Well, this is my second post to begin with an apology - but this time, I have an excuse. It was Ryan's fault. He went back to being on a shift schedule and hasn't been home, and since the pictures featured in this post are ones he took, I had to wait until he took a day off yesterday for him to share them with me. And there are A LOT. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Oh and don't worry - I'll be back to posting food very soon. Thanksgiving is coming up after all!
After our wonderful visit to Prague, we took a few buses and trains to Munich so we could enjoy Oktoberfest. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Munich City West, which was really convenient to the train station. Our first stop was hunting for lederhosen and dirndls to wear to Oktoberfest. While Ryan and I didn't find any, Alan and Rachel did! We went to Oktoberfest that night about an hour before they closed for the night and I will tell you right now, if you are not on the same level of drunkenness and feeling the camaraderie (or a beer drinker), you will not enjoy it. By that time of night, the tables are sticky and it's loud and crowded. I hated it, but I knew Oktoberfest was the one big thing Alan wanted to do, so I put on a brave face and tried to stay positive. HOWEVER - when we went the next day, I had a much better time. Here's why:
The second picture was the tent where we finished our night - those are hops hanging from the ceiling. We saw so many fields of hops on our trains to and from Munich, it was super cool.
Look at this cutie. It was so great to watch him have a great time with his best bud. Also - our waitress was baller and was able to find wine for Rachel and me.
Speaking of Rachel, the next place we went was on her trip list. I've found over the years of trips with friends and sometimes family, it's good to have a mental "list" of one thing each person wants to do on the trip. So for this trip, mine was the Taste of Prague, Alan's was Oktoberfest, and Rachel's was to visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Ryan didn't have one, besides to see me hold a bird, which I will never do because birds terrify me.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Y'all, Rothenburg was my favorite place I have ever been, and that's saying something. It's part of the Romantic Road in Germany, and is this tiny walled city that is quaint and has lovely people and big open squares and small gift shops, and a beautiful vineyard. I think we also hit it in the sweet spot of our trip, when we can relax a little because there is no agenda and we're just all happy to be together.
When we first got there and were walking around, I saw a woman open her window and water the flowers growing in her windowsill planters and decided that was the dream - to be able to open your windows and water your flowers, right there. The whole town had a very Beauty and the Beast vibe. And if you know me well, you know Belle is my favorite princess.
We also discovered Ryan is a pretty good photographer on this trip. Who knew?! So all of the pictures in this post are from his phone.
Like for real. Check out that picture of grapes. This was the vineyard, which was pretty much right behind where we stayed, Boutiquehotel Goldene Rose (which was lovely and we had a great host, but I forgot to ask Ryan to photograph it and didn't take any pictures of it myself). You couldn't buy any wine at the actual vineyard, but there was a wine shop down the road that sold all sorts of German wines, including the wine made by the grapes in this vineyard. It was delicious.
I want a print of the begonias in the windowsill picture.
Oh, and do you see that tower in the upper left-hand side of the first picture?
We climbed it.
Have you ever realized all of a sudden that you're completely terrified of something you didn't know you were afraid of? Have you ever had it happen TWICE? The tower was so tiny and cramped to climb up, I realized that I might have a touch of claustrophobia. Then, realized just how high up we were and there is no room to walk around up there - it's the bell tower, you, then the railing. That's it. I never had a problem with heights until then. Ryan bravely took these photos with a death grip on his phone and we immediately went back down. Honestly, I completely forgot we did this until looking through these photos - I must have blacked it out in my memory.
After that terrifying adventure, we grabbed lunch on a shady patio and I had this delicious pasta with pea pesto, sundried tomatoes, and goat cheese. Next, we grabbed some wine and decided to walk part of the wall that borders the town.
We were so sad to leave this beautiful place. It's funny, I definitely thought Prague was the highlight of our trip, until we came here. Don't get me wrong - Prague is amazing and we had an awesome time there, but Rothenburg felt like home.
After some very long (and a few delayed) train rides that night, we got back to Berlin. The next day walking around, I think the trip caught up with us and we were so tired and didn't have much on our "list" for Berlin, so we kind of jig-jagged around the city.
We went to a few stops along the Berlin Wall Memorial, ate an amazing burger at Burgermeister, stopped at a Biergarten, and we knew there was a marathon happening, so we went to see the Brandenburg Gate late in the afternoon, hoping it would be over and guess what we stumbled upon?
A roller blade marathon! It was fun to see so many people out cheering them on, especially on a dreary day where we were all feeling tired and ready to be back home.
Overall, we had a fantastic time with our friends - we always do. Thanks guys for being patient waiting for these posts and reliving our adventures with me.
Stay tuned for an easy chili recipe coming to you this weekend!
Food that maximizes flavor and minimizes effort and time.