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After a great trip home to Wisconsin and a week of getting over jet lag, with a little taxes thrown in (actually, a lot of taxes–my, was that complicated, tedious, and time-consuming this year!), I’m here to give you a full report on my wonderful Easter weekend.

With Jordan being gone at Paris Roubaix, it was shaping up to be another girls weekend with me and Willow passing the time hiking in the forest, painting our nails, and napping on the couch (okay, Willow doesn’t actually paint her nails, and I don’t nap on the couch – much), but my point is, it was going to be a low-key weekend.  I was very tempted by an invitation to attend the race with Jordan, but I just couldn’t bear to watch with one of my favorite cyclists sidelined with a 4-part fracture in his collar bone. (Actually, logistics just didn’t work out this time; I’d love to see this race in person some day.)

Well, low-key schmoe-key.  I was excited to receive an invitation to a traditional eastern European Easter celebration hosted by good friends of mine who live in the neighborhood.  So, we gathered on Sunday afternoon in the company of great friends and were treated to a wonderful celebration.

Colored eggs, beautiful flowers, and you can’t forget the traditional vodka-soaked gummy bears ;)

There were dyed Easter eggs, delicious cheeses, lamb soup with bitter herbs, mashed potatoes (my favorite!), lamb shank, salmon jello, and more.

It seems likes the biggest difference in an “Eastern European” Easter is serving lamb instead of ham.

The meal was capped off with 3 delicious desserts–I managed to have 2 of them before my stomach held up the white flag.

One of the desserts was a traditional Romanian sweetbread, as one of the hosts is from Romania.

It was one of those days where you come for lunch (or linner/lupper?) and just keep eating until dinner.  I feel full just thinking about it, but the food was great, and it was so nice to be in the company of new friends.

Even Willow got some lamb–I know, dogs aren’t supposed to have raw bones, but I watched her and took it away when all the meat was gone.

It turns out today (Easter Monday), is a bigger holiday here than Good Friday.  It seems that it is more common for people to have a day off from work on Easter Monday than Good Friday.  There is a tradition called Klibberen that is celebrated on Easter Monday where children use ceramic bird whistles called “Péckvillchen” to  harken the church bells back from Rome, where they have gathered for Easter.  Thus, in the City Center, vendors set up booths to sell Péckvillchen whistles.  Willow and I walked down to check it out.  We ended up going a little crazy on the whistles, so my immediate family members should be forewarned that next time I see you, you will be getting a Péckvillchen. :)

Péckvillchen – bird whistles.

I hope everyone reading also had a wonderful Easter weekend.