I had the most incredible weekend. There is so much worth noting, it’s just completely overwhelming. First and most importantly, my mom beat cancer!!! I’ve reigned in the exclamation points, but I could fill the entire page with them and it still wouldn’t fully express my happiness. I will never forget receiving this news; it brightened up not only my weekend, but my entire world. I’ve got a family full of strong people, and my mom leads the way. She defines determination and poise, and my dad is by her side with unbreakable positivity and support. I wish I was sitting next to him right now, watching our queen walk laps around her bed as she gets stronger each day. I continue to send every ounce of my love!
Although nothing can compare to this news, I had a spectacular time in Munich once I received it, and racked up some great stories to share with them on the phone. I loved every aspect of the city, as well as the friends I traveled with. Two of them were roommates (Stephanie and Juliann) and one was a friend from Chapman (Jordan). I had yet to travel with her, but after seeing her rock a colonial pilgrim Dirndl, and sharing increasingly appalling and hysterical stories each night before we went to sleep, I hope it won’t be the last time. The four of us found some awesome sights and restaurants throughout the city, and although Siri led us through an expansive field for one of them, the walking did us good after our six hour bus ride.
When we first made our way to the Airbnb, the leaves were falling off the trees with such consistency and ubiquity that it could have been snow. We walked down streets that looked like they came out of fairytales, and the house I pointed out to be the cutest ended up being our Airbnb! Later that day, we passed through the English Gardens and saw people surfing down a large rushing creek, and went on an amazing walking tour led by a fantastic guide. He encouraged us to grab a bottle of Bavaria’s favorite beer (Augustiner-Bräu) for the road, so we cracked a cold one as we learned the histories behind a few buildings— some of which were shocking, and others quite hilarious. To elaborate: There is a beautiful opera house near the city center, which caught fire shortly after it was built long ago. In response, the townspeople ran to the nearest beer hall, called the Hofbräuhaus, with intentions to grab as much beer as possible and use it to douse the building. Save your confusion about this questionable logic; they didn’t even get that far in their mission. They drank it all on the way back, and the opera house burned right to the ground. Furious at his people who literally had one job, the king heavily taxed the price of beer until a new opera house could be paid for. This was not a deterrent; fundraising for a new opera house just gave the people another reason to drink excessively.
The next morning, we woke up and embraced the Bavarian lifestyle at Oktoberfest, and we had ourselves a fucking day there. Our first one-liter steins were in hand by 10am, and thanks to our favorite game, we were on stein #2 quicker than I’d honestly care to admit. We may or may not have seen some vikings at the table across from us— Steph saw a group of men with braided beards and was immediately convinced of their viking status, due to her apparent expertise on that particular culture. We sang a lot of German drinking chants, which we came to learn when they blared over the loudspeaker every so often, causing the entire tent to break into song. At one point, I had hiccups that I thought were actually going to end my life, which I completely predicted would happen at the beginning of the day, but they passed eventually. We continued to explore the festival, and found some great food; brats, giant pretzels, and apple strudel were the necessary clichés of the day. Our exhaustion peaked when we arrived home, and we unfortunately proceeded to nap straight through the closing-time of every restaurant in Munich. So, instead of sustenance, we had a few mini pretzel sticks and some tap water for dinner; nevertheless, we woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to go.
On our last day, we climbed St. Peter’s Tower, which leads to a breathtaking view of the city, and even provides a hazy glimpse of the Alps in the far background. There were people all over the town square near the Glockenspiel, doing their Saturday shopping, and relaxing at the restaurant tables that clutter the streets. We found some top notch gelato, and sat at an outdoor cafe for a few hours, chatting and reflecting. It was an amazing weekend; a perfect mixture of chaos and bliss. And what’s not to love about that?