July 26, 2014

In and Around Munich Germany Part 3

Are you tired of my travel photos yet? As you can see Munich kind of stole my heart and I could not get enough of all the sites and interesting goings on.  We started out this day at a Beer Garden with the most delicious food! Of course those pictures uploaded towards the end of this post, even though I tried to get them on the top! Anyway, it was such a wonderful experience and the particular spot we went to was the very oldest in Munich, which made it even more cool! Oh those pretzels......I could have eaten the entire basket by myself! The rotisserie chicken melted in your mouth like butter, and the German potato salad was such a great accompaniment with its lovely vinegar dressing. Of course we cannot forget the beer! I'm not a drinker but I do enjoy an occasional beer or spirit now and then, and when you are in Germany, it would be an insult to not drink a little beer no? After lunch we went into the main center of Munich "Zentrum" and wandered around with no real agenda, just looking and taking it all in. David has been to Munich many times on business, so it wasn't new to him, but for me it was all simply amazing and I loved the vibe of this city and the nice people that we encountered. My first experience of Germany was back in 2004, when we were living in France and took a holiday to the black forest area. It really wasn't long enough to really "get" the culture. This trip really made me look at the German culture more realistic and from my experience, I can honestly say, I love Germany and really want to go explore more, maybe Berlin next time.  
We saw some funny things, like that guy that was basically passed out from drinking way too much and possibly experiencing heat related issues. Shortly after I snapped that photo of him, his friends tried to wake him up with no luck! It was kind of scary there for a minute, because they had to slap him. Then while wandering around I kept noticing that random German people were wearing the traditional clothing that I have shown above in many forms. Some looked like they were just shopping for the day, so it wasn't like there was a festival or anything they were a part of. So, for anyone who reads this that is German, is this normal? We didn't get a chance to ask our friends this question, since they went off on their honeymoon the day after the wedding.
The shops were a delight to brows through, and of course my favorite was the toy store, where I purchased a Steiff bear. Look how cute their toys are!!! My husband said if he were little again and had a choice, he would want to be a kid in Germany. I think I would have to agree!
The final part of my trip I will be showing the surrounding area of where our friends live and a small peek of their flat.  I love where they live, and now when I think about them, I can picture their day to day life and its surroundings!  Come back for the final installment  :)

July 25, 2014

Germany Part 2 Museum Day!

If you don't like museums, you best be on your way hahah.  Anyone who knows me, knows museums are a true passion of mine. I studied museum and gallery display in college, and at one time really wanted to pursue this as a career. I could spend hours in them, and I'm lucky that my entire family adores them as well. My girls were babies in my arms when they first started going to them, and I can happily say that now they too find them as fascinating as I do, as well as important to visit. I feel that when you go to a foreign country, your first attraction should be to visit a museum. It tells volumes of the culture. The most fascinating thing that I found while going to countless museums in Europe and staring at all the portraits especially, is that the locals still very much look the same! Living in the United States, you don't really get to see this, since we are all a mixture of cultures.
I also enjoying seeing just how each country runs their museums. Some countries are quite laid back  with their antiquities and some aren't. I found this the case in France and I was surprised that in one of the museums in Munich, which housed the above "Sunflowers" by Van Gogh, was spotty in their security. They were on top of it for people to not take any back packs in, but laid back while a hoard of Chinese tourists posed with said Van Gogh and leaned against the frame! I will never understand why people feel the need to have their photo taken by the painting! Take a picture of the painting and enjoy it later, why must you have your cheesy self right by it? Anyway...... I decided to snap a few highlights and up close details of paintings that really struck me. I have way more than this but chose some real beauties to put on here. Don't you just love the up close shots of the Van Gogh paintings. One is of the Sunflowers and the other is of a field in France that he painted.  The second to the last picture is of Albrecht Durer. I remember studying this painting in my Art History class and thinking it had such presence and soul to it. So happy I got to see it in person, since he is one of my favorite German painters.
We went to Four museums that day, and lucky for us they were all in one square block and not overly huge.  The other bonus was the fact that we went on a Sunday and only paid one Euro apiece for each museum.
My next will be of the old part of Munich, then I think the next post will be on our friends cool flat, along with some fun neighborhood shots.  Come back if you aren't already too bored with my vacation pictures :)

July 22, 2014

Hans-Gerd and Marion Get Married! Germany Part 1

This post is mainly for my memory of our dear friends Hans-Gerd and Marion's wedding, that we were fortunate to be able to attend. In Germany and I believe most of Europe, the civil ceremony is the "official" wedding. The couple has the option of then having a separate church wedding if desired. The church wedding alone, like here in the US would not count. We have known Hans-Gerd for 20+ years through David's work, but as years passed a very nice friendship formed. When he would come to the US on business, we would have him to dinner and my girls loved when he came. The referred to him as "the cool German guy." He has two daughters close in age to ours, so we always had stories to share and much in common. The fourth photo is of the happy groom with his daughters. Aren't they pretty?! It was the very first time I got to meet them. The handsome tall boys that are in the third photo down, are Marion's sons. They have got to be close to 7 feet tall! Hans-Gerd is about 6 foot tall, so you can get an idea of their height!!! Very nice guys and to see them all as a family unit was so special. They are one of those families that you want to hang out with because they are so genuine and kind. We first met Marion last September while they came to California on vacation, and we all had so much fun together we hated to see it end! When we found out that they were going to tie the knot, we had to figure out a way to go to Germany! As luck would have it, David had to travel to Munich for work in the same week of the wedding!! We are so happy that we got to be a part of their day, it was so sweet and we couldn't be happier for this wonderful family.   After the ceremony, we walked behind this beautiful building and had some proseco and snacks. Later in the evening we went to the reception which went into the wee hours of the morning! Those guys know how to party, hahaha.  The next day, they drove off to Italy for their honeymoon, and let us stay in their cool flat for the rest of our stay in Munich.   We hope to see them state side next summer!