Dancing Flamingo

This can be considered a “guest” post since I wasn’t the one who took the video, does it count being a spectator?!

Oh America…

Oh America…

Its 104°F, 40°C. Its a dry heat. I imagine this is what Arizona should feel like.

I wonder what it would be like to stare into the Grand Canyon, to ride a donkey to the bottom and camp between the rocks. One day perhaps but today I am not in Arizona, instead I find myself in the mid-West experiencing atypical summer weather.

One thing I like about America, when visiting it is good manners to act like an American, walk like an American and above all eat like an American: lots and lots of Mexican inspired food – La Piedad, The Tamale Place, La Parada, Tortas Guicho Dominguez y el, El Camino Real, Riviera Maya Bar & Grill, Puerto Vallarta, El Rodeo, La Hacienda Mexican, La Hacienda Mexican, El Jaripeo, El Meson, Adobo Grill, Margarita Grill, El Rodeo, El Sol de Tala Mexican, Tijuana Flats, Guadalajara Grill Mexican, El Meson, El Puerto de San Blas, Chile Verde Mexican, Casa Grande Mexican Grill, Cancun Mexican, Qdoba Mexican Grill, El Camino Real, El Jaripeo, Tequila Sunrise Mexican, Mi Pueblo, Los Toros, El Nopal, Lucero’s Mexican Restaurant, Little Mexico, Red Habanero, Carniceria Guanajuato‎, Los Cotorros Mexican, Pancho’s Taqueria, Friaco’s Mexican Restaurant, Cancun Mexican, Revolucion, Las Chalupas Mexican, Abuelo’s, Fiesta Ranchera, Chipotle Mexican Grill to name a few…

I might be unrecognizable by the time I arrive home and a little confused; shouldn’t I be wearing a sombrero while eating my over-stuffed burrito instead of this cowboy hat?

While on this latest American adventure, I asked myself why I like coming to America. It partly has to do with being able to see my family, but it is more than that.

Is it the extra large portions? The overwhelming number of retail stores that stock everything you could possibly imagine? The specialized stores such as: The Anaesthesia Pain Clinic, the Animal Dermatologist, Hemrhoid Clinic? Or is it the Red Vines Licorice that tastes a little certs?

Whatever you could want, literally you can have and I haven’t yet deciphered why I have a crush on America, but I do.

On this trip I ended up in a giant baby warehouse and here is what I found:

A CD full of songs. Not just any songs. Songs that have your “Childs name in every song”! This is where my parents went wrong, if only I could have had my own Hip Hop CD shouting out my name every third word. I would have been a much more self-absorbed child and why isn’t Rihanna sayin’ my name too!

The sheer selection. I mean honestly which stroller would you buy? And can I try each of them out, maybe have a turn around the store? What you close at 10pm, but I have 8 more strollers to try.

Forget about ME checking out Arizona and the Grand Canyon, a book on the 500 places to take your kids before they grow up.

Lastly, and this IS my favourite, the DOUBLE breast pump.

The double breast pump isn’t just convenient for feeding your child, it also doubles as a way to increase work productivity.

Not only does productivity increase while having both breasts milked by a machine, it increases endorphin production. You know the natural opiates that make us extremely happy and smiling.

This is the medical establishment’s best kept secret to solving North American Women’s productivity issue’s and postpartum depression, the double-breast pump, I mean that’s what this packaging says, no?

What would make a new mom more happy than to have a suction cup attached to each of her breasts, squeezing out prime breast milk while she create’s a Sales presentation for the next day’s executive meeeting?!

I think I’ve just been convinced to have a child!

Get on the GO

Get on the GO

As you all know since leaving my job working in automotive, I have given up cars. I know, a real car nut and I’ve decided to go without. I’d like to say it was a slow process, this giving up a car situation but since I am not good with long agonizing goodbye’s, it was cold turkey.

Before making the decision I did have a few panic attacks about how I would get around in the heat, humidity, down pours, cold weather and snow.

So far I have successfully navigated the heat, humidity and wet weather. This is the summer that I hope goes on forever :).

In lieu of a vehicle I have become proficient with public transportation and have found that as long as I need only travel in the GTA, I am ok.

Its also pretty handy that I have not 1 but 3 transit’s to choose from in close proximity.

The TTC
The Mississauga MiWay
GO transit

I am feeling pretty darn confident with my new found mobility.

For $3 I can be downtown in less than 45 minutes on the TTC or home for $4.60 in 25 minutes on the GO train.

This makes me pretty happy seeing as parking downtown starts at $15 never mind the hassle of finding said parking.

So when my double-first suggested meeting downtown for an afternoon post conference, I couldn’t have been more excited.

Yes we were going to be able to spend a few hours wandering around, going through memory lane. Yes we were sure to laugh so hard we could barely stand up. Yes we were going to feel as though we’d both lost touch with fashion.

But most of all I was going to have a real good try at my new transit wisdom.

I have each transit website book marked in my Blackberry (yes, I know BB is struggling but I would be lost without my full keyboard…as I am typing away…), making schedule checking a cinch.

I took the TTC downtown, we were meeting close to Bloor. It was an air-conditioned-less subway ride – ick, but otherwise uneventful.

We met up and made our way south, zig zagging through the streets of downtown. Past the Ryerson campus, a stop at the World’s largest bookstore, Urban Barn, just to solidify our lack of style and a Starbucks for good-old-times.

By 6pm it was time to say Goodbye 😦 and off my double-first was on the GO train north.
Now seeing as I was standing in the GO terminal, there was no reason to take the much longer TTC trip home. And who’s to say I’d get a subway car with air-conditioning.

I bought my GO pass and dashed up the stairs to the waiting train. This was working out sooo well!

As the doors closed behind me, I heard the announcer, “Welcome aboard the Express train, our first stop is Clarkson.”

CLARKSON!! That is 20 minutes out of my way!!

Seriously.

For a minute I entertained the notion of walking home from Clarkson but I quickly dismissed the idea. I’d get home for Midnight!

I consulted my GO schedule.

No problem, there was a regular scheduled train East bound towards Toronto 6 minutes after I disembarked.

You are wondering, did I buy a second ticket?

No.

I decided ticket the police would see I bought my ticket at Union and that I didn’t take the express train past my stop just to see the Clarkson station.

But then again who’s to say for sure 😉

To a grand day traipsing around TO, laughs, food, drink and a most complicated route home. 🙂

A special thanks to “the second-best thing that happened to me” 😉 and arranging for me an early leave from guarding the pillow wall

Long Weekends

Long Weekends

I will do my best not to bore you with my long weekend adventures or rather lack there of, but I fancy writing something this afternoon and unfortunately have not had anything particularly funny or interesting happen lately so will make do with my imagination.

Life has somewhat turned into a routine now that I’ve learned what it is like to live without a car. I didn’t realize leading up to this weekend how deep set my cabin fever had become. It wasn’t until I was whisked away on an unplanned Sunday afternoon that I realized how bad it’d become. I am turning into a hermit which I imagine will eventually turn me into “that nutty aunt of ours”.

So this whisking away business is simply my family deciding it was time that I visit them regardless. When I was able to visit on my own, by the evening I usually would complain and find an excuse to dart home to sleep in my own bed but this time I didn’t have much of a choice.

See I don’t mind sleeping over. What I have a hard time with is that since I live so close, 30 minutes in a car, it seems ridiculous that I’d sleep in a bed that is not mine when mine is so close by. Mind you it is much more entertaining to wake up and have a full breakfast ready. That happens rarely at my house and only when guests are arriving from their own homes for a mid-morning brunch, usually with coffees in their hands (and the downside is I am the one making the breakfast haha). So you could say that sleeping over even when I live only 30 minutes away is worth getting over my unfounded sleep-over anxiety.

It isn’t that I think I’ll miss out on some fantastic unplanned adventure any one of my friends may come up with while I am out of town (Ok, maybe it is, just a little ;)) but really it’s more than that. It is also that the next day I can never figure out when the “right” time is to leave.

Here I am, still 30 minutes away from my house without any stress of “when should I leave” simply because walking is not an option. I smell like barbecue and I just finished a cold can of Pepsi, this is relevant only because I dislike pop but here I am enjoying a gut wretching pop. Its been a long while since I have been this relaxed. The so relaxed feeling where the only energy I possess is to curl up and read a book from a favourite author.

I chalk this weekend up to being a little like a cottage weekend that is nowhere near a lake or a river.

We did spend a fair amount of time outside hiking wood trails. I don’t know if there is a difference between “wood trails” and “trails” but I feel it is important to note that we were in the woods on trails. The reason for the importance are the dangers when it comes to being on a trail in the woods.

Growing up I spent most weekends riding the back trails to the lake, having a swim across the lake and back, then racing home soaking wet. I decided however that partaking in the swim after the plus 2 hour ride was only suitable between the months of June and August. That’s only three months of swimming. This worked out most of the time because it coincided with summer break from school.

What was so exhilarating about the bike rides wasn’t the swim. It was the idea that lurking in the woods was a giant black bear waiting quietly for their dinner. I don’t really think black bears are meat eaters but they certainly will attack when frightened, hungry, have cubs or just feel generally bored.

I never physically faced a black bear. I’ve seen them up a tree, in the bush but never face to face on the bike trail. But thinking about the possibility made me ride as fast as my legs would take me.

This weekend while trekking through the woods I wasn’t pre-occupied with bears, I was pre-occupied with deer ticks.

They are not as physically ominous as a black bear but to me they are much more sneaky.

They are mooches that latch on and potentially infect our bodies with crippling lyme disease. As we were trekking along I was contemplating what is better; an adrenaline battle with a giant black bear that had an obvious advantage or a small pin head sized insect that could wreck havoc over a period of time if not detected?

Both can be easily subdued – one with a loaded shot gun and the other with DEET laden bug spray. The long term health effects certainly are worse with the bug spray + the lyme disease – providing the bug spray fails. However the alternative, if the gun shot fails to hit its target, well, the outcome is much more immediate and final – not in a good way.

I haven’t decided which is a better or worse scenario.

What I have decided is that neither will keep me from enjoying nature and a relaxing afternoon, evening, day or weekend. 🙂

Here is a link to some information on Lyme disease. And be proud, it is NOT wikipedia 🙂

Our Beautiful City

Our Beautiful City

Toronto, our sometimes cold but mostly awesome city.

“She thinks my tractor’s sexy…”

“She thinks my tractor’s sexy…”

The things we’ll do for friends! It was a friend’s birthday yesterday and her wish was to go exploring. The destination? Nashville North.

Like most folks south of Highway 7, we knew about the existence of Nashville North wondered what it was like and if it was anything close to a country bar in Nashville but never ventured out to investigate.

A birthday is the best excuse to journey out and have a looksee. Five of us piled into the car for an evening of discovery.

I left the real Stetson at home (why do I have one you ask?! haha) and opted for my “curious” hat, it seemed more appropriate for such a curious adventure.

Now we did have a strategy going in. One must always have an exit plan! We decided on an early-ish dinner reservation so that an early departure wouldn’t seem so pre-mature. We arrived only to find out the reservation had been lost?

“You might not be able to eat here we are booked with reservations coming at 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30 and 9 and we might not be able to fit you in. I mean if all else fails we’ll pull up a table in the bar area but that’s kind of unlikely, but I’ll go look. If I can’t get you in, there is a Boston pizza just down the road.”

Seriously!?!? We did our diligence in booking a reservations, invested 22 minutes of driving (the website is pretty accurate on this) to come visit this place and by golly it’s our friends birthday how can you deny us!

Turns out the manager worked a miracle and voila a table for 5. I just have to mention this because it was a little funny. Not only was there a table for us, there were many many empty tables that never did get filled up so we do wonder at all the dinner reservations that were rhymed off. Needless to say, we weren’t offended and accept the fact that perhaps we were a little uptight and it’s understandable that they may have been concerned we might ruin the mood. If I was a business owner I may have been concerned too! 🙂

So we made it to a table, we’d overcome the first hurdle.

The second hurdle was convincing our waitress that infact we had been given this table to hopefully enjoy some food.

“Did you guys have a reservation?”

“We did but it got lost, but the kind gentleman found us this table.”

“But did you have a reservation?”

“We did yes it was lost and now we are here at this table, the man over there seated us here.”

“But you don’t really have a reservation.”

“Ummmmmmmm, we did but it was lost and the gentleman over there fit us in? Perhaps you should talk to him about it?”

“Uh, he’s my manager.”

“Ok, maybe you should talk to him about it and if there is a problem, we would be more than happy to oblige to whatever alternate arrangements need to be made – we can always go to the Boston pizza down the street?”

And off she disappeared only to reappear with more questions. No problem, we like this game now.

“Do you want to eat?”

“Ummmmm…we think so.” But now we aren’t so sure! They said they have food on their website and the man on the other end of the phone who took our reservation that got lost said they served food too. We are thoroughly confused, where are we?!?!

She dashed off and found us menus. We had our food and put our feet up to watch…line dancing.

Turns out the place isn’t quite like a bar in Nashville, there are elements that are similar but with Canadian flavour.

I admit it was a little awkward watching line dancing to club music? but apparently it is possible to line dance to club music and they are pretty darn good at it too. Infact so good that we even had our own private show to some kinky moves by one unlikely zealous gentleman!

Besides every third song being a club mix for example, Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger”, we did hear a fair share of country tunes. I admit when I have access to XM radio I have been known to pre-set one of the stations to channel 59 – “Highway”. You can guess its country music so I did know a few country songs 🙂

We did try our line dancing moves out, became royally confused at which way to step, turn, stomp! and settled for people watching.

Did you know that bumping and grinding to Shania Twain’s song “Up” is pretty popular? Not Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” but Shania Twain?!?! Who knew!! I mean it’s a happy song but never thought it to invoke such emotions or moves.

It turned out to be a pretty funny evening. Perhaps maybe not one that could ever be re-created the way it all turned out, but Nashville North was worth the 22 minute drive and lost reservation. Like any perfect adventure, it has a story and good memories that make me laugh.

The birthday girl did exclaim at one point

“What happened to my friends?”

What happened is we were confused, trying to figure out how to fit in to a new environment and enjoy it and well we were doing our best to experience that ‘ole country feeling and maybe, just maybe, for a minute we lost our uptightness just a little!

The Dandelion That Brightened The Day

The Dandelion That Brightened The Day

This morning on my way to work, it was snowing and I felt this huge tug for Barbados.

Barbados, yes the beach is pretty fabulous but that rain oh the rain!! I haven’t quite figured out what made Barbados so magical. Perhaps it was the dashing from tree to tree looking for cover and trying to escape the millionth downpour while holding onto melting ice cream cones, or the doubling over in laughter at our well laid out vacation plan that was turning out to be anything but hot sunny days. We could have both packed sweatpants and no one would have been the wiser.

We lime’d (and no it’s not a dirty term), played alot of cards, drank Starbucks instant coffee, ate Kraft dinner Bajan style (this just means the water boils at a different rate 🙂 and the cheese is sticky from the humidity!), dashed to the store and back between thunderstorms, spied on rich British travellers and learned how to drive on the wrong side of the road 😉

When I see snow falling at the end of April all I want to do is close my eyes and be transported to that magical rainy place that turned out to be the most unplanned, relaxing Vacation full of wonderful local hospitality (and sticky Kraft dinner, seriously the theme for my next vacation should be “eating wonderful local cuisine”, I admit we did have Bajan food a few nights but honestly what is with the Kraft dinner on vacation!)

I did close my eyes but I was not transported far far away and instead I found my feet firmly planted in Canada.

The good thing is there are equally magical things to a rainy day on a hot island and one of them is having conversations with a 5 year old about life. There is one concerned little lady who is on the look-out for my well being and my not owning a car. 🙂 She feels this life-style change will greatly impede my life and here are some of her suggestions on solving this dilemma:

1. Don’t move, moving costs money and you need to save money so you can buy a car.

2. In two days, what day will it be? Sunday. Umm ok, how about in 6 days? Thursday. What about 10 days? Monday. Ok, well ummm, how about you save as long as you can and when you get to $500 you’ll have enough for a House AND a car.

3. Your neighbour who parks beside you at your house, they can lend you their vehicle when you need to go to the store.

4. Here is a dandelion, I picked it extra long so that it doesn’t wilt so quickly. It’s pretty and will brighten up your house.

5. How are you going to visit? We’ll figure that out. Ok, well you can take a taxi maybe or you can just stay the night and if you stay the night then you’ll be here in the morning.

I can’t say I followed the entire conversation, but I did have a huge smile on my face and was no longer thinking about the snowy, cold morning; I was engrossed in how inventive and creative little people really are; brightening anyone’s day here and there.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Tonight my wrists are extremely cold, I don’t know about you, but having cold wrists is so frustrating and they are awkward to warm up! This has really nothing to do with Indiana, except that it’s much warmer there then it is in Toronto. I am fighting the cold wrists syndrome!

So back to Indiana, and more importantly Indianapolis. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I sit and daydream about the city centre circle and the block upon city block of war memorials. Indianapolis gets the prize for war memorials.

Indianapolis to me, is a giant sleeping city, on Island time, wonderful Island time.

Its an interesting city, really. It has large suburban sprawl. A solid artistic community. A Canal that has no functional purpose, that begins out of a small hill and ends at a cement wall. The Indianapolis Mini Marathon. The Brick Yard race track. A stadium for every sport, sports teams do not share venues, they get their own! Lots of wonderful restaurants. Has hosted at least two Star Wars conventions (why do I know this?). And lastly and most important, the Saturday night motorcade spectacular on Monument Circle.

The Saturday night motorcade spectacular is a must see. Just as dusk is starting to set in, the local Police start getting their barricades ready. As dusk turns into night, the Monument Circle round-about quickly fills up with the most eclectic selection of motorised vehicles. The horse drawn carriages are forced into the inner most part of the circle. There are neon, hopping cars, giant monster trucks, spinning chrome rims, slammed vehicles and about 100 or more motorbikes. Now the motor bikes don’t keep going in circles like the rest of the motorcade. The motor bikes park in front of the Chocolate Café. When the police decide its time for everyone to go home, they put up their temporary wood barricades and stop the flow of vehicles into the circle. It is the modern day “Grease” for adults 🙂

From my many visits, it would seem the downtown core mostly only bustles when there is a race or sporting event in town with the clear exception of the Saturday night motorcade spectacular (Seriously it’s that COOL I can’t stop mentioning it!)

So why am I sitting here blogging about Indianapolis. Well the city stole my sister and as much as I want her back, the city is slowing stealing me – only for different reasons. On my list of places to live here goes:

1. Carmel, Indiana (ok maybe it’s not Indianapolis, but it’s sooo close it might as well be.)
2. Munich, Germany
3. Mullins Bay, Barbados
and lastly and most important…
4. Toronto, Canada 🙂

No matter the places that steal a part of my heart and set me off dreaming when I visit, it is great to come home.

Who Wouldn’t Want A Ride In The “Joy Taxi”!

Who Wouldn’t Want A Ride In The “Joy Taxi”!

…I wasn’t kidding, in Toronto it is possible.

München mag Dich

München mag Dich

München was more than I was expecting. I had been fantasizing about visiting Europe since I was a kid, when the invite came to visit a friend it took me a milisecond to say “Yes”.

Getting all the heavy stuff out first…

Without getting into politics and debate, out of all the cities I could visit first in Europe I am extremely happy it was Munich. Why Munich? It is a city full of history that has touched and shaped our lives in some capacity.

On my way over, I did my best to check out Greenland from the tiny plane window, but was unsucessful of seeing anything but darkness. I did get to see England, France and ofcourse Germany from the sky.

I wasn’t expecting so much openess about what happened in Munich during the late 30’s and early 40’s. The economic and political upheaval that made room for extremetist views, eventual rule and war.

The first full day in Munich we took a Sandemans 3-hour walking tour of the city (I highly suggest checking out these tours for this and other cities, time and tip well spent). Our tour guide, Peter, was German with a fantastic sense of humour. My favourite monument to honour those who died while avoiding bowing to the Nazi’s is Dodger’s alley in Odeonsplatz. You can see the bronze path that runs from the left side of the alley to the right, it is the path of those who dared walk down Dodger’s alley to the waiting hidden SS guard who then determined their fate.

On to the light side of the München adventure.

It starts in the great city of Toronto. Perhaps against my better judgement, I decided to brave the TTC bus/subway system to get me to the Airport. With all the Subway/LRT discussions going on, I decided I might as well be an involved Torontonian and see what it is like to take public transit to Canada’s biggest hub for air traffic. After an hour that had me on two separate buses and one subway, I arrived sweaty and tired – yum! Now to put this into perspective, my condo is a 15 minute drive door to door in a car to the airport. I am really tempted to do a whole ramble about how terrible our transit system is, but back to talking about Munich! 🙂 Before we arrive in Munich, we do have Airport security in Toronto who I must remember are NEVER joking – which is for the better of course. They checked my hat to make sure I wasn’t taking my pet monkey on my adventure.

Munich…

Getting from the airport to downtown was simple, efficient and I was there in less than 45 minutes on the S train. I had 4 hours to kill before meeting up with my friend so after finding the hotel that sat in strip club ville with parking lined with Maserati’s, Porsche’s and 6-Series BMW’s, I did the logical, safe thing and decided to tour as many Munich museum’s as possible. If I counted properly, they have 38 museums to visit.

I walked up to Königsplatz‎, which according to my 40 cent Euro map, was the epi-center of Museum’s in Munich. It’s a beautiful square and being so close to the University, was filled with lounging students. My handy map told me the museum with the oldest artifacts was the Antikensammlungen.

The older gentleman at the front desk didn’t know English or at least that is how he felt. But he could understand me, and we were able to get through the monetary transaction that allowed me access to the museum. It was filled with lots of Egyptian bowls, tools, plates and statues. When I was leaving, my lovely gentleman wished me a good afternoon and complimented my tired, worn 8 hour airplane atire by telling me I was beautiful! Since his admission that he didn’t know English, I am not sure he meant what he said, but hey I am going to take what I can get! 🙂 and off to the Glyptothek Museum I went.

They weren’t quite as friendly at the second museum and I was a little confused that there was a museum full of Greek artifacts in Germany. I purchased a helpuful English booklet for 3 Euro’s to help decipher all the Greek…I mean German signs. For such an English language friendly city, it was surprising that all the signage in the museum was German.

The inside of the museum was grand, with high ceilings, enormous doorways and a sunny courtyard in the middle. They had a small restaurant with clanging dishes that could be heard almost throughout the entire tour. It added to the ambiance.

One thing about Europe, they love their naked statues, unlike their Western friends. Candy, this picture I took specially for you, I couldn’t resist :). According to my handy booklet, this statue is part human, part horse – although I am not sure what part is the horse!

After looking at so many statues, seeing Apollo, Athena, Medusa, Mercules, Artemis, I decided the remaining 36 museum’s would have to wait another day and off I went in search of Marienplatz.

Marienplatz sits at the East end of a long street filled with shops, restaurants and tourists. There are no cars on Kaufingerstrasse but there is a lot of hussle and bussle along the street. It is in Marienplatz that the famed glockenspiel resides. You can read all about it on here on Wikipedia, my number one source for all “mostly” accurate information. The top show in the Glockenspiel is a rendition of the marriage between the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm V and his new bride Renata of Lorraine. At the end of the first show, as one would expect, the Bavarian jousting knight knocks the French knight off his horse. The show at the bottom depicts the end of the plague in 1517 when barrel makers danced out in the street to convince the residents of Munich that the city was now safe.

Just south of Marienplatz is the Viktualienmarkt, Munich’s oldest outdoor market. This market not only hosts a Beer Garden, it also is home to the Maypole – another Wikipedia link 🙂 but hey they describe it almost as well as Peter, of course without the humour! Essentially it is a tradition to erect and decorate a Maypole May 1st and during the night, neighbouring areas try to steal the pole for ransom. Now apparently the Munich Maypole was successfully stolen a few years ago and the gentlemen who held the Maypole hostage wanted a table and free beer for the rest of their lives during Oktoberfest. They received their wish and the Maypole was returned. I wasn’t able to get a picture of this past year’s Maypole because…it was gone?! nobody knows where for sure.

The other fun Maypole story. The Munich Airport has a Maypole in Terminal 1. Being a secure facility, how would a Maypole ever get stolen from an airport? Well it did and the morning after Airport security sheepishly called the Munich police department to file a report. What kind of job was Airport security doing when they couldn’t even secure a Maypole in the middle of a secure building? Turns out the Munich police had stolen the Maypole as a prank, or rather rescued it since they said it wasn’t being well protected by Airport security. 🙂

Now for the beer garden, I didn’t realize there was such an intricate history to them, but they were built surrounded by chestnut trees to keep the beer cool and from spoiling from when it was made in February into the summer months. The Germans claim Carl Paul Gottfried von Linde invented the refigerator to help with beer spoilage – here’s a link (not wikipedia haha) for those looking into the history of refigeration. The Beer Garden in the Viktualienmarkt is unique in that people are allowed to bring their own food to enjoy with their beer. Munich is known for their beer, as a dispassionate beer drinker their beer was good – a comprehensive list of Munich beers.

One sight we were not expecting while exploring Munich were Camels! Not one, but two. They weren’t super tall, but they were super friendly and enjoying some bread for a meal, something we almost missed out on twice. It is curious, coming from North America, getting used to a country or region that values spending time with family and friends above making money. My suggestion to anyone planning to visit Munich, make sure to pick a place to eat by 5 and remember which street it’s on and be there before 7pm at the latest if you plan to be able to order what your heart desires from the menu. You will laugh, but we had everything BUT Bavarian food while in Munich 🙂 It smelled fantastic but we missed it everytime.

Salzburg Austria…

We day tripped to Austria and even though I’d been informed prior to my trip that Salzburg was the birthplace of Mozart, I promptly forgot about it until we arrived and well, saw nothing but Mozart museums! The kind lady at the information booth pointed us in the direction of all the interesting sights we could cover in under 6 hours.

We decided against transit in Salzburg and trusted our maps and amazing sense of direction, however if this had of been one day later, we may have just decided to take the transit 🙂

We made our way to Mirabellgarten which is one of the locations used in the filming of….The Sound Of Music. It’s just as beautiful in the movie as it is in real life.

In the distance you can see the Hohensalzburg Castle looming on the horizon. It is a large, awesome Fortress that grew in three phases with roots back to the 11th century.

Before we arrived at the Castle, we visited two Mozart museum. Saw his musical instruments, read personal letters between family members and well, seemlingly learned everything there was to learn about him and his family. Since spending so much time reading up on the family, we decided it would only be appropriate to spend time looking for Nannerl’s grave, Mozart’s sister.

We spent just under an hour in St Peter’s Cemetery looking for Nannerl’s gravesite and only found out the real reason she wasn’t buried with the rest of the Mozart family in St Sebastian Friedhof after arriving home. Google is a wonderful thing. Apparently, Nannerl wasn’t so fond of Constanze, Mozart’s wife, and neither was his father Leopold but he ended up in the same gravesite’s as Constanze in the end. One of my favourite letters from Mozart to a family member was him describing how he wasn’t very fond of a sketch that was done of him. His neck was too thick and his face a little fatter than should be. Mozart was a small guy, as one exhibit mentioned, Mozart stayed a child even as an adult while his sister flourished into a beautiful woman. Apparently the doctor’s had decided the reason for Mozart’s shortness was the fact he practised the panio for great amounts of time since he was young.

In Salzburg, there are many giant objects. From their churches, castle, fountains, gardens etc, most things are pretty massive. Standing in the middle of Residenzplaz looking past the Residenz fountain towards the Cathedral, people look like miniature toys. Pictures do not do the massiveness justice.

Some photos from Salzburg:

Cathedral in Residenzplatz

Cathedral in Residenzplatz
Getreidegasse
Overlooking Salzburg from the Castle Hohensalzburg
Overlooking Salzburg from MonchsbergAufzug
Across the Salzach river
the almost Tourist



Great trip to both Munich and Salzburg. Now that I am sitting here looking through my pictures, I realize how many I didn’t take! Munich is a wonderful city, and would move in a minute, if not to just be living in a city that is so walk-able and transit friendly. So much I didn’t get to see, until next time…