SUN 230PM Garmish-Partinkirchen

We’ve lucked out with wonderful sunny days although the temperature climbed above freezing and while it was much nicer for going on walks, it made the snow a big slushy, melty mess.

We woke up to overcast skies and it’s snowing now. Flori took Bob and the kids to go skiing but they got such a late start and the ski rental place was a zoo so Bob decided to come back and take a nap.

Tonight is our last night here. We’ll pack up in the morning and head for Munich and run around Munich for some last minute shopping and go look at stuff if anything is open. (Most Museum type things are closed Monday.) Tuesday we head for the airport and the long trip home.

On Thursday Bob and I took a little afternoon trip to Murnau and walked around. We had intended to visit a museum there but we arrived at the train station in GAP just as the train was pulling out so we had to wait an hour for the next train. By the time we arrived in Murnau it was too late for the museum but we found a brewery with a big main room, dry and warm and a cafeteria style food spread so we had a big yummy beer and plate of hot food and relaxed. As we walked back to the train station to go home a man approached us and asked us for directions in German. I said sorry, we’re just visiting (in English) and he sort-of laughed and shook his head. But I remembered we had this excellent map from the visitor’s center and he was happy to take a look at it and visited a bit while he got his bearings. He said, alles klar and motored off.

Friday was similar to our adventure last year. We had to hustle the kids out the door for activities outside and then Lisa and I hurried to decorate the tree and get all the presents under and tidy the house. The kids returned to their Grandmother’s and changed into church clothes and we all headed over to the church for the children’s mass. This year all the kids were in the mass. Sophie and Lena do churchy stuff (possibly sing too, I was at the side and couldn’t see them) and Annie and Luis sang in the children’s choir. Very cute.

From church we went to Hotel Post for a drink. Bob and Lisa had something with a shot of espresso and a shot of rum which they thought was the best drink ever. This is an Italian thing and is called something like Espresso Caretto and is usually served with a shot of grappa. The kids all had hot chocolate and the woman who used to run the hotel with her husband back in the day came and sat at our table and played Xmas tunes on the accordion while the kids sang (after being nudged by their parents).

From there to the cemetery for the brass band and we put a candle on the family graves and thought about Hans. From there we went to Agi’s and we were starving at this point and it was some of the best food: super delicious cheeses, a real sticky gorgonzola and a farmer’s cheese and another creamy goat cheese. Wonderful chunky liverwurst and real Parma ham. Good chewy bread and a delicious Spanish red wine. Fantastic meal.

The kids were bouncing off the wall at this point so we went into the family room and they read and sang for us and finally the Kristkind showed up and rang the bell and the kids sprinted home (house next door) and we had about 30 minutes of chaos while they disassembled everything under the tree.

More cookies and sekt (sparkling wine) and I’m amazed I ever fell asleep after consuming all that. My sleeping has remained hit or miss. Sometimes I wake up for a long time and the last two nights I slept about 10 hours.

Christmas day was nice and quiet. We hiked up the mountain with the kids and the sleds. We were headed for what they refer to is a hut. I think of it more like a cabin with delicious hot beverages. It got very icy as we neared the top and Lisa started worrying about having enough time to prepare for the dinner party so we turned around and headed back before we got there. The kids and Flori zoomed down on the sleds and had a blast.

We had a wonderful dinner party with Agi and several of Lisa and Flori’s friends. Katya (from Russia) and Paolo (from Argentina) and their two kids who speak German, Spanish and Russian if you can even imagine. They’re only about 5 and 7. And another friend Alexandra (from Poland) and her son Alexander.

We had a big hunk of venison which they told me was hunted, not from a farm. We also had a giant knödel (dumpling) with savory gravy and red cabbage with chestnuts. Lisa made some mussel soup which turned out very rich and tasty. For dessert we had pumpkin, apple and pecan pie. As she served the dessert Lisa called for the attention of all the foreigners which for a second I thought was us, but it was to explain the desserts since these are not at all traditional for any of the other guests. Lisa said normally you might have cake or cookies. I was curious how everyone liked the pies and they all seemed to like everything, especially the pecan.

It was a pretty amazing group and we talked about a lot of things. (Everyone spoke English well). So many completely different backgrounds.

Today we all slept in. Today is also a holiday and Lisa and Bob went to church with the kids (Soph and Lena sang) and I stayed home to shower and get my bags organized and to catch up in my writing notebook.

If possible, I will write another note in Munich. Otherwise, see you when I get home.

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