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The last few Weeks in West Hartford

August 24th, 2010 Posted in Unser Amerika

Before we actually took off into our next adventure, there were a lot of parties to celebrate and a lot of lasts to attend. Not all of them were about us, but somehow they felt like good byes for Augustin and me.

Last English Class before fall 2010 – Potluck Dinner with both classes of the TIU:


The girls from class: standing from left Elena, Jutta, Sevil, Brenda, sitting from left Lin, Rosa and Yulia.


Half of Sevil, (the other half is even prettier) and Brenda, our language guide through thick and thin…. But that’s not all. She is friend and mother and sister and buddy and highly educated idol, all in one person.


The Bobs: they say “Evil always comes in three”… Well?


This is Brenda’s Bob, excuse the possesive-‘s, Bob! He is a flag expert (see further down) and is basically controlled by “Her Majesty the Queen” aka cat. Behind this forehead you will find a 35 volume encyclopedia, but also a lot of humour and thoughtfulness.


Bob Vocelli. He is a league of his own, and not a little league! He mastered each and every question of his students, however silly (the question, not the student!). Mastering the art of finding examples and metaphores and saving us all from getting into deep sh…, aaaahm trouble, by using those false friends. And although he loved to pick on me, well, maybe because he picked me to pick on, he is a gentleman.

I promise to stop learning any more English immediately, can’t be as much fun as at the TIU!!!

Another Last was our BBQ invitation at Paul and Christine Izzo’s.

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Augustin kangarooing Luke. By the way: the parents were present and all parties involved (in spite of Augustin) agreed to the game.

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I never thought that anybody would buy those ridiculous snuggies, but Christine manages to surprise me every time! And she looked absolutely cosy in it.

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After getting tired of being kangarood by Augustin, Luke started to terrorize Stephanie. She was unexhaustable! Josè had a hard time to get Stephanie’s attention that night…


I met her too late. Stella, a great source of adjectives, good laughs, sarcasm and intelligence.


And last not least, our host, wizard of the BBQ, Paul Izzo, colleague AND friend.

Thanks for a fun night!!!

My former German student Joan invited us down to Noank for a wonderful day by the sea.

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Joan’s house is incredibly charming, and her garden is a little paradise.

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But Augustin found his favorite spot in front of the house immediately. Never saw a wisteria like that!


This is Joan’s watchdog Phoebe, she’s a real cutie.

To give those of you, who still have the chance to see Noank, an idea, here are some impressions:

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Thanks, Joan, for a day in an American city without Dunkin Donuts, Mac Donalds and huge shopping malls. What a relaxing experience!

Raquel, who is a friend of my German students Mindy and Clarence and also organizes the monthly German Lunch at the Hartford Town and County Club, also had us over for a gorgeous dinner. And presents!


Raquel, who shares some Munich experience with us and is an amazing host.


Johanna, who came to the US a long time ago, but still speaks accent free German. And Mindy, my Mindy.


Oh Raquel, you shouldn’t have bought anything. But I did! Ok, I’ll take them…

What a wonderful summer night that was!

Some of us go back… This time it was Sevil, who startled us with a pretty surprising return to Istanbul. But there is always time for at least coffee and some cookies, right?

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Best wishes, Sevil!!!

Somewhere between finding a house in Munich, the soccer world cup and our move I tried to sell some of my old clothes.

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For some reason, my best customer lived right across the street. Didn’t know that Kara has a thing for old, sorry, vintage things 😉

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Instead of earning money, I served coffee. Probably a little hint of fate, careerwise?

I mentioned the soccer world cup, right? Well, there was Rasmus’ birthday AND the final, so his cake had to wait until the game was over…

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When all soccer dreams were over, the party started. And we learned that kids and water are a perfect match. Who needs all this sophisticated electronic stuff, if there is a kiddy pool and some kids?

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Well, a pinata can’t hurt either…

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And then there were presents…


and a cake…


Great party untli the wee hours of the morning…

If one lives near Hartford, a visit to the Mark Twain House is almos inevitable. I say almost, because we almost didn’t make it. But at last I convinced Augustin that it would be a crying shame, not to have seen it. So, one sunny Sunday…

The more than eccentric author Mark Twain one day decided to set up living in Hartford and designed a house for him and the family.

It is not allowed to take any pictures inside, but if you want to find out more, go to

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Incredible, what you got for 40 grand at that time!


Mark Twain’s life in Quilt…


…and he himself in Lego.

Don’t miss the shop when you visit! His autobiography is great stuff to read. This man saw it all and still kept his humour!

Another last: last time for me to be Mindy’s guest at the Hartford Town and County Club.

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I met a number of really interesting, inspiring and intelligent people here. Thanks for having me, Mindy! I always felt special at your side!

Mindy and Clarence also had us over for a great dinner. For some reason I only took pictures of Max, but that will do, because he is obviously the most handsome dog in the whole wide world. And he loves everybody unconditionally. Now tell me, where would you find that again?

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After we actually had become homeless, Brenda and Bob cooked for us. Oh Brenda, once again the corn recipe please! I forgot it…

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I mentioned Bob’s flag enthusiasm, didn’t I?

And certainly, we said good bye to all of our friends with a decent farewell party. Or so I was told… I didn’t get a lot of it, because I was busy telling everybody about our schedule, which route we would take on our cross country trip and where we would live in Munich. But what I do remember was a lot of fancy food, great gifts, moving speeches and a whole lotta love!

(Pictures courtesy of Stefan Morgenstern)

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After almost everybody had gone home, Rick sat by the fire with us. We seriously tried to solve the world’s problems that night and might have been successful, if there hadn’t been some skunks in the yard, who managed to drive us all into our beds.

The next morning, well late morning, I stumbled downstairs to prepare some coffee and found that somebody had cleaned up everything. Kara and Anni, you are my heroes!

Thanks to all who made this farewell party a success. We had the perfect summer night and will never forget it!

So these were our last few weeks in Connecticut. Three years rushed by in the wink of an eye. And now a new era will start for us. Let us take a last look at some things, which will always remind me of the last three years:

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