Kai and I had a conversation last fall that went something like this . . .
Ali: What if we booked Greece over my birthday weekend?
Kai: That would be great, because then our Greece trip wont overlap with Oktoberfest.
Ali: Ohh cool, I am looking forward to wearing my dirndl again this year!
Kai: What? What did you say?
Ali: My dirndl, I am looking forward to wearing it again.
Kai: Ohh, um, I am going to Oktoberfest with the guys this year . . . .
*cue hurt and sad Ali who hides it effortlessly*
Ali: Ohh, that’s fine, because I was planning on going with the girls . . .
Kai: No you’re not.
Ali: Yes I am!
And so dream was born. Or better yet, a challenge was accepted. My boyfriend had apparently made Oktoberfest plans without me – that’s fine Kai, sing your German songs and drink beer and eat pretzels with your dude friends, because I am going to have a much better time at Oktoberfest without you ;)In all actuality, I didn’t mind at all that Kai was going to Oktoberfest with his guy friends. With work travel, different friend groups, and individual hobbies and passions, Kai and I spend a lot of time apart which works well for both of us. I like the feeling of missing him every once in a while, and I love coming home after a week of work travel with so many new stories to share – and I know he feels the same. Kai and I are also pretty good about syncing up on our travel plans – if he plans on being out of town, I will make sure to fit in lots of friend time, so when he’s back we can really focus on each other. Quality, over quantity! So all that said, although I would have liked an invitation to Oktoberfest with my sexy German boyfriend, I was really looking forward to a fun weekend of my own around that time. I floated the idea of a long weekend trip past a few of the girls, and Carina, Dannika, and Kira were totally up for an adventure! We talked about a surf trip, or maybe even our own Oktoberfest celebration, as Carina had a few friends that we could stay with in Munich. Fast forward a few weeks, and Amie, one of my good friends from the US, had also decided to join for the weekend! So in the end we landed on an Oktoberfest road trip, which would be fairly inexpensive, a fun cultural weekend, and give us a chance to do some beer drinking and dancing! We decided to go on opening weekend, which worked best for all of our schedules, and would give us a chance to meet up with some other friends who were also going that weekend! Also, funny side note . . . Kai had originally been planning to go to Oktoberfest later in the month, however at some point his plans changed and he wound up booking tickets to Munich the same weekend we were going! So although we didn’t ‘go together’, in the end he did wind up in our tent for a short while to say hello, although we didn’t let him stay for long because . . . girl’s weekend!So, where are these lovely photos from and where did we end up?! Well, the adventure started in Amsterdam, at Dannika’s office. Late on Thursday afternoon, we all met in the parking lot of her work, ready to go with bags in tow! Amie literally came straight from the airport, and I was juggling work calls, waving hello, and trying to load up the car. I don’t think we all exchanged a proper ‘hello’ and a ‘wooooo we’re on vacationnnn!’ until about two hours into the drive, when all of our work calls and emails were wrapped up for the day (sadly I was not the only one working!) That said, once the work day came to a close, the carpool karaoke kicked off, and the road trip was officially under way! The drive to Munich was eight hours in total, so we decided to break up the trip with a few stops. About three and a half hours into the drive we made our first stop at Carina’s parent’s house for dinner (her mom was so sweet and made us a lovely soup) however we didn’t stay long as we had another three and a half hours to cover before we reached Nuremberg, our destination for the night. We knew we didn’t want to drive straight to Munich in one go, so we decided to stay in Nuremberg on Thursday evening with the intention of exploring the city on Friday, breaking up the drive and heading to Munich just in time for Friday night debauchery and Saturday Oktoberfest-ing!And so when we woke up on Friday morning in Nuremberg, we were all eager to stretch our legs after a long drive in the car, and to our delight the sun was out, which meant we could explore the city to our heart’s content! We started off the day with some breakfast at Cafe & Bar Celona, which had the cutest river side terrace, killer coffees, and an inexpensive breakfast buffet! Also side note: Kira took the above photo and a few others in the post, which are really beautiful!I held down the fort while the girls went inside to get food, as I am not usually a breakfast lady (my stomach doesn’t usually start to rumble until 11ish!) After a hearty meal to kick-start the day, we began to roam. Nuremberg is fairly small, and boasts of brilliant medieval architecture. A few of the girls needed to pick up dirndls, so we plotted some dirndl shops into our phones and used that as our guiding star through town, admiring the landscape and architecture along the way. However, before we made it to the dirndl shop, we happened upon a cookie stand, where Amie stocked up on gifts for friends back home. And luckily we had a resident German to translate for us (thanks Carina! :) The funniest moment of the day happened when a group of guys from South Korea approached us on the street and asked if we could all take a photo together. We said sure, because why not?!? and to say thanks we were given a slew of Korean socks – cue another opportune photo moment! Although I’d just been to Neuschwanstein a few weeks prior, my favorite part of the day was visiting Nuremberg’s very own medieval castle, which dates back to the Roman Empire and was built between 1027–1125.We also found the most picturesque bench for some Nuremberg glamour shots, which we took full advantage of! The view from the top of the castle also wasn’t too shabby, and although the day had turned a bit grey, the city’s numerous red roofs against the white sky popped all the more. Next, we wound back in to town, intent on finding the dirndl shop. I lasted in the store for about 30 minutes before I had to get out of there – being patient in a store when I don’t need to shop is not my forte! Which was also totally fine with my belly, as she was telling me it was time to find some food. So I walked back to the cookie stand we’d discovered that morning, and picked up a chocolate covered banana, which was healthy-ish (right? right? ;) and a solid start to the day! Back at the farm (erm, dirndl shop) the girls had finally made their big decisions! At this point, somehow, a good majority of the day had already managed to pass! So we walked back to the car, ready to embark on the last leg of our Munich drive! Picking up a few bites for the car ride along the way :)I don’t have any good DSLR photos from Oktoberfest, as I didn’t dare bring my camera, however we did get a few iPhone snaps to give you an idea of how our girls road trip panned out . . . . there were sausages and pretzels . . . . . . . dirndls . . . . . . and of course, beers!And although I started out this post joking about how the girl’s trip was a bit of a consolation, this girl’s weekend was just what my soul was craving! Sometimes you just need a weekend filled with giggles, singing, dodgy road-side schnitzel, and perhaps one to many gallons of beer! So big shout out to these ladies – I wouldn’t want to be squeezed into a small car for 16 hours over one weekend with anyone else ;) Perhaps we’ll even do it again next year?!