Sunday, July 28, 2013

Munich X-Games

Had one last day in Munich with my sister with nothing planned but hanging out, so we took a long walk to the Olympic Grounds to check out both the Munich X-Games and the Tollwood festival.  Kept an eye out for my colleagues and our clients, but there was way too large of a crowd to find anybody I knew.  So we just watched all the little groms testing out skim boards and mini bikes and all sorts of weird new "must have" products.

Germany has hundreds of annual festivals throughout the year, it seems like there's a new one to hit every single weekend. Tollwood is kind of a mini Oktoberfest, but more focused on music than beer, held in a large meadow on the edge of the Olympic Park. It kind of reminds me of the Santa Maria Fair, minus the rides.



Thanks for letting us crash with you Leafers and Dabo!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mittagsessen mit Familie Glas

After walking around Bad Tolz all day, we cruised over to the old 'hood. Through the alley off the Marktstrasse, past the blacksmith with the white dog, up the hill to the crazy hospital, along the street with the elementary school, finally 'round the corner onto Am Weingarten.  I love the Glas' house, their yard, the whole setup. It's so warm and welcoming and fully lived in. It was so fun to show Dave around the house and the apartment where I used to live (which Anna Banana has now fully taken over!) and introduce him to the people who were such a huge part of my life.

We had a nice lunch and then attempted to take a group photo.

Then Dave got thrown into the mix, 
and sweet Anna had a bit of a rough time with the camera...

Thanks for a fun visit Glasis! Hope to see you in NYC soon!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Beloved Bad Tölz

After 4 days in Italy, it was time to head back to the motherland.  As soon as we touched down in Munich, we dumped off our stuff at Leigh's flat and shook a tail feather for the train station - gotta catch the BOB to Tölz!  Though it's only about a 50 minute ride, we made sure to stock up on Butterbreze, Spezi and Schokolade for the road.  I'd been really excited to show DVC around my German hometown (this is where I did an exchange during college and later lived for several years as an au pair), so I was giddy the entire train ride.  It's a gorgeous jaunt through the Bavarian countryside, the Alps looming ever larger as you travel further south.

Daniel's dad (Johannes) met us at the train station, which was nice since it was starting to drizzle as we exited the train.  We arrived just in time for dinner, quite luckily, because Daniel's mom (Lena) is a wonderful cook.  After getting settled and receiving a brief tour of the house, we sat down to an amazing meal.  Lena served homemade schnitzel and delicious potato salad, so I was in seventh heaven.  DVC and Johannes got along immediately, despite (or perhaps enhanced by) a bit of a humorous language barrier.

They got along so well, in fact, that Johannes later insisted Dave try on his lederhosen...

It was hilarious watching these two together.  They were constantly cracking each other up, though I think half the time they weren't exactly sure what the other was trying to say.  Even if the right words weren't there, the laughter was perfectly clear.  At one point, Johannes offered to send the lederhosen home with Dave... as long as he sent back a compound bow in return.  Even trade, no big deal.  Nevermind the potential customs issues... or arms-trafficking charges.

After indulging in an epic Brotzeit for breakfast the next morning (the Bodes do not screw around when it comes to food), we headed out into my beloved Tölz to hit up all the Stephenson's favorite spots...

Started with a walk around to the Franziskaner Kirche, where we had a lovely view of the Kralvariankirche across the way (the white church on top of the hill in the center of Tolz is more famous, but I think this yellow church behind us is much prettier to visit).  Behind the Franziskaner is a large set of gardens where they hold a number of different festivals each year.  The first time my dad ever came to visit me in BT, the Tolzer Rose Festival was going on and we spent hours and hours looking at the different varieties of roses.

We then crossed over the River Isar to the Markstrasse, the bustling center of this quintessential Bavarian town. The pedestrian-zoned street is so adorable it looks like a movie set.  The buildings in this area are all painted with intricate frescoes called Lüftmalerei, so beautiful you instantly feel transported in time.

First stop, as always, the hat shop - so Leigh could watch me prance about singing Ascot Opening Race.

Second stop, Cafe Gotz, for coffee, krapfen and nostalgia - this is the small coffee shop I used to come to several times a week to use the computers and write to everyone back home when I didn't have internet of my own.  It was fun to see that not much has changed - though they've added an additional computer!

We passed by a traditional dress shop with adorable traditional outfits in the window that made me go awwww.  Right as I was admiring them a guy walked by, hearding my oohing and ahhing and laughed; apparently "how cuuuuuute!" sounds the same no matter what the language.

Last but not least,
no trip to Bad Tolz would be complete without a visit to my favorite beer spot - the Ratskeller.

Now, off to lunch with the Glas Familie!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Torre pendente di Pisa


So there's this tower in Pisa. It leans a lil' bit.
A few years back they made it lean a little less, so it wouldn't lean it's way right over.
It's still leaning, just a little more securely now. The end.

The grounds where the tower is located are rather beautiful. And fairly clean, considering how many people pour through each year to take a silly picture of themselves holding the tower up.  It's a good thing Pisa still has the famous ol' leaner, cuz there isn't much else to see in this town.  Driving through the city on our way to the tower, it kind of looked like east LA.

The Italian government is considering installing a clock in the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 
The reason? What good is it to have the inclination if you don't have the time?

How many Pisa puns can we fit into one post?  
Ready, set, go!
 The Tuculets are a tower of strength.

What makes the tower lean? It never eats!

Lean on me.                                                          Once more, with feel-lean!

The Stephensons in a state of incline.

Stay-a away-a from my-a pizza!!

Sorry, I'm done. All finished groaning?
OK, then cue... 
Parental Glamour Photo Shoot!  Totes adorbs!


Pretty cool:  Leaning Tower Illusion
When a pair of identical images of a receding object are placed side-by-side, 
that on the right hand side appears to lean more!
The name is a pun in and of itself!! *mind boggled*

Sorry, I know I said no more puns.
But try to be leanient!!
gif maker