Tag Archives: beer

not in this century…

Ok, so it wasn’t actually a Century this year. Our weekend up north to ride in the annual Bike MS charity ride for the Utah/Idaho chapter of the MS Society turned into a bit more pre-partying than expected, and it definitely had an impact on my ride.

We normally don’t participate in the ride every year. I prefer to ride every-other year so that I’m not harassing my friends, family and colleagues every year for donations. Since I earned a spot in the 150 Club last year, I decided we’d do the ride this year and planned on just self-donating the minimum so that I didn’t have to bug anyone. I ended up sending a single fundraising email to my network and pulling in nearly $1000 in a couple days, so thank you thank you thank you to all my generous friends for the support.

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Col and I talked Lisa and Jer into doing the ride this year by convincing them the 45 mile leg would be a piece of cake. Col set out intending to do the 75 mile leg, and I decided to just play it by ear. In a flashback to my first year of the ride, I ended up with a bad dental problem in the days before the event, so I needed to see how it would play out once I was on the bike.

We loaded up the Jeep with our gear and bikes on Friday and headed up to Salt Lake City. Hotels in Logan were sold out, so we planned to stay in SLC and just drive up early for the ride on Saturday morning and then spend the night back in SLC again for some post-ride partying. The plan for Friday night was a low key dinner and an early bedtime since we had to be up at 4AM to head up to Logan. Yeah…right.

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Lisa and Jer had never been to Lucky 13, so we took Trax down to the stadium and set out to enjoy some amazing burgers and “just one” beer. Lisa had been on a fast of sorts for the previous month, so she was enjoying her first beer in nearly 30 days. Well, as usual with the Good Times Gang, one led to four, and we left Lucky 13 not for the hotel, but for a bar. We ended up at The Beerhive until about midnight, which meant Trax wasn’t running (seriously, SLC get a clue!). We decided to get a jump on our bike ride and rented Green Bikes to get back to the hotel. Probably not the brightest idea, but it sure was hysterical.

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With only 3 hours of sleep, we made the trek up to Logan, arriving a little late due to my incorrect start time and a little detour I accidentally took us on.  We set out to do the 45 mile ride, but when we got to the turnaround it was still pretty early and we all felt good, so Lisa, Jer and I decided to join Col on the 75 mile ride. It was nice enough, but my mouth was really hurting which made for slow going, and I was holding the rest of the group back. Lisa had a run in with a dog (an actual run in), which was a pretty funny war story. We made the lunch stop a nice long break and eventually got back into the fair grounds around 4PM.

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Cheryl and Jeanne flew up on Saturday to have a fun SLC night with us. We made it back to the hotel dirty, tired and sunburned, but they had cold beer waiting for us. We cleaned up and then went to dinner at another of my favorites, Rusted Sun Pizzeria. From there we tried out Ty Burrell’s new Beer Bar downtown. It is a really cool concept, but was so loud it made any conversation nearly impossible. We enjoyed a couple of the beer choices, then headed back to the hotel to relax.

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Sunday morning we met Col’s parents and Amanda for brunch at Squatters, and then headed out. It was a liver busting weekend for sure, but it was fun to do the ride again. It’s an amazingly well supported event, and accounts for nearly all the funding the chapter receives for the year. Our little group raised nearly $2k among us, so we felt pretty good about our contribution. Thanks again to everyone who donated, and if anyone else is still inclined, my fundraising page is open until 31 July!

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beer fools

We departed Amsterdam for a long day of travel to Belgium. Our cheap tickets required two changes, so three trains to get to Bruges. The first train was a short 20 minute hop to a random station where we changed to a train to Antwerp. We arrived in Antwerp with only 12 minutes to make our connection. Antwerp station was one of the biggest train stations I’ve seen. We arrived on the lowest level and could see four levels more above us of trains coming and going. Of course, our next train was on the top level, so we had to pretty much run in order to catch it.

IMG_5387We arrived in Bruges in the afternoon, and Jeanne made contact with the agency to meet at our apartment. Fortunately this one had not been double booked and it was a short taxi ride from the station. We arrived and met the agent who made quite a show of having us enter the apartment. I understood why once we opened the sliding doors from the main entrance into the living space. This apartment was amazing. A modern, updated kitchen complete with automatic coffee/espresso/latte machine and an electronic juicer led into a large living and dining area. A high end massage chair looked to a large flat screen TV. The chair was pretty much fought over the entire trip.

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Beyond the living space, sliding doors opened to a small, but nice backyard. At the back of the yard, more glass doors opened into a room with a large sunken hot tub and a brand new steam or infrared sauna. Yes…this place was relaxation central!

Three bedrooms on the two additional levels upstairs meant no dorm style bunking. Col and I found our room to be small, but comfortable with a weird shower and sink tucked into the corner of the room. The house was wired for a sound system throughout; all we had to do was plug in our music and we were good to go. We set out right away for a short five minute walk into the main part of the town to find some dinner. Lisa and Jeanne had been to Bruges before, so they knew the lay of the land. We found a small Italian bistro and ate outside as the town picked up for evening activities.

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We’d known since arriving in Europe that the weather would take a turn on our second day in Belgium, so we decided on a trip to the coast for the first full day. We walked to the train station and boarded the train for a 30 minute ride to Oostende. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but figured it was worth the time to at least go see the North Sea. We arrived in Oostende to some blustery weather, but decided to make the best of it and walked down to the shoreline/boardwalk area. There really wasn’t much to see, as this are is pretty industrial. We had some fun with a large, random sculpture exhibit and then Lisa, Jer, and I decided we at least needed to get our feet wet. We kicked off our shoes and socks and made our way down to the water, which wasn’t as cold as we expected. And, now we can at least say we’ve dunked our toes in the North Sea. We wandered the city a bit and stopped for lunch to warm up before heading back to Bruges for a homemade dinner at the apartment.

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The next day greeted us with cold temperatures, wind and rain, so we stuck with our original plan to park ourselves in pubs or other indoor activities. We visited the national french fry museum (yes, Belgium claims credit for this tasty treat!) and a chocolate museum before finding a pub Lisa and Jeanne remembered with more than 400 beers available.

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In Belgium, whenever you order a beer it’s served in a glass designed specifically for that beer (think Stella and their “chalice”). If the glass specific to the ordered beer is not available, the server will come and offer you the option of drinking from a non-branded glass or order another beer. More often than not, Belgians will choose a different beer rather than drink from the wrong glass. In many of the tourist shops you can purchase a bottle of beer along with the designated glass as a box set. We hung out and enjoyed several progressively stronger beers while we waited for the weather to clear. Once the rain stopped, Jer, Lisa, Jeanne, col and I climbed to the top of the belfry in the center of Bruges. The weather hampered the views a bit, but it was still pretty spectacular to look at everything from the top of the 366 step climb! After the tower, we visited the Basilica of the Holy Blood where we supposedly viewed dried blood from Jesus Christ. We headed back to the apartment for another dinner in and evening in the hot tub!

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Our last full day in Bruges was another dreary weather day. We decided to brave the weather and rented bikes for the relatively short ride from Bruges to Damme. The ride is really nice and mostly along a canal on a dedicated bike path, but getting to the start of the path can be a bit tricky with all the cars and traffic in Bruges. We also had to wait about 30 minutes for two large barges to cross under the drawbridge that blocked our way. The ride was very chilly, but we still had a good time. It was clearly off season in Damme and combined with the weather pretty much everything was closed. We wandered a bit before finding what seemed like the only open cafe for lunch before heading back to Bruges.

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Back in Bruges the weather continued to make things difficult. Walking the narrow sidewalks with all the tourists and their umbrellas got to be a bit annoying…and dangerous! We made our way to the brewery that still operates in Bruges for a tour and tasting. The tour guide assigned to our time was really funny and did a great job of sharing the history of beer in Belgium. At the end of the tour we hung out and sampled some of the brews while we waited for Cheryl who was off shopping for a new handmade wedding band.

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We wrapped up the afternoon with a visit to the famous Chocolate Line chocolate shop. With some very interesting flavors (chocolate with bacon and a stencil of Miss Piggy on it), the shop was a lot of fun. We took a sample box back to the apartment to share while we had our third consecutive home cooked dinner. One more night of hot tubbing and the massage chair and it was time to get ready to head back to the U.S.

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The agent from the rental company was nice enough to come to the apartment early in the morning to perform our checkout and make two trips to the train station so we didn’t need to call a taxi. We caught an early morning train to Brussels for our flights home. The heavy loads meant no business class for Col or me. The rest of the gang flew Delta to JFK while Col and I hitched a ride on United to Washington D.C. The Economy Plus seats were nice enough, and the flight attendant in our cabin took a shine to us. She provided several free beers and cocktails to us making for a pleasant ride.

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We landed in DC and cleared immigration and customs rather quickly. Initially, I was going to give my Global Entry pass a try, but ended up waiting with Col in the line for immigration since it wasn’t too long. We were listed for a flight to Las Vegas later in the afternoon, but after some checking, I found we could fly to Houston and then Vegas and be home about two hours earlier than the non-stop flight. We quickly changed our listing and headed to Houston for a tight connection to Vegas. We were rewarded with first class seats for the last leg, which meant we could get a couple hours sleep before our long drive home. 28 hours after we left our apartment in Bruges, we walked through the door at home to a couple very happy doggies.

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This is one of my favorite trips. We had such a great time seeing new places and spending quality time with our friends. An added bonus to me were the new transportation experiences making our way to and around Europe. I can’t wait until our next adventure!

The full photoset from this trip is available here.

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After executing our backup to the backup plan and making it safely to Holland via planes, trains and automobiles, with a ferry added for good measure, it was time to meet up with the rest of the gang in Amsterdam. It was finally time to start our actual vacation!

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I didn’t activate any international calling on my phone for this trip, so we made contact via iMessage with everyone else when they were in Boston boarding their flights for Amsterdam. We agreed to meet in front of the main ticket area at the Amsterdam Central Station at a particular time. So, Col and I left the boat behind and hopped on a train headed toward Amsterdam. We had to transfer to get on the line into Amsterdam, but we weren’t sure of the correct city to do so. We followed some others who we knew were going to Amsterdam and it turns out the train we ended up on made a stop at the airport station. As we pulled in, I commented to Col how funny it would be if we saw the rest of our travel group among the hundreds of passengers waiting to board. Right after I said that I looked out the window and saw Jer and Jeanne standing on the platform! I jumped up and ran down to call out to them, and for a second Jer’s face didn’t register recognition since he wasn’t expecting to see me in that place and time. We had a good laugh and enjoyed our good timing.

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With the whole group reunited, we made our way into Amsterdam. Our apartment would not be available for check-in until late afternoon, so we stored our bags at the train station and set out for a day of sight seeing. First stop was a cafe to enjoy our first beer in Amsterdam! We found a nice spot on Dam Square and paid typically inflated tourist prices for a round of drinks while we made a plan for the day. The weather was beautiful, so we decided to do a canal tour to get a nice overview of the city. We found the boats at the dock and chose a smaller, slightly more expensive tour to get a bit more personal experience. We enjoyed a couple more beers while we waited for our tour time, then boarded the boat of about 20 passengers for the tour.

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Of course the weather turned colder as soon as we were on the canal in our open boat, but fortunately it didn’t rain during the tour. The tour lasted about 90 minutes and we saw quite a bit of the city, enjoying the colorful commentary from our guide. I think this was a great way to get introduced to the city. After the cruise, Jeanne attempted to make contact with the owner of our apartment with no luck. We killed some time grabbing a bite to eat and retrieving our bags, but she still couldn’t get anyone to answer the phone, email or text messages. She called the agency we booked through and after some back and forth we found out the owner had double booked the apartment and it was no longer available to us, even though we had a reservation and had paid a deposit months in advance. Jeanne and I both had some heated words with the rep from the agency, and eventually they found us an alternative that was supposedly nicer than our original booking for the same price. We’ll never know if that was true since we never actually saw the original apartment. But, we weren’t homeless, which was the important thing!

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We dragged our bags the two miles or so to the apartment and got settled. The apartment was nice, and it was in a great location. It also came with an additional guest…a mouse who made appearances in the living room over the next couple days. Once we dropped our bags, we headed to a nearby grocery store to pick up items for breakfast and, of course, beer! A 24-pack of Heineken was on sale for about 6 Euro. Amsterdam rocks!! We ordered pizza in that night since everyone was exhausted from travel and time changes, and we planned an early start the next day for sight seeing, eating, drinking and shopping.

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Over the next two days we explored Amsterdam, including a visit to the Heineken brewery. It was a typically tourist experience, but we had fun with the gimmicks and even got “certified” in the proper Heineken pour! Now we have another certificate to add to our bar wall at home.

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We visited the Rijksmuseum for some culture, which was not my favorite part of the trip. It’s not that I don’t appreciate art or the experience of seeing it. I just don’t appreciate the hundreds (thousands?!) of other people pressed up against me while I do. It’s no secret I can’t handle crowds, so I pretty much breezed through the museum, sticking to the more open areas.

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Our most somber day included a visit to the Anne Frank House and Museum. I’d read the book version of the diary and seen several movie adaptations, but nothing really prepares you to actually see the place involved. Someone can describe the conditions and how small the space is to you a million times, but until you stand in it you really have no concept of what it meant to have so many people hiding in such a small place. And, for such a long time. Other than that, trying to put it into words seems so…insignificant.

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I know I shouldn’t have been surprised about the bikes in Amsterdam, but I was. It’s well known the Dutch enjoy their bikes and that they are a key mode of transportation, but it’s still somewhat overwhelming to see for the first time. Bikes are everywhere, and it takes some getting used to in terms of building an awareness for them as you’re walking around the city. Several times I glanced to see no cars and proceeded to cross a street only to disrupt and anger several bikers. It seems the pecking order in Amsterdam is bikes > pedestrians > cars.

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We enjoyed a nice variety of food in the city, and while it was all decent, nothing really struck me as exceptional. Prices varied, and we went from meals spending very little to meals that could easily break the bank. What struck me is the expensive meals were really no better than the cheap meals. None of us are particularly food adventurous, so we stuck to pretty basic fair, which was easy in a city this size. We did enjoy a nice Indian meal on our last evening, and it was probably the best meal we had during our stay in Amsterdam.

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Amsterdam, despite all the bikes, is a very pedestrian friendly city. We walked everywhere and never took any transportation during our stay. From our apartment we were able to easily walk to Dam Square, as well as the flower market and many other tourist spots. Since we had several days in the city, there wasn’t a need to rush from activity to activity, so we were able to really enjoy and explore at a nice pace. We took advantage of that and sampled all the fun Amsterdam had to offer.

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On our last day, we cleaned up the apartment to reclaim our deposit and headed to the Central Station to make our way to Belgium. The station ticket employees were not particularly helpful, and there are many options for traveling by train to Bruges. We ended up on a cheaper ticket, but with two connections, which meant a long day of travel ahead. But, weary travelers that we were, we still had several days of holiday and the beers of Belgium were beckoning us forward for the next stage of our adventure!

More photos from this trip can be found here.

“the shitter’s full!”

Last weekend, eight of us did what any red-blooded American has to do at some point in life. We piled into an RV for a sauced-up road trip. Shirley had never been on an RV trip, so Jer promised her one as her birthday present. A Brandi Carlile show in Flagstaff was the perfect excuse for an adventure.

We left Friday afternoon for the five seven hour drive to FLG. Our route on the way took us across SR 9 through Hurricane and Colorado City (heyyyy, Warren!) to Fredonia. From there we headed south/southeast on the US 89 bypass via Jacob’s Lake. I’m always amazed how quickly Southern Utah’s scenery can change. One minute were driving through parched desert surrounded by painted red rock cliffs, and the next we’re in a high alpine forest with lakes and streams. Blink and you’re back in the sandy lowlands.

From Jacob’s lake we continued east and made a stop at Lee’s Ferry. My iPhone said it was only 94 degrees, but it felt much hotter…well over 100, so I think the weather app was asleep on the job. We took a few minutes to soak our feet in the Colorado and watch in envy as a large group prepared to put out on what must have been a 10 day river run. The water was surprisingly cold and it turns out the temperature never even reaches 60 degrees at this point of the river.

We arrived into Flagstaff, picked up a rental car to get around town and hooked up the RV at Black Bart’s Truck Stop, RV Camp and Steakhouse. AKA Flagstaff’s ghetto. Jer was finally able to crack a beer and start catching up with the rest of us who had been drinking since Hurricane. The ninth member of the group (who drove up alone after work) arrived, officially transitioning the RV from motorhome to motorhomo based on our numbers.

Dinner that night was culled from Jeanne’s Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives research: Salsa Brava. The food was great and the salsa bar was a lot of fun. Afterward, several of us headed into the downtown area to check out some of the bars. The Friday nightlife in FLG is wild. The streets were full of people barhopping and partying and for a moment it almost felt like New Orleans. The bars were packed and the music was loud, but we had fun hanging out on the second floor balcony of Charly’s, which is in the historic (and supposedly haunted) Weatherford Hotel. As usual, we went out the gate on the first night of our trip like a group that just released from years of lockup. It made for a rough Saturday morning, but we didn’t care since we were headed to see Brandi later that night.

We spent most of Saturday checking out downtown. A late lunch at another DD&D hotspot, Brandy’s Restaurant, proved a good choice. It’s Monsoon in the southwest deserts right now, so an afternoon deluge passed quickly and we headed back to the RV to get ready for the concert. We got in line around 5:30 PM for a 7:00 PM door opening and were about 20 spots back. The girl at the front of the line had been there since 11:00 AM, which didn’t seem like a great rate of return in my book. We met a mom and daughter duo in line and had a great time talking with them, so the time passed quickly and we headed into the Orpheum Theater for the show.

Andy Hull, lead singer for Manchester Orchestra (although Haley had been telling people it was the Flagstaff Orchestra) opened. Brandi and the band went on about 9:15 PM and rocked the house for more than two hours. It was a great mix of songs from all her albums, including six off the new Bear Creek album. I’ve always said Brandi is one of the best live performers I’ve seen, and she didn’t disappoint this time. It’s fun to see this band evolve and get better and better each time with a stage presence that makes it impossible to not be up on your feet singing along. Just as in SLC last month, the band covered Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which really got this crowd going. Two encores later the show was finally over, and even though we were all sore from standing for hours we were sad it was over.

A quiet night back at Black Bart’s led to a relatively early morning rise on Sunday. We fueled up the RV, dropped off the rental car and got back on the road to head home. Our route back kept us on US 89 through Page and across the Glenn Canyon Dam at Lake Powell. We stopped at the dam for a bathroom break and photo op before making the last leg back into Hurricane and St. George.

Filling the propane and dumping the shitter proved problematic on a Sunday evening in zion. After cruising around for 45 minutes, we finally found a mobile home park with an unprotected dump station. While WE had a rule nobody would do #2 in the RV, the people who rented it before us did not subscribe to our philosophy. When I reached in to pull the dump hose from the storage in the bumper, my hand came out covered in what can only be described as…poop. Good thing I’d been drinking since noon AND good thing Lisa and Col forced me to down a couple shots as part of that. So, I didn’t really care and we got our “cargo” offloaded quickly.

Great trip overall, although I dont’ think any one of us was sad to see the end of the RV time. It’s definitely a fun way to travel with friends, although the one who has to drive kind of gets screwed a little.

Here is the photoset for this trip: Flagstaff RV trip – August 2012

it was very soviet

Our European tour finished up in Prague and it was a great way to end the trip. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Prague really impressed all of us.

We left Vienna in the afternoon and headed to Prague via a six hour train ride. We were lucky enough to score our own compartment, so we had privacy and a great view of the Austrian countryside. The bar car was just behind our car, which kept us in a beer supply throughout the trip. Interestingly, when the train crosses the border, the beer becomes cheaper. Much cheaper. Same beer. Same server. I guess the country makes all the difference.

As we crossed into CR and moved toward Prague, things started looking more and more like what most of us expected. Grey. Dirty. Nondescript. In a word…Soviet. It became a running joke for the rest of our visit that something was “very Soviet.”

We arrived at Prague’s central station and upon coming out of the underground we were blown away by how beautiful the city was. Our apartment was a short walk from the station and had amazing views of the Prague Castle. We were about a five minute walk to the St. Charles Bridge. Basically, we were in an awesome location…night and day from Vienna.

The food was great in Prague, as was the beer. It wasn’t as cheap as people told me it would be, but it was still the most affordable part of the trip. We took a day trip out of the city to visit the “bone church,” and that was pretty wild. Our only mishap on the trip was leaving a key inside the door, preventing us from unlocking it from the outside with the spare key. That little stunt cost me 2000 CZK. Bummer.

Our adventure was fun and mostly affordable. For the five of us, 8 nights of lodging, most food and drink, rental car and train tickets was $600 US per person. Not bad for a week-long vacation. There were additional individual expenses like tours and things, but still pretty cheap. My airfare was covered by work, and Col traveled on a combination of buddy passes and miles. The rest of the gang traveled NRSA. So, even our airfare expenses were reasonable!

View the complete photo set for this trip here: Prague, Czech Republic – March 2012

have another beer

A week in Munich, Germany for work made for a great excuse to plan a little European adventure. Since my airfare was covered it was just a matter of arranging lodging, transportation and food. And what better way to travel Europe than with a group of friends? After my business in Munich ended, Col, Lisa, Jeanne and Jeramy flew over and met me for a week of hopping from Bavaria to Vienna to Prague.

I’ve been to Germany twice before, but never to the southern part of the country. The differences between Munich and the more central and northern cities is stark. While much of Munich was rebuilt after the war, the buildings were mostly fashioned to resemble their destroyed predecessors, so the city maintains the charm that makes it a truly special place.

Everyone arrived on a Saturday morning, and after showers and a change of clothes from their very long travel day (actually days), we headed out to explore Munich beyond the restaurants I’d seen over the past week. The weather was amazing, and as we wandered a large city park we noticed a lot of people out enjoying one of the first warm Spring weekends. I mean…really enjoying it. To say we saw some interesting German sausages is an understatement. Europe cracks me up. We spent the rest of the day sampling beer and just soaking up the local vibe before heading to the apartment we had booked for the three nights in town.

Our second day was a bit more adventurous. Wanting to get out of the city centre, we rented a car headed south to experience some outdoor fun. The Zugspitze is the tallest peak in Germany (almost 3,000 meters) and from it you can see into Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. We drove to the town of Garmisch (I made sure to take our little rental Opel over 100 MPH on the Autobahn) to start our ascent to the peak via a historic cog-wheel train and gondola.

At the first “plateau” lies a restaurant and bar serving several ski lifts and jumping off points to various runs. Up the hill a ways is a small church, and during the winter an outdoor bar and an igloo “hotel.” If we had the time and money (about $200 per person per night) a night in the igloo would have been fun.

I’m not a fan of cable-car/gondola contraptions, but I have to admit the views from the car taking us to the peak were amazing. At the top we had some great views and watched as a storm started rolling in. After a few quick photos (including one where we all “straddled” the border between Germany and Austria) we decided it was best to take the long gondola straight down to the mountain base. We had heard stories of tourists getting “stranded” at the peak when storms come in and make the gondolas unusable.

Even though it was getting late, we decided to try to get over to see the Neuschwanstein Castle. The drive was beautiful, crossing in and out of Austria on the way. We arrived too late, as the road to the castle is closed and the busses had stopped running. It wasn’t too big a disappointment because the castle is almost completely covered in scaffolding and wrapping as a part of a restoration continuing through 2012. So, we didn’t miss much. We were able to walk up to see Hohenschwangau Castle overlooking the village, but it was also closed and we didn’t get to see inside.

Our long adventure day got even longer when we decided to find a monastery Lisa read about and have dinner there. The monks supposedly brew amazing beer, so we made the effort to track the place down. Several wrong turns and getting lost (even with a GPS) and we finally found the road leading to the monastery. Earlier we had seen a sign warning of frogs. We thought it was a joke. It wasn’t. The entire road was covered in giant frogs. It was like a game of dodgeball trying not to run them over…and I’m sure I killed a few dozen anyway. We made it to the monastery just before closing and were warmly welcomed and fed. The food and drink lived up to the hype.

Our last day in Munich was spent sightseeing, hanging out and drinking beer. Overall our three days in Bavaria were great, and we enjoyed good food, drink and weather. Next stop…Vienna.

Here is the entire photoset: Munich, Germany – March 2012

end of the drought

My vacation to Lake Powell is memorable for a lot of things. Time with family. Playing with my adorable nieces. Beautiful sunsets and nice weather. But, mostly it’s because I got to drink beer again. Now, that’s a vacation!

We spent a week with my family and some friends of Big Sis and BIL camping at Lone Rock on Lake Powell. It’s a really mellow week, and I look forward to it every year. There’s not much to do other than relax, drink, read and eat well. And, that’s what we did. The weather was hot, but we had less monsoonal storms that previous years. And, during my week there we didn’t have any disasters like last year.

I didn’t actually take as many photos as I would have expected. The heat, combined with all the sand when it gets breezy isn’t all that friendly to an expensive camera. But, I got some good shots.

This was the first year I went over to the Antelope Marina floating restaurant. We loaded all the kids up on D&D’s party boat and took a nice cruise over for lunch. That place was amazing, although the food was really shitty (Big Sis says they’ve had good food in the past).

Bailey took her first boat ride. She did a lot better than I thought she would. Mostly just laid on the floor and slept. Then she came back to camp and tied one one.

Col wasn’t the Tarantula Whisperer this year, but he did catch a toad. And Munchie and Ash did catch a fish…sort of. A big dead fish floated into camp and the girls put poop pick-up bags on as gloves and “caught” the fish. Nasty.

My favorite part of Lone Rock is the sunsets. And the sunrises. I sat up in the tent to watch those, but never had the gumption to get my ass out of bed that early and capture them.

A great trip, as usual. By the end, I was sick of the sand and sleeping in the tent in the bed of the truck and ready to go home.

We stopped over for a night at Happy Fish on the way home. We gained 4,000 feet in altitude and lost 40 degrees in temperature. I’m posting no pictures of that adventure. What happens at the cabin stays at the cabin.