Multnomah Falls, OR

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The first couple of months of marriage were a whirlwind for us! We’ve had six birthdays, joined a new church (and trying to get plugged in), nesting in our house and overall, trying to figure out what being married and living together really means.

Amongst all the chaos my husband thought of a brilliant idea- to take a weekend getaway to Oregon. Yep, he’s a genius!

We used our Starwood Guest points to score us to free nights at the Four Point Sheraton East Portland hotel! It saved us about $200 bucks!

During the course of the weekend, we saw about five waterfalls. The main one was Multnomah falls. I remember it was sprinkling that day, but we were content. We also filled our tummies with lots of delicious Portlandia cuisine.

For all you nature lovers out there, I would highly recommend this destination. It’s worth the three or so hours from Seattle for sure!

Honeymoon Journal Series (Part 2)- Frankfurt, Germany

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Frankfurt, Germany (Day 2)

“One thing I love about Germany- their endless supply of delicious sandwiches! I know I should watch my carbohydrate intake, but I love a good sandwich and Germany has not let me down.  On our way to Romer Square, we were on the lookout for breakfast. Well, mostly I was craving a pastry, but we stopped at this bakery that had a selection of sandwiches and pastries. Samuel convinced me that we needed something to give us energy for the day’s events, and most likely, a pastry wouldn’t do that. We opted for a fresh tomato mozzarella sandwich instead. YUM!

Because of the hot, humid weather and dense, tourist-filled crowds, we quickly passed through Romer Square, but managed to take a couple of great photos (despite the sun beaming directly into our faces!).

Samuel and I meandered through the city streets in search of Café Karin. We enjoyed a typical German style breakfast, but with a little classy twist:

2 glasses still water

1 glass cranberry juice for me

1 glass of Apfelwein (Samuel’s favorite drink)

Bread, cream cheese with chives, smoked salmon, hard-boiled egg

Fruit Salad

It was an altogether A+ meal.

With our bellies full and satisfied, we ventured down into the U-Bahn for the first time. Our next destination was to visit the Naturmuseum Senckenberg next to Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. It cost us 18 and we explored for about an hour. Let’s just say we learned that we are not museum buffs that day.  It wouldn’t have been half as bad if they had an English audio tour, which I’ve seen at the Paragon Museum in Berlin. They had a huge dinosaur fossil and animal/bird taxonomy exhibit, which was interesting, but it was a shame we couldn’t understand the informational texts.

Samuel and I were still adjusting to the time difference and decided to take a mid-day nap. We awoke rejuvenated, but famished. I was really craving Italian food, specifically fettuccine alfredo. After much searching, we stumbled upon a bar restaurant who was advertising on their specials board fettuccine alfredo. What luck! The pasta was served on a bed of arugula with cherry tomatoes and walnuts sprinkled on top. It was delicious!

It was late and we needed to head back to the apartment to repack our bags, but we wanted to have our last look at the city. We walked further than we have before and stumbled upon the mecca of all shopping districts…and the shops were all closed because it was around 10pm. It is typical over here for everything to close around 8pm, which is insane to wrap my American mind around.

I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to explore more of the shopping district, but we are in Germany, right? I can “shop till I drop” when I get home (that’s if we don’t go completely broke on this trip)!”

And that ends our stay in Frankfurt. My next postings will be about us trekking through the Rhine River Valley of Germany.

Have a woodsy weekend, everyone!

Honeymoon Journal Series (Part 1) – Frankfurt, Germany

 

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As promised today I begin my Honeymoon Journal series. I kept entries of all the wonderful adventures we had because I didn’t want to forget a moment of it. It also helped that my dear husband took a million photos.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY

“We arrived in Frankfurt! The plane ride was to be expected when it comes to a twelve-hour flight…awful. But alas, to the glory of God, we preserved. Flying with Icelandic Air was a good experience. Free television, movies and music were provided but we never received the free meal? Perhaps, the ticket meant lunch/dinner options were available. But really, for a long plane ride like that I was disappointed they didn’t provide at least cookies/peanuts.

Our layover in Iceland was brief, but enjoyable (well, it was for me. I could tell Samuel was a bit flustered with the time constraints). We flew in and it was like a scene from Braveheart. Lush green grass and hills with seaside cliffs, and of course, random, quaint houses peppered throughout the land. It was raining, which reminded me a lot of home. The natives of Iceland were very distinct-very blond, very fair and very, very tall. I felt like I was a dwarf among giants! It was all very entertaining. One day, I’d like to take a little mini vacation there.

Around 12:00 (DE time) we finally made it to Frankfurt airport. I think it would suffice to say that we were over-the-moon thrilled. During the plane ride I had developed a myriad of symptoms: sore muscles, achy body, dry, scratchy and badly sore throat and a stuffy nose. This happened previously in 2006 when I last vacationed in Germany. I could be just a sensitive traveler, but both times the last people I hugged during my departure were sick siblings. Note to self- in the future, I shouldn’t come in contact with sick people. However, it was little Kai, so I don’t think I could have helped myself.

Because of lack of sleep and unfamiliarity in a foreign country, we detoured from our original plan of taking the train to Frankfurt and opted to take a taxi. We would wait until later to take on the Deutsche Bahn system. The ride was short and took less than 20 minutes. We were dropped off in front of Schiffer Café in Sachsenhausen- a cute residential area on the outskirts of the main city, but an easy walk to the main attractions. An employee at the café was holding our room key for us. We booked a cool arrangement via the booking site Airbnb.com. It was the top floor (we had to walk up about 6-7 flights of steep stairs multiple times a day! My legs felt the burn) of a recently renovated, modern-style apartment. I told Samuel it looked like an apartment straight out of an IKEA catalogue. The owner of the apartment works for the Hilton (I think at the corporate level?) and you could tell by all the commodities we were provided with. Just to name a few, we provided us with two different shampoo/conditioners, 2 different shower gels, a massaging soap bars, and a loofa. For a girl who loves to take showers and baths, I loved this place. It had a big ole’ bathtub, which you don’t see that often in Europe. Everything is on a smaller scale and showers are more common.

We both desperately needed sleep, but we also wanted to adjust to the time difference. Determined to beat jetlag, we set off to find us some traditional German cuisine.

Samuel looked into restaurants during the planning process and heard good reviews on the restaurant Atschels. Our dinner order included the following:

Samuel:

1 glass Apfelwein

1 glass Still Wasser

1 order of Pork shoulder

Alyssa:

1 glass Still Wasser

1 order Frankfurter special

Two small frankfurter hot dogs on a bed of sauerkraut and a side of bread

 There were lots of meat and schnitzel options available. Boy, it would be a challenge to be a vegetarian here! I’m not really big on beef or pork, but I’ve gotten over that quickly and decided for the next two weeks to just experience what the culture has to offer.

All restaurants have outdoor and indoor seating. In the summer months the inside seating will be completely unoccupied, while the outside seating is bursting with people, conversation and laughter! The traditional style of seating is comparable to that of a long picnic bench with multiple parties at one table.

The sun was beginning to set and at that point Samuel and I had been up for more than 30 hours. We decided to end the night with gelato and found a nice “bio” -friendly Gelato café next to our apartment.

I was a satisfied Frau.”

And that’s the first part of this series! I hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned because tomorrow I’ll post more about our exploration of Frankfurt and Samuel’s first impressions of Europe.

Alyssa