Saturday, September 21, 2013

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is upon us.  Dun dun dunnnnnn.  Over the course of the two weeks of Oktoberfest, Munich's population swells by eight million.  And it's eight million drunk people.  Which is why we planned our huge France trip over most of Oktoberfest.

But today was the first day of Oktoberfest and we went.   At least 50% of of the people we saw on the U-bahn there and at Theresienwiese (where Oktoberfest is held) were wearing the tracht (traditional outfits) of lederhosen for men and dirdnls for women.   It's actually common to see these outfits everyday here.  They wear the traditional outfits in Bavaria for reasons like "it's Tuesday, so why not?"  There is not an ounce of irony when Bavarians wear their tracht.  Real life dirndls and lederhosen are very beautiful and classy looking and the images google pulls up of lederhosen and dirdnls look very cheap and Halloween-ish in comparison.  We really should have taken some photos of the people at Oktoberfest, but instead here are some photos OTHER people (thanks, Paige in Paris) took of people at Oktoberfest:



It's not just the older crowd that wears lederhosen and dirndls, either.  EVERYONE wears them:  parents, teens, little kids, grandparents.  There are some very trendy stores that sell very trendy lederhosen and dirndls.

Anyway, we got to Oktoberfest late in the morning and caught the tail end of the Oktoberfest opening parade.  The parade is pretty much bands and horses hauling beer kegs.  Here we are in front of one of the bigger beer tents.
They are called tents and they are temporary structures, but there is nothing tent-y about them.  They are multileveled and have balconies, windows, and architecture.  You can kind of see the parade in the background here.  We tried to get closer, but it was too crowded and we didn't want to crush baby.  Using the carrier instead of the stroller was a fantastic move on our part.  I really don't know how we would have maneuvered at all with a stroller.

It was bright out as evidence by the face baby is pulling.

Since we couldn't get close T had the idea to just move down a few "streets" and then we were fairly close.   The parade is blown out in the background, but baby and I look the best in this photo, so here you go.

The parade, another beer tent, and 10 points if you can spot the "Gandolf hat." (The Gandolf looking hats are actually "traditional" hats but I've only ever seen tourists wearing them).

This is what the horses are hauling.  Decorated kegs of beer.

A somewhat failed attempt at a family self portrait.

With a set of horses that hauls the kegs.  Well, actually it's like 6 or 8 horses that haul the ceremonial beer, but we couldn't fit all of them in the photo.

Getting into Oktoberfest is free so we moseyed around.  Even though Oktoberfest is 90% about the drinking, there are a ton of places to eat, things to buy, and carnival rides to go on.  That last one doesn't really make sense to me - why would you want to go on a crazy ride when you are drunk?  That's a recipe for disaster.

Walking through one of the biergartens we saw a woman (a waitress of beer, if you will) seriously carrying 10 steins of beer in her hands.  And just so you know a stein of beer holds about three bottles of beer.  (Again, photo from Paige of Paris)
She's putting the beer down here, but they walk across a whole beer tent like this without a tray or anything.  I actually couldn't figure out how they hold them all.  It's very impressive.

I'm glad that we went to Oktoberfest when we did because though there were a lot of people, the beer doesn't start flowing until the parade ends so very few people "pre-gamed" and were already drunk.  Quite a few families with little kids seemed to have the same idea.

I had to take the U-bahn again later today around 5:30 p.m.  Kind of funny to see the police standing in a line next to the tracks to make sure drunks don't fall on the tracks.  On the train some people had glazed alcohol eyes but there was only one loud obnoxious drunk and one falling over drunk.  But I imagine the real party crowd wouldn't be heading home at 5:30.

I'm glad we experienced a small bit of Oktoberfest and ever gladder that we will miss most of it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Confessions


  • I just bought my first pair of colored pants (they're coral / salmon).  Pretty sure I'm the last person under the age of 35 to do this.  
  • I've never done yoga.  It seems a little like hippie talk.  
  • My eyebrows have been a mess ever since we moved into our Munich apartment.  The mirror in the bathroom is way high and way far back and the hall mirror isn't well lit enough to use to tweeze so that's just how it is going to be. 
  • When we first got to Berlin I thought there were so many stray dogs.  Turns out most Germans don't really believe in dog leashes and the dogs just trail along behind their owners.  So those dogs weren't strays at all.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The M Family

It's not exactly easy to make friends in Munich.  But we became good friends with the M family before they moved back to the USA.  They have three little girls and we loved hanging out with them.   These are from our last playdate the day before they left Munich.

 Okay, not quite.  These are before their last day.  Their Baby A (a few months older than Pippa) snuggled T.  Quite a rare (and happy) occasion for T to get a snuggle from a baby because Pippa is not a snuggler for either of us.
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The two older girls were playing with a set of play keys and kept "locking" T up in a cage.  Pretty sure the arm that appears to be coming out of T's head is one of the older girls attempting to lock him up.
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And these are from their last Sunday in Munich.  I love that they are all wearing traditional Bavarian dirndls.  I know these photos are all incredibly similar, but I feel like they really show how it is - especially the interaction between Pippa and the M family's middle girl.








Now THESE are from their last day in Munich.  We met at the Laim S-bahn, picked up some popsicles  and spaghetti (for the deer, of course!) and headed to Hirschgarten.

We started at the splash pad area.   Pippa was pretty fearless and I wish I would have brought my swimming suit.  C'est la vie.  I was surprised at how steady on her feet in the water Baby A was because she hadn't been walking very long.
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The older girls got tired of the splash pad so we moved on to feeding the deer spaghetti.  No idea who first found out the deer like uncooked spaghetti, but they do.
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S.M. (the lovely mom of these cute girls) is so impressive to me.  She had THREE girls and seemed totally fearless in taking them all over the city and seeing and doing so many things.  Lately I've been a bit whiny because we've had to take public transit to church the last month and it seems to take forever and it's always raining or dreadfully hot.  But then I remember the M family took public transit to church for almost six months.  And they were almost never late!

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The oldest girl (in the green skirt) would stick the spaghetti through the fence and as soon as a deer grabbed it she would jump back.  It was adorable.
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The middle girl REALLY wanted to feed a baby deer and finally one came over!
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Pippa slept on me in the carrier while everyone else fed the deer.
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Then we headed over to the playground.  This little girlie biffed it hard and cut her chin.  But she cheered up and was ready to play again surprisingly fast.
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The baby and Pippa are a bit different personality wise.  Pippa always wants to follow the big kids and play with them and this little one is happy to play by herself most of the time.
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I'm so glad I'm friends with S.M., an experienced mom.  It's probably typical first time mom stuff, but I was reluctant to put Pippa down in the sand or take her to the playground when she wasn't really mobile, just sitting and scooching a bit.  But S.M. just put Baby A right down in the sand and let her go to town.  She took her kids out to the playground in the rain.  She let them play in the water feature and get dirty.  None of these things were a big deal to her.  And so I did the same things with Pippa learned that it's not a big deal.  I'm very glad I learned these things (relatively) early in my mothering career.

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The playground had kind of a African / tropical theme.  German playgrounds are much more adventurous.  Pretty sure the USA ones are going to seem tame / boring by comparison.
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Baby A LOVES swinging.  Germany isn't big on baby swings, so when you find a park that has one it's kind of a deal.
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We put both babies in the swing at the same time.
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Pippa was having a lovely time, but Baby A wasn't so keen on sharing...  She gives Pippa the evil eye, but Pippa is too busy living it up to notice.
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Baby A winds up...
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And POW!  It was all rather humorous and Pippa wasn't hurt.
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The girl on the right LOVED to get up in Pippa's grill all. the. time.  And Pippa LOVED it.
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This is how we roll at the playground.
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Every single playground in Germany has sand.  I think it's one of Germany's quirky laws.  Like how you can't homeschool and pillows are considered passive weapons.
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Pippa went over to play with S.M. and Baby A totally got jealous and posessive.  It was really cute.
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When we first moved here Pippa and Baby A were pretty close to the same size, but clearly Pippa hasn't grown nearly as much as Baby A!

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When we left we took the same S-bahn train.  The M family got off a few stops before us and it was rough.  I really had to hold back tears.  We miss them so much.  They weren't just our favorite Munich people, they are some of our favorite people period.  Maybe one day we can live in the same city again...