BrandonoBrien.com

Brandon O'Brien

Travel and Adventure Journal

I wanted a place to journal all my travels and adventures around the world. I always enjoy going back and reflecting on my past travels and getting to relive them through my words and photos.

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Excursion to Freiburg

Excursion to Freiburg

Friday, September 2, 2022 @ 7:24 PM in 2022 Germany and France

Day 9

There was a lot of activity on the streets outside our Airbnb last night. It seemed like drunk people were walking by screaming and shouting until almost 5 in the morning. Tonight we're going to try shutting the windows to help keep the noise down. We were both up by about 7am, had some coffee and ate breakfast over the next hour and a half. I was looking at the train schedule to Freiburg and saw that the train we wanted (departing Strasbourg at 9:58am) had some issues so we tried to get to the station for the 9:20 train. Unfortunately we missed the tram and wouldn't get to the station in time so we meandered through town to the station and hung out for a little while until the 10:20 train.

Because of the different train we took, we had about an hour to kill at our connection in Offenburg, Germany. We walked into town and got some food to hold us over so we wouldn't be starving when we got into Freiburg. I got essentially a sauceless pizza and Sam got the same toppings on a pretzel. Both were good and did their job of filling us up. While we were eating, Dakotah had a poop explosion and got his onesie covered. We ended up having to change him and wipe him down in a park behind a big church. We also realized we were almost completely out of wipes so we'd need to pick up some more in Freiburg.

We got back to the train station and hopped on our 11:26am high speed train to Freiburg. The trip only took a half hour and was pretty uneventful. Our regional train pass was working well since we could hop on an off whichever trains we wanted to in the area without having to buy new tickets. When we arrived in Freiburg we ran into a DM store and picked up a new packet of diaper wipes.

Walking into town we saw an archeological museum that had a bunch of grape vines in front of them. Some of the grapes were ripe and we tried a few which were really good. We're assuming the grapes they had out there were the ones that grow really well in the area. From there, we made our way over to the Schlossburg area where we were going to hike up to the Schlossburgturn (the big tower). The walk through town brought us through a bunch of markets and really cool cobbled streets that still have some old sewage and water canals in them (no sewage now, haha). We also passed by the Martinstor which was a 13th century gate in the wall around town. Now there's a McDonalds underneath it, lol.

The hike up to the tower was pretty steep but it was mostly paved and pretty well marked. There were a bunch of various trails that all weaved through each other but most ultimately made it to the tower. The tower is 153 steps up to a big lookout with some amazing views of the area. I went up there while Sam stayed on the ground. It was probably a good choice on her part since the tower was slightly swaying in the wind at the top.

After hiking back into town, we went to the Feierling biergarten and had some of their Inselhopf (an unfiltered wheat beer that was very easy to drink) and some sausages with kraut, mustard and some slices of bread. It was nice hanging out in the beer garden, even if there were a decent amount of flies and our waitress wasn't very attentive. It took quite a while to flag her down and get the bill.

From the beer garden we walked over to the Freiburger Munster (the main cathedral in town) where we snapped some pics and then started walking back to the train station. Along the way we saw a bunch of people with boba tea so we hunted the shop down and got some too. We got one with taro and coconut and it was a good thirst quencher. We both realized how little water we'd had to drink today so having something to drink other than beer was extremely welcomed.

The train rides back to Strasbourg were uneventful. We just retraced our route here by getting the high speed train to Offenburg and then a regional train to Strasbourg. We got back into Strasbourg around 5pm and were pretty hungry already. We walked around a little while hoping to see somewhere that jumped out to us but ultimately decided on more Asian by going to a place called East Canteen. I got a Japanese pancake and Sam got some Pad Thai. The pancake was really filling and Sam's pad thai was really flavorful.

On the walk back to the hotel we saw one restaurant that I bookmarked as a potential location to eat tomorrow. It was also next to a cheese and meat shop so we'll probably get some meat, cheese and a baguette and snack on that with our wine that we still need to try. Tomorrow is calling for thunderstorms all day so we're going to take it easy and play it by ear. We're hoping to find some souvenirs in town so tomorrow might be a great day to do that.

Teaser photos:

Martinstor
Martinstor
Near the Gewerbekanal
Near the Gewerbekanal
Schlossbergturm
Schlossbergturm
View from Schlossbergturm
View from Schlossbergturm

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Tags: france, germany, freiburg, strasbourg, europe

Posted from: France

Day trip to Colmar

Day trip to Colmar

Thursday, September 1, 2022 @ 9:30 PM in 2022 Germany and France

Day 8

We took this morning easy since we weren't in a rush to get to Colmar. Yesterday I had bought some yogurt, granola and bananas to have for breakfast so we wouldn't need to eat out. It made a pretty good alternative (at least for a day or two), to pastries and sweets. Around 9:30 we started to get ready to catch the 10:21 train. Sam wanted another coffee so we went around the corner and got a coffee from Dreher, a small bakery and coffee shop.

I tried buying our tickets to Colmar but every time I used the kiosk, it kept rejecting my card. I tried another card and got the same problem. We didn't want to just hop on the train without a ticket and risk getting in trouble, so I pulled up the SNCF website (the train system here in France) and bought our tickets there. Fortunately I was able to do it with about one minute to spare before the train left.

The train only took about 30 minutes to get between Strasbourg and Colmar and passed by some really cool mountains with castles on the tops of them. There were also a ton of corn fields and farms stretching between the towns. The Colmar train station wasn't too far from the town center and was an easy walk. We stopped at the Parc du Champ de Mars where they had a couple big water fountains before making our way into the old town.

Colmar is full of half-timbered buildings similar to Strasbourg but I'd say Colmar is a lot more compact of a city. The St. Martin's Church was our main destination and we found a big area of it fenced off. They were doing a huge archeological dig on an old cemetery dating back to the 1300s (more info here). The crazy thing is they were excavating the skeletons a few feet away from the crowds. Lots of people were watching and it was interesting to see how they were working.

We walked from there over to the Little Venice area via an artist market and the Schwendi Fountain . The fountain was surrounded by a lot of the half timbered buildings and was a neat little spot. Little Venice was beautiful with the half timbered houses lining the canals that ran through town. It wasn't a huge area but was still neat.

Not really sure what to do for lunch, we ended up getting Poke bowls which we convinced ourselves were probably healthier than Alsace cuisine. We'll have plenty of time left to eat more of it before we head off to Nice. After lunch we walked through the Little Venice area again and then got a raspberry and creme eclair for a post-lunch dessert. The eclair was really light and tasted great.

We passed by St. Martin's Church again and watched some more of the excavating. The guy driving the little earth mover seemed to be recklessly driving over stuff we thought might be important and then digging holes without any sort of caution that there might be bodies underneath. I guess they know what they're doing but it still seemed odd.

Our last stop in town was to a wine shop to pick up a local bottle of Riesling produced in the area. We've got it chilling down now and will drink it later in the week. We got back to the train station and bought another ticket for a train departing a few minutes later and headed back to Strasbourg. Back at the station we figured we'd walk back to the Airbnb instead of taking the tram. It was a pretty nice walk through a part of the city we hadn't been to before.

Back at the Airbnb we relaxed for a little while before breaking out the baguette, cheese and beer. I opened the bottle of Cantillon first. It's a really well known beer as being one of the best examples of the lambic style. The bottle I found for 10 euros would easily go for $40-60 in the states. The beer was very nice with a huge amount of cherry flavor and not much tartness. While a very delicious beer, I would have been disappointed had I paid $60 for it. After that, we finished off the last of our wine from last night and then heated up some leftovers for dinner (the veggie/couscous mix from last night and some salad and tart flambee from yesterday's lunch).

With a couple hours to kill before bed, we set out and did another aimless wander around Strasbourg. This time we found some really packed areas full of packed restaurants. We then crossed over the river and walked around some of the newer part of town. This seemed a lot more geared towards locals with a lot more packed restaurants and bars.

Back at the Airbnb we're kinda planning what to do tomorrow. I think the plan will be to buy the Deutsche Bahn regional pass for Baden-Wuertemberg for 31 euros. This will give Sam and I unlimited travel for the day in the state (which covers everything near Strasbourg) and we'll head to Freiburg. There's a little bit of hiking, some beer gardens and some sights to see there which should be neat. It's going to take a little longer to get there so we might need to start earlier in the day.

Teaser photos:

Colmar sculpture in Parc du Champ de Mars
Colmar sculpture in Parc du Champ de Mars
Excavating bones at St. Martin's Church
Excavating bones at St. Martin's Church
Little Venice in Colmar
Little Venice in Colmar
Raspberry and creme eclair
Raspberry and creme eclair

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Tags: france, colmar, europe

Posted from: France

Strolling around Strasbourg

Strolling around Strasbourg

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 @ 8:39 PM in 2022 Germany and France

Day 7

The rain last night really helped cool the Airbnb down at night. We woke up a few times to feed Dakotah but otherwise had a pretty decent night sleep. Once we had some coffee at our room, we set off to find some breakfast. I found a patisserie around the corner so we headed over there. I had an eclair with a coffee cream filling and Sam had a quiche. Both were good but I think the quiche was the better choice (more fill and not just straight sugar). We ate under a tree on some benches and then set off to see some of the sights around town.

First on the list was La Petite France. This is the area with the most old half-timbered buildings, small canals and winding narrow roads. The buildings were really interesting and the way all of them are crooked and the streets are really winding make the area fun to get lost in. We aimlessly walked around and then made it to one of the bridges at the end of the island where they had some ramparts and a big covered bridge. We walked along the river around the city until we made it to the north side of the old town and then cut down to Place Kléber where there was a clothing market going on.

From there, we cut over to the east side of the old town, up toward the opera and through a big farmers market at Place Broglie. By now it was around 11:30 and we were getting tired of walking around so we went down to Au Brasseur, a local brewery and restaurant, to eat. They opened at 11 and we were almost the first ones there (people don't eat early here). Sam and I shared a brown ale, salad and tarte flambee (the Alsace version of pizza).

We came back to the Airbnb so Sam could take a nap and we could get off our feet for a little while. I took the opportunity to go run and get groceries for dinner. I got a bunch of veggies and a premade couscous salad to mix together, then went to a boulangerie to pick up a baguette, then a wine shop to get a bottle of local wine, a beer store we saw earlier to get some Cantillon (extremely rare to find in the states but was super cheap, relatively, here) and a Trappist beer.

The last stop on the journey was to a cheese shop to get some cheese to go with the bread. I didn't know what any of the cheeses were and the woman working there didn't speak English so I just picked a random cheese. Turns out it was a pretty mild goat cheese (not bad, but still has the goat milk flavor). The cheese shop was tucked away in a really cool alley with a bunch of other wine shops and bakeries. There were a couple restaurants that might be fun to go back to and sit and eat outside.

Back at the Airbnb I did a little work while Sam napped and then got a little nap myself. Unfortunately the windows in our Airbnb face south and it was getting really hot in here so napping wasn't the easiest. After a while the sun shifted and we could open the blackout curtains which helped get it to cool down more. I opened the wine and we had our cheese and bread with a little olive oil mix I made with salt, pepper and herbs d' provance.

I chopped the veggies I bought (mushrooms, carrot, zucchini, and red bell pepper) and sauteed those with the same spices as the dipping oil. When they were done I added the premade couscous salad and mixed it all together. It was a pretty good dinner and one filled with veggies (which we've been sorely lacking the last few days).

After our food settled and it cooled down some more we went out and got some gelato from the shop just outside our Airbnb. Sam got a scoop with caramel gelato and I got a scoop of chocolate chip. We ate them and walked back near the Cathedral then looped back over to La Petite France via the paths along the river surrounding the city. It was a great temperature outside and we enjoyed the walk.

Back at the Airbnb we've just been trying to wind Dakotah down for bed and I started some laundry. We're planning on going to Colmar tomorrow to see a different city with similar old half-timbered buildings. Trains run down there every 30 minutes and it only takes about 30 minutes, so we're not really in a rush to get moving. I bought some yogurt, granola and bananas so we can have breakfast here without needing to eat something out.

Teaser photos:

La Petite France in the morning
La Petite France in the morning
Dakotah by a fountain
Dakotah by a fountain
Gelato for dessert
Gelato for dessert
La Petite France in the evening
La Petite France in the evening

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Tags: france, strasbourg, half timber

Posted from: France

Lots and Lots and Lots of Trains

Lots and Lots and Lots of Trains

Tuesday, August 30, 2022 @ 8:25 PM in 2022 Germany and France

Day 6

Today started out reasonably well. We both got some sleep and Sam ran downstairs to the coffee shop and picked us up some Chai. We made some croissant sandwiches for breakfast, finished packing and then went down to the train station to catch our first train of the day. We thought it might take a while to find our gate but it was actually pretty easy. With some time to kill, Sam set off to find another coffee and a snack.

We boarded our train and got settled in for the 3 hour ride to Mannheim. It was pretty uneventful, although we were losing time at each stop and we weren't sure if we'd make our 11 minute layover from Mannheim to Strasbourg. Lunch was leftover pizza from last night, which was actually pretty decent on the train. Some of the towns and countryside we passed through were really neat. Many of the towns had cathedrals or towers in the middle of them. Near Stuttgart, there were some vineyards on what looked like sheer cliffs too. When we left Stuttgart, the train said it was running 8 minutes late but we made up a little bit of time. Before arriving in Mannheim, they showed a list of updated connections and showed that our train to Strasbourg was also running a little late. With a sigh of relief, we didn't need to rush to get to the other gate.

Once we got to Mannheim, we got off and went to gate 5 where it said our train would be. We were supposed to be on the TGV9580 which went direct to Strasbourg. This is where the day went from chill to stress-fest. Our train was supposed to depart at 2:48 (after delays) and at 2:47 a train pulled up to gate 5. Not thinking anything about it, we got right on the train, found car 11 and sat down. One of the seats we were supposed to be in was taken, but that didn't seem too weird since some people kinda sit wherever they want and then move if the person with the reservation comes. Right as the doors shut and the screens updated to show the next stop, I realized we were on the wrong train. This one was going right back to Stuttgart (about 40 minutes away), and not Strasbourg.

With no other options, we were stuck on the train and had to figure out another way to get to Strasbourg from Stuttgart. The train we were supposed to be on was the only direct from Mannheim, so backtracking to Mannheim again wasn't going to help us out. We found some regional trains that would require two different transfers but would ultimately get us to Strasbourg (albeit, 2.5 hours after we were supposed to get in).

Back in Stuttgart, we jumped on our first train which was an extremely overcrowded commuter to Karlsruhe with a 50 minute ride time. Once in Karlsruhe, we got on another packed train to Appenweier. This one was doubly annoying because our huge roller bag took up like 3/4 of the aisle so every time someone wanted to walk by, they had to shimmy around the bag. There weren't any restrooms on this train either and Dakotah was in serious need of changing. With several delays and stops, we finally made it to Appenweier after about 45 minutes.

Due to the train being late, we missed our connection in Appenweier but fortunately there were trains running every 30 minutes to Strasbourg. This at least gave us time to change Dakotah at the train station (on the top of our suitcase in the parking lot, lol). At 6:11 we jumped on our last train of the day and made the 11 mile journey across the Rhine river into France.

After finally arriving in Strasbourg, we had to jump on the tram to take us into town. The tram station we got off at was just a couple hundred feet from the Airbnb which was convenient. What wasn't so convenient was having to carry a 50 pound roller bag up 3 flights of several hundred year old stairs to get to our apartment. After a lot of sweating (I was carrying Dakotah, my backpack and the roller bag), we made it and were able to get to our room.

By now it was well after 7pm and we were tired, hungry and thirsty. We gave Dakotah a quick clothes swap and then went back downstairs to eat at a microbrewery and restaurant called La Lanterne, directly across from our Airbnb. Sam and I each got a beer (I had an amber and she had a weissebier). For food, I got a chicken cordon bleu with spatzel and mushroom sauce while Sam got a burger and fries. All the food and beer was good but we were super stuffed and tired.

Since it was already dark out, we decided to take a walk to Strasbourg's Notre Dame Cathedral which wasn't too far away. The cathedral took a couple hundred years to build (starting in the 1100's) and looks really neat, especially at night. We walked around the entire cathedral then made our way back to the Airbnb. Unfortunately due to historical regulations, they couldn't put A/C in the unit so have a couple of fans blowing to try and cool it down. It was still really hot in the room but not too long after getting home it started raining which helped cool things down considerably (it also helped get people off the streets, which was pretty loud from our open windows).

Teaser photos:

Before boarding train #1
Before boarding train #1
On the train before the SNAFU`
On the train before the SNAFU`
Beers at La Lanterne
Beers at La Lanterne
Notre Dame in Strasbourg
Notre Dame in Strasbourg

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Tags: germany, munich, trains, france

Posted from: France

Chilling in Munich

Chilling in Munich

Monday, August 29, 2022 @ 7:22 PM in 2022 Germany and France

Day 5

Today was a much needed rest day after several late nights and very little sleep. We got up around 8:30am, made some coffee in the room and then I set out to track down some laundry detergent so we could do a load of laundry in the basement of the hotel. There was a DM store around the corner and I found some laundry sheets there (basically sheets of soap you use). I went down to the laundry room to see if any of the machines were being used and saw a sign that said no detergent was needed... the machines automatically added it. Whoops. At least the detergent was cheap and doesn't take up much space.

I brought all the laundry down, put it in the machine and then started looking for a coin slot or start button. Turns out you had to use an app to reserve and start the machines. Not a big deal, but the wifi wasn't working in the basement and it was below ground so I didn't have any cell service. I went up to the lobby to download the app and get it started. For some reason it wouldn't let me immediately start it but I had to wait 10 minutes before it would let me start the machine.

Once we finally got the laundry going, Sam and I headed out to find some coffee and grab a quick snack for breakfast. By now it was getting close to 11 and we didn't want too much food since it was getting close to lunch. We found a Coffee Fellows near the train station and got a cappuccino and blueberry muffin. After that, the laundry was ready so we came back to switch it over to the dryer.

Not really sure what to do, we headed down to the Oktoberfest grounds to see all of the beer halls under construction. Back in 2008 we were able to walk through the grounds but now they have the whole thing gated off. We walked around it a little while and got to the Bavaria statue where we sat down for a little while and fed Dakotah. Allie video called us so Emmie and Sofie could see Dakotah again too.

I got a notification that the clothes were done so we went back to the hotel to grab our clothes and then find some food. Along the way, Sam found a couple Thai restaurants pretty close to the hotel so we picked one to try. The food hit the spot and it wasn't as heavy as sausage, potatoes and cabbage would have been.

We came back to the hotel for a quick break before heading out for an aimless wander around town. We started going through the botanical garden / park near our hotel, making our way back down to the Marienplatz and over to the Hofbrauhaus. After snapping a quick pick there (didn't need to go in since I had been there before and wasn't really feeling the need for more beer), we walked through Old Town and the Promenadplatz. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a Rewe to grab something for breakfast in the morning. We landed on some croissants with cheese and meat.

Not really sure what to do for dinner, we went back to the same Doner place we had for lunch yesterday and got a couple pizzas. One was mushroom and prosciutto and the other was spinach, onion and feta. We brought them back to the hotel, ate and have been getting ready for our train ride to France tomorrow. Fortunately the train doesn't leave until 11:30am so we have plenty of time to get packed up in the morning. We also have some leftover pizza we can eat for lunch.

Teaser photos:

Oktoberfest grounds under construction
Oktoberfest grounds under construction
Bavaria Statue
Bavaria Statue
Thai for lunch
Thai for lunch
Neptunbrunnen at the biopark near Karlsplatz
Neptunbrunnen at the biopark near Karlsplatz

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Tags: germany, munich

Posted from: Germany

Miesbach to Munich - Just a recovery day

Miesbach to Munich - Just a recovery day

Sunday, August 28, 2022 @ 7:41 PM in 2022 Germany and France

Day 4

After a late night at the wedding, we got as much sleep as we could but were still up and hungry by about 7:30am. We had another big breakfast buffet and got to say goodbye to Tom, Kay, Scott, Stef, Marrit and several other people who happened to be up early enough to catch breakfast. Once we finished up, we went back to the room to pack up our bags which was quite the undertaking. We already had a pretty heavy roller bag but adding the steins and a few beers added even more weight.

Our plan was to walk all the way down to the train station with the big roller bag, but Allie and Al said they'd take it in the taxi with them. That was really helpful and saved us some awkward pushing and pulling on some of the hills down to the station. It was raining a little bit but not too bad. Sam and I actually beat Allie and Al down to the station so we went ahead and got our tickets. A lot of people ended up being on this train back to Munich or the Munich Airport. We got to ride with Allie, Al, Deb and Amir.

Once the train started rolling, it really started to downpour and rained the entire ride down to Munich. We said our goodbyes to everyone at the station and set off for the hotel. Fortunately our hotel was pretty close to the train station so it wasn't too long of a walk in the rain to get there. It was only around 1pm and we weren't supposed to be able to check in until 3pm but we figured we'd try. The hotel we're staying at is a different style and doesn't actually have a check-in staff but instead uses a kiosk. I tried to check in but it was telling me our room wasn't ready. It was still raining and we didn't want to have to go to a cafe or something and hang out for two hours with all of our bags. There was a help phone next to the kiosk so I gave it a call and asked if they could check on the room availability. Fortunately they had just cleaned the room so they updated their check-in system and we were able to move in.

We're staying in an extended stay style room which has a small kitchenette and "separate" seating area with a couch and small table (it's really just a basic studio apartment). They have a laundry room in the basement so we'll definitely get a load of clothes going tomorrow. Dakotah has dirtied a lot of his shirts already and it'll be nice to get a fresh start before we head into France.

While Sam was getting things organized at the hotel, I ran out to find some lunch. It was already about 1:30 and I didn't feel like walking too far or waiting too long for food, so I found a restaurant called Doner Deluxe and got the Doner Teller box (basically a doner kebab without the bun but on top of fries). I brought it back to the room and we quickly demolished it.

With full stomachs and it still being gloomy out, we laid down for a while. Unfortunately I wasn't able to fall asleep but Sam got a good nap. Before dinner we opened a beer Mike and Anne handed out in their wedding favor goodie bag. I was looking around for restaurants and found a place called Bento Ya which had a lot of Asian food. Sam and I both got some Ramen which was perfect for a rainy and gloomy day. For some reason they didn't take Visa at the restaurant so we had to pay in cash. All I had was a 50 euro bill and Europeans notoriously hate breaking large bills but we didn't have another choice. We walked around a little bit after dinner but ultimately just came back to the hotel to call it an early night.

Tomorrow we're going to hit the Oktoberfest grounds and then see the Hirschgarten. The plan is to make it a pretty chill day without any real rush to get up in the morning.

Teaser photos:

Saying goodbye to the Sharp family
Saying goodbye to the Sharp family
Doner Teller for lunch
Doner Teller for lunch
Ramen for dinner on a rainy day
Ramen for dinner on a rainy day

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Tags: germany, munich, miesbach

Posted from: Germany

Wedding Day in Miesbach

Wedding Day in Miesbach

Saturday, August 27, 2022 @ 11:30 PM in 2022 Germany and France

Day 3

Today was Anne and Mike's wedding day! It started off pretty chill with breakfast at the hotel which had a ton of breads, spreads, meats, cheeses and traditional breakfast fare. After breakfast, we met up with Allie and swung by Aldi to pick up some diaper wipes on our way down to the center of Miesbach. We stopped at a few shops and made it down to the center of town where Allie picked up some chocolate and then we stopped for coffee and some cake at Cafe Huatfabrik.

Matt stumbled on us and we sat at the cafe for a little while before going to Weissbräustüberl where we met up with Amir, Ben, Brogan, dude Sam and Mike. Sam and I spilt a Hopf Spezial Weisse (basically a supercharged hefeweissen) and some currywurst with fries. We didn't want to eat or drink too much since we knew there would be a lot of food and booze at the wedding later in the day.

Allie offered to watch Dakotah for a couple hours so Sam and I could get a little nap in. We took her up on the offer and dropped Dakotah off while we got rested up. While she was watching him, she gave him a bath too which was really helpful. After the nap, we changed and got ready for the wedding.

The ceremony was at a farm and organic market a couple minute drive away from the hotel. A shuttle bus took us over there since it would have been difficult for some people to get over there in their wedding attire. They handed out some champagne while we were waiting for everyone to arrive and as we were waiting, some really dark clouds started rolling in. As the ceremony was happening, thunder started rumbling and we were sure we'd all get rained on. Fortunately the rain held off and Anne and Mike were able to say their vows before any rain hit.

They tapped their keg and the reception was under way! Everyone got a customized bier stein to drink from. The beer on tap was some sort of helles lager and it was really refreshing. We all mingled, took photos and hung out for a couple hours until Anne's mom, Deb, and Mike's dad, Tom, gave their speeches. Once they were finished, dinner kicked off and we were shown to a buffet with a ton of Bavarian food. The goulash was extremely good, especially with some seasoned bread.

The planned shuttles weren't departing the venue until after 1am so we got together with Brandon B. and his wife Marissa and got back to the hotel around 11. They had a 5am departure for Venice and didn't want to stay up super late. With Dakotah in tow, we knew we'd be better off getting to bed early too.

As we were getting ready for bed, I got a reminder email about our hotel in Munich and realized it was for two days, not one. I had accidentally booked our train to Strasbourg for the wrong day thinking we only had one night in Munich. Unfortunately the ticket wasn't refundable so I had to buy a new ticket for Tuesday. On the plus side, this gives us Sunday night and all day Monday to relax and catch up on some sleep before getting on a train for 6 hours.

Teaser photos:

Walking around Miesbach
Walking around Miesbach
Coffee and cake in Miesbach
Coffee and cake in Miesbach
Mike and Anne got hitched!
Mike and Anne got hitched!
Tapping the keg
Tapping the keg

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Tags: wedding, germany, miesbach

Posted from: Germany

Rehearsal Dinner in Meisbach

Rehearsal Dinner in Meisbach

Friday, August 26, 2022 @ 11:29 PM in 2022 Germany and France

Day 2

This morning I actually felt pretty refreshed! We were able to get a little sleep last night which really helped get feel better.

We went down to the hotel breakfast around 7:30am and were pretty amazed with the spread. They had a huge assortment of cheeses, meats, pastries, juices and hot breakfast items. We hung out in the breakfast area for a while sipping on coffee and enjoying some relaxing time. The server who was cleaning the room kept coming over to us and talking to us about Dakotah and her grand baby.

After eating, we went back to the room and started packing up. After feeding Dakotah, I went out to get some saline drops for him since his nose seemed really stuffy last night. I think all the dry air on the plane really made it hard for him to breath and fortunately clearing out his nose seemed to really help.

Once we packed up, we met with Scott and Stefanie outside the hotel where they took our bags and parked their car. The plan was to walk around the pedestrian area near the Marienplatz, get Doner kebab for lunch and then try to hit the Oktoberfest grounds. We waited around the Marienplatz for about 20 minutes to see the Glockenspiel do its thing at noon and then got a little sidetracked at the beer garden at the Viktualienmarkt. We also met up with Eric and Emily there before realzing how late it was getting and that we wouldn't really have time to do much else.

We went and got some Doner for lunch near the Hauptbahnhof after checking out the Karlsplatz. The Doner was really good and something I haven't had in years since I was last in Europe.

Eric and Emily went to the train station and got on the train to Miesbach while Scott, Stef, Sam and I went back to their car and drove to Miesbach. We got to see some of the Alps on the way to town. The scenery got really nice with more of an alpine farmland and dairy feel to it as we drove into town.

After checking into the hotel, we showered and got ready for the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner was really fun and great to see everyone again. We sat with Allie and Al and had a few beers over the course of the night alongside many typical German food options in the dinner buffet.

We stayed up a lot later than we were planning to, but it was hard to leave the party. It's now about 11:30pm and we really need to get to bed. Tomorrow is going to be a long day with the wedding planning to go well past midnight.

Teaser photos:

Breakfast at the Mercure hotel in Munich
Breakfast at the Mercure hotel in Munich
Viktualienmarkt biergarten
Viktualienmarkt biergarten
Doner Kebab for lunch
Doner Kebab for lunch
Allie meating Dakotah for the first time
Allie meating Dakotah for the first time

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Tags: europe, germany, miesbach, munich

Posted from: Germany

We Made It To Munich!

We Made It To Munich!

Thursday, August 25, 2022 @ 10:29 PM in 2022 Germany and France

Day 1

Today has been a really long day, but we successfully arrived in Munich, Germany with a 6 week old baby and no meltdowns on the plane! We woke up in Santa Fe around 6:30am on the 24th but didn't need to be on our first flight until around noon in Albuquerque. We figured this would give us plenty of time to get all of our last minute packing and organizing done and head out.

We left Santa Fe around 9am and made it to the ABQ long term parking a little after 10. It didn't take long to get the car unloaded and our bags on the shuttle bus which dropped us off at the United counter. Fortunately there weren't any issues getting checked in and our big checked bag was just barely under the maximum weight. Security was also a breeze since Sam and I both have TSA Precheck. No taking off shoes, belts, separating liquids, etc.

The first flight from ABQ to Houston was on a really small express jet with only three seats to a row (one seat, aisle and two seats). My backpack just barely fit in the overhead bin which says a lot about how small the plane was. The flight to Houston started off pretty normal but after about an hour they got on the speakers saying we might need to be diverted to a different airport due to thunderstorms over Houston. Uh oh, that would not be good.

Fortunately the storms cleared and we landed about 30 minutes late. Unfortunately that meant our layover was almost non existant. We ended up having to run through the hot and humid airport to get to our international flight. We arrived just as they were boarding group 1. We jumped in line since we can preboard with an infant but Sam couldn't find her ticket! After a quick jot over to the counter, we got a new one printed and got onboard before Group 2.

We were almost an hour late to takeoff due to the storms and a broken radio issue they had to fix. At least it didn't matter to us since we didn't have any more connecting flights, but a lot of people were getting really nervous.

As far as international fights go, this one was pretty standard. I tried sleeping but only got about 15 minutes of sleep on the entire 10 hour flight. I would have taken a sleeping pill but wanted to be alert in case Dakotah started to freak out and needed attention.

We were about as lucky as we could be in that regard. Dakotah didn't fuss and was a really great baby the entire flight. We either had him in my chest carrier or Sam was holding him. There were quite a few diaper changes over the flight but at least that wasn't a big deal since the bathroom had a changing table in it.

Dinner on the flight was quinoa with salsa and chicken, a side salad and a glass of wine, and breakfast was some yogurt and a biscotti. Customs in Munich was also a breeze, even though it was packed and took a while to get to the agent. Once we made it through customs we were a little worried that our checked bag might not have made it after the really short layover. We didn't need to worry though since it was there without a problem.

I tried buying some tickets for the S-Bahn to get us from the airport to downtown Munich but the ticket kiosk was asking for a PIN with my cardit card (we don't have a PIN). I had to get some cash but the ATM was out of service. We ended up finding another ATM and ticket kiosk but found out the kiosk didn't take 50 Euro bills (which is what I got). We tried another one and fortunately that one did accept them.

Train ticket in hand, we got on board and about 40 minutes later were at the Karlsplatz station. A short walk through some nice pedestrian areas and we made it to the Mercure hotel. It was a little before 1 and we weren't supposed to be able to check in until 3 but our room was ready and we were able to change out of or sweaty clothes and decompress for a few before heading out to find food.

We weren't sure what to eat so we went to the Augustiner Klosterwirt where I got the sausage platter and Sam got some schnitzel. To drink, I got a Dunkel and Sam got a Radler. Both the food and the beers were really good but after having almost no sleep in 24 hours and sitting on an extremely full stomach, we did a quick walk to the Marienplatz to see the Glockenspiel and then went back to the hotel.

I was able to nap for about an hour and a half while Sam watched Dakotah. We were going to try and meet up with Brandon B. but they were in the same boat as us and wiped out from their trip. Now she's napping while I'm writing about everything up to now.

After some quick napping, we hopped on the S3 line from Marienplatz up three stops to Giselastraße where we walked a few minutes to the Chinesischen Turm biergarten in the Englischen Garten. Sam and I split a giant pretzel, a radler and some couscous. It was really nice just chilling in the park as the sun went down. After we finished, we walked back to the Giselastraße station, back to Marienplatz and then walked back to the hotel.

Since getting back we've been working on getting Dakotah to fall back to sleep but it's not working too well. I think being chill for 36 hours has finally caught up with him and he doesn't want to go to bed.

We're keeping our fingers crossed that we can actually get some real sleep tonight.

Teaser photos:

Everything we're taking with us
Everything we're taking with us
Sausages for lunch at Augustiner Klosterwirt
Sausages for lunch at Augustiner Klosterwirt
At the Glockenspiel in Munich
At the Glockenspiel in Munich
Chinesischen Turm biergarten in the Englischen Garten after sunset
Chinesischen Turm biergarten in the Englischen Garten after sunset

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Tags: germany, munich, bier

Posted from: Germany

Our Trip Itinerary for Germany and France

Monday, August 22, 2022 @ 2:03 PM in 2022 Germany and France

With the trip actually happening (thankfully Dakotah got his passport in time), it's time to share our itinerary. The main point of the trip is to join Mike and Anne at their wedding in Miesbach, Germany (a small town south of Munich).

We'll fly into Munich, go down to Miesbach, then have another day in Munich before heading to Strasbourg, France for a week and then ending in Nice, France for a week. While in Strasbourg and Nice, we'll be doing some day trips outside of those towns to see some other towns and sights.

Full Itinerary

Date Location Notes
Thursday, August 25 Munich, DE Arrive at 10:05am
Friday, August 26 Munich > Miesbach, DE Spend the day in Munich then go to Miesbach for rehearsal dinner
Saturday, August 27 Miesbach, DE Wedding day
Sunday, August 28 Miesbach > Munich, DE Recover and head to Munich
Monday, August 29 Munich, DE > Strasbourg, FR Catch our train at 11:30am, arrive in Strasbourg at 4:00pm
Tuesday, August 30 Strasbourg, FR Explore Strasbourg?
Wednesday, August 31 Strasbourg, FR Go to Colmar?
Thursday, September 1 Strasbourg, FR Go to Freiburg?
Friday, September 2 Strasbourg, FR Relax in Strasbourg?
Saturday, September 3 Strasbourg, FR Go to Riquewihr?
Sunday, September 4 Strasbourg, FR Relax in Strasbourg?
Monday, September 5 Strasbourg > Nice, FR Catch our train at 9:05am, arrive in Nice at 6:30pm
Tuesday, September 6 Nice, FR Relax in Nice?
Wednesday, September 7 Nice, FR Go to Menton and hit Italy?
Thursday, September 8 Nice, FR Relax in Nice?
Friday, September 9 Nice, FR Go to Antibes?
Saturday, September 10 Nice, FR Go to Villefranche-sur-Mer?
Sunday, September 11 Nice, FR Relax in Nice?
Monday, September 12 Nice, FR Depart at 8:55am to head back to the States

We're just finishing up our packing now and tying up loose ends around the house. We're still a little unsure how Dakotah will do on the flights, but we'll keep our fingers crossed he does a good job!

Tags: itinerary

Posted from: United States

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