Munchen on dinner with the family

Trip Start May 14, 2008
Trip End Aug 14, 2008

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Thursday, June 26, 2008

We started our trip on a good note, hopping on the wrong train to Salzburg after following the advice of a trusted train employee. No worries though, tonys family stayed at the train station the extra hour it took tony and I to arrive. We were relieved that they were there. We were greeted by uncle mark and mark Joseph as soon as we stepped off the train, we walked to meet up with aunt jill who was waiting by the car. We grabbed some doner kababs completely unaware that one of the most entertaining and joyous parts of our trip had begun.

we drove a few hours to arrive in hersching(sp) but it was a thriving lake town and the hotels were full. We decided to try our luck else where so we headed to ehrling a small town close by. We thought we had found a place to stay but they were closed upon our arrival. Tony and I took a stroll to see if we could find another place close by and were overjoyed when we came across the campsite camping verboten! We were going to walk a little further to the front office but we decided to go back and get everyone else first. We grabbed the gang assured them that we no longer had to worry we had found a place to stay just as we had in many other cities plus we knew the campgrounds were usually cheaper so this was perfect! This would have been perfect minus the fact that tony and I needed to brush up on our german. When we brought everyone to the site and they instantly started laughing filling us in on the fact that camping verboten translates to "camping forbidden"
we went back to where we had begun and realized that we could stay at the hotel we thought was closed...crisis averted we were now free to enjoy the rest of our evening ....and thats exactly what we did.
we all arrived at our final destination the kloster andechs which is a monestary and a brewery. The monks there have almost as much faith in eating and drinking right as they do in God. We enjoyed a scene from our dinner table that looked like it had come right out of a postcard. rolling hills covered with trees, bright green fields of grass,
small homes painted with warm colors and snow capped mountains in the distance. It was a sight! The next several hours were filled with eating drinking and laughing so hard that we cried. I finally heard the whole story of when tony, his brothers and his cousins crashed their dads truck into a tree. And we shared funny quotes and stories that made time fly. Aunt jill filled us in on the importance of the "hand shot" where u take a beginning pic of just hands on the beers. (we have been doing our best to continue this tradtion) we played games like "who can make the ugliest face into the
camera" and in general got pretty schnockered! We all made our way back to the hotel and called it quits for the night except tony and mark Joseph
who played cards into the wee hours of the morning(tony wants me to note that he won the game not that anyones counting)
Day 2........
Allison is wrong, I'm am somebody, and I am counting my win against my younger cousin mark. Day 2 we woke up and enjoyed breakfast with the family. Afterwards I found out that Aunt Jill and Uncle Mark had paid for breakfast and my room. This was astonishing since they had already grabbed the bill the night before that contained our 22 or so litres of beet and our delicious meals. Very generous Aunt Jill and Uncle Mark. It is a warm feeling I get knowing that not only will you take me out and get me drunker than a skunk, but you will also provide my room and board when I no longer have my motor skills:-)
Uncle Mark was wanting to check out some of the towns in the surrounding lake area. We made a short car ride to driessen, a quaint lake town filled with local art in its stores and streets. We took turns visiting stores that appealed to each other, accumulating some fine trinkets along the way. After making our way down the street we found a nice Italian eatery to relax and enjoy lunch. We started with assorted antipasta and made sure to order heavy on the water. I got a little trigger happy on the pizza and ordered 4 of which less than half was eaten. It was no matter, for it was all eaten before the end of the day. The sun and cool breeze could have kept us for hours, but it was Mark and Jills last day and there was more to see. We got back to the car and sped off calmly as the parking ticket officer was at the car next to us. Some may never understand our level of cunning. Out of the rural scene and on to the big city.
Munich is only a half hour drive from the lake. Thanks to good driving and navigating by the Mark's, we made it to our hostel in no time. We got situated and as the Bublitz ran quick errands, Allison and I caught a nap. When they returned we headed out to catch more action from the Euro soccer tournament. We went for a quick half litre at one pub before heading towards the famous hofbrauhaus for the second game. This treasure in the heart of the Bavarian capital is nothing but joyful pandamonium.This is the place you think of when you imagine Germans wearing traditional outfits, cheersing gigantic beer steins and singing along with the tune the tuba player is belting out of his puffed red cheeks. There were many tourists , but the Bavarians still frequented the place. It completely retained its authenticity. We ordered up some more litre beers and practiced our Bavarian toasting method. It was a calmer night this night as we enjoyed each others company knowing Mark and Jill were leaving in the morning. As the second soccer game ended, so too did our night. We walked slowly back to our hotel and turned in for the night. The next morning we gave a quick hug and goodbye to my aunt and uncle as we had no plans of staying awake for more than a minute or so at 5 in the morning. I have always enjoyed greatly the time with my extended family. The joy of seeing them combined with the high of being on vacation saw me happier than I can remember in years. Now I just need the rest of you Bublitz and Rancours to meet up in Madrid, Paris, or Amsterdam.
day 3.... After we woke and realized we could stay one more night in Munich, Tony, Mark and I decided to check out the most famous castle in germany. You may be familiar with it because there is a copy in Disney world aka cinderellas castle. The true name is neuschwanstein and it was incrediable! We hiked up the hill to the top and were blown away by the view. Mountains everywhere, little streams and waterfalls weaved through the hills, and plush greenery everywhere. This was so far the best view of the landscape. We went on an English guided tour through the palace as we explored the former home of Ludwig II. We walked through throne rooms, bed rooms, and living rooms that were immaculate. When we were done oogling over the palace and the views we hiked back down the mountain and started making plans for the evening.
On our way down the mountain, Mark and I realized getting back to Munich in time for the soccer game was "not possible". Allison struggled to keep up due to her deep focus on the ground in order to avoid horse dung. Horse dung is what Mark and I thought about missing the Austria game. Then I had an epiphany, we would stay on Fussin(the small town at the foot of the mountain on which the castle I'd built) for the game and catch the last train back to Munich.
When we got to town the rain picked up to a downpour. Allison and I took the high road sipping hot chocolate and a weissbier respectively. Mark borrowed our cheap and half broken umbrella to brave the rain and find a bar with open seats. He found a good one with seating right next to the tv. We bought three bratwurst hot off the grill as we waited for the rain to die down for our trip to the next place. A day removed from my headache caused by the numerous litres of kloster andechs, the tasty german brew once again went down smooth. We enjoyed a few appetizers and more beers as we watched Germany lose to Croatia and Austria begin their match. We were able to get most of the match in before needing to leave for the last train out.
We shared a few more beers and a fair amount of laughs on the two hour ride back. Our hotel was only a short walk from the train station, we walked in the door and plopped on our beds. I asked Mark if he still wanted to go out again, he was willing and we decided we should get up and out before we fell asleep. Allison was feeling a bit sick, so she used her night alone for a hot bath and tv in bed. Mark and I were not sure where to go for a beer so close to midnight in Munich. We had an incredibly overpriced heineken at a hotel. We got some pretentious advise from our waiter that "(we) might be looking for something like the American hostel bars." What a snooty jerk, he had no idea what we liked.
We went to the hostel bar next, and it was perfect! Cheap drinks, people our age speaking English, music, and cheap drinks. I bought multiple €1.50 shots of jagermeister for us and we made a few friends. We sipped our beers and partook in the ever common topic of how much non americans despise Bush and wish they had a vote themselves to cast for Obama. The Australian bartender started declaring last call and the bruiser of a bouncer started escorting people out. One of our new friends proclaimed he was going to a sports bar that was still open, I told Mark the NBA finals should be on and we should go. The finals were on and we grabbed another beer. This should have been my clue as to start heading home. Simple math: Finals start at 8et and it was the third quarter which means about 10:30et, Munich is 6 hours ahead, means it was 4:30 on the morning. I think once again our excitement of being on vacation gave us reserve energy. So we followed another friend with some other English and Americans to the next bar. We grabbed more beers and threw some darts. We thought after while of might be getting late, so we headed out of the bar towards home. This is when we finally realized what time it was. Simple math: the sun is shining bright, dear god its the next day. We got home and snuck into our beds to not wake Allison out of hers.
We woke up to the knocks of the hotel staff. Thinking of our regular vacation wake up time, we asked each other "why the he'll would they be knocking at 10 in the morning. Then we realized in Mark and I's late return and Allisons sickness we slept through check out until one in the afternoon. We raced for showers and packed quickly. New day, to the train station for the next town.

p.s. I assure you no animals were harmed in this fantastic display of drinking. I also assure you none of the characters depicted actually have any kind of drinking problem. It was just celebration combined with the fact that you drink a few tall beers in Germany on a nightly basis anyway. Prost!!!!!!!!!!!

day 2.....
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