Friday, July 31, 2009



Just to assure you there is beer in Germany.
Geography and flavor to be offered in future posts.

HofBrau Park in Herrenchiemsee:
Smaller than standard servings at our own request, as beer is also served to and fro on the ferry.
Munich Tierpark Biergarten:
The Helles bier (light beer) on the left was mine. The Weissbier on the right was Jeffrey's. Brilliant to have a biergarten at the zoo.



Since Chiemsee is so close to Salzburg, I offered to Jeffrey that we should check it out. This is about all we saw as both kids fell asleep in their carseats and we didn't dare wake them. We got some sandwiches at a gas station and ate them in the car on the way back to Munich.
Still, we stopped by Austria for some dinner.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


When we were planning our trip (on the fly, with only about two weeks warning), my dad recommended that we try to go to Cheimsee, or more specifically, the Palace at Herrenchiemsee. He sent me the link and said he thought the kids would like riding on a boat. They totally did. Lola liked eating ice cream on the boat. Henry liked screaming at Lola while she ate an ice cream. Lola also now knows how to say "I'm On A Boat".

This is Herrencheimsee. It may look familiar because it is modeled after Versailles. The Bavarian King Ludwig II built it, and only spent 9 days in it before his death. It was actually still in construction, and even a tour now shows you what remained unfinished. It's pretty intense.

So, we drive from Munich, to three towns named Stock, get a ferry (what does she look like asks Lola; its a homynym says Jeffrey) and push a double stroller all the way up to this Palace. We get our tickets, we join an English-language tour. And we enter into The Grand Staircase.

Not accessible.
Okay Kids.
Let's do it.
Here are the good sports in our family: Henry and Lola.
Clearly, I am still bitching about it.
If you are thinking of going, do it. But it is probably more meaningful if you've actually been to Versailles. Oh, and this place is all about preservation---you lose a little bit of the effect because they have carpeted all of the rooms. I think most people wouldn't notice so much but it only made me want to see the inlaid floors even more.

If you go with a noisy baby, try to avoid the naptime tour. Or bring extra pacifiers. Or just let him make echo-testing noises throughout your tour until the guide finally gives you the okay to just go ahead and leave...


GPS is amazing. I cannot imagine how people survived the old fashioned way. The only note I will add is that Germany seems to have a lot of towns in the same general area with the same name.
The guidebook for Munich and the Bavarian Alps says that to get to Chiemsee, you must go to Stock. Of course, we went to three Stocks. The last one being the correct one. It was all good. At least it stopped raining by the time we arrived. This is Henry checking out sheep in the second town called Stock.


This is just so you can see that sometimes they are actually sitting (almost together) at the same time. These moments are rare, but appreciated.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kinder Zoo

Tierpark Hellabrun has a Children's area that includes rides, a playground, and a petting zoo.
The biggest possible highlight for Lola was that she got to ride a pony. Since she is under 6 years old, an adult had to walk alongside her (that's Jeffrey, the adult). He asked her the pony's name and she promptly told him "Frankie". Henry had a blast in the petting zoo. The kid has No Fear. Here he is about to terrorize some geese. At one point I had to intervene...
This is the kinder, gentler Henry checking out some goats. They pretty much ignored him. One note: there were no staff in the petting zoo. Not a one. I thought it was pretty amazing that they'd trust that everything would just be okay with this environment of live animals, open water and young children. All I can figure is that there are fewer attorneys in Germany.
Now, one for my sister. Anyone who knows her knows that she grew up pretty much crazy for guinea pigs. She had a journal about them. Actually, it was a daily journal that she had to keep for school, but she mentioned guinea pigs daily. So, here's the deal, Aunt Elizabeth, the Munich Zoo has TWO guinea pig sections. One is indoor (seen below) and one is outdoor (seriously). The outdoor one a big maze that has a little section of hutches with water, and a little grain machine where you can buy pellets to feed the guinea pigs. It is under a big tree and is probably about the size of a two car garage and it is FULL of guinea pigs. I think that this is kind of its own little eco-system. It is pretty awesome. Forget Polar Bears. Come to our zoo to see Guinea Pigs.
Another totally American observation: they had American animals in this zoo--buffalo, for example. It struck me as funny.


Henry just knows.
Check out the bench full of girls in the upper right.
He did.


Here are some clues that you are in a great zoo.
Let's take a peek:
A Yakitori Stand/Candy Store (in Munich Zoo):
Kinder Eis kaufen:

Biergarten WeissBier:
Zoo Review: Five Stars


The Munich Tierpark was the first in the world to build natural settings for their animals, rather than cage them--pretty progressive for 1911 Germany. I wanted to check it out. Going to the Zoo is a pretty easy and engaging activity for everyone, even jetlagged, hungry, and cranky.


Anyway, if you can go, go:

Tierpark Hellabrunn
Der Zoo der Stadt Munchen

Kinderzoo Post Coming Soon! (Guinea pigs, Goats, Geese)
Biergarten Reviews forthcoming as well!

Bad Design

Why can there not be curb cuts on the path from the airport to the rental car?

Flight 709

We're lucky.
This is how our International flight turned out for us:

Sleeping Lola.

Sleeping Henry.

Swiss Alps in Sunshine.

Row 11

So here's how things settled in for the first leg of the trip. The airline gave us three seats together and one a row ahead. The poor stranger who would have had to sit with either of my children gratefully traded spots with my husband.

The kids did great from Cleveland to Philadelphia. Lola was a chatterbox and spoke loudly and clearly about EVERYTHING. Among her mentions, of the man seated ahead of her: "That guy has pokey hair." Why yes, yes he does. Do you like it? "No."

"Are we in Germany yet?"
Um. No. We're still on the tarmac in Cleveland.

"Are we in the air yet?"
Um. No. You'll see more clouds and fewer service vehicles.

"What's a service vehicle?"

Import Export

This is how much stuff we're taking to Germany. Just to itemize: those are the kids, that's the sherpa husband, and you can count four check-in bags plus two car seats. This is actually less stuff than we took to Rome with only one kid two years ago. Regardless, it looks like we're taking too much stuff.

A note on the double stroller: absolutely essential to be able to strap down both kids. Excellent investment.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Lola has been sitting in the car for ten minutes now with her ladybug backpack and one of her "kids" (a bunny doll in a dirndl). We should be there soon (or like a day from now...).

Waking up Henry to put him in his carseat. He's wearing a captain awesome shirt.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


It's Friday night and as The Mom, I have the dishwasher going, the laundry underway, and have all the bills that need to be paid sorted out in front of me. I have no idea how I'll manage to get three of us ready for ten days of travel. I say three because I think Jeffrey will manage for himself...

oh, baby crying.
More later.