Munich, the Grays & Gluhwein

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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.

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