Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kids in Germany

2012 was to be our 15th Oktoberfest. To make it extra special we invited our kids to come to Germany and experience Oktoberfest and much more with us. So they all arrived together on Saturday, 15 September, for a ten day extravaganza. Here’s some of the images of this very special trip.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

After picking them up at the Frankfurt airport, getting them back to the house and situated, we took them all to the Blockhaus in Weilerbach for some great German food and beer.  Here’s our group; our son Ryan and his wife Jenny, our daughter Kelly, me, and son-in-law Will and daughter Megan.

Sunday, 16 September 2012
Bad Durkheim & the Wurstmarkt

Next morning after a short 40 minute drive we’re in Bad Durkheim for the Wurstmarkt.  After checking into the hotel here’s Kelly across from our room; ready to fest.

Here I am outside our room with the Wurstmarkt festival grounds in the background.

Jeff and Kelly at the vintner tents at the Bad Durkheim Wurstmarkt.

Me, Will and Megan sampling the cold, fresh German white wines at the Wurstmarkt.

Because it’s there.  Kelly, Megan and Jenny.

From the top of the Ferris Wheel.  Two big wine festival tents at the top and one big wine/beer festival tent to the right.

The vintner tents at the Wurstmarkt; 18 tents, 36 vintners.

Jeff, Will and Ryan.  Man cannot live by wine alone.
Sister silliness.


In the wine/beer tent at the Bad Durkheim Wurstmarkt.  Me, Kelly, Megan, Will, Jenny and Ryan.

A great friend of ours, Mike Ryan.  He and his wife Gloria showed up unannounced but knew where to find us.

The kids.  Megan, Kelly and Ryan.
Monday, 17 September 2012
Jeff and I the next morning on the way to breakfast and then an hour drive to Rüdesheim.

Vineyard pictures. The girls.  Megan and Kelly.

Will and Megan, Kelly, Ryan and Jenny.

Dad with kids.  Kelly, Megan, Jeff and Ryan.

In Rüdesheim we sampling the Federweißer, feather white.  The new wine from the most recently harvested grapes; not yet fully fermented.

High above Rüdesheim is the Niederwald Denkmal.  The huge statue that commerates Germany’s victory over France in 1871.  Nice trip by small cable cars.
Mmmmmmm!! Rüdesheimer Kaffee, gotta have it!!
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Weilerbach, local stuff, get ready for the Bavaria extravaganza

All of us on the BAB, Big Ass Bench. In the village of Eulinbis.

Sampling the no-kidding real, European version of absinthe.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

We’ve begun our Bavaria tour; first stop in Bamberg and finally ending in Munich and the Oktoberfest.  Our first stop after checking into the hotel is the Klosterbräu. The oldest brewery in Bamberg, established in 1533.

Dad and sisters, Kelly and Megan, on a bridge over the Main River in Bamberg.

Pretty scene along the Main in Bamberg.  From here the river flows to its confluence with the Rhein near Frankfurt.

Pretty scenery on the Main River in Bamberg.
The Alt Rathaus, Old City Hall, in Bamberg, built in the middle of the Main River.

Brauerei Spezial, the new brewery on the block, well, at least at one time.  They started brewing in 1536.  Great light smoke beer.

Bamburg Hofbrau.

Brauerei-Ausschank, brewers of Aecht Schlenkerla the most famous rauchbier, smoke beer, in Germany.

Brauerei-Ausschank established in 1405.  So if this place started in 1405 why does the Klosterbräu claim to be the oldest in Bamberg? This is where we’ll be eating tonight.

Here’s our table in the Schlenkerla.

Not your typical breakfast.  “For Your Morning Pint”  Bratwürst and Sauerkraut or Weißwurst and Brezel (white sausages and pretzel) with a ½ liter of their heavy smoke beer.

Ryan, Jeff, Megan and Kelly with rauchbiers (smoke beers) in hand.
 Thursday, 20 September 2012
Nuremberg, Kloster Weltenburg, Weihenstephan
Nuremburg courthouse where the Nuremburg trials took place after WW II.
Albrecht Dürer, most famous German renaissance artist, house in Nuremberg.
Tower in the Nuremberg castle.
On the shore of the Danau (Danube) river.  Only issue, we're on the wrong shore. That's Kloster Weltenburg, the oldest monastery brewery in the world.  They began brewing in 1050. 

Oh, how convenient, there's a ferry across the river.

We're all loaded up on this very unique ferry.

Here we go.  No power ferry, just the current of the river takes us across.

Interesting item on the Weltenburg menu, Potato-Rocket salad.  No clue.
Oh yeah, they have beer on the menu at Weltenburg too.
Jeff and I on the shore of the Danube, behind us the Danube Gorge. 

Sisters posing at Kloster Weltenburg on the shore of the Danube.

Everyone gets a Kloster Weltenburg hat.

Return trip on the ferry.

Bad info on the video above.  We did not go to Winklerbrau. Once back in the van we drove to Freising, just north of Munich.  Checked into our hotel then immediately drove over to Weihenstephan, the world's oldest brewery.  After a couple beers it was time to eat.  BAM!  Big Ass Meal, for two. Yes, I'll have some gravy with that.

End of day two of the Bavaria tour.  Time for the What-do-you-know-about-Beer/Oktoberfest/Germany/Wurstmarkt/Wine test. Sample questions:
What are the four main ingrediants of beer?
How many states are there in Germany?  Name four.
What's the number one grape grown for wine production in Germany?
Kelly is on her own.

Jenny and Ryan confer on the test.
Megan and Will do to and must do it a bit better because they end up the winners. 
Friday, 21 September 2012
Tegernsee, Linderhof, Kloster Andech

Jeff and I at Tegernsee. A beautiful holiday lake southeast of Munich.  Oh by the way, they also have a great beer hall/garden.

A one hour drive from Tegernsee.  Linderhof, from behind the palace.  The only one of Ludwig II's castles/palaces that was completed prior to his death.

The man-made grotto high above the back of Linderhof, complete with swan shaped boat.  Inspired by the operas of Richard Wagner. Ludwig II would invite performers of the day do play for him, a one-man audience, here in his grotto.

Linderhof Palace from the front.

Magnificent shooting fountain at Linderhof Palace.

Sightseeing done for the day, checked into the hotel, relaxing at Kloster Andechs with a Doppelbock Dunkel.

The shadow of Kloster Andechs in the setting sun.

Tonight's game, coaster flipping.  It was very competitive and drew quite a bit of attention from everyone else on the deck.  Ms. Intensity just missed.

WOO-HOO!!!  30 coasters flipped by Kelly!!  She and Ryan were the finalists, brother vs. sister.

The ultimate winner and present world champion, Ryan, with 35 coasters

Picture time with liter mugs; Megan with five empties.  How do those waitresses do it with 8+ full mugs?

Jenny with four full mugs.

Saturday, 22 September 2012
Oktoberfest Opening Parade, Hofbrau Keller, Park Cafe, Osteria Italiana

Opening day parade for Oktoberfest 2012.  Here's the first drum and bugle corps to start the parade.

Scenes from the opening day parade for Oktoberfest 2012.

Parade over. We're on our way to lunch at the Hofbrau Keller.  Had to stop by the bronze wild boar in front of the Fishermen and Hunters Museum.

Our evening meal was at Osteria Italiana.  A very good and pricey Italian restaurant. This restaurant has an interesting history.  In the 1930's it served traditional Bavarian cuisine and was the favorite restaurant in Munich of Adolf Hitler.

Sunday, 23 September 2012
Hofbrauhaus breakfast, Hirschgarten, Augustiner Keller, Chinesicher Turm, Hofbrauhaus

0930 at Munich's Hofbrauhaus for breakfast.  Kind of quiet.  Ryan and Jenny trained to Neuschwanstein for the day.  The rest of us were on a beer garden quest.

After the breakfast the first stop of the day was Hirschgarten, the world's largest beer garden; seats 8000.

Good grief!!  That mugs almost as big as Kelly.

It was definitely a beer cover day at Hirschgarten.  Bees were buzzing and chestnuts were falling.

Backup liter mugs.  Just in case.

Augustiner Keller, second beer garden of the day. Megan, Jeff and Kelly.

Time for a snack. Some pommes frites, couple BAB (Big Ass Brezel), two landwurst and one of our new favorites, Obatzda, a slightly spicy cream cheese, excellent on a BAB with onions.

Augustiner's most kickass logo, JW.  Both Jeff and Jenny Wickstrom give it two thumbs up.

In the Augustiner Keller, keller.  Yes, they still use wooden beer kegs.

Megan, me and Kelly in a cute, barrel table.

OK, now Megan's in the act.

And Kelly too.

Back at the Hofbrauhaus for the evening.  Jeff and Ryan on the stairs that lead to the upstairs restaurant and fest hall.
Me, Will, Megan, Kelly, Jenny and Ryan at Munich's world famous Hofbrauhaus. 

Monday, 24 September 2012
Finally!!  OKTOBERFEST!!

Dirndl girls.  Megan and I.

Jeff and his fraulein Megan.

Kelly with the Lowenbrau horses.

Will, in lederhosen, Megan in dirndl.

Cute sign pointing to the closest WC.

Whips to music in the Schottenhamel tent.  Pretty cool but I think I'd feel like kind of a sissy with those little whips after hearing the BAW (Big Ass Whip).  It's gotta be a little nerve racking for the folks under those BAWs.

At the southwest corner of the Oktoberfest grounds is this large statue, named Bavaria.  You can walk inside up into her head.  And so, we did.

There's three little openings in the statues head, only about 4" x 4".  This is the view to the north.  At the right you can see the double round dome of Munich's Frauenkirche, which is right near the Marienplatz.

Right out the statue's forehead is this view of the Oktoberfest grounds.

It was cramped in the Bavaria head; Jeff and Kelly.
Megan and I in the statue Bavaria's head.

Anyone for a cow sandwich?

OK, it's time to go into our reserved table in the Löwenbräu fest tent.  Same table every year, row seven, straight in front of the band.

Father and son; Jeff and Ryan.

Megan and I already up on the benches.  That's not some spare German yelling in my ear.  That's our friend Cajun.

Nice picture of Megan and Will.

Kelly, the new Löwenbräu lion.

Or maybe Ryan.

A video of Megan and Kelly on the bandstand.  They seemed to pretty much camp out up there; at least four songs.

Hey, look at this, there's beer here.
Butt, butt, butt. 

Oh yeah, this is kickass fun!!!

Ryan, Jeff and Kelly.
The end of the night.  Ryan and Will with our waitress.  She's worked our table two years in a row now.
That's it! Next morning we took Megan and Will, and Ryan and Jenny to the Munich airport for their flight home.  Kelly came back to our house for the trip to Berlin at the end of the week for the marathon. It was a wonderful time and so much fun to show our kids around Germany and why we love it here. So, once again, PROST!! 


  1. Great chronolog, Sandy, as usual! Very special with family, instead of us AF drunks!

    Dammit, i don't think I ever had a rauchbier! I'll be right over to correct that...

    ...never saw the whip thing at Oktoberfest...

    You need to stay in Germany. After 15 sorties dedicated to imbibing the Amber Nectar, I think they grant you an honorary beer citizenship. SOFA no longer applies, you can stay as long as you want!

    -- Simo

    PS. "Rocket" is Limey for arugula, an Italian bitter green salad veggie.

  2. Hey! Andy and I are looking for a place to stay in Munich for Oktoberfest next year. Suggestions???
    Any helpful info/tips would be wonderful! :)
    Love your blog btw. I'm getting a lot of travel ideas. Your family is so cute.

  3. Eunie, Send me your e-mail and I will e-mail you our places that we stay in Munchen. Thank you for your nice comment and glad my blog can help you.

    Simo! You are awesome, miss you guys. Thank you for the post.


      i'll be looking out for your email! :)

  4. Wow! Looks like you had a great time! Wish I was there too! Unfortunately, I don't think Joe and I will make it out to Germany this year. How much longer are you going to be there? We would definately like to have a beer with you when we do finally go! Lona and Joe

  5. What a great ass trip! Looks like it was Legen (wait for it) dary!

  6. I finally just got around to reading the Oktoberfest blog. I'm slowly posting some pictures from our trip on facebook.

    The Wurstmarkt at Bad Durkheim was incredible and such a fun way to kick off our trip. The picture of Kelly and I in our goofy glasses cracks me up. The Rudesheim pictures are great and I love the picture of me with the Rudesheimer Kaffee. The Bamberg pictures are amazing. We had such a great time exploring all the breweries. We miss the smoke beer, but I'm glad we can get it here at Total Wine. The Kloster Weltenburg pictures are great and the BIG ASS MEAL picture of Will and I cracks me up. Linderhof was an amazing experience and I'm glad we got to visit one Ludwig II palace. The pictures at Kloster Andechs are great. I love the action shot pictures of Kelly and Ryan. The parade in Munich and touring around the Munchen breweries was so much fun. I love the picture of Kelly with her liter of beer. We had such a great time with the barrels at the Augustiner Keller.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE all the Oktoberfest pictures. We all had such a great time. I completely forgot that we got rained on, because the evening was just so incredible. I love all the Lowenbrau lion pictures too. The video of Kelly and I is so great, I just posted it on facebook too.

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU again for an amazing and very special trip. We will always cherish the experience that we had. I'm glad I was able to put together the scrapbooks too.

    1. You are very welcome Megan! Daddy and I were very happy to be able to share this expierence with you, we had talked about someday when Megan was grown up she will go with us. Of course you did go with us when you were 4 during the daytime. LOL This was a great time for all of us. Love you, mommy