Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Europe Part I

So, I'm finally blogging about Bob and my fabulous trip to Europe!

On Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, I arrived in Munich Germany. We stayed at a lovely, quaint hotel called the Hotel Laimer Hof, run by a very friendly man named Sebastian and his wife. Sebastian was awesome with helping us plan our time in Munich and the surrounding Bavarian countryside.
(our very cute hotel)

Bob was already in Munich due to work, and I had plans to join him at his work dinner at Restaurant Tantris, which is one of the 50 best restaurants of 2009 and number 1 or 2 in Germany! It was fabulous, French, and very fancy! We had 6 courses and 3 different wine pairings. The menu is set daily by the chef, and at our place setting was a handwritten menu in German with an English translation. Very nice!

(web picture of the restaurant)

The next day found us touring Marienplatz in a very rainy Munich and we had to purchase rain hats!
(Bob and his lovely hat)
(Lisa and her lovely hat at the Marienplatz Gates)

(Marienplatz taken from the top of the Glockenspiel looking at the Old Town Hall)

(The Glockenspiel)

After a morning of touring Marienplatz, having a traditional Bavarian lunch, discovering Radler, and strolling the open air markets, we headed back to our hotel and made a detour at Nymphenburg Palace which was in the same neighborhood. However, we were so tired and jet lagged that we just toured the garden, the gift shop (which had a great presentation of how the palace was built) and the outside of the palace.
(Nympenburg Palace)

That night for dinner, we went to an old German Monastery called Kloster Andechs, established in 1445! They brew their own beer and have a restaurant called The Klostergasthof that has fabulous food. The locals recommend the Pig Knuckles (which was very tasty) and the Apple Strudel.
(the monastery)

The next day was our last day in Munich so we decided that after breakfast we would rent a car and head to Neuschwanstein Castle -- the one that Walt Disney used to create Sleeping Beauty's castle. To get there we traveled through the beautiful Bavarian countryside with views of the Alps.
(Sue Clark, Rob Craft, Bob and I at breakfast on our last day)
(Bavaria with the Alps and the castle -- just beautiful!)

(Bob inside the castle courtyard) (View of the town and Hohenschwangau Castle -- the parent's castle)
We had a great time touring the castle and learning about Mad King Ludwig II. We drove back to Munich through an old medieval town called Landsberg am Lech. The town still has the old castle walls surrounding it.

When we arrived back in Munich, we realized that it was May Day and there were many festivities going on at Marienplatz, with lots of beer and lots of rowdy crowds! We were pretty tired and had several hours to wait for our overnight train to Paris. So we found an Italian restaurant off the main streets (much quieter) and had a nice, long, leisurely dinner until it was time to go to the train station.

The four of us all stayed in the same cabin in the sleeper car. It was quite cozy -- 4 bunk beds and very little space. However, it was worth it when we woke up the next day traveling through the Champagne Region of France!
(Our cabin in the sleeper car)
I thoroughly enjoyed Bavaria Germany! The buildings are so old and the architecture is so beautiful! The cobblestone streets; the buildings that are older than our oldest buildings in the US; the bullet holes from WWII....all so very interesting! The countryside is breathtaking! I would love to go back some day and spend more time touring the countryside and learning more about the history.

That's it for Part I. Stay tuned for Part II!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Favorite Five - 5/15/2009

FINALLY!! It's been two weeks since I last did my FFF. I've been busy, busy, busy! But, today, some of my FFF are a preview to some future posts and as to why I've been gone. So, without further ado:

1) My new Flip Flops: -- I bought some new Sketcher flip flops a few weeks back from Fred Meyer and I have to say, I love them. I'm not a huge flip flop fan -- I'm more of a sandals gal. However, these are pretty comfy and nothing says "summer's almost here" than flip flops!

2) Wedding Anniversarys -- Monday was our 13th wedding anniversary. We had a GREAT wedding and reception. We were so young and in love....and so POOR! We watched our so-called wedding video with the kids that night, and what a crack up! I have to say it is the worst wedding video ever. But! It was free. It may have been a used VHS tape (it cuts from our partial reception coverage to my sister during her glorious VFW singing days), and, yes, you may see alot of the backs of people's heads, but at least we have something to share with our kids from that day. Of course, when they are whining and saying "how much longer? We want to see you smash the cake in mommy/daddy's face!" or when they are laughing silly at how everyone looks "so old" or "so young"..... it still brings a smile to our faces to remember the wonderful day we had back in 1996.

3) My travel journal -- you may remember when I FFF'd this little journal here. I finally got to use it when I went on my Europe trip. I tried to journal every day of my trip. If I couldn't find time to actually journal, then I at least listed the highlights of that day. And then for the return trip home, I stuck all of my ticket stubs, menu's, maps, etc. in here so that I could save them for my scrapbook . It worked out perfectly. Thank you, Eve!

4) Bavaria, Germany and Neuschwanstein - What a lovely we time we had driving through Bavaria, Germany! This view was so amazing! The Alps, the lake, the hills, the castle.....sigh....very romantic! This was probably my favorite from our trip to Munich.

5) Apéritif-- "An apéritif (also spelled aperitif) is an alcoholic drink that is usually served to stimulate the appetite before a meal, contrasting with digestifs, which are served after meals.
Apéritifs are commonly served with something small to eat, such as crackers, cheese, pâté, olives, and various kinds of finger food."

This, my friends, is my new favorite word! We had aperitif's in our hotel courtyard each night at 7:30pm while in Paris. Lovely!
Happy Friday Everyone! I'm hoping to post about my trip soon. Stay tuned......