Weekend of May 18-19
Flight prices to get from Florida to Colorado were crazy leading up to Memorial Day weekend, which I guess extended to the weekend before this year. So I decided to take advantage of being on the East Coast and keep heading east… over the pond to Munich, Germany, where I met up with Craig and a group of his friends for the end of their European tour. We had a blast!
The trip started out rather ominously. I had a 4:30pm flight out of Miami, and since 4:30pm ET is 10:30pm Central European Time, I planned to go to sleep immediately to help reset my clock to the new time zone. My first sign that this wouldn’t be a great flight was the baby in the seat next to me; the second was the baby in the seat directly behind me. Miraculously, I managed to fall asleep shortly after takeoff and was sleeping pretty soundly. (Thanks, Trtl!) Unfortunately, I was shaken awake by a flight attendant shortly thereafter.
FA: “Miss, did you want your dinner?”
Me: “No, thank you – I’m going back to sleep.”
FA: “Oh, but it is a delicious dinner!”
Me: “No, thank you – I’m going back to sleep.”
FA: “But it’s so good! And now is your only chance to have it!”
Me: “I don’t want a meal. Now. Or later. Or anytime. I just want to sleep. Thank you!”
I can only imagine that she’s been burned before by customers declining the meal and later demanding it, but… argh. Because after waking up for that interaction, I couldn’t for the life of me get back to sleep. The baby to my left kept kicking me, the baby behind me kept screaming only a foot away from my ear, and I woke up in Lisbon having only gotten about an hour or so of sleep in total 🙁 It’s probably no surprise that on my next flight from Lisbon to Munich, I inadvertently napped the whole way. I wanted to stay awake, but it just wasn’t happening! I hoped that when I actually got into town, I’d do better.
I got to my hotel around 2:30pm, and Craig and his friends were arriving by train at 5pm; I used the time to get a bit of work wrapped up and hit the gym. I was planning on a treadmill workout mimicking an Orangetheory Power Day (short sprints), but when the metric treadmills confounded me and I couldn’t figure out what speed to be at, I gave up and hit the elliptical instead. That light cardio (plus a bit of weight work after) was exactly what I needed to give me a boost of energy for the night ahead!
We kicked off our weekend in Munich with dinner at Augustiner Keller – a brewery / biergarten that was founded in 1812. It was gigantic – 5,000 outdoor seats – and was also pretty packed. Fortunately, we had a reservation, and quickly got a (shared) table on the patio surrounded by lots of Germans enjoying happy hour beers after the work week. I loved how convivial the atmosphere was, and how apparent it was that this was not a novelty for so many people, but just a regular Friday night enjoying the beautiful spring weather.
The drinks were humongous (1 liter steins), the food was delicious, and the company was awesome – I had a great time getting to know Craig’s friends, and knew I had made the right decision in crashing their trip 🙂 We ended up staying all night at Augustiner Keller and not going anywhere else, which was fine with me, since it meant we got to sleep pretty early.
And I woke up on Saturday morning feeling fantastic and ready to explore! Before sightseeing, though, we were off to an indoor activity – an escape room! I had never done one before, and Brian was an escape room enthusiast who seized the opportunity to introduce me. I was a little nervous going into it – with my competitive nature, I wanted to not just participate, but do well!
I ended up figuring it out pretty quickly, and had a blast helping my team complete several puzzles. One of my favorites was a puzzle that involved finding specific books on a gigantic bookcase, setting them on a table, and the weight of the correct books caused a trapdoor to open and a jewelry pouch to drop out of it. This contained one of four rings we needed to find and hold up to specific points in the wall, at which point the bookcase opened up to take us into another room. It was so cool!
From there, we caught a cab to a brewery closer to the center of town, where we recapped our escape room adventure and then bid Brian adieu, as he headed off to the airport and back to reality. Meanwhile, the rest of us headed to Viktualienmarkt – an outdoor food market and biergarten with great people watching. Although it was only 11am, we got steins of beer to go with our pork sandwiches (delicious!). This ended up being how pretty much the rest of our day went – stopping in random places for drinks, conversation, and a bit of food, but never really getting a full meal until dinner at Zum Alten Markt. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we had a blast with this low key schedule!
We did stop into St. Peter’s Church for a bit of sightseeing, where Danielle lit a candle to honor a friend with cancer. But for the most part, the day was pretty lighthearted and fun. Lots of bier, lots of carb-y food (pretzels and potato dumplings!), and lots of banter.
We finally sat down to a good dinner around 7pm, and then concluded our night back at our hotel, where in lieu of dessert I got a lemon cheesecake cocktail that did taste exactly like a lemon cheesecake. The bartender explained the recipe to me (it involved actual cream cheese mixed into the drink, weird as that may sound), and Danielle took a video of the explanation so I can hopefully replicate it.
On Sunday morning, the rest of our group flew out early, and Craig and I were left to wander and explore Munich before our own flight out. We ended up walking nearly three miles to the Englisch Gardens (going through a parade / protest, which evidently seems to be our “thing” – this time against racism), and had a blast watching surfers on the Eisbach River that ran through the park. It was so cool!
But after that, it was unfortunately time to embark upon a long 24 hours of travel. Craig and I flew from Munich to Lisbon, overnighted there (unfortunately not getting to see the city outside of the hotel; we’ll have to go back!); flew from Lisbon to Miami; and finally drove up to Palm Beach, where I spent the rest of the week working for a big client. Planes, trains, and automobiles, huh? It was a lot of travel, but well worth it for a fabulous weekend!