Monday, February 13, 2012

Behind the Scenes

Reality hit with a long day of running around trying to get plugged back into the office. The funny thing about being gone forever is that obviously life is absolutely going on just fine without you and it's almost like having to put in a pair of earrings after you haven't worn them for awhile-the holes are still there but you sort of have to push to get them in.

I've been debating whether I wanted to do a post about the trip and elaborate a little more but I honestly don't know how interesting it would be for anyone but me and possibly Lance. So he and I can just tell each other inside jokes over FB chat and spare you the travelogue. Suffice it to say that if you ever have a chance to go to Munich, or Berlin, or Prague or Amsterdam, go. And if you have a "to visit" list, add them. 

I do have a few fun photos to share though. And maybe a thought or two along with them. 

We started the trip with a ski day in Austria. My coworker Todd who was the leader of our Innsbruck delegation was a Freestyle Skier for Team Canada and then ran the program after he retired so obviously I was in way way over my head. Lance and Chuck, one of our volunteers who joined us, are decent skiers so they were fine, I felt like crying all the way up the first lift but the guys were super patient and I feel like my skiing improved ten fold. As we headed home that night we figured Italy was just across the border so we drove into the border town and had dinner. Not a bad way to unwind and a killer kick-off to the road trip.
Todd getting ready to school all of us
So very cold
Ready for battle
The next day we headed to Munich. And this is when I realized that I was going to love traveling with Lance. We checked into the hotel, got a map from the concierge, walked into the city center, found a restaurant and spread maps and guide books out and spent a few hours figuring out what to do. It was so low key and perfect for a girl who spends her whole professional life planning every detail.
Beer hall 
We did something like this every single day 
Just friends but seriously, this wasn't a bad view for 12 days
Planner (also nerd)

So after two days in Munich we were off to Prague-but not without a stop at the Neuschwanstein castle (after a lot of coaching I finally learned how to say that). Lance had already been and it was a five hour detour/backtrack but so very worth it. It's Sleeping Beauty's castle you guys! We got to Prague early evening and went out exploring. I don't know what else to say about Prague except that you should probably go there and you should probably know before you go that it's an insanely romantic city. Like you'll fall in love with pretty much everything. Another sign I was with a dream traveler-the evening Lance says, "how about we go back to the warm apartment and take naps before dinner?" Check please!
What happens when you send a boy for breakfast by himself

Even lovelier in real life
Hey Bavaria, be prettier
Fairy castle!
Nose in a guide book
I really liked this tree.  
One of the few shots we took together
One of my favorite shots of the whole trip
We left Prague, turned on The Economist podcast and listened to it all the way to Berlin. Berlin turned out to be a lot like Barcelona for me-never a city that was on my list and turned out to be the sleeper hit of the trip. I could have spent a month there. So much interesting history but a very cool modern feel too. We walked for what felt like a month looking for the still standing part of the Berlin Wall and couldn't really believe that such a thing was actually real in our lifetime. 

So. Much. Graffiti. I kind of love it.
TV Tower, cathedral. Old, new. It all sits right next to each other. 
I can't overstate how unbelievably cold it was.  
Checkpoint Charlie 
Following the wall 
One of my favorite stops 
Making Riechstag reservations. And a mess.  
The huge elevator we rode up to the Dome. 
 Then there was more driving. 
So. Much. Driving.

After a night at Lance's we took a train to Amsterdam. I cashed in some hotel points so we could stay in a swankier hotel to finish off the trip. We hit the Van Gogh museum which was on my must do list, I managed to trick Lance into shoe shopping with me and then we spent a good 90 minutes fake arguing about whether the cat photo I had tagged "Amstercat" was funny or not. (It was). 
Someone who can't read German bought buttermilk. 

My Amstercat. I love her. 

And then suddenly it was Sunday and I flew to London and Lance took a train back to Germany. I never like leaving vacation but it's always nice when you feel like you really squeezed all the awesome out of your days off.  I'm sure it's fun to go to Europe when you are young and broke but it was sure fun to be able to just do whatever we wanted for 12 days. Sure let's eat there/see that/stay there-it's pretty rad to travel as an adult with a little disposable income.  Now I just need to work on the next destination-as my singles ward bishop once said "either be on a trip or be planning one." Words to live by.


Senja said...

I love Prague, Berlin and Amsterdam. I lived in Amsterdam for 10 days where I attended a speaking training. Berlin is just exactly how you described it and Prague is really romantic. Especially when it is cold. :)

Glad you had such great experiences!

cay said...

Ahhh, I love Prague and Amsterdam. We opted to skip Berlin, but now I'm even more determined to go.

I'm totally envious of your travels, so I'm glad you gave a little recap!

Welcome back to the USofA.

Whits said...

I am in love with amstercat

lancemcadams said...

pfft! amstercat isn't even near rhyme or near pun. otherwise, you were a pretty ok travel-friend. for a girl.

lancemcadams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
k8 said...

amstercat is, was and continues to be, awesome. no matter how many amstertimes you deny it.

miche said...

Yes, quit thinking the rest of us aren't interested! We have to have SOMEONE to provide vicarious living! Sounds like a totally awesome trip. I really need to get to Europe "someday." But, I kind of do live by that motto "be on a trip or be planning one." I always have to have someplace to look forward to going, even if it isn't glamorous or exotic. Good advice indeed.