What’s German for murder?

Yesterday I was talking to someone at work who is turning the big 5-0.  She and her husband have decided to celebrate by going to Munich, Germany this year for Oktoberfest. She told me they are big craft brewery people and did the whole Oregon beer trail a few years ago and loved it. Because I can’t help myself and because I always think I’m helping, I told her my favorite Oktoberfest story from when Joe and I went to Munich for his 40th.

It involves this dude…


So before I tell you how my husband and I almost became a statistic – let me set the scene. Munich, Germany during Oktoberfest looks a little like New York City on New Year’s Eve – if it was only filled with Germans, Italians and Brits. The major difference is that this celebration lasts an entire week. My husband and I booked a hotel a few miles away from the actual fair (which is what it is. Rides, food, games, etc). It was the perfect distance – too far to smell the puke but close enough to see the hordes of people walking to their mecca morning, noon and night. Once in a while a sad, drunk dude held up by his two loyal friends would be walking the opposite way. It’s a 24/7 experience. You go to breakfast, you see drunk people. Wednesday at 4pm? Drunk people. But everyone’s laughing. Everyone’s friendly. Even the few Parisians we met there seemed to not hate us. What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t feel unsafe or threatening like a frat party gone wild. It feels celebratory and fun.

Then you make your way into the fair and have to decide which brauhaus you’d like to tackle on that day. The set-up is that each one offers a different variety of beer. The reality is they all tasted like Peroni to me.

Our second day at the fest we decided to go into the biggest tent – the Hofbräuhaus. Imagine 9,000 people singing John Denver’s Country Road over and over again. At first you think it’s insanity – then after a stein or two you wonder why anyone would listen to any other song. Ever.

Once we got in, we looked around like visitors at a zoo. There weren’t people hanging from the ceiling but it seemed like there could be and no one would have said a word.  There were no empty tables so we found a spot to stand and Joe went to go find us a beer. There were no bars – it was all table service. If you didn’t have a table, you weren’t getting a beer.

We took a good walk around the tent and ended up back where we were. No seats. Here’s when it helps to have a husband who looks like he totally belongs in any German or Irish pub. These are his people.

He walked up to a group standing near us enjoying some beers and asked how they were able to get served. That’s how it began. Immediately this 10 foot tall (really) mustached fellow put his arm around Joe and said,” welcome welcome! We will get you whatever you want!” He spoke English with the perfect German accent,” Welcome to zee festival!”.

He and his wife, a formidable woman double my husband’s size, took us under their wing. No waiting in lines for anything for us! They seemed to know everyone in the tent. They had grown kids and grew up in the city of Munich. They asked all about us and our travels and how we were enjoying their country. After a few hours the group they came with left and we decided to go to another tent with them. Why not right? We had our own private guides! We felt like locals. Let me also tell you all that my husband is generous by nature. And like all generous people, when someone is generous to him, he feels indebted. Our new German friends seemed to get all the drinks for free all night, we never spent a Euro.

At the next tent they started telling us about their business. They owned a small bar in the basement of their home. They lived about an hour out of the city. By now I was getting tired. No matter how much fun I’m having, there’s usually a point in the night when I’m done. And because I wasn’t a fan of the beer, I was also pretty sober.

“You two should come to zee bar tonight! We jump in our cah and go, yes?”. “If you want hashish, we have zat too..”

Then I got even more sober. A basement bar. An hour outside the city. Drugs from a German guy who looked like a Bond villain. I looked at my husband who was laughing and smiling and basically ready to hop in this car. I don’t think he heard any of the details of our impending death and disfigurement.

“Our cah is at zee back of zee tents”, said his wife in a deep baratone. I tried to give Joe my usual eye. The one I use when the kids are around us and I want to say,” WTF?!”, but he wouldn’t lock eyes. He was in a German trance induced by John Denver.

I decided to make a big dramatic scene and prayed that Joe wouldn’t fight me on it.  As we walked outside the tent I grabbed him and said loudly,” so sorry! I’m not feeling well, we have to leave. Maybe we will see you tomorrow!” And we started walking away. No goodbye. No nothing. Joe just stared at me. It didn’t matter. I’d explain later. When we were safe.

Were they dangerous? Probably not. Did I let my imagination get to me? Maybe. But here’s what’s kept me alive for 43 years. When I hear a stranger invite me to their basement, I run for zee hills. You should too.

Can we stop celebrating now please?

*burp*

It’s been a month full of festivities.  Last weekend we kicked-off the fun by inviting some family and friends to ring in the Fall.

My sister-in-law took this shot of my hubby and his pals.  She always gets these shots of him. Not just smiling, but literally giddy. Some spirits were involved.

Here’s a shot of my boy and some of his pals from that same get together. Please notice the can of soda that was imbedded into his hand the entire night. A good time was had by all.

Cut to this weekend.

We were invited to Staten Island to go to a local Oktoberfest – how could we refuse? I like this picture because it masks all my problem areas and was taken at a slight angle down – not to mention the photog was miles away from us. Perfect.

This morning we hosted my baby’s 9th Birthday party a few days early. Glow Golf anyone? Because I’m so together and organized I forgot to take my camera and had to rely on my phone, which did the job but everyone has evil eyes.  And yes, I could fix them all, but I’m tired!

There are a few more fun weekends ahead.  Then I plan on getting into my winter cave and not coming out ’till the New Year. Just sayin’.

Sorry the posts have been so far apart. It’s hard to do things and think and write. For me anyway.

Paris to Brussels to Paris

You thought I was done talking about the trip? Silly.

We took a day trip to Belgium. ‘Cause that’s how we roll in Europe. Wanna go to England for tea, should we drive to Italy for the week end? Just normal Parisian stuff you think about when having your double espresso and chocolate crepe. Actually if you’re a real Parisian you have your espresso with a cigarette.

So we hopped a Metro, and then hopped a train, and got another stamp on our passport.  It’s what you do on a Wednesday. Sorry, got carried away.

We realized a few things quickly when we got to Brussels.

1st – everyone that lives there looks like they stepped out of a young, hip music video

2nd – all those Belgium left on the first train to Paris, no worries, plenty of Japanese tourists around to show us the way

3rd – it only takes 11.6 minutes to run smack into the Manneken Pis and grab a waffle

4th – even in its home country, I don’t like Belgium beer. zo en zo

Here’s a few more pics from our adventure. Tomorrow I’ll start talking about normal shit again. Maybe.

 

 

 

Pizza Palooza

 

We dropped the kids off 48 hours ago.  This post is not about the kids. But did I mention that I miss the kids? Waaaaa.

Since then my husband and I have been living like frat boys (except for the annoying jobs that we can’t ignore) – there’s been no cleaning,  no cooking, no making our beds, nothing.  We’ve had pizza for 4 meals so far.  Only two of our meals have contained a vegetable (there was some arugula on one of the pizzas so I’m counting that as one).  Does the wheat in beer count as fiber intake? Is having a persecco-a-day the same thing as having an apple-a-day?

Last night we decided to drive 20 minutes to try a new grocery store. Cause we could. Ok – so maybe frat boys don’t do that. And we have showered and brushed out teeth daily – so no need to panic.

I was planning on doing a cooking post this week.  Not going to happen.  Maybe I’ll do a “cereal of the night” post.

I feel like I’ve already gained 5 pounds.

Here’s some photos of our balanced pizza diet – are you jealous or are you worried for us? Don’t tell me.

Time is beer!

So yesterday was our 16th wedding anniversary (remember I told you guys I was a child bride).  The year we eloped, May 12th fell on Mother’s Day – which is an awkward story for another day.

My sister and her man came down or is it came up? No no, it’s came East and then slightly North to help us celebrate.

Although I plotted my whole life to get out of Pennsylvania, I love our ‘hood.  We live a beautiful area, surrounded by history.  One of those towns had a brewfest in the park, so off we went.

As with every trip to anywhere we don’t go daily.  We got a little lost.

The women in the car handled it really well.  Calm, cool, collected.  The men in the car started sweating.  We heard,” but it starts at 12:30, and it’s 12:34″.  “we passed it, we passed it, turn around.” and finally, my favorite, “time is beer!”. oh my.

Once we finally found the place – the parking was a bit tricky – and we noticed all the other men in the other cars were just as agitated.  By the way, it was a 4 hour event.  We were 15 minutes late.  Once we finally parked, our men leapt out of the car and skipped into the park, they were so happy.

(ok not skipped but it’s my blog.  In their blog they can say they strutted in like John Wayne. Oh they don’t have a blog? Well then, skipped it is).

It was so much fun. There’s something about having booze outdoors that makes you feel like you’re doing something healthy. No?

At first, I took these pictures:

    

Then my sister reminded me of the fact that this is a brewfest, I should have pictures of beer. But look at that pizza.  I immediately knew this was my kind of ‘fest.

Ok – here’s proof that it was not a pizza/pretzel fest:

There were 62 breweries surrounded by trees and sun – it was gorgeous.

   

Another reason why I love this place, punk rocker security guards kept their eye on the Colonials

  

Our favorite of the 62:  A stout from Stone, an IPA from Victory, a Belgian triple from Weyebacher, and a partridge in a pear tree.