas or New Year’s Eve tradition. Both of these drinks were very tasty, and it’s always cool to try things that are native to the German culture.