Whew it was hard to leave Paris…especially at 6:40 am when we are still adjusting to the time change.
The trains from Paris to Munich were wonderful. We passed through Wilwisheim, the home of John’s family who he found on a trip with his dad in 2016. We hope to see them when we travel after the semester.
We had a layover in Stuttgart, Germany where there was no heat but the best German pretzels we have ever tasted. Although the kids have been so tired, they have kept mostly a great attitude and entertained each other in uncomfortable circumstances.
John convinced me to sweet talk the train conductor to let us on a train that left sooner than our reservations and although we had a hard time communicating, he welcomed us and our 280+ pounds of luggage onto what we think was a first class cabin. Ryan was nervous the entire wait for the other conductor to check our tickets and held his breath as he read over the papers and spoke no English. He eventually walked away and we all celebrated what was hailed the best train ride ever.
We arrived in Munich starving. The attendant in the dinner car on the train told the kids that they had been robbed of all their food. The kids were scared until we explained that something was lost in translation. We checked into our hotel and headed out to the tram to the Fußgängerzone (the pedestrian zone).
John’s friend Phil said we had to experience the original Hofbräuhaus (owned by the Bavarian government and dates back to 1589!!). It did not disappoint! Tonight there is a soccer game between Bayern Munich and Schalke and fans of both teams were out in full force. There was music and dancing and everything we imagined it would be. An American hostess told us to shove into a table “like Americans do.” We ended up with a Czech couple who came to town for the game. The kids tried out a little of their Slovak and the couple were enamored. They invited us to come and visit their small village. Our waiter was a huge NBA fan and engaged with the boys- showing them his app where he watches all the games.
John and I loved the food. The kids did their due diligence to try everything. The beer was among the best I have ever had (granted, I don’t drink much beer). As much as John and I were enjoying the environment, the kids were exhausted and starting to look like futbol fans who had drank too much.
We promised some German desserts so we embarked on a search in the pedestrian zone. Munich is beautiful and we are excited to explore more tomorrow. Again, with stomachs full and peace in the air, I grabbed another picture. One of the greatest surprises of this trip for me is the lack of complaining about walking. We put 5 miles on today, even though we had a 5 hour train ride!
I was grabbing a pic of the Hofbrauhaus house and noticed the common hands-on action of the boys- it actually is a perfect memory for me.
We are especially exhausted tonight but so completely grateful for this time and ability to adventure together. I’m especially thankful for the family teamwork. The kids haul heavy luggage (yes – we have packing regret), John and I take turns understanding public transit, directions and logistics. The kids attempt to talk to strangers who understand very little English. We are a sports family and it feels like we have been on the same team (often playing in overtime). I’m so happy that some of you have mentioned that you like following along. I like writing about our adventures and want to keep these memories because I know our time will go fast.