The cheapest beer in Europe!

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Riga, Latvia..what can I say but cheap beer, interesting drinking establishments, snowy woods, street cars, and massive markets.

We traveled to Riga on a whim, enticed by the affordable room rates and flights. This was our first trip to “Eastern” Europe, so we had no expectations. When we told several friends we were traveling to Riga, they said something along the lines of “Riga, why are you going there?”

We took an empty Baltic air flight Thursday morning and easily made our way from the rather small airport to our hotel via the airport bus. Katie had booked the Old Riga Hotel in historic Old Town. The hotel was centrally located and really easy to get to and was a good home base for us due to the proximity to a number of street cars. The street car system was very good in Riga and made getting around very easy.

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To an outsider, the trolleys run seemingly everywhere in the city and are clean and efficient. They are also cheap with a one way ticket only costing about USD 1.5.

In the evening we had a bizarre meal at a cafeteria where we had our first introduction to Latvian food. The venue was called Alus Seta, which supposedly means beer hall. I am not sure I could really describe what we ate, but it was not bad. The beer was also good and cheap.

In the morning we decided to try the trolley system and go to a park for a winter adventure. The park was called a “city park,” but was a 30 minute trolley ride from downtown. The park was not so much a park but a large pine forest and after a bit of walking we found the winter park with a cross country ski course, “downhill” ski/snowboard park and skating rink. Katie and I decided to rent some skates and try our hand at skating. I was a bit apprehensive since I had not ice skated since I borrowed a pair of women’s figure skates from one of my Mom’s high school students when I was six or seven at the Lewis County Fair rink. Needless to say, I may have grown up in a cold climate, but that did not make me a good skater. While Katie effortlessly cruised around me, I fell on my butt several times. I guess all of the skating parties at Hawaii’s Ice Palace served her well. There were also several young Latvian boys who whipped around me over and over again probably making fun of me in Latvian, but flashing me smiles when I fell down and gave anyone around me the “did anyone just see that face.” It was a great experience, but lets just say I will stick to other winter sports I am better at.

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As a school group of about 37 students got off a school bus and started lining up to rent skates we took our cue and headed out.  Our walk back to the train was really pretty walking through the pines and the snow. We wished we would have had some cross country skis.

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That evening we had a very nice dinner at nice restaurant and then had beers at a local watering hole. The beers were quite cheap as was the hardcore pornography the establishment was showing. The music choices were also interesting ranging from Tenacious D to the Beetles to Pantera. The 11 year old girl in the bar who was dancing with her parents seemed to be enjoying it. Katie however was not.

We heard about a massive market in Riga and had to go. The market was housed in and around five old blimp hangers. The markets seemed to be grouped into similar items within each building with the really random stuff outside of the buildings. The really random stuff consisted of everything from random mens jeans to fruit and tools, to hosiery and fur coats. The first building housed rows and rows of red meat, mostly pork. The middle two buildings housed cheeses, pet foods, cloth, bread, vegetables, and other random things. The last building housed fish, which was really interesting. Venders sold everything from cavier to live fish flopping around. This building seemed like it was where most of the action was going on and the people, although somewhat suspicious of my photo taking, seemed to be in good spirits despite the gray weather outside.

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After our cornucopian feast for our eyes, we cruised about Old Town and then went out to a Belgian restaurant for dinner. The food was great as well as the musical Saxophone accompaniment. Not as good as Sax on the Beach, but still, you know, OK.

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We typically shy away from bus cruises around cities, preferring to walk under our own power, but with Katie sick and the weather cold, and snowy, we decided a bus tour might be just what the doctor ordered. It was actually a pretty good decision as we were able to see several places we had missed. Following the tour we enjoyed some of the beautiful buildings around old town, an area that was strangely deserted. The architecture of Riga was extremely varied with wood framed buildings next to art noveau buildings. We were told that many films depicting Europe over the past 100 years were filmed in Riga due to its architecture.

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All in all, Riga was a fairly diverse place. It had been occupied by Sweden, Germany, and the Soviet Union so it has a varied history and outlook. Katie and I had a wonderful time in a place that is struggling with its identity, but modernizing and growing.

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Trip of a Lifetime!

After Katie’s parents departed we spent a quick two weeks packing preparing for our move across town. We thought that moving from the great island of Amager to the bustling borough of Vesterbro would be a nice change of pace. But first we had a few things to look forward to…mainly the arrival of my Mom Deborah and my Sister Tina who were making their first trip to the Europe to spend the holidays with us.

My Mom arrived first two days before we were to move. Before we moved into our new apartment in Vesterbro we made a quick three week stopover at our friend’s Christen and William to do a little cat sitting for their lovely feline Sasha.

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Ms. Sasha “Drengus” Sullivan

We were so happy to spend the holidays at the Sullivan’s and babysit their other daughter Sasha. Katie quickly fell in love with her and I even warmed up to her despite an untimely incident early in the morning the first day we slept at the Sullivan’s when I was awoken by Sasha, her face 2 inches away from mine as she was standing on my chest purring. Everyone bonded with our friend Sasha during our stay and she was a welcome addition to our holidays.

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Debdella at Nyhavn

Besides enjoying the joys of Copenhagen like cruising the Strøget, cooking flæskesteg, eating smørrebrød, and riding bikes (Christen – thanks for loaning My Mom your sweet Christiania bike – according to her, it was the first time she had ridden a bike in 20 years!), we also took a quick weekend trip to Ireland.

Dublin is a wonderful city that both Katie and Debdella had never been too, so we found some cheap tickets on Are Lingus and flew over for a quick three day weekend. We also used airbnb, a website where you can find a variety of accommodations at people’s homes around the world. We stayed slightly south of Dublin with our host Heather in Stillorgan. Since there is not an easy rail link to the Dublin airport, we used the services of a taxi cab driven recommended by our friend Pär. He had used Adam’s services several times and said he was dependable and a nice guy. Adam was waiting for us when we arrived and took us the 40 minutes to Stillorgan, while giving us a tour of sights along the way. The number of Taxi’s in Dublin is amazing – I have never seen so many. In dublin, if you have cash, you will never be without a ride.

After a restful night we took the bus straight to the Jameson Whiskey Distillery which is located near the river Liffey. The tour was wonderful we ended up meeting two girls from Wisconsin whom we would run into the next day at the book of Kells. Debdella also met a lady from Luxembourg. The tour guide and bar keep were very nice and even gave us our tasting glasses after we had finished. Just a quick note the tour guides last name was McCabe! Quite a few in Ireland I guess.

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Before Jameson

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Santa was already there

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Irish Coffee was tasty

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Jameson and ginger…yes please!

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Don’t try and be bashful, you made it into the blog sir!

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On one of the bridges over the River Liffey

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My Goodness…My Guinness

After we were thoroughly warmed by Jameson, we meandered our way to the Guinness Factory to learn about Guinness, visit the Sky Bar and imbibe. During the tour we met a nice guy named Daryl who gave us a few free beers and told my Mom she could talk a pint to sleep – translation – she has a relaxing demeanor.

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Apparently water plays an important part in the beer making process

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We’re the three best friends that anyone ever had

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“You should go to the Cornell school of Hotel Management!” A teacher always promotes education!

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Sky Bar

We continued our tour around Dublin…taking in the sights and stopping to indulge in my favorite cuisine of the British Isles…Fish and Chips!

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This is going to be good…

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No talking…just eating

Our walking tour continued to Temple Bar where we actually visited the Temple Bar and listened to some live music. Debdella even met a local and Katie found the family coat of arms.

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Live at Temple Bar

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Festive Times

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The one and only

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Resting

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Leprechaun!

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McCabe Coat of Arms

Our night ended at the Stillorgan Inn watching Rugby, having a pint, and eating Ham sandwiches…tomato included. The pub was packed with mostly with men enjoying the game and indulging in a pint, just like we were. it was a great end to a great day.

Our second day in Ireland we spent in a state of higher education around the famous Trinity College. The college was beautiful and learning about the ancient book of Kells and other ancient manuscripts whose names I have placed in a deep, deep spot in my brain for safe keeping were amazing to see. The process used to produce these ancient books is incredible. Such a process – there is really no true replacement for the written word…said as I write this on a computer to be posted on the internet!

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Trinity College

As we felt the only rain of the weekend, we took a quick taxi ride over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The building was epic. A truly grand structure with such an interesting history. The cathedral had several artifacts and interesting stories. Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s travels was the dean of the Cathedral for some time. Also, Thomas Cromwell used the church as a stable for his horses during the English Reformation and the nave of the cathedral also collapsed during this period of neglect. The cathedral also housed the Reconciliation Door where Gerald Fitzgerald “chanced his arm” to make peace with a rival family.

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St. Patricks

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Awesome

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Reconciliation Door

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Guestbook Signing

Katie also found some license plates with a few familiar names…alas as usual no Herbert!

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Pattern?

All of the learning we did at the Cathedral and Trinity college made us hungry, so we ended up doing a second fish and chips…which was good.

Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips

A new tradition we learned about in Dublin is called the 12 Pubs of Christmas, where Dubliners dress in festive attire and visit 12 pubs in an evening. The only catch is that you must drink one beverage (we are not talking Gatorade hear) at each bar, but can only spend a maximum of 30 minutes at each establishment. Needless to say, we saw some amazing sweaters, costumes and met some very nice, intoxicated people. According to Debdella, the whole scene was quite “pulsey!”

In Front of the Dublin Castle

In Front of the Dublin Castle

Our last day in Dublin was spent at the Leprechaun Museum. Debdella has had a long standing affection for Ireland’s friendly, playful, guardians of pots o’ gold. At the museum, we were turned into Leprechauns, told stories of Leprechaun encounters and learned about a few of the legends surrounding Leprechaun history and we’re not talking Lucky Charms! One of the interesting stories was of Finn McCool, Ireland’s resident big man who constructed Giant’s Causeway so he could challenge Scottland’s Giants.  As the story goes, after Finn built the causeway, he marched over Scotland’s to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner, but when he saw how large he was, he ran back to Ireland. The Scottish giant followed seeing Finn from a distance, so that he could challenge Finn. Finn arrived home in a panic thinking he and his family would be destroyed, but his quick thinking wife told Finn to get into swaddling clothes and pretend to be sleeping. When Benandonner arrived to Finn’s home,  Finn’s wife told the Scottish giant that Finn was out preparing for the battle and that it was only her and her child. When Benandonner saw the massive baby, he thought that Finn must be humongous and quickly ran back to Scottland, tearing up the causeway as he went so the Irish giant could not follow. I always thought Giant’s Causeway was created by geologic forces, but was surprised to learn Finn McCool made the causeway to challenge Scottish giants.

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No one wants to play my Leprechaun games!

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Honey, the Leprechaun museum tour guide shrunk us

We also had a quick visit to Kilmainham Goal for a short history lesson before our trusted Cabby Adam met us to take us back to the airport. The Goal was a symbolic place in Ireland’s quest for independence and was the site of many executions relating to the fight for independence.

As we departed Ireland, the sun was setting on a beautiful day and on a wonderful trip. A big thank you to all of the wonderful people we met in Ireland. We had so many interesting conversations and everyone was so friendly to us – we can’t wait to come back and explore again!

We returned to snow in Copenhagen and Sasha was waiting for us as the weary travelers came into the apartment. Debdella saw Sasha and exclaimed “Sasha, it was the trip of a lifetime.”

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

Our Christmas Tree at our old apartment in Amager...may you one day grow big and grand old friend!

Our Christmas Tree at our old apartment in Amager…may you one day grow big and grand old friend!

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The McCabe’s European Vacation

Ok so my parents finally made to Scandinavia!! They arrived on the 18th of November with visions of Danish bakeries, snow, Christmas markets, vikings, mulled wine and law abiding people on their minds.

Day 1: I started the grand tour with a trip to Torvehallerne KBH. It is Copenhagen’s biggest and best food market with over 60 different stalls that sell food of the highest quality for only the most sophisticated of budgets. There are lots of excited vendors who love to share their knowledge and passion for food. My parents tried fiskefrikadeller (fish meatballs) for the first time and loved it. Only some hjemmelavede remuloude would have made it better.

Next on the tour was a trip down Strøget and lunch at Café Nordeen. We dined on smørrebrød which are Denmark’s famous open face sandwiches, hands free of course because no one in Denmark would ever dare touch their food. I have lived here for almost three years and have never had it and I don’t know what I was waiting for. It was delicious!!

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Nyhavn a 17th century harbor is lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses, bars, cafes and restaurants was next on the list. Nyhavn’s Christmas market was in full effect so we hit it hard. Along the water the Christmas stalls are set up and decorated offering traditional Danish Christmas specialities such as æbleskiver and glögg. Tis the season!!

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We ended day one with dinner at Mother to celebrate my dad’s 67th birthday!!! The wood-fired sourdough pizza is to die for!! Pay no attention to the people across the street doing cross fit.

Day 2 started with the dogs barking (I am not used to walking so much! I love my bike!) so we got a late start and headed for Christianshavn.

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We walked through the canals and ended up in Christiania. Parents were not impressed! Maybe it was the people selling drugs, but I think it related more to all of the scaffolding, come on people, lets finish this construction already!

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Day 3-7 GERMANY/AUSTRIA!!!!! Heidelberg, Garmisch and Innsbruck here we come! We flew into Munich, rented a sweet Chevy Captiva and  hit the Autobahn. Driving at night on the autobahn for the first time is an exercise in humility.

Heidelberg was amazing! The streets were lined with Christmas decorations and on every other corner there seemed to be a fabulous Christmas market with lots of yummy goodies! German Christmas markets are where it’s at!! They beat Copenhagen’s markets hands down!!! Dad was quite impressed with the amount of delectable sweets available and we constantly found him fixated, not on the beautiful scenery, but on the powdered sugar cookies found in many a booth.

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Dating back to before AD 1214 the ruins still sit atop the hill overlooking the rest of the city. It is one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. Put it on your list people!!!…What is the Heidelberg Castle  (I should be a writer for Jeopardy)

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We celebrated Thanksgiving at a quaint German restaurant and all dinned on traditional German fare. I opted for the schnitzel and spätzle. I have to admit I ate schnitzel and spätzle for 4 days in a row! Couldn’t get enough of it!! After 2 days of power shopping and site seeing in Heidelberg we began our journey to Garmisch-Partenkirchen which is a mountain town that sits in the Alps and boarders Austria. We stayed at an amazing place with a view of Zugspitze which is the tallest mountain in Germany standing at 2961 m (9714 ft.) The drive up on the autobahn was great and Herbie could really let the Chevy stretch its legs out as we zipped toward the Alps, passing Porsches and Lambos left and right. One nice thing about driving in Germany is that no one rides in the left lane, you pass and then move back. Cruising along, we often noticed that almost before we moved back right, an Audi or BMW was passing us by, even though we were traveling about 100 MPH.

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We summited Zugspitze via a crazy gondola ride straight up the mountain. I do not think Mom opened her eyes until we were back on terra firm (thanks dad!). Once you get to the top, you are not actually at the summit. Most people stop after the stairs (or elevators for those so inclined) and do not actually summit the Zugspitze, but Herbie decided to leave the safe confines of the restaurant and paved area to continue the 10 meters or so to the summit. The summit push was fairly exposed and vertical, but a few cables and a metal ladder made it a bit safer. Still no one else followed Herbie out. What a mountain man! I was ready to show off my mad mountain skillz, but the tread on my Chucks probably would not have offered the traction I needed for the final summit push.

After we took the 45 minute cog railway through a long tunnel back to the train station where we left the car, we drove to Innsbruck, Austria for some site seeing, more Christmas markets and some very large schnitzel burgers and more Glühwein!!! The roads in Austria are much smaller and slower than those in Germany, but it was fine because the scenery was nice to see. We even found a country music station that Mom and Herbie could sing along to.

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Day 8 started with lunch at Herb’s office. Office lunches in Denmark are the norm and most kontors (offices in Danish) either have a full time cook or have food catered. Mom and Dad enjoyed meeting some IWC folks and eating the quintessential Danish Pork. Since it was a beautiful day we decided to take a canal tour which gave my parents a bit more history and a chance to see the glorious Little Mermaid. They were impressed! Note my sarcasm. After the tour we cruised down Strøget and ended the night at Tivoli.

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Day 9 Rest and Relaxation. Nuff said!

Day 10 Carlsberg brewery/ din din at Kellys

Fun factoid, the Carlsberg brewery is home to the largest unopened beer bottle collection in the world. I did not see Coors, so maybe we could increase the size by bringing one of the Banquet beers back and donating it to the collection. Our contribution to Danish society! Dinner at Kelly’s was easily the tastiest meal of the trip and meget hyggelig (some serious cozy). First course was Cod which was cooked to perfection and the second course was braised Duck, also amazing. Dessert was a delicious apple tart with Marzipan filling. We left, full, happy, and thoroughly cozy! Totes should have food porned that cherry awesome meal!

Day 11 was my parents last day. We woke up not knowing what to do and made the decision to head up to Helsingør to see Hamlets Castle also known as Kronborg Castle the most famous castle in Denmark. I have been up there a couple of times without ever going into the castle itself so we decided to check it out and 2 hours later were surprised by how awesome it was. The casemates which means ‘home in the darkness’ were just that and very creepy. My favorite part was the giant ball room with a huge christmas tree right in the middle. I can only imagine what it used to be like dancing throughout the room in a huge dress with royalty all around. The pomp, the circumstance, it was all too much, I cannot go on…..

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Such an AMAZING trip!

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Booze Cruise to Oslo, Norway

AHOY!

August 3rd was the day we set off on the open seas. AHOY! For 2 days we (Mike, Liza, Herbie and I) would call the Crown Jewel of Scandinavia our home. With about 2000 other people we were about to have an adventure. An adventure of Norwegian proportions. Only a bottle of Jaeger, several beers, Heaven 11, Scott Stapp cover guitarists (yeaaaaaahhhhhhhhh), and 15 hours at sea separated us from Norway.

On the open seas.

Once aboard we quickly headed to the rooftop for some warm Carlsberg and sandwiches. Always a good start to an adventure! The sun was out and the sea was calm on the high seas.

Gangs all here.

Upper Deck

We then took the party to our tiny cabin where shots of liquor were taken and mass amounts of snacks were eaten. The rest of the night involved card playing, drinking, people watching, live music watching, club going, aimless wandering and drunk encounters.

Tiny quarters

The next morning came fast and Oslo was right in front of our eyes. Feeling a little rough we disembarked the ship and took on Oslo. Karl Johan’s Gate was almost deserted at 10 AM. With a little cartography, we navigated to the harbor near the ramparts and between soft ice and Cokes made our way to the Ferry to Old Town (Gammel By). And again we were on a boat…a much smaller boat, but still a boat.

Boat ride to Old Town

Boat ride to Old Town

Several cruise ships in the harbor

Old Town

Best Place in Oslo…I think.

Telefon. Old Town. – 867 – 53…..

Oslo Palace

Palace

Golden Arches – sweet refreshment

We arrived back at the boat about 5.5 hours later pretty tired out with Burger King in hand (McDonald’s had about 496 people inside).

Crown of Scandinavia

Tuckered

We boarded the Crown Jewel for a 2nd time and waved goodbye to Oslo. This time the passage included sea sickness for Liza and I and total inebriation for Herbie and Mike.  For several hours we listened to the sweet tunes of Scott Stapp the resident cover guitarist while the boat rocked back and forth. Liza and I were mellowed out ever so slightly by the sea sickness pill and Herb and Mike charged on beer for beer.

Leaving Oslo

Leaving Oslo

Leaving Oslo Fjord

Jumpy Castle in Heaven 11

Precious Moments at the bar

Our night ended at about 11:45 in Heaven 11 to a bunch of drunk kids belting out bad karaoke. We will never get that time back… With the boat still rocking we kicked off our shoes and slept soundly for the last part of our journey. Next thing we knew we were back in Copenhagen, and what do you know… it was cloudy.

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We went all the way to Hamburg and didn’t even have a hamburger

The Black Keys

The Black Keys

What’s up faithful blog readers? It’s Katie and Herb, your unfaithful blog writers…it is true we have cheated with other blogs, but please forgive us…we promise not to stray again or at least until we have something better to do.

We are sorry (I realize this is a frequent phrase) that we have not posted in a a while, but we’ve got a lot on our plates! Sewing, bike repair, beer tastings, birthday parties, etc. It is a tough life, what can we say, but someone has to do it.

So we have had a few trips since Hawaii – Copenhagen, Denmark – Lowville, NY – Lake George, NY – Syracuse, NY – Seattle, WA – Port Angeles, WA – Portland, OR – Astoria, OR – Copenhagen, Denmark – St. Pete Beach, Florida – Copenhagen, Denmark – Paris, France – Copenhagen, Denmark – Munich, Germany – Copenhagen, Denmark – Lyngseidet, Norway – Copenhagen, Denmark – Hamburg, Germany – Copenhagen, Denmark.

A few frequent flier miles, hangovers, Chik – fil – a’s, arctic circle crossings, pølsers, go cart races – icy bike rides, icy drives, hikes, and lots of amazing friends and here we are almost the middle of February.

Now that you are caught up to speed, Hamburg, Germany. We made the quick train trip to Hamburg two weekends ago to do two things, a little gaping and  to see The Black Keys, not neccessarily in that order. On our way to Hamburg, the snow and our excitement picked up as we cruised through the Danish countryside. As other travelers drank MasterBrew before noon, we snacked on some sandwiches Katie prepared and psyched ourselves up for the concert. Train travel was really relaxing and a great way to see the countryside, which was really picturesque in the winter snow.

Patrick Carney

Dan Auerbach

We arrived in Hamburg and checked into our hotel and made straight for Sporthallen where we saw the Black Keys absolutely throw down. They put on a great show and it was a lot better than the last time I saw them at Bumbershoot in Seattle….probably because I was about 10 beers less intoxicated than at Bumbershoot and also because STP was not coming on after so I could focus solely on the Keys. Long story short, the show rocked and the audience was totally rocking out too. We are going to see them in CPH in August. All we know is that we have a blow up mattress and two couches that would easily sleep children between 3 and 10….who’s coming with us?

Hamburg was also hit by old man winter, which gave everything a nice glow as we cruise around the city. Blakenese was very pretty and reminded me of Italy, even though I have never been to Italy. The houses were well kept and the area, nestled above the Rhine was both cozy and luxurious as we felt like we were touring a nice little townm while Robin Leach narrated.

Blankenese

Looking over the River Elbe, Blankenese

Blankenese

Saturday night we found ourselves on the Reperbahn, the champs elysees of Red Light Districts.  While not as extravagant as Amsterdam’s Red Light district, it was quite impressive in its sheer size. It was also the place that the Beetles allegedly got their start…whatever.

Tug Boats waiting in the harbor

After dinner we saw no less than 48 prostitutes on one city block. Maybe we were in the right area, but there were a lot of them. I noticed them as we were eating dinner in a Vietnamese restaurant where they brought us our second round of Hefeweizens that we didn’t order standing outside. As the waitress took the beers back to the bar and let them sit there, at least until after we left, I saw two ladies outside the window of the restaurant approaching single men as they walked by, then coming back to the window. If they hadn’t appraoched every single male that walked by I would have not known they were prostitutes. I figured they would be wearing high heels and short skirts, but then again it was cold out! Every single prostitute was wearing some shade of neon Moon Boots, ski pants and thick jacket…oh an a fanny pack. I am not exagerrating, every single lady of the night was sporting these horrible looking Moon Boots, Ski pants and fanny packs. I can see the fanny packs for keeping neccessary items, but the Moon Boots were interesting. I am still trying to figure that one out. Check out Herbertstrasse for an Amsterdam like experience…no women or juveniles permitted! I never knew Herbert’s of the world had such an amazing street filled with prostitutes, half empty beer bottles, urine, and gleaming, electric sex named for them….Rad!

Just a little guy...

Rathus in the City Center

Some post-pregame tender vittles
Pre-Gaming…Hamburg Style…SUPERBOCK! Shout out to the Man…Steve Eberbach!

Not the highest rated alcohol consumption per capita in Europe for nothing!

Beatlesplatz! Fab fire!

Beatlesplatz

Not open at 10 AM...Oh well, next time!

Infamous Reeperbahn Drunk Tank

Doesn't matter if its black or white...music. Apparently it does in Hamburg.

Long way from the Islands

The following day was cold and we bundeled up to tour the city and see its many canals and buildings, rebuilt after the heavy bombing in WWII. The botanical garden was incredibly hard hit and it was shocking to see photos of the destruction.

As we relaxed on the train ride back, we realized we would have to return in the summer and take a canal tour or perhaps travel to the largest model railway in Hamburg. As I thought about our successful weekend getaway, I realized there was one key thing we did not manage to do…………next time!

SUCCESS!

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North Shore Roar

BEACH HOUSE . HOT TUB . SURFING . SPAM EATING . TEDS . TOYOTA CAMRY . TENNIS . HORSE . FRIENDS . FAMILY . JESSE’S BEACH . WHITE PLAINS . BACKDOORS . FRISBEE . SAND SLEDDING . SHORE BREAK . MAI TAI’S . BOND FIRES . HAWAII 5.2 . TURTLE BAY . BBQ’S . BUD LIGHT . LONG BOARD LAGER . STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING . KEEP THE COUNTRY COUNTRY . TURTLES . PAPAILOA . MALAEKAHANA . KAHUKU SUPERETTE .  SHRIMP TRUCK . SHAVED ICE . BLUE ZINK .NORTH SHORE ROAR . 08.06.11 .  SUPREME WEDDING!!!!

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Lets play a little game of Catch Up

First off we would like to apologize to all of our loyal fans. We have gotten a bit lazy about posting the last few months and really there are no excuses, however we have been very busy bees. Where to start…

Lets go as far back as May shall we. We visited the great city of Munich and stayed with some dear ol’ friends Ted and Amy. The beer gardens were amazing and yes the Lederhosen were even more AH-MAH-ZING!!! Just normal attire for the festive German people!

"I'll take a Liter a beer with a side of Currywurst and fries...really, oh yeah - don't fail me now arteries."

We also were able to witness some real life river surfing right in the middle of the English Gardens. We were definitely wondering why there were kids in wetsuits with surfboards on the U-Bahn.

Surfing in the English Gardens

Day 2 we took a trip to Dachau to visit the Concentration Camp that is situated on the edge of town. Very eye opening and very disturbing. That is definitely a part of history the Germans don’t like to talk about.

Inscribed in iron on the Gate - "Work shall set you free"

Dachau Concentration Camp

Another day trip we took was to the small town of Garmisch in the German Alps! That day the hills were definitely alive with the Sound of Music.

Mittenwald

A Hike to Remember

We also visited the site of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. The village was pretty amazing and  still being used today for training. It was a short trip but we both decided that Munich was totally rad and that we had to get back. So yes we are going back in November for Thanksgiving!!

Now moving on to June. Summer was finally upon us in Denmark. We went to the beach, rode our bikes and consumed many a libation. What really stood out was our trip to Amsterdam. While there we walked endlessly around the many canals, visited some of the local coffee shops and was blown away by the Red Light District. Who knew that staring at scantly clad women behind glass doors making deals could be so mesmerizing.

Among the Canals

Bikes and Canals

Housing along the canal

Mellow Coffeeshop

Red Light District

Not yet open for business

Open for business

What struck us the most in this beautiful city lies on one of the most popular canals in the city center, Prinsengracht or Prince’s Canal. The Anne Frank House.

Anne Frank

We stepped into her world for just a short time and it was very powerful. The furniture has since been removed and the photos that used to line the walls gone, but the emotions that once filled the place are still very much alive. Having been to a concentration camp just a week before made it even more real and horrifying. What was really interesting was that Anne’s older sister Margot also kept a diary that was most likely more descriptive and telling, but was never found. Imagine what that might have revealed? Def a cool city!

July was a whirlwind. We were on our way to an affair to remember in the one and only 808 state. First we stopped in Portland to hang with old friends and attend the awesome wedding of Nicole and Frank Schmidt.

Nicole and her dad

The Ladies

Katie and Herb

Radical times for sure. Herb put in some work time and then we were off to HAWAII for a wedding of our own!

To Be Continued…

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