I’m sure most of you know this already, but my husband Jeff and I met in 2004 when we were both exchange students in Munich, Germany. The year that I spent there was one of the best of my life, mostly because I met my future husband, but also due in large part to the other wonderful friends I made and the city itself, which is gorgeous and full of art and delicious food (all I need in life!).
This winter, we knew we weren’t going to fly all the way back to the States for Christmas, because it’s just too far for a short trip with young children, which freed us up to travel anywhere a little closer. Is there anywhere on earth more Christmasy than Bavaria??? The trip was well timed, as it fell very close to the ten-year anniversary of when Jeff and I started dating (1/11/2005). Our children have grown up with Germanophile (I know, it’s so rare a concept that it’s hardly even a real word) parents, so it was very exciting to be able to take them to a place that we’ve spoken about so often.
We stayed for the majority of our two-week trip at my friend Tobi’s apartment, right smack dab in the center of the city. After that, we moved to my friend Marriah’s house just outside the city limits in Hohenbrunn. While we were at Tobi’s, the weather was cold, but clear, so we were able to walk a lot and do all of our sightseeing. As soon as we transitioned to Marriah’s, the snow came – quickly and heavily – and we spent most of our time cozying up inside with her two girls, who are almost exactly the same ages as Adele and May.
I’ve got so many photographs to share from our vacation to Germany that I’m just going to post them all with very little storytelling in between.
I’ve divided them up into subjects: Nürnberg, Christmas, Marriah’s, and Kampenwand, but the first few installments of photos are kinda the miscellaneous bunch. I’m putting them out there in chronological order and ending each post after I think I’ve uploaded enough. I have done no editing, so it’s just straight up a lot of photos. Sometimes four of the same thing. But how could I decide between Adele making cute face #1 or cute face #2? And why should I???
The flight to Munich took almost seven hours, which, after flying from the States to Abu Dhabi, felt like a “short flight” to me. From the airport, we took the S-Bahn into the city.
Adele loved riding the train. She was also so excited to see weather other than sun, sun, sun. When we got off the train, she danced in the rain.
Some of our favorite drinks from our time in Munich ten years ago that we have been making for ourselves ever since – Spezi (technically Mezzo Mix), which is cola & orange soda, and Apfelschorle, which is apple juice & sparkling water. (For the eagle-eyed amongst you, yes, May is drinking out of a shot glass.)
May eats Bauernbrot (“farmer’s bread” – it’s kind of a rye-sourdough hybrid)
It’s so delicious! We basically lived off of bread, cheese, and meat.
Despite appearances, it was not freezing inside the apartment, but I think the girls were so excited to be wearing winter clothes that they didn’t want to take them off.
We were heavily jet lagged for the first part of the trip. It’s only a three hour time difference, but that means instead of waking at 6am as normal, the girls were getting up at 3am. Here, a sleepy Jeff curls up with Adele to watch a movie in the wee hours of the morning.
Again with the not wanting to take off her winter clothes, this time in a restaurant.
Every single one of us ordered schnitzel (I think I got the real veal, but the rest of the family chose pork). In Munich, schnitzel is always accompanied by cranberry sauce. When we make it at home, we just use whatever berry jelly we have on hand.
We dined at the Augustiner Hexenkessel (witch’s cauldron), an absolutely delightful hole-in-the-wall restaurant around the corner from Tobi’s apartment. It was dark and moody in our corner of the restaurant to match the place’s name, but rustic and charming at the other tables. I loved the painting behind our table, which reminded me of Franz Von Stuck.
We had exceptional service, because our waiter was days away from becoming a father for the first time and his wife was having a baby girl, so he was very paternal to our two girls. He even cut up Adele’s schnitzel for her and hand-fed it to her! (He also cursed her out for wanting ketchup on her fries.)
The next night, we met up with my old friends Clark and Christian at Wirtshaus Zum Straubinger. The girls were straight up cuckoo crazy that night! But in a good, giggly way (though perhaps not so amusing to the restaurant’s other patrons).
“Obatzda on my fingers!” Obatzda is a soft spread made from camembert, butter, and paprika and is very commonly eaten with pretzels in Bavaria (“Radi, Brezn, Obatzda”). I tried making it at home once, but it did not turn out well. You just have to fly to Munich for it.
Adele ended up in time-out on this bench, but the Christmas decorations were so cute, I had to snap a photo. She doesn’t look very contrite, does she?!
The window in Tobi’s living room
The gorgeous sunrise over the rooftops (you can see the twin steeples of Ludwigskirche on the left side).
Posing with my girlies in front of the Alte Pinakothek, the amazing museum where all the Old Masters are kept.
The girls knew the Alte Pinakothek from this page in their München Wimmelbuch
In front of the Museum Brandhorst, one of the city’s newest museums
Cohen’s was, ten years ago, the only Jewish restaurant in the city and I would go there for dinner every Friday night. The family that owned it became like family to me. I remember lots of free vodka.