I think it's only fair that since an earlier blog was dedicated to my frustrations, that I owe a big one to Munchen and need to tell you a little bit more about the wonderful place where we are hanging out....
Weeks 8 and 10 (sorry to be a bit out of order, but it just works better that way...) included Easter time and trips to the zoo, Schloss Linderhof, Dachau Memorial, Olympiapark and many trips to the English Gardens. Spring is definitely sprung, as especially noted by the constant sniffles, wheezing and even puffy eyes from all the crazy pollen in the air. This does mean that it is gorgeous here now.
So in honor of Munich, here is a list of my top 5 loves:
#1 Love- Biergartens every 5 blocks or so. Why don't these exist anywhere else in the world? Why can't Seattle pick up on this trend, at least every mile or so? Seattle is a beer city, and people enjoy it without going nuts- seems like it could work. Not only is DE beer fantastic, but to be able to safely sit outside, chat with strangers, and watch your kids play in a great park while you enjoy a cold one and/or a great brat and/or ice cream then walk home..... geez. Are we nuts? This is the best.
#2 Love- The English Garden. We have started spending more and more time in the English Garden (LOVE that). Eric even made brats one night and we rode 5 minutes to the English Garden, had a picnic, watched people tightrope between trees, do the drum circle thing, play soccer, etc. People here flock to the parks when it's nice. Not in little groups, but in herds. Germans really appreciate sunshine and green spaces.
#3 Love-Bike Paths. Not only is Munich flat (not that I would really wish that upon Seattle), but it is really a biking culture. There are at least 50 bikes in the lobby downstairs at our elevator. The bike paths are amazing- everywhere- along every road. I only ride on a street for about 5 blocks of a 1 1/2 mile ride to the kids' school. If we cross the street to the other side of the Isar River, you can ride uninterrupted by cross streets for about 20 KM each way on the river path. Geez I hope I keep this up at home-- but the disrespect between cars and bikes in Seattle is scary, and we certainly lack safe paths and good drivers.....
#4 Love- Neighborhood Market Days. In Lehel, our neighborhood market is Thursday. Local merchants from neighboring farms set up their stalls with fresh vegetables, meats, juices and eggs. Then there are the "cake ladies," famous throughout Munich, at the Lehel market, who bring homemade traditional cakes. The line up for a piece of cake is usually about 20 people long, and starts while the ladies are setting up. My favorite is the Hegeler Farm stand that has fresh chicken, homemade spinach and cheese ravioli, and homemade tomato and paprika sauce. I get a load of it every week. Something is seriously wrong with our overprocessed, and somewhat bland food-- and I say this even in the wake of our e.Coli scare. I think even Eric will support the New Roots and Crown S Ranch deliveries now. An egg should never be crystal clear and bright yellow on the inside. That's just creepy. :)
#5 Love- Beautiful buildings and fountains everywhere. Munich is gorgeous. Especially after seeing some other cities in DE, we are so, so, so lucky to be planted here. It's really unique in that after the WWII, which dessimated the town, the city made a commitment to rebuild exactly to original plans. This means, no buildings above the clock towers (about 4 - 5 stories) and even the rebuilt construction is made to look old. Hats off to the city for really sticking to their heritage and rebuilding it with charm and consistency. It is a beautiful.
We have also met some really great people from here and others like us hanging out here for a short while, or indefinitely. The Treehouse "family," the kids' school, has been an especially welcome outlet for helping us and the kids feel at home and make friends. So, I will miss these people and things about Munich a lot. And hope somehow to adjust life when we get home to bring more of this type of experience into our day to day--- like letting our lawn go crazy with wildflowers (neighbors will love this....), actually getting myself and the kids on the Burke Gilman, spending more lazy afternoons at parks and setting up our own Biergarten in the backyard. We'll be open August 6th. :)
Here's a link to this posts' slideshow. Enjoy!