Two families from Austria and Germany spent some days around the New Years Eve together…

We are Claudia from Lustenau / Austria and Silke from Leipzig / Germany. Both we are long time fans of Jackie’s and we are also members on the Kids Corner Forum, because also our kids Jessie, Luke and Maike are fans of Jackie. Although we live more than 580 km (~ 360 miles) apart from each other we became friends even across country borders. We often communicate via email, via phone and we already had meet each other in Venice in September 2006 to enjoy the world premiere of Rob-B-Hood together in the cinema with Jackie and we met again recently in October 2007 at a private fan gathering with fans from 4 countries in Claudia’s house.

A short time before Christmas we talked with each other about the possibility for another meeting. Only some time later we had an idea: Why not spending the New Years Eve together? It could become a great opportunity for much fun and also our families would get to know each other better. So we asked our families and after their agreement the plan was perfect!

On December 29th Silke and her family started by car towards south-west to Austria. After some traffic problems, because a huge number of people had just the same idea to drive to Austria, they arrived finally in Lustenau in the late afternoon. Claudia and her family gave them all a warm welcome.

The following hours were filled with chatting about Jackie, sharing memories from our last meeting as well as from our summer vacations in Hong Kong and Taiwan, looking at photos from Hong Kong and chatting again until the late night.....

December 30th 2007

Because Lustenau is also near to the country border to Switzerland with it’s wonderful landscapes, we all went together to a mountain area there, named Säntis. The way to the goal went through beautiful small cities and amazing surroundings – and all was covered with snow.
We reached the goal only after a nearly two hour ride by car and were impressed about the high of the mountain at the end of he small valley. Between the lower ground and the top of the Säntis there is a high difference of nearly 1200 meters. The only opportunity to go up to the top is by cable car. We hoped to have a great view above the whole area from there and that’s why we took the cable car upwards.

The view from the driving cable car downwards was very beautiful until we came into the clouds.

Unfortunately the top of the Säntis was also hidden in the clouds and so we saw only the ground in front of our feet – ha ha!

So we did enjoy a mug of tea and walked around the building to visit some exhibitions there.

After driving down again we decided to take a walk across the nearby forest. We took the sledges out of the cars and walked. It was a wonderful scenery like in a winter fairy tale.

After the half of the way we could even use the sledges. Especially the kids had much fun!

On the way back to Austria we discovered at the road side something really unexpected: an original Buddy Bear! Of course we immediately made a break and took some photos. Everyone of us was wondering, how this Buddy Bear had made it’s way to this place and why? Surely we will never get a solution to this question.

The evening continued with chatting about different themes and later we watched all together Rush Hour 3.

December 31st 2007

After buying some fireworks for the evening in a near shopping centre we went to a skiing area, only 20 minutes away from Claudia’s home. It’s name is Bödele and while our last meeting in October we also were been there. This time the whole place looked totally different because of the lots of snow there.

It was amazing and the view from there was so great! The only thing we had to deal with properly, was the deep snow. It wasn’t easy to walk through the snow, because it was as deep until the knees or even deeper.

To prepare the evening meal we all worked together: Martin (Claudia’s husband) and Claudia prepared the food for the hot-pot and Silke cut the fruits for the cold punch.

It looked (and tasted) very yummy, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile the girls Jessie and Maike tried some Karaoke.

Later we did enjoy the hot-pot

and the first glass of cold punch, but we also had some other plans. We wanted to spend the last minutes of the year in the inner city of Dornbirn. There was a huge party at the market place and for the time after midnight was a huge fireworks announced. So we entered the cars at 11 p.m. and drove the short way to Dornbirn, the next city to Lustenau. The athmosphere at the market place was great. The buildings around the market place were all decorated with nice bright lights. There was also music and the last minute they counted a count down. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008! The fireworks was really amazing and very beautiful, too!

After returning home the night was still not at it’s end. We had some karaoke, chatted again and Claudia and Silke also made a short look into the Kids Corner Forum to find out the news there.

It was around 4 o’clock in the morning, when the last one went to bed finally.

January 1st 2008

We had a really late breakfast, what almost turned into a lunch – ha ha. But the weather was too good to stay inside the house. The sun was shining and the first day of the new year did show it’s best side! So that’s why we took the sledgers into the cars and went again to the area of Bödele for sliding. It was so much fun!

The snow was totally right although it was quite cold. But we didn’t pay too much attention for that because we could drink hot tea there at a stand.

In the evening we all were invited by two brothers of Martin to a short New Years visit. We talked a lot, had much fun with our different dialects and Claudia and Silke told again, from where they knew each other. Of course we also talked about Jackie and Hong Kong. The time passed by too fast...

This evening all the family members went to bed not too late because Silke and her family had to return to Germany on the next morning. Only Claudia and Silke sat and chatted still a very long time until the late night – or better, the early morning - about her favourite themes.

January 2nd 2008

After a lovely breakfast it was time to say good-bye.

We had a wonderful time all together, what we will surely never forget. Our big thank goes to Jackie, because without beeing his fans we would have surely NEVER got to know each other. We would have missed a lot of fun and nice experiences. Thank you Jackie – xie xie.

Best wishes for the year 2008!

Claudia, Austria
Silke, Germany
and their families