ICYMI: where you at edition

6.4_ICYMI

Who has four thumbs and LOVED their quad bike experience? Yup, these two. They had their own bell. I apologize to anyone else who was in Villa Borghese yesterday.

Sorry for the silence around these parts lately.  It has been a mixture of guests, travel, and secret projects.  I’m hoping things will be closer to normal starting next week.  But, of course, no promises.  In the meantime . . .

On the blog:

It is like a million degrees here now.  I have been rocking these outfits on the reg.  I definitely recommend if you are heading to Rome (or anywhere religious and hot) anytime soon.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Puglia.  Haha, just scratching the surface really, but it is a great travel destination.

And here’s how the pacifier usage went down on the Puglia travels.

But speaking of someone who still has more lenient pacifier rules, Mac is one!

On the internets:

Anyone else follow A Cup of Jo?  I recently added this one to my rotation.  Little bits on kids, beauty, life in the city, design, and plenty more.  Here is a tiny house tour I loved.  (You know I love me a tiny house.)

PowerPoint should be banned. This PowerPoint presentation explains why.  But what about all of those sweet PPT skillz I learned at the law firm???  Was it all for naught?

I don’t have a dehydrator, but I need these zucchini chips in my life.

Does anyone use a planner?  This one looks pretty and tempting.  I want to make sure I would use something before getting one.  But right now I have no planning so any planning would be better?

Me:  “Who is that?”  James:  “Uh, Sting.”  Right.  So Sting has a beard now.  Good to know.

Looking for a statement piece for your living room?

Cracks me up: Toddler Adjusting To Society After Serving 2-Minute Timeout

Looking for guidance?  Check out these life lessons from Anthony Bourdain.

Summer is here.  Watch out for ticks!

What has four legs and is completely not kid friendly?  This coffee table, but I kind of want it anyway, fingerprints be darned!

Happenings & Coming up:

Italy had a holiday this week.  Republic Day, to be exact.  We decided to escape the city to see the ruins at Ostia Antica.  Here’s a pro tip:  Don’t escape the city in the direction of the beach.  It all worked out, but there were some packed trains involved.  More on Ostia Antica “soon.”  (It can get in the queue behind Montepulciano and Pienza and Sermoneta and . . . )

My bazillion internet tabs are currently split between Lake Bracciano and Turin.  (And, let’s be honest, a million other things.)  We are heading to both this month, and I am pumped.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend whatever you are up to!

So what else can you do in Munich?

Are you sick of hearing about Munich yet?  I mean, it’s only been three months since our trip.  You’d think I would have run out of stuff to talk about.  Well, you’d be right.  This is officially the LAST Munich post.  Until the next one.  Nononono.  This is the last.  #orisit? #yesyesitis

So you know we journeyed primarily for the markets, but we knew Munich had plenty of other things to see.  I also knew that we would need to brave more inside things than usual, given the icy temps.  Usually, outside is our friend.  Just turn Henry loose and let him kick a rock.  But this time I knew we needed a game plan for all things indoors.

So, should you find yourself in Munich, with or without kids, here are some things to do when you aren’t enjoying the beer and bratwurst.

1. BMW Welt

This was a HUGE hit with the kids.  And by kids, I mean Henry.  This futuristic building showcases very pricy cars and motorcycles that you can climb all over.  And then try to persuade your toddler to climb OUT of.  Poor James.  He still recounts the stink eye he received from a line of grown men upon trying to extricate Henry from the $100,000 car so they could have their turn.

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It was easy to get to, just a few stops on the metro.  Once you exit the metro, you’re there.  You are dangerously close to the Olympic Stadium if you’d like to check that out as well.  We looked over at it, but did not venture that way.  It was cold, ya’ll.

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You can also visit the BMW Museum across the street.  But that costs money.  Oh, did I not mention?  The BMW Welt is FREE.  That’s right.  Hours of entertainment for the price of a metro ticket.

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This place was also good for a family.  They have a changing room downstairs (like a family bathroom minus the toilet).  They also have large lockers where you can stash your gear, free of charge.  There is a restaurant if you need a pick-me-up.  And there is even a little play area with a few toys.

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I was a little meh because cars aren’t really my thing, but I got a kick out of seeing Henry’s excitement.  They had a stunt motorcycle demonstration while we were there.  I will admit that was pretty cool.  Henry still talks about that time we saw a moto drive up and down the stairs.

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For kid-friendliness and overall enjoyment of the experience, I give it five Breadstick Macs.

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2. The Residenz

We didn’t make it to Nymphenburg Palace outside of town, but we did make it to the Residenz.  This is where the Wittelsbachs, who basically ran Munich, posted up for many years.

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We paid to see the Residenz Museum, but not the Treasury.   I figured that was as much as we should press our luck with the two destroyers in the fancy castle.

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There is a coat room, but they cautioned us that it would be cold inside.  For the stroller, they asked that we switch ours with one of their inside strollers.  These were actually fancy Maclaren strollers; much nicer than the umbrella stroller we had with us.  Cool, no problem.

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What was a PROBLEM that NO ONE mentioned were the large number of stairs on the tour.  I’m not talking a couple of stairs.  I’m talking flights of stairs, with zero elevator alternative.  It’s fine.  I just wish they had given us a heads up.  Like a “hey, please take this fancy stroller, but do be warned that there are oodles of unavoidable stairs.  Toodles!”

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Henry lost it fairly early on during the tour.  He vociferously refused to stay in the stroller.  He wouldn’t walk.  He was doing some screeching.  We even tried putting Mac in the stroller with me wearing Henry as a backpack.  You know what else is on the back of me?  My hair.  That doofus would not stop pulling my hair.  We hustled through the beautiful rooms.  In a way, it was probably better.  This way I just enjoyed the palace ambiance without being worried about reading EVERYTHING.  But it would have been nicer sans the hair pulling.

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We didn’t even try the bathrooms so I can’t report back.  I would not hold out hope for a changing table though.

For us, I give it only two Breadstick Macs.  If you could keep your kids locked down though, you might get more mileage out of this one.

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3. The Viktualienmarkt

This is a daily food market that has been operating for lots and lots of years.  (As you can see, we value historical accuracy around here at Roman Reboot.)  It was conveniently across from our hotel.  We didn’t spend much time there because, you know, super cold outside, but it was nice to walk through.  They supposedly have a biergarten, but I think this is just in warmer weather.

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In sum, we didn’t really take advantage of this one, but it would be a great place to pick up a snack or some provisions if you have a kitchen.

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4. The Schrannenhalle

This is beside the Viktualienmarkt.  It is sort of like taking the Viktualienmarkt party indoors and a little yuppier.  (DC folks: this is basically Union Market.)  They have individual stall/booth like places, but it is a little more restaurant-y.  Like you could grab a glass of wine and a snack kind of a place.  (I looked all over for beer to take back to my hotel.  They did not seem to have that.)

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Important to Henry, the Milka store is downstairs.  For me, Milka will always be inferior to Kinder, but we picked up some pretty tasty treats.

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5.  Asamkirche

On this one, I just really like the backstory.  This is an incredibly over-the-top Rococo church (I guess those are redundant) built by the Asam brothers in the 1700s.  These brother architects built it as a private church to basically show off what all they could do for private clients.

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It is pretty tiny.  You can do the whole thing in less than five minutes.  But interesting (and free!) to pop in if you are by that way.  And you probably will be; Munich downtown is actually pretty small.

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6.  Frauenkirche

This is one that is a part of the Munich skyline, but I think you can skip.  Granted, we didn’t try to climb the tower.  That might have been worth it for the views.  The inside of the church is nice, but nothing super special.

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There is a pretty sweet cenotaph in back.  According to the internets, this is the Cenotaph of Emperor Louis IV by Hans Krumpper.

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7. Ohel Jakob synagogue

This is one you can’t just roll up into (although this site mentions tours), but is impressive to see from the outside.  Rick Steves says it was designed to look like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.  According to the internets, “[t]he glass roof represents a tent (Ohel), symbolizing Moses’ 40-year-journey through the desert.”

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It is definitely an interesting, recent addition to downtown Munich.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  And, there is a small playground right outside.  This is the only playground we spotted in all of our trekking around downtown.  BONUS.

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8.  The Glockenspiel

And, last but  not least, Munich’s famous glockenspiel at Marienplatz.  When we were there, shows happened at 11:00 am and noon, but there are more in summer.  We caught the show our first day and our last.  Yay for trip bookends!

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The show is surprisingly involved and it goes on for awhile.  I find it a little boring, but Henry was all about it bout it.  Every time we went by, he commented about when the men would be moving again.  Rick mentions hitting the upper floors of the bookstore across the street for a bird’s eye view.  We tried that, but the windows are small and the view was not great.  I think you are better off on the ground.

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So that’s our trip.  I was bummed that we didn’t make it to the English Garden, but you know, freezing.  Next time, Gadget.

Did we miss your Munich fave?  Did you like these sights?  Isn’t Breadstick Mac adorable?

When to push it?

When to push it_

We were all set to go away this weekend.  Take advantage of the holiday.  Get out of town.  Check something else off the list.  It was gonna be great.

We found an amazing looking airbnb.  I plotted an itinerary I thought would work with our family’s rhythms.  I had a game plan to eat out and cook at home.  It was gonna be great.

Then the airbnb host responded and said that property wasn’t available only for two days even though it says that NOWHERE on the listing.

Then the forecast looked bleak.  Like rain all weekend all the time.  After having a stretch of dry days, I’d almost forgotten how much of a bummer the rain here can be.

We searched for another airbnb, but we couldn’t find anything that looked as nice.  Definitely not anywhere I’d want to be stuck if it rained nonstop.

We looked at the lovingly crafted itinerary.  Literally everything on the list we want to do is outside.  EVERYTHING.

Laura Vanderkam has mentioned recently about the do it anyway approach.  Yeah, you’re tired and your sweatpants are giving you that come hither look, but just do it.  You’ll probably have fun once you do and you’ll have the fun memories to look back on.

I’ve mentioned, less recently, the struggle on when to go for it.  When do you see the thing, even though doing it could push your kids past the point of enjoying being around them?

We pulled the plug.  After much deliberation, we will not be on a jaunt to Tuscany this weekend.  I hated doing it.  I hope it is the right call.

It’s just that rain with the kids is not fun.  Rain in the winter–cold, chills you to the bone rain–is downright miserable.  Kids + cold rain = not a fun weekend.  These are sights I want to actually see.  Not to just survive and endure.

So what is the answer for this bummer of a fail on the go-for-it attempt?  I am determined to have the best weekend in Rome ever.  Fun will be planned.  We will see things here.  We will see friends.  We will adventure!  And we’ll start working on planning another trip soon.  (My mom is coming in less than three weeks.  W00t!  Look out Rome.)

Do you get a three-day weekend?  Any big plans?  I wish you fun and adventure!

 

Hot drinks for cold days

Now we’re in it.  January and February are pretty bleak.  Christmas cheer has been packed up.  Things can be a bit dreary.  Back home, March is usually just as bad, which is even worse for me because I stubbornly continue to think it should be warm.  March, that should be spring, right?  WRONG, YOU GET A SNOWSTORM.  Hope that parka goes with your Easter ensem!

Things in Rome have been downright balmy compared to DC.  The weather claims the highs are close to 60.  I guess I can’t argue with the weather reporting professionals, but it doesn’t feel like 60.  40s and 50s, yes.  It is a damp cold, but the teens it is not.  Huzzah.

In case you are experiencing mega-cold let’s-build-a-fire type weather, consider these toasty Christmas market inspired drinks to warm you right up.  These drinks were great for walking the markets in Germany.  I think they would also be awesome on a chilly evening tucked up with a blanket.  You don’t even have to worry about paying extra for your cup deposit (pfand) and remembering to get your money back!

Gluhwein

Mulled wine is a staple at Christmas markets.  You can find both white and red, but I’m all about that red.  There are about a million recipes online and I can’t claim to have found the best one, but you are probably looking at some combo of wine, cloves, sugar, and orange.

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If you like your gluhwein with a little more flair, consider trying a . . .

Feuerzangenbowle

With a little help from wikipedia, I can tell you that this fun-to-pronounce drink involves a run-soaked sugar loaf being set on fire and dripped into gluhwein.  The main difference in the markets seems to be that feuerzangenbowle, aka fire-tongs punch, stands are usually covered with flames and fire.

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We tried it.  It was tasty.  I didn’t notice a huge difference from traditional gluhwein.  I was disappointed that nothing was lit on fire in front of me.

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The problem with gluhwein is that it can feel a little too Christmas-y.  If you want to mix up your flavors, allow me to recommend . . .

Fruity Gluhwein

In Nuremberg, we enjoyed some heidelbeer gluhwein.  Heidelbeer doesn’t exactly translate to something in the U.S.; it seems to basically be a European blueberry.  James and I ended up liking this a lot.  You could really taste the fruit.  I think this could be great with blueberry wine, strawberry wine, or any wine your grandmother would probably be really into.  I’m looking at you Manischewitz.

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If you are over hot wine, why not try a . . .

Hot Coconut

We got this on our trip to Tollwood.  I’m not translating here.  We literally ordered the “hot coconut.”  It was served in a half coconut bowl that I forgot to take a picture of.  I’m pretty sure it was just rum and coconut milk heated.  I’ve tried googling to confirm, but all sorts of delicious and more complicated recipes come up.  These sound pretty incredible if you have the time and inclination, but I’m pretty sure hot run and coconut milk together would be a simple win.

I would NOT, however, recommend that you try . . .

Gluhbier

That’s right.  I tried hot beer.  The descriptions sounded amazing.  Beer with additions of vanilla and caramel flavors.  Beer with orange.  James and I both got a different flavor.

Yeeaah, it was still hot beer.  It is not something I would recommend.  I like the concept.  Hated the execution.

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We also tried the Stachelbier.  For this one, they put a hot poker into a cold beer, with the goal of creating hot foam.  The point is then to enjoy the hot foam with cold beer.  It was. . . interesting?  There was definitely hot foam on the beer.  I would not say it created any sort of unique flavor experience, but I’m glad we tried it.

And for the kiddos . . .

Kinderpunsch

That’s right, zee Germans serve a hot punch for kids that looks like they are swigging hot wine along with everyone else.  We only got this once for Henry because it was HOT and there was the mess factor.  Henry can report that he really enjoys french fries dipped in his kinderpunsch.  Also, this is not a hot one, but Henry put a hurting on some apfelschorle, a carbonated apple drink, during the trip.

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Want to elevate your market-inspired drink experience?  Try these authentic market munchies.

Is it super cold where you are?  Do you have any favorite drinks to warm up by the fireside?  Do you have a fireside?  If so, I am definitely jealous!

Designing smarter

I am fascinated by small space designs.  I don’t know that I want to live in a microhouse, but I love the idea of having a smaller space that is designed in the best possible way so that it feels bigger than it really is.

We stayed at the Hotel Blauer Bock in Munich.  Blauer Bock was in a terrific location, had a very friendly staff, and the room price included breakfast and internet.  It was definitely a bit of a splurge, but we were stymied on where else to get a room with two cribs.  We received polite responses to inquiries that stated the hotel did have two cribs, but we would not be able to fit two of them in a room.  We almost booked adjoining rooms at the Pension am Jakobsplatz, but we were cautioned about ongoing construction noise there and thought that might not be ideal for nap time.

Our room had some thoughtful design touches.  I was impressed with the cutouts above the bathroom that added light to a darker area.  It was also nice to have a coat rack right by the front door.

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The nightstand with reading light was also nice.  After spending many years sleeping with my kindle under my pillow or on the floor, I value a good nightstand.  I’m not sure why I didn’t take the plunge at our old house and fasten something to the wall, as they did here.  I guess it just feels so permanent.  Hope you like where the bed is because your nightstand ain’t moving!  I operate under the (misguided) belief that there is a perfect furniture arrangement that can be found if you just keep trying.  What if I nightstood before it was achieved??  (I know, I know, it could move.  But if you are too lazy to attach a nightstand in the first place, you are probably too lazy to move it.)

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The hotel room also had some great features for a stay with kids.  After fearing that we would be sandwiched with cribs touching the bed, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we had a sitting room separated by a door that was a perfect spot for the kids.  Well, it was perfect for the first three nights.  After that Mac got unexplainedly ragey when you tried to put him down.  Then, once you finally rocked him to sleep and set him down, Henry screamed, “MACKLES” from across the room, starting the screaming all over again.  At this point, Mac was removed and placed in the corner of the main room.

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Unfortunately, the bathroom was not ideal for two littles.  No tub.  We had a corner shower with two curtains.  Why do people do this?  Maybe it looks nicer to have curtains instead of a door?  Maybe it is just easier to clean?  But it sure was a pain for showering.  The space shrunk by half as the ghost curtains horned in on you once you started the water.  Let’s just say the kids did get cleaned, but not as often as at home.

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Henry was thrilled to have two TVs to play with.  He either didn’t notice or didn’t care that all programming was in German.

Anways, I’ll file the good design ideas away for now.  I have this vision that maybe someday we’ll get to design a space of our own and use all these bits of inspiration to make an amazing space.  The YoungHouseLove-rs always advocated living in a space for awhile before making any major changes so that you really know what you want.  I like to think that we’ll have some thoughts from our previous locales if we ever get to design a space of our own.

Hotel Blauer Bock • Sebastiansplatz 9 • 80331 München • Telefon: +49(0)89 23 17 80 • e-Mail: info@hotelblauerbock.de

Any design features you are itching to change on your current abode?  Any that you love?  Have your dream space all planned out?