Friday, August 31, 2018

Europe - Day 4

Guten Tag!

Today we saw Munich in the rain. But rain doesn't scare us... well, not much at least ;)

sights driving into Munich

a little bit of rain today

Our main goal was the Deutsches Museum! The largest museum of its kind in the WORLD! As it turns out, too large for us to see it all in a day, but that is ok.

It is a little over 30 minutes drive from where we are staying into Munich. And we got out a bit later than planned, but ultimately it all worked out. We found our parking garage and walked to the museum. (Pro-tip: buy your ticket ahead of time online. This saved us having to wait in a line that wrapped around the building. We aren't pros... but the oldest has been saying that ("pro-tip") lately and it's worn off on me.)

This place is massive and it's almost hard to know where to start. We ended up going down to start and found ourselves immersed in an amazing exhibit on mining.

down into the mine

lifesize figurines are throughout 

even salt mines

This was really, really cool. We ended up going through this somewhat faster than the people around us as not much was posted in English.

Example of a sign/label with English translation

This happened at most of the older exhibits in the museum - the main paragraph or paragraphs talking about the item were in German and then the English would a short paragraph below... but more often it was a single sentence in English. And in several exhibits there was no English to be found... so we deduced the best we could. [Editor's note: As I mentioned before, I read German well enough to get by, but there is way too much unfamiliar vocabulary with something like an exhibit on mining to really read the info. The newer exhibits all have full info in both German and English.]

Deciding what to see after lunch

History of flight exhibit

Exhibit on pharmaceuticals and the production of medicines

in an old style apothecary

View of the museum courtyard

Is it a Mer-man? 

A look back at the Museum as we left


Maypole in the town center, where food vendors are set up, even in the rain.

All sporting our Costco packable rain coat - go team Costco! Hmmm? They don't look thrilled that I made them stop in the rain to take a picture. Note to self.... don't do that to your family. 

A few last sights as we drove out of Munich

The rest of the day was planned for our last hurrah at the pools. Plus we need to pack.... we can't have too much fun.

We ate dinner at the park and got our last float/slide/swim in for our stay. Hubby hit the sauna while the kids went to bed and I got a chance to do a little blogging.

In all honesty it was a roller coaster of a day. I don't think it was the rain or lack of sleep... we have all been sleeping well.  We have had a few bumps along the trip... some literally - We have two scratches, two blisters and one doozey of a bruise between us. But also some struggles finding a variety of foods. Some timing hiccups, etc.
Our young man has a hard time when things don't go as planned. We actually have a few new strategies for this, on this trip. We are doing a punch card for when things don't go as planned... five punches and we get something special. As well as a backup plan Bingo card... with specific things that could go wrong. A Bingo will also yield something special... to be determined by parents.
This has helped him so far. A few things he was able to roll with much easier, knowing they were on the Bingo card. Our goal is for him to accept that things don't always go as planned. It's ok, both to be disappointed by it, and to keep moving.

Based on the amount of road construction, we should have made that the Free Space. Next time ;)

So far we have filled one punch card. Today when I went to Starbucks to get a Munich Mug, we all got treats for that punch card. And 5 spots on our bingo card are filled (not including the free space).
Two of those were today.

But even with a bumpy, rainy day the kids both say it was a "fine" day. From tween/teens "fine" isn't bad at all ;)

Auf Wiedersehen!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Europe - Day 3

Guten Morgen!

We enjoyed a morning with no alarms today. Our room comes with a breakfast buffet downstairs. I had another chance to master the fancy German coffee maker. I ended up with a espresso to start, add a little cream and sugar and I am set. And for you coffee connoisseurs, it was a good shot, not bitter at all - color me caffeinated.
After breakfast we donned swimsuits and returned to the water. Well, in shifts - our young man needed a bit quieter of a day so he and I took our time getting to the pools.

A bit more about the place we are staying. I think it's considered the largest thermal spa facility period. It's massive, I'll try to add a photo of the map.

 [Editor's note: Here is a picture of the fold-out map from the brochure (you may want to click on it to see it a bit larger:
Do you see that pool over on the far right? That's the wave pool that's pictured below to give you a sense of the scale. Oh, and that upside-down L-shaped tan area to the right of the wave pool? That's the hotel.]

 Our room has a view (through the palm trees) of the wave pool. We are staying in the Hotel Victory which is ship/boat themed.

View from Room

Ok, these bunk beds are really cool! 

The facility is also open to day guests so many locals come for the day - today's hours are 9 am to 11 pm... Yup, 11! 

Areas within the facility are keyed and everyone gets a wristband which is your key. The hotel guests bands are fancier still as they are also room keys and room charge (sound like a Disney magicband?)

The hallway that our room is on changes color.... started out a soft peachy when we checked in last night.

Was more of an amber when we went to bed. This morning at breakfast it was green and now its purply blue -blurple, if you will.  Also the elevator is either cool or will freak you out.....

Our room has some cool features: the thermostat is fancy touch screen.

Morning today included watersides for the brave among us... apparently even the ones that look mellow pack a punch (or a blanket of freezing cold water) to keep you alert. Eeks! [Editor's note: On the slide called "Wild River" which looks super slow and calm until you ride it, there is a portion that has a curtain of dripping water that is literally the temperature of ice water. It was surprisingly cold each of the half-dozen or so times we went on it...]
We found the big loungers in the hotel guest area and have set up a home base for the day. We connected for a little wave pool time and exploring the outside pools before lunch.

the wave pool from our lounger
Lunches have been a bit all over the place for us on this trip. Today we got lunch here at various food stands, pizza for some, pasta for others and crepes were in the mix to. 
After an appropriate rest, back to the water. Slides and pools! We took a break late afternoon and I got to see some of the Sauna area and pools they have for adults. That area was more relaxing than the main pools and slides. Then we decided to get dressed in clothes that were not swimsuits and go to dinner. 
We went back to where we had breakfast. And a mellow table service dinner was just what we needed after all the stimulation from the day.

fun architecture at the restaurant
I have to say I am somewhat surprised at the number of people who assume we are from Germany. I guess I thought we had Americans written all over us. But apparently no. Hubby had been learning German on and off for a few years and can read it well. [Editor's note: "well" is overstating it. "well enough to get the gist" is probably more accurate.] He doesn't get to practice speaking much, so this has given him that chance. The kids and I are thankful for his knowledge. it has come in handy the last few days especially! I am learning to say, "I don't speak German", for those times when a 7 year old is trying to tell you how to operate the gate at the water park and I have no idea what this sweet little girl it saying - true story. [Editor's note: "Ich spreche kein Deutsch"] So far I have got "no German" ["kein Deutsch"]... Which will do in a pinch, but doesn't feel very polite. I suppose just talking in English will get the same point across, but we are trying. 
Dinner was tasty... I had a really good veggie burger! Huge Patty and very tasty.

After another break the kids and hubby hit the slides and two pools. We all need a break from wet swimsuits, though some are less likely to admit it. 
Kids and I are getting ready for bed while hubby hits the sauna. Heat is not my thing, but if you like it, I am told it's quite relaxing. [Editor's note: Apparently 185°F it too hot for some people. Go figure...]

Auf Wiedersehen!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Europe - Day 2

Guten Morgen!

Oh wow did I sleep well. I was (and possibly still am) VERY tired. But a solid night sleep was awesome. Breakfast today was a light buffet style downstairs at B+B. Hubby says it's fairly standard German breakfast fare.
I even braved the fancy German automatic coffee machine... I figured no matter what button I pushed, coffee would come out... and if it was a latte, cappuccino or something else.. if it was coffee at its core, I would be ok.
The breakfast area was us and a half dozen or so gentlemen. We appeared to be the only tourists.

Today's destination is Munich or München, if you know your German. With a stop along the way... so we set out to see a castle!

Cruising Along

And see it we did.... we climbed LOT of steps in the castle too! But first we had a lunch fail... oh, the best laid plans. We picked up sandwich fixings last night, remember? And we planned for and had time to make some PB&J and enjoy it before our afternoon tour of the the castle. BUT.... it was HOT in the car where the fixin's were for a bit before we needed them and (probably the biggest issue) we didn't have plates, napkins or anything to spread said fixin's on our bread.
I know, rookie mistake, and we tired to make it work... but ultimately failed and a couple of us were rather sticky in the end. So we snacked through lunch, chips etc. We wouldn't starve.

Getting to the castle requires an elevation gain... how you do it is up to you. Walk about 30 mins up hill.. all up hill. Or take the bus. Seems like an easy choice, but they don't tell you (at least not directly) that it's still a 15 min walk from the bus drop off.
We took the bus and when they dropped us off I noted the walk to the castle was downhill.... easy, but (say it with me....) what goes up, must come down.... wait, that didn't quite work. Ok, how about this... who walks down, must walk back (all the way) up. Oh mamma I am tired!
We considered for a short minute just walking back.. yes, 30 mins, but all down hill. But really you don't care about how we got there, so here are some castle pictures!

They don't let you take pictures in the castle. The tour was good. Lots of info on King Ludwig II. Even with some things covered due to a restoration project, we enjoyed it.  But the stairs... the tour starts with you walking up several flights of a spiral staircase. Enough to make everyone on the tour a little winded. Then over the course of the tour you go up about 3 more flights. And as we have already stated, what goes up... yada yada yada.
We did grab a snack at the castle before our walk back to the bus.

We peaked into a few shops in the town but didn't linger long. Onward to Munich.

Some sights from the drive to Munich

Actually we are staying a bit out of Munich at a Waterslide, spa, sauna, family resort - Therme Erding. [Editor's note: The description of Therme Erding (in German) is: "Die größte Therme der Welt" which Google translate will tell you means: "The largest spa in the world." However, I don't know that the translation from "Therme" to "spa" really conveys the full meaning of the word. It's basically a large thermal water based resort that uses as it's primary heat source a hot spring well where the water comes out at 150°F. It has multiple pools, water slides and saunas. Parts of it are spa-like, but parts are more waterpark-like.]
Once we arrived we had some dinner then after a rest, dove in to the pools. [Editor's note: Well, not literally. None of the pools there are deep enough for diving.] My personal favorite may be the Crazy River... which is like a lazy river on full blast.... can we go again, please! But we hit almost all the pools this evening and may add some waterslides tomorrow. We plan to spend the day here tomorrow... just floating around. Probably won't have many pictures, but we will see.

Auf Wiedersehen!