Friday, December 11, 2009

Garmisch on Thanksgiving I know I'm almost a holiday behind...I don't know how you blogger friends can update your blogs every day???? This Thanksgiving we thought we would try something new....well not completly new. We still wanted to eat a yummy Thanksgiving dinner, but wanted to do something different for the weekend. We heard about these rustic cabins for rent in Garmisch, Germany (Bavaria...which is in the Alps...for anyone who doesn't know). I called about 2 weeks before we were to leave to get a reservation..hopefully. When I called, they said we would be taking the last one...and lucky we did, because one of Thom's co-workers called a few hours after I did, and they did not have anything left. So we were a bit nervous about rustic cabins...they have heat, microwave, fridge, TV and enough beds for everyone to have their own (well, except Matthew), BUT NO water!!! We would have to go to the "wash closet" across the street to use the bathroom...but Thom said.."let's give it a shot!!"
We were just about ready to leave on our 5 hour drive. We were making last minute potty breaks, turning lights off, and double checking everything when Emilee came skipping through the living room, tripped on the carpet, and hit her head on the coffee table...and wouldn't you know it...she ended up having to go to the ER and getting 3 stitches....never a dull moment in our household!!! The trip there was very construction, no traffic jams, and we only had to stop once to use the bathroom, eat, and feed Matthew!! We got there about 11pm. And finally made it to bed at midnight, after unloading the car, and finding the bathroom in the dark...we didn't want to have to get up in the middle of the night to go potty (and luckily every night we were there, we didn't have to...woo-hoo!!)
The kids loved the cabin. It was quite cozy. Thom and I felt like we were living "Little House on the Prairie" style with the loft!!! But it was very nice. And Emilee was thrilled to be a big girl and sleep on the top bunk.

Enough about the cabin now!! One of our goals was to make it to Newschwanstein castle. This was one of Ludwig II's castles. This is also the one that inspired Walt Disney to design his "princess" castle. It was quite maginificent. We had the choice to take a 45 minute walk up hill to the castle, or take a bus ride we chose the bus...are you kidding me...with 2 toddlers and a baby...that 45 minutes would have turned into 3 hours!!! Once we arrived to the top we had about 1 1/2 hours before our tour was to start. We decided to walk to a bridge to get a beautiful view. This bridge was built before the castle...and boy did it show....every other step was wobbly and the boards buckled some. It was a bit intense...especially with 2 little ones. But the view was amazing!!! Once we left the "deadly" bridge we started to head for our tour. We had a hill to walk up after all...and it took about 45 minutes to walk up it. We still had 30minutes before our tour started, so I took that time to nurse Matthew. While we were waiting, we became celebrities. A group of Japanese tourists were amazed that all 6 kids were ours, and they started taking our pictures. At one point we were surrounded by 6 of them taking our pictures. We thought it was funny.
We were unable to take any pictures inside the castle. The tour was short. It was elegant and huge inside. There are 120 rooms, but only 16 were completed, and what we were able to see. King Ludwig was in the castle for 2 days before he was taken to the insane asylum. After the tour we caught our bus down the hill. It was starting to get dark already. There was actually another castle across the street, but it was already closed. We walked around the perimeter of it. This castle was around when Ludwig was a child. He loved it and wanted to make a castle bigger and better...hence he built Neuschwanstein on the hill in front of it. Here's a picture of that castle ( the gold one in the back on top of the hill)
We found a cute little restaurant to eat it for dinner. The kids had schnitzel and fried potatoes. I had some german meatloaf (reminded me of spam, but better tasting) and Thom had a potatoe and beef hash. The food was all good.
The next day everyone was up and ready to go again around 7...amazing that these kids aren't wore out.We were going to go sledding, but the only place to go was on Zugspitze (highest mountain peak in Germany) and that was going cost to $170.It was also extra cold (high of 38...and that wasn't even on the mountain). So too cold. So instead, we went to Reisse See. We walked around the lake and took some family pictures. We relized we haven't taken a family picture yet with Matthew. So we got the tripod out and started shooting. This was also the site of the bobsled track and lake used for hockey for the 1936 winter Olympics.The actual track was still there ~made from built up dirt mounds which was neat to see. It was really extra cold by the lake.

Lunchtime!! We found Biete Cafe Max.When we walked in, there was a bar (but other seatting areas too) and a bunch of men drinking beer and they all stared at us. Our waiter (also the bartender) had a handlebar mustache which the kids got a kick out of. The kids all had white hot chocolate (they all loved),Thom had a Frankinskaner hell beer and I had a Pina Collada.The kids then had noodles w/cream sauce,and then Thom and I had locally made white brawtwarst with their own mustard and a fresh pretzel. The kids also got some ice cream. And Thom and I were treated to a blood orange vodka shot...we were told it was to fight off the swine was yummy. Haven't had a shot of anything since college!!

Our next stop was the Eibsee. This lake is at the foot of the Zugspitze. This was a very huge lake. Our intent was to walk the perimeter of it, but that didn't happen. We probably walked a mile out (and took almost an hour) when we decided it was still s long way to go and it was really cold. So we let the kids throw rocks into the lake. Thom was trying to teach the kids how to skip the rocks on the water, but they couldn't do it. It is actually challenging...I tried it too....and couldn't do it. After about 5 minutes of that fun, we started heading back. It took us only 30 minutes to get back ~ probably b/c I carried Dominick most of the way. Thom had Matthew.

After getting our "winter gear"off, we started heading back to the cabin. We made one pit-stop at a was my birthday and we needed some cake. We got a variety of cakes. We went back to the cabin, and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. While eatting our cake we watched Twilight...for the first time...I know, I know...we're behind...especially since New Moon just came out. But was a great birthday.
The next day was check-out....and our long drive back home....which was uneventful. We were
told that Garmisch ended up getting a "dump-load" of snow on Monday!!! Oh well, there's a reason we missed it. But we are planning a week long ski trip in Feb/March in Austria!!!
Next event in the Christkindlemarket in Nurnberg...December 17th...see you then.