**Haven't had much time in between visits to blog, but want to finish blogging about our travels with Chris' family before my Mom comes!
April 30, 2009...
Chris, Sharon, Carolyn, David, and I hopped on an early TGV train to Paris. The trip was uneventful, which was good. No strikes, no delays, just a smooth trip North. I slept most of the way, but awoke to see fields and fields of bright yellow flowers. We thought they were mustard, but later found out (thanks to Sebastian) that it was canola! I wish I had a picture to show you how beautiful it was. It looked like this http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://image24.webshots.com/25/1/25/44/39512544rKoIch_ph.jpg&imgrefurl=http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1039512544027692426rKoIch&usg=__Qpsbwh04uhb6mD47RI5WumblDuY=&h=577&w=768&sz=70&hl=en&start=6&tbnid=sP5-xpyfO25o2M:&tbnh=107&tbnw=142&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcanola%2Bfields%2B%252B%2Bfrance%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den
The TGV took us straight to the Paris airport for our flight. It was a bit difficult navigating Charles de Gaulle airport (the place is not set up logically), but we managed to get everything checked and ready to go with about an hour or so to spare.
Our flight from Paris to Munich was smooth and fast, only about an hour and a half total. Chris & I had seats in the very last row of the plane, which was strange. I usually choose to ride close to the front, but we didn't get to pick our seats until right before the flight. It was fine though and we arrived in Munich right on time.
Our good friend, Sebastian, was there at the airport to greet us. We had ordered a rental car from Dollar Rental (supporting US business abroad), and after we couldn't find their kiosk, Sebastian called and found out that the rental place was not at the aiport as they had advertised. It was actually quite far, in the middle of nowhere! They told us they were sending a shuttle to take the gang over to the rental car services. Note to self: use google maps when a rental company says "airport location". We figured it would be easy, and have had good luck with Dollar in the past, but were very disappointed with their services. Next time, we do Europcar or another European car company.
Chris & I rode with Sebastian, and David, Carolyn, and Sharon rode in the rental car, which was a Mercedes. We went to the apartment where the fam was going to stay (Chris and I planned to stay with Sebastian and his girlfriend Sina). The apt was quite nice, and the landlady was hilarious. Very particular about her place...having us take off our shoes before going in, and freaking out that there were so many people (she wasn't expecting to see Sebastian, Sina, Chris, or I).
Sebastian & Sina have a lovely apt not far from where the fam was staying. They have only been there a few months, but the place was nicely decorated and quite comfortable.
We were all tired and hungry from our travels, so Sebastian had set up reservations at Augustina Brew House for dinner. We walked in, and it was a HUGE beer hall with long wooden tables to share and waiters and waitresses running around in Bavarian clothing. It was loud and people were clanking their beer mugs every few minutes before drinking back their brews.
We sat down at a table with a bunch of young guys and one girl who had already been drinking for quite some time. They were very friendly and enjoyed chatting with Sharon and Carolyn. We all ordered a round of beers and our food. The pork, potato dumplings and sauerkraut were excellent! I usually don't like sauerkraut, but this was quite good. The beer was also so good and much better than most I have tasted. We ate, we drank, we chatted, it was so much fun! After the meal, we ordered a round of Williams Pear shots, which was a nice finish to our heavy meal. A few of us ordered some more beer as we continued to hang out in the noisy place. One of the guys near us said it was his birthday, so he bought a Williams pear for Carolyn and him to drink together. It was hilarious! One of the guys showed her how to do the shot properly, and they did it together. I was impressed and we all had quite a laugh over it! It was so much fun and I would love to go back there again someday!
The end of the night, we went back to our separate places and crashed.
I didn't have my camera at the brew house, so waiting on pics from everyone else to show. I only have a few from that day, which can be seen at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=23789&id=1012407145&l=bff9c19574