European Christmas 2014: Munich, Germany

Now this will be my third time returning to Germany and I feel this will be my last beloved trip to my favorite country.

My fondness for the German language and the country began my freshman year of high school and I’ve been on quite the adventure since. To this day, I still am not fluent in German (to my utter dismay) even though I’ve completed four years in high school and various refresher courses at the University of Washington. I am in the infancy stage still with responding to people, however, I can understand and piece sentences together when I hear German.

My goal this next year for 2015 is to improve my German and I know it would be more economical if I could teach myself, but I’ve never been a self-learner. Instead, I excel in courses where I have a physical teacher to challenge my skills, so online courses will not do either. Indeed, looking into programs is one of the first things on my agenda when we return home.

Now onto the details of the trip thus far…

It’s no surprise that during the course of our traveling day to Europe I got terribly sick with cold chills, nasal congestion and a sore throat. Every time I travel international I end up catching something, so I was anticipating that I would. Additionally, the days before, Sam got food poisoning and I had an awful migraine, so given the circumstances I’m relieved we made it here in generally good spirits.

We spent the first portion of our trip with our wonderful friends, the Grays. What a jovial pair they are! There is no end to the laughter and joy when the Grays are around. We arrived at Hotel Schlicker in Munich with a warm welcome from our friends. They were expecting our arrival and warmly greeted us from their fourth story window when they caught a glimpse of us. I hadn’t slept a wink on the plane ride, so I was running on mere fumes. I jumped into the shower to wake myself up and off we went to explore Munich. Samuel and I are very familiar with Munich because we spent 6 days there in the summer of 2013 for our honeymoon. We were only there for one night and wanted to experience the highlights with our friends.

Dinner was spent at the infamous Hofbrauhaus. Samuel and I shared the pork belly and sausage sampler along with a bier and a Radler (beer with lemonade). The Grays had beer as well and each had an order of the pork knuckle. Whenever you visit Germany you are guaranteed to have your fair share of pork! This particular night it was packed. The main beer hall was warm, muggy and smelled of sweat, so we ended up finding a place adjacent to the main hall (less crowded and we could hear each other better).

Afterward, we explored the Christmarkt in the Marienplatz. It filled the square and I felt it was the perfect size (not too big and not too small). We had gluhwein and sweet crepes with bailey’s, banana and nutella. Sehr lecker. A bonus was there was carolers the entire time singing from the balcony. What a very merry way to start the holidays.














Long Beach, WA


We spent a weekend this last month in Long Beach Washington. We’ve been working hard this last year and wanted to celebrate our three-year anniversary away from the bustle of everyday routine. The weather was damp and breezy and for the majority of our stay it drizzled. However, we had a grand time!

Sam did a job well done by choosing our hotel. We stayed at Adrift on Long Beach. The design was natural and their business model was eco-friendly. Instead of the cheap hotel shampoo/conditioner etc. they had my favorite all natural shampoo/conditioner brand (EO products). As soon as we checked in we got a bottle of wine, Theo chocolate and Smore’s trimmings (bonfire supplies included). What a good welcome indeed!

We had the best breakfasts (European style) and we had the most extraordinary dinners. There’s a restaurant attached to the hotel and it’s called the Pickled Fish- a peculiar name for an awesome restaurant. Because we were staying at the hotel, we got a $10 credit at the restaurant! The restaurant was a bit pricey but the food was well worth it. My favorite dish was the grilled Caesar salad. They cut a Romain lettuce in half and grilled it, so when we got the salad it was warm and comforting. It had the same ingredients as your typical Caesar salad but it was presented and cooked in a new way.

I’m going to be honest- The weather was dreary and gloomy all weekend. However, we made the most of it and did a lot of fun activities. There were Schwinn cruiser bikes available for rent at our hotel and one afternoon we decided to take a bike ride in the drizzling rain. On the same day we decided to make a bonfire for Smore’s (also in the drizzling rain).

Lastly, we made a pit stop in Astoria, OR to see the column. Boy, my legs hurt after that steep climb.

Where do you like to go for quick weekend getaways?










Honeymoon Journal Series (Part 8)- Mürren, Switzerland (Day 2)

Switzerland, Switzerland, Switzerland…the land of fresh milk and fresh air. We are now in day two of our Switzerland adventure and we find ourselves in the small mountain town of Murren. Like I mentioned in the previous post, it took a whole gondola ride to reach this tiny town and overlooks the mountains (the monk, the princess and the ogre). We planned on having a relaxing day due my pulled calf muscle. We wanted me rejuvenated and able to hike down Shilthorn the next day.

Naturally because we’re Crissingers we started off with an amazing breakfast. It was a truly fantastic European breakfast experience. Blumental hands-down had the best breakfast out of any of the hotels on our honeymoon.

With our bellies filled, it was time to start the day. We headed down to the local bike shop and were distraught to find that they did not have a bike that fit me. Wondering what we were going to do, the employee mentioned they might have some returned bikes in the town below. Hoping for the best Sam and I took a ride down the gondola and discovered there was a bike that fit my size that had been returned. What luck!

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I’m not a poet and not very good at describing extraordinary beauty, so here is some scenic shots from our bike day.

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We visited Trummelbach Falls, which has rushing waterfalls inside caves.DSC_0220 DSC_0228

Biking and visiting the Falls were the main event of Day 2, so we headed back to Lauterbrunnen for some lunch! Along the way we found a couple of fresh water springs and picturesque places for photo ops.

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At last, when we got back to the hotel it was time for bed and a perfect time for a bottle of wine. Cheers!

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The weekend is here.

Finally, Friday is here! What’s everyone’s plan for this weekend? As I type we are on the open road amidst heavy traffic. We are camping for one night at Wenatchee state park to celebrate Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest (or as our friends dubbed it ” okto-BURR-fest”). It can get pretty cold at night especially since it’s now officially Fall (did that sneak up on anyone?).

Then, tomorrow my little sister is going to her first homecoming! I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to see her all glamored up.

Pics to follow, but have an adventurous weekend!


Honeymoon Journal Series (Part 7)- Mürren, Switzerland

Howdy, Samuel here. I was asked by my darling wife to help give an account of our greatest adventure to date. Switzerland. The land of mountains and vast green landscapes. Of milk and cheese. Of herding cows and base jumpers in squirrel suits. I will pick up our story as we venture into the Alps.

Mürren, Switzerland

St. Beatus – Interlaken –  Lauterbrunnen – Mürren

Our day began with an early breakfast though the sun was already situated high above the Swiss Alps, casting a majestic blue reflection on Lake Thun. We wandered from our overnight stay at rustic Hotel Beatus, down a steep walkway, and arrived on the ferry docks below. Now here on the edge of what I can only describe as the most beautiful lake I have ever gazed upon, I faced regret. Everything in us wanted to forget our plans of travel and swim. So I did…

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After drying off we boarded our ship and slowly motored our way through blue heaven… Arriving in Interlaken, a small city nestled between two lakes, we stocked up on hiking poles and caught the train East. More unexpected beauty as we chugged our way alongside a fast-paced river and officially breached the Alps. Vivid green to milky white the peaceful rolling hills rose steeply into mountainous snow-laden crags on all sides…. We reached Lauterbrunnen, a small town nestled in the valley among hundreds of waterfalls… Here the tracks ended and we would have to continue our trek via gondola. Upwards followed by another short train ride we finally arrived at our destination of Mürren.

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5,400 feet along a shear drop the village stands perched and clinging to the Mountain. We stashed our bags at the Blumental Hotel and discovered a pasta, local bier and a frightening view at a nearby restaurant…

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We spent what was left of the afternoon exploring the tiny shops and meandering the traffic-free streets only to be rushed indoors by a thunderstorm. For the remainder of our stay in Mürren, we would discover every afternoon held a harsh thunder shower that would dissipate as quickly as it appeared. For an hour we cuddled indoors then enjoyed a stroll long enough to glimpse rainbows along the mountaintops before the evening light faded to dark.

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Tschüss Everyone!


Coming Soon!

Hey All,

*Coming soon!*

Since Switzerland was Sam’s favorite part of our honeymoon, I thought it would be interesting to have the rest of our Switzerland journey told through my husband’s eyes! 

Our honeymoon was the first time he had been outside the county (excluding Canada) and it was so amazing to experience it together as newlyweds. Once we head back into Germany, I will take it from there. 


Hope you all are having an awesome week.