We got checked out smoothly this morning and jumped in the car to head to Munich, Germany.
Our room at the Leonardo Boutique was extremely spacious especially for Europe however it smelled of old smoke. Can someone explain why the beds are always two twins pushed together with individual blankets and no sheets? This is going to take some getting use to…
After check in, we set out to explore Munich. We had not been walking long when we saw a chocolatier/restaurant. They had walls filled with chocolates of all shapes and the smell…can you gain weight from smelling? At the counter they had dangerously sinful cakes and torts. We found a seat by the window and ordered tea/coffee and a chocolate cake filled with cherries and garnished with chocolate shavings.
After they brought out my green tea, I noticed on the tray there was a teapot filled with hot water, an empty teacup, a taller empty cup and a basket of green tea leaves. After inspecting the set up, I decided the basket of leaves goes in the tall empty cup and then I pour the teapot water on top to steep the leaves and then remove the basket. Once I had done just that, a man who clearly worked there came over to me. he spoke in German in a tone that sounded like I did something wrong and pointed to my tea. It turns out, the basket of leaves goes inside the teapot until it’s ready. Then the basket is removed and discarded in the tall empty cup and the teapot of green tea is poured in the teacup. Well don’t I feel dumb!
After feeling tea challenged, we left and cruised around Munich which had very cool architecture. It had both an old town area surrounded by the newer part of the city. There was a huge cathedral in the center of the main square. Three times a day the clock tower chimes and puts on a little show with its moving parts…it reminded us of the clock in the center of Prague.
We walked all over the city, admiring the buildings and pushing our way through the crowded sidewalks. We saw a soccer game was on and sat down at a pub in a main area. It was called, Hacker-Pschorr…this place will NOT be found under our favorites tab. In fact, this place may cause us to create a least favorites page on our website!
First and foremost…this story may be a little bias because I do not care for meatloaf…a loaf of mystery meat mashed together and served is not what I call appetizing. That said, Giff ordered the meatloaf. It was supposedly a local specialty. If one were to take the meats found in a hotdog and bologna, mix them together, put them in the oven and serve it sliced with a fried egg on top…that would be the best description for what we saw. It really doesn’t get much grosser than this…ick. We had a bite and gave it back to the kitchen.
Leaving the over priced beer and nasty loaf of meat, we found another famous beer hall. This one, the HofBrauhaus was bustling! The place was jam packed with people the way your local bar would be on a Saturday night, except this is not a typical bar. Again, the place was huge with banquet hall type rooms filled with thick wooden tables both indoor and outdoor seating. This was prime people watching. There was also a live band in the main room. It consisted of about five people playing brass instruments, drums and the accordion. They were dressed in what looked like traditional German attire…shorts with socks pulled up to their shins and white button down shirts with vests. Some of the beer drinkers, specifically the older men had very interesting outfits with hats and feathers.
We had a good time walking through the crowds and taking in the culture of a typical beer hall. We had been going all day and decided to call it a night.
Published by Brandey Kabat
What I like: Dark chocolate, yoga, fresh squeezed juice, laughing, hiking, wine, travel, food, lush products, being warm, having long hair, the ritual of drinking something hot first thing in the morning…
What I don’t like: When people smell their fingers, pushing elevator buttons, confrontational situations, not being able to fall asleep quickly at bedtime…
Most random job ever: Plastic surgery consultant
As for my love life: I met my husband mid way through my junior year in college, as soon as I laid my eyes on him I was attracted to him. In fact, I made the first move which was a bit out of character but there was something about him…probably the fact that he was smokin’ hot!!
Where from and where to: I grew up in NY, went to college at The Ohio State University and then headed to CA after graduation. My boyfriend (Giff) and I had a map, a borrowed van and used stuff from his mom’s basement aka a vacuum, silverware, old Christmas ornaments etc., and about $1000 each. We thought it would be a good idea to head straight to CA since neither of us had been. Being we didn’t know anyone there nor did we have a job or job interviews set up or a place to live…I would say we did it the hard way! However with a bit of help from Giff’s mom who flew out to put us up in a hotel, bought me a suit for interviewing and co-signed a lease to get us a place to live we eventually found jobs and an apartment and have been in CA for 10 years.
Our story: After moving out to CA and living together for about 3 years we got engaged. He popped the question while down on one knee on the beach at sunset after we finished our picnic he had packed of bread, cheese, shrimp cocktail and wine. He even had the ring in a box that had a light shining down on it when opened so as it was getting dark, this amazing man was asking me to be his wife as he handed me a huge rock…Yes! Yes! Yes!
In 2005 we were married (I am biased but our wedding was absolutely amazing). By the end of 2005 we were new home owners. 2006-2009- we were both happily married, attached to our 3 cats and were focused on building our careers.
Giff and I got pregnant mid year 2009 with our first baby but what should have been one of the highlights of our life was soon distracted by the news I received at the doctor’s office.
The lump in my breast that had been dismissed the year before as nothing was now being diagnosed by a different doctor as breast cancer. Thankfully Giff is a persistent person and when we went in for our ultrasound (to hear our baby’s heartbeat) he brought up the request for testing to be done on the lump rather than dismissing it based on feeling it.
The going gets rough: Things began to move so quickly at that point, it was hard to breathe. I was 30, pregnant with my first child and going into surgery to remove breast cancer. I was about to go through what would be the worst year of my life. The plan had been discussed, we were going with the most aggressive regimen possible- double mastectomy, port surgically placed in my chest, chemotherapy, drug therapy and radiation. We also had to terminate the pregnancy. This cancer was estrogen positive and the hormones were actually feeding the cancer. That little angel whom was the cause of our going into the doctor saved my life.
Giff was my rock through every step…interviewing a team of the best doctors, memorizing which medicines I needed to take and when, driving me to chemotherapy and sitting next to me while I was so scared, telling me I was beautiful when I was bald, and so many other things…words cannot express. When you say your vows, in sickness and in health…you would never guess sickness of this magnitude at this age would be in the near future. In addition to this hardship, Giff’s dad died of a complicated prostate cancer the day we came home from my surgery. I could not hold my husband as he mourned for his dad because of the pain I was in from the mastectomy. How did Giff handle all of this pain at one time? How was he so strong for me? He is amazing. Giff’s dad was one of those people whom you naturally wanted to be around…his smile was contagious, his love for life was invigorating and he listened so intently when you talked in a conversation with him. He made you feel special. We think about him often and will miss him so much.
My family and friends were also by my side…my mom flying out from NY several times to help us with cooking and cleaning and holding my hand. It must be one of the most awful things in the world to watch your baby girl be diagnosed with breast cancer. My girlfriends also flew out to take care of me and help with anything they could. Other friends living closer would come by just to sit and talk or watch movies. There were so many cards, letters, flowers, cookies, and other gifts that came from all over the country. It’s amazing to have such great people in my life. In addition to my amazing circle of friends and family, there were the strangers with whom crossed our path. Whether it was a letter in the mail from a breast cancer survivor, the anesthesiologist who called Giff during my surgery crying happy tears that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes, or our fertility doctor who promised to watch over our frozen embryos as if they were her own. There were so many small gestures that made such a big impact on our lives.
Looking at the bright side: Thankfully this was caught in stage 1, had it been caught a year prior by the first doctor I had gone into about the lump, it may have been caught at stage 0. Please learn from my lesson…insist the lump be tested – a lump cannot be diagnosed by touch. They were able to cut all the cancer out and after I finish the entire regimen including a pill I take over the next 5 years, they said there is a 95% chance the cancer will never come back.
Our exciting future: We’ve decided to re-prioritize, we are taking 400 days starting February 7th of 2011 to travel the world! We will travel to new places, eat new foods, taste new wines and meet new people. We will focus on healing ourselves both physically and mentally. This will be one of the best years of our lives.
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