Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oktoberfest & Neuschwanstein Castle {Munich, Germany}

This was a weekend that we will remember and talk about for many years to come.  The photo below pretty much sums up the trip.  It's being printed and framed as I type. 
The gang in front of the Lowenbrau Tent - where we spent the morning
But before we made it to Oktoberfest, we spent a day driving in the Bavarian Alps to Neuschwanstein Castle.  A nice way to ease into our weekend in Munich.  We were with some great friends and the countryside was beautiful.
The countryside
Neuschwanstein Castle
I know it's pretty much the same photo but the trees are so pretty here

The Drummond's and Lederman's
Dana & Iain
Looking across the way to the castle next door (and at the clouds settling in the hills)

The castle from the other side
Oktoberfest is nuts, and it's so much fun.  The tents are massive and packed all day long.  Most of the seating is reserved, and people have standing reservations at the same table, with the same people, on the same day for years and years.  At the big tents it's impossible for people like us to even make a reservation.  This is exactly why we went very early in the morning, before the tents opened so we could get a seat in the small public area of one of the big tents.  And we landed ourselves a very nice table in the Lowenbrau Tent where we spent the morning and afternoon.

The tents are decorated with colorful banners and streamers.  Everyone, I mean everyone, is dressed in lederhosen and dirndls.  There is a band playing.  The beer maids are rushing by with armfuls of steins.  Pretzels are being sold by the basketful and sausages and chicken are being eaten as quickly as they are cooked.  The crowd is constantly singing and dancing and chatting with their neighbors.  It's quite a scene.  

Everyone is there to have a good time, not to get drunk (although people do get drunk).  We had a lovely time drinking our steins, chatting with our neighbors, singing along with the band, and taking it all in.
Breakfast beers. Some people may wonder why I am drinking so much quicker than the others.
But, I would like you to consider that I'm actually drinking much slower...
The stage and band
Dana & Linda
Keeping busy
woo
We were sitting pretty close to the stage because that is where all the public tables are.  I'm not entirely sure how this happened, but out of nowhere, Linda jumped up and declared that the lead singer was calling her to the stage.  She ran up there and next thing we know, there is Linda leading the tent in song and dance.  How she pulled that off, I will never know, but it was definitely a highlight of our day.
Linda on stage!!
After some serious time in the Lowenbrau Tent, we decided to give up our seats, walk around a bit, and take a break before our evening reservations.  Yep, you heard that right, reservations.  We managed to get an evening reservation at a small tent, the Heinz Tent.  We prepaid and had something like 60 Euros per person to spend on food and drink.  We had the last reservation of the night which started at 5pm and went to close.  Stated on their website, their slogan is, “Come over to Heinz, there you´ll find something fine”.
Walking around the festival
Us girls are all up on the ride
When we first arrived at the Heinz Tent, we were slightly skeptical.  It wasn't very full and it was so, so tiny compared to where we had been all morning.  But as soon as the rest of the tables arrived, it became lively and fun.  There was a band.  There is always a band.  There was singing and dancing and beers and, as they say in Ireland, "great craic".   It was perfect.
Frau Lederman - that's us!
They are serious about pretzels in Munich
We had some serious food in this tent
All 366 seats in the Heinz tent were full
This is what put me over the edge.  I don't remember what it was,
but I remember it being delicious, and I came home with that little boot cup in my pocket
All good things must come to an end.  Once we closed down the tent, and Iain and Linda went on one last carnival ride, we headed home to get some sleep.

The next morning we spent walking around the market and town, then swung by the Hofbrauhaus for lunch before we had to head back to the airport to catch our flight.  The Hofbrauhaus is one of the permanent beer halls in Munich.  Everyone had a beer with their lunch except me, I could only drink a tea.  I still don't know how they did it.  I've never been a believer of the Hair of the Dog.
Fall produce is beautiful - I actually bought a small pumpkin and brought it back to Ireland.
The Milka cow - I <3 Milka
I'm not sure my post did the weekend justice, but we had an amazing time.  It was the perfect group and we were so excited to all meet back up again for a Thanksgiving feast in Dublin just over a month later.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sydney {month 4}


Sydney turned 4 months last Thursday!  Three big things happened this month.  We went on our first long road trip, Sydney starting rolling over, and I went back to work.
family at the beach in LA
We went down to LA for the weekend to hang out and visit some of Brian's family.  Sydney took her first dip in the Pacific Ocean, we had a nice brunch with the family and cruised around Venice.

checking out the canals in Venice....Venice, CA
dipping our toes in the Pacific
beautiful day
at the beach
winding down after the beach
Aunt Amy & Cousin Rachel
Sydney had been rolling from her back onto her side for just over a month.  She never really tried to do anymore, until the day before she turned 4 months.  It was time.  She now easily and often will turn from her back onto her tummy, with only 1 small barrier, her left arm.  Right now, she just lays on it and gets frustrated because she doesn't know what to do to get it out of the way.  So, maybe she is 99% of the way there, but I'm counting it.  She has flipped from her tummy to her back a number of times too, but not as consistent.
This is what she had been doing all month
And here she is the day before she turned 4 months - 10/8/14
I went back to work a week before she turned 4 months.  It was so hard to leave her, and I miss her so much everyday.  I'm always wondering what she is doing, if she is getting enough sleep, if she is eating well, doing tummy time, etc.  The daycare is an in-home daycare with the sweetest ladies that run it.  Sydney is there with her Cousin Billy, which will be nice when they can start playing together.  They tell me everyday that Sydney is such a good baby and she is doing really well but it's still so hard for me.  Brian's mom is going to watch her on Thursday which is great and much easier for me.  I'm lucky enough to be able to work Monday's and Friday's from home, and those days have been really nice, just knowing how close I am to her helps.

The photo daycare sent me on her first day
So happy to come home from work to her
Besides those 3 things, we spent time with family, went to the pumpkin patch and Sydney was just her adorable self.  These days she always has a toy or her hands in her mouth.  She still loves being outside, and looking at books.  She is a super observant baby.  When she's not at our house, she just stares, wide eyed, at everything, taking it all in.  I took a lot of really cute photos this month...
The beginning of the month
Tuckered out
Looking adorable
Sydney and Sophia
weekend mornings with Daddy
Looking super girly with Bama
grins
she is so cute on her tummy
toys in her mouth!
Such a cute gift
Playing with Bama and Billy
Billy gave Sydney a kiss - so adorable
Sydney liked it
Hanging out with Uncle Mike, Nate and Connor
Story time
Everything in her mouth
morning daddy
cutie
Sophia and Sydney getting bigger!
Giants fan
our chunky monkey
snuggles 
Looking adorable again
hand in the mouth
our little pumpkin
with Uncle Kevin & Aunt Lindsay
snuggles
family pumpkin patch photo
kisses
hanging with Daddy
I can't decide which one I like better
Or this one?
Below, the top picture was the first time I put her in this outfit, and the one below is how it fits her today.  I jumped the gun a bit with it, but I couldn't resist.
It was a little big
Fits just right