A Babymoon in Paris

Since Jackson and I were moving home from Germany in February, we realized all of the places we wanted to see while living in Europe were going to have to go on the backburner for a while. Granted, getting a baby in return is totally worth the trade, but we were bummed that we didn’t get to see as many places as anticipated.

We decided that we could at least explore one fun city and then head back to Texas directly from there, and it was an easy decision that the city would be Paris. I’ve been before but Jackson hadn’t and we were excited to explore a new city together. And babymoons are a thing now, so why not call this ours?

Babymoon in Paris

We took a 4 hour train from Frankfurt to Paris. You should know that our luggage broke a few days before, so everywhere that we are lugging our 50 pound bags, Jackson is dragging the suitcase that has a broken wheel. It was a disaster, but we managed to make it to the train station in Frankfurt with help from some friends. Getting from the train station in Paris to our Airbnb was a different story. We had two 50 pound bags, my camera backpack and a backpacking backpack that weighed 25 pounds. Also, it’s worth noting that we only encountered ONE escalator in the Paris subways, so poor Jackson is carrying these bags up and down SO many flights of stairs and saying all KINDS of stuff under his breath. Meanwhile, I was doing everything I could not to let him see me laughing because I had no desire to encounter the wrath of a sweaty and tired and hungry Jackson, who is saying words I have never heard come out of his mouth.

We finally made it to the Airbnb and it was the cutest little studio apartment. I’m such an Airbnb fan. It’s so much cheaper than hotels and you get a kitchen and more space and we’ve just always had great experiences.

 

Paris Babymoon

We got our bags to the Airbnb and then decided to head into the city. We jumped on a subway and got off right in the heart of the city, grabbed a Nutella crepe and hot chocolate and roamed around for the rest of the evening. Paris is great because so many of the “have to see” sights are all so close to each other. We knew that traveling in Europe in February was going to be cold but that first was so SO cold and rainy. The number of hot chocolates that we consumed was ridiculous. Also, naturally we took ALL the selfies. 

 

 

That night, we grabbed a crepe for dinner, bought some oreos and milk and headed back to the apartment at 8 pm. Non-pregnant me would have never been down for such an early night (and SUCH an American snack) in a city like Paris, but pregnant me couldn’t think of a better way to spend the evening.

The next day we did a hop-on-hop-off tour bus, which was surprisingly great. I’m not usually a fan of these, I like to see the city the “local” way, but nothing sounded better to pregnant me than seeing sights without having to walk on my achy feet. Because of the rain, there was hardly anyone else that wanted to be on a half-uncovered 2 story bus so we had the entire thing to ourselves.  My feet were so happy with me.

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We spent the last two days leisurely seeing the city, taking lots of breaks at cool coffee shops and creperies. We took so many breaks and Jackson was so patient through all of our coffee shop stops. The ridiculous amount of yummy pastries we consumed at each one definitely aided in his patience, I think.

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We also went to Louvre to see Mona, and got to use our German residence permits to get in free and save 12 euro. We were pretty proud of that.


Babymoon in Paris

We definitely didn’t go as hard as we would have in the past, but it was perfect. We went to bed before 10 every night and woke up without alarms. We ate tons of pastries and drank a lot of hot chocolate. We roamed around smaller, lesser known areas of the city and got addressed in French enough times that we felt pretty good about ourselves and our ability to be mistaken for Europeans. Maybe all that time in Germany paid off. 

It was a sweet time for us to explore one last European city before we are a family of 3! We also made our first purchase for sweet baby bailey at a cute little baby store and that made things feel so real. Overall, it was the perfect end to a crazy and sweet season.

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Oktoberfest

When Josh, a friend of ours, asked if we wanted to go with him to Oktoberfest it was an easy “yes” for us.

We actually headed down to Oberammergau, Germany first (check out that post here and here) and then headed north to Munich for Oktoberfest. We got into Munich around 2:00 Sunday afternoon. We stayed in an Airbnb instead of a hotel. I’m a huge fan of Airbnb and prefer to use the site over hotels in most cases. In my experience, it’s almost always a cheaper option than a hotel and you’re getting a ton more space for your money.

After we got to the apartment we debated about whether we should even try to get into Oktoberfest so late in the day on the weekend, since we read about having to get there early in the morning to have any chance at getting a seat in a tent. We decided to try and headed towards the festival.

We heard that this year was the first year that the festival grounds were fenced off. This is to deter any trouble with being targeted by any kind of attack. The line to get in wasn’t bad at all and once they checked our bags, they let us in. In case you’re planning on going to Oktoberfest this year, be aware that they were only letting in very small bags and no backpacks at all. Although, its worth noting that I had a small backpack on and was denied entry at first. I put my backpack under my arm, like a purse, and they let me in the second time.

We wondered around and took everything in for a little while. I didn’t realize that there was such a huge carnival going on during Oktoberfest! We decided to pick a random tent and try to get seats, expecting it to take over an hour.

We went into a tent and stood for only a couple of minutes, when a waiter told us to follow him to some available seats. We were shocked! He lead us to a few seats on the middle of the room. We met some really friendly Germans and stayed in those seats for the rest of the night. They told us that this Oktoberfest was the “mildest” they had every experienced. They said more people stayed home than usual, because of some fear of the festival being a target.

If you’ve never been able to experience all that is Oktoberfest, I’ve got to say it was something I’ll never forget! First of all, after 2 months of being in Germany, I haven’t been acknowledged or spoken to as many time in 2 months as I was in one night! Everyone is everyone’s friend. We were given some German pastries by one lady at our table and offered food by another. The best way that I can explain Oktoberfest, is to imagine a MASSIVE rockin’ karaoke bar full of friends who are all wearing the same clothes. Different bands played all night, and by the time we left there were very few people not standing on the bench singing (ok, screaming) along. It was hilarious and so much fun.

Also, if you’re ever planning on going, buying the traditional lederhosen and dirndl really is a must. We didn’t and we stuck out. You may think you’ll feel weird, but I promise we felt more weird by not having them.

Overall, it was a blast and I’m so glad we went.

If you have any good tips for Oktoberfest, let me know!

 

-R

Oberammergau, Germany

Last week we took a weekend trip from Frankfurt down to Oberammergau. Unless you’re from Germany, you probably have no clue where that is, but you should because it is stunning. Oberammergau is a quaint little town about an hour south of Munich.

Initially, we were going to go to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a more well-known town in the Bavarian mountains. After looking for last minute Airbnb options, though, the only place I could find in our budget was in Oberammergau. After researching it some and finding a couple of blogs about it, we decided to go for it and stay in Oberammergau. We’re so happy that we did!

The town is small enough that after we got to the main train station, we were only a 10 minute walk from our Airbnb apartment. We got in late, so we headed straight for the apartment.

The next morning we got up to go hiking. Conveniently, the trail head for the Kofel trail was only a short walk from our apartment! I saw one post about the Kofel trail and after seeing the pictures, was pumped to do the hike. Click here to read more about the hike and here to see pictures from the hike.

After we finished the hike, we realized we were starving! We were only about 15 minutes from the heart of Oberammergau so we just walked to town to get lunch. The town was busy, but not packed, and absolutely adorable. Exactly what you think of when you imagine a quaint German village. There were tourists roaming around but it never felt overwhelming. We found a small café and have goulash soup and hot chocolate and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

After we ate we headed to local Lidel (a German grocery store) and got food to make dinner, since we were trying to keep our costs as low as possible. Again, we walked about 5 minutes to the Lidel and then headed for our 10 minute walk home. We stayed the weekend and never even needed a bus pass because the town was so easy to get around on foot.

Overall, it was the perfect weekend trip. The town was perfect, the hike was perfect and the Airbnb was even perfect.

 

If you ever find yourself in the area, I would absolutely suggest a visit to Oberammergau!!