Monday, October 17, 2016

Munich with Anne and Chris!

Saturday October 15, Lea's 22nd birthday! It's our last day in Germany.  The trip has flown by! I can't believe it's almost over.

We finished packing our stuff, grabbed breakfast at the hotel buffet (again, it was so yummy!) and then we checked out.  Munich is only about 45 minutes from Augsburg and we made it pretty quickly.

It was SO GREAT to see Anne!!!  (And of course, Chris, who is now her husband!) We dropped off our suitcase in their apartment and talked for a bit.  It's a cute place, we liked it a lot!

We decided to walk around and see their neighborhood.  They are right in the heart of Munich.

I can't believe I haven't seen Anne in 3.5 years! She is still as beautiful as ever!
Anne, when you read this post, you are going to be so embarrassed because of all the good things I say about you!  #sorrynotsorry

As her American mother, I am allowed to brag.  haha  So yeah, she looked more beautiful than I remembered.  This day, more than any others, I wish the girls could be with us.  These 3 young woman miss each other so much!

We saw some beautiful sights.

Doors in Europe are often extra beautiful!

Ignore the cement truck.

This is the government building where Anne and Chris got married! Germans get 2 weddings.  The civil one and then the church one.

A river runs through it
 I had no idea Munich has a huge park!  It's called English Gardens.  It reminds me of New York's Central Park.  (Not that I have been there.  But it seems the same.  ha)  It was beautiful!  And we had a gorgeous day.  Unbelievable weather! We walked all over this gorgeous park.  There were a ton of people out. On the top of a big hill, there is this beautiful structure.

You are my sunshine
Seriously.  Could she BE any cuter?  I know my girls are jealous of this time I get to spend with her!

Wow that one turned out pretty cool :)
Ok next up, we followed the river over to a place where Anne and Chris said people surf.  Brad and I were very confused.  How can you surf in Munich? On a river?  Well...

It was so cool!  The river rushes under this bridge and somehow makes a big wave right there.  People take turns jumping in and out.  Well, they fall down.  Super cool!  I told them, they get the prize for showing us the most unique thing EVER on this trip!
I could see why it was crowded with spectators.  So fun to watch! It was funny to see people walking around the park as well with surfboards.

More pretty buildings....

Reminded me of Paris

We stopped at a great place for lunch.  My lunch surprised me a bit.  I thought it was going to be a flatbread type of meal, with ham and cheese.  Turns out it was just toast pieces with ham and cheese.  haha.  It was really good though and I ate most of it! Except they gave me 5 extra pieces of bread which was a bit much.

Not what I expected, but good!
I had to get a pic of Anne's lunch.  It was an omelet and salad in bowls made of cabbage. It was prettier in person!
Brad and Chris enjoyed some beer and talked a lot about beer and later drank many beers.  Beer.

Our beautiful sunshine disappeared while we were in the restaurant.  Still pretty sights, though!

The Rathaus, city hall.  Impressive.

Yes.  This happens.

Another view of the huge Rathaus

Does Munich win for best Rathaus? I haven't seen a ton of them, but it beats any I have seen!!

That is a very very small car.
We had a fantastic day! We went back to their apartment and Anne and I picked up a few groceries, Brad and Chris went to a store that sells all kinds of craft beer.  They picked out some to try.  Even some from the States.

We talked a lot.  We FaceTimed Lea to sing happy birthday!  We FaceTimed Lainie so she could say Hi to Anne and Chris!  I watched Anne make a terrific dinner, and helped a tiny bit.  She made a potato gratin dish that will now be a staple around here.  It was sooooo good! And vegetarian. So even Lainie would eat it!  Potatoes, carrots, onions, cheese, more cheese, a bit of cream.

Now I want to eat some.

We talked and talked some more, and went to bed about 11 since we had an early morning getting to the airport.  It was a fabulous day and I am SO glad we got to spend time with them! Anne came to us as a "daughter" in the strangest way....God knew we should be "family!"

We got up and left before 7 am.  I hated to wake them, but had to say goodbye!  I cried a bit.  Tried not record so far on this trip was good.  Just a bit of "welling up" but no tears spilling over.  As I walked down the stairs, on the street, and even as we started driving, I still cried.  It felt like leaving a piece of my heart behind.

We had an easy and short flight to Amsterdam (I love those short flights where the plane never goes very high) and then a yucky 7.5 hour flight to Detroit.  Our seats seemed smaller than ever before. It was not comfortable.  At one point, I was so uncomfortable and felt like I couldn't go on.  I looked at the flight tracker and we still had 3 hours left.  I almost cried. But....we made it.  And then YAY!! Our family and doggies!!

Feeling very thankful to God for this amazing opportunity.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Bread, Biking, Beauty, Brad

Today I headed out on the tram to meet Ursula at her house.  I had to switch trams halfway through! WHAT? I felt pretty confident about it, actually.  Ursula and Anton explained it very well.  So off I went! It's my last day in Augsburg already.

Me on the tram!  Feeling good about it!
Me on the next tram, feeling proud of myself for doing it!

Ursula was waiting for me at the station.  We walked to their house which is so close to the station! Very convenient.  We had some amazing German bread/pretzels/rolls.  I took a picture of this beauty. It's called a Laugenrosette but I am not sure if I spelled that right.  Laugen is a word often used with "pretzel" and I am not sure what it means? But this was that kind of dough, made into lovely little rolls, and each covered in seeds...poppy, sesame, or pumpkin (I think!).  It's all one piece.  I took 2 of these little "petals" and wow, sooooo good!

Next up was Ursula's plan for the day....a bike ride.  I warned her, like I warned Anja about the mountain hiking, that I don't do that much at home.  When I take a bike ride, it's around the block.  She promised I could do it.  And I did! But dang, I had some moments where I thought I might die.

We saw some very pretty stuff.  I didn't get to take pics of it all because I was riding a bike, haha. But we did stop for me to take a few.

This was a school at one time 

The water was very low as they were working on the dam, but this is part of the Lech River and is an olympic Kayak course! So cool.  Brad has seen people using it.  It was from the 1972 Olympics.  

Ah, Germany.  You even make a simple gazebo amazing.
Part of the dam

I may have put a filter on this one to make it more blue and pretty.  It really was pretty!

There is a pretty little lake near the dam! This one has no filter, the water was completely turquoise.

This was much prettier in person.  The water was turquoise, the leaves were changing.

A street like this, with trees on both sides, is called an Allee in German.

So we were biking through the woods on a path and there was a park there with this fountain.  It still works, but is off for the season.
So pretty!

A Biergarten in the middle of nowhere.  #germany

We biked for about 2 hours! For someone who doesn't bike much, this was challenging.  Plus, my bootie is KILLING me! Holy cow.  Why can't there be cushy bike seats?  It was worth it because it was so pretty, and definitely not a typical tourist activity!  I am reminded again of how blessed we are to know locals and get to do off the beaten path things.  We rode through a field, a forest, by a river and a lake.  It was very cool!

We stopped off at a bakery and got a few pieces of fancy cakes to bring back to Ursula's for a snack.

Apfelstrudel, and 2 other things.  Those 2 other things were my favorite.  SO SO GOOD.  We all had a bit of each.

Jakob was home now.  I hadn't seen him yet this trip. He grew a LOT in the past 3.5 years! He is 16 now.  

After that, it was time to head back on the trams to the hotel.  I did it! Yay! I am such a city girl now.

I was waiting for Brad to come home from the airport (from Hungary) and I laid down and put on a movie on Netflix. I passed right out!  I was so tired.  Nice little nap.  Then my honey came back!! Yay!  He had a great biz trip, and they even had some fun.  They got to do a group cooking class where they made Hungarian goulash!

How cool is that?
Anton had mentioned a restaurant/brewery called Bob's that he said we had to try. He said they make handcrafted beer there and that Brad had to try it!  (Oh, and Anton made some beer as a hobby and sent me home with one for Brad!)  We took the trams again into town and found Bob's.  It was very authentically American! Very cool place.  Brad did, in fact, LOVE the beer. He had a terrific burger and homemade chips.  I had a baked potato with fresh sour cream sauce.  They gave me 2 potatoes, though! Too much.  But very good!

Where Bob makes his beer.

My only problem with the place was the only table they had available was upstairs, right at the railing looking down 2 flights....I had to sit facing away.  It was making me feel dizzy.  After we ate, Brad had another beer and we moved over to the cozy little room up there that had couches.  We sat by Bob Marley.  Maybe he is Bob?

Back at the Rathaus tram stop to change trams.

Dogs in Germany.  They are everywhere.  And not always on a leash.  And always perfectly behaved.
So that is our last day! I can't believe it's almost over.  We are tired and have to get up early to finish packing and drive to Munich for our very last German day, spent with Anne and her husband Chris.  I am so excited to see her, I hope I can sleep! (Still tired from that bike ride, so probably.  haha)