Thursday, October 4, 2012

The B-Man Goes International ... to Deutschland!

We planned for our flight over to be a night flight so B would sleep. Our Lufthansa flight hadn't assigned our seats until we checked in and realized we had bulkhead! That's a major score in flying with a baby internationally. After takeoff, they immediately put up the bassinet for B to sleep in. He did get some rest, but considerably less than usual. it didn't help that they did not turn off the cabin lights until about 1/3 into the flight. For a baby who sleeps with blackout shades in his room, it's practically sleeping under the sun to have overhead lights on in an airplane. But, we weren't complaining. We had bulkhead for goodness sakes! The couple next to us was German and their child appeared to be almost 2 and just would not go to sleep until the very end of our flight. Made me a little apprehensive about traveling internationally for any reason when B gets to be that age.
When we arrived and were on our two-hour trek from Frankfurt up North, we saw a double rainbow. Considering the last time we'd been there was just before we conceived Andrew, it was a beautiful sight to see. We had our "rainbow" baby with us and were thinking of Andrew. I'm not one for signs, but it definitely made me happy to see as I thought of both of our boys.
Settled into our hotel suite for the first few days.
Playing while Dad works
First European bakery!
Biggest cabbage ever! 
Church photo while on a walk.
Park visit... no dogs allowed.
B was sleeping at the time, but I attempted this and then decided I better not try any more as I surely would've ended up on my rear. 
They're serious about their parks. This would scream liability in the U.S.
The mud puddle held me back from attempting this bad boy.
Awake and swinging.
Exploring the town...
The infamous sausage stand that Ray has eaten at 297 times. Just kidding. But honestly...
Lunch while Dad was working. Jade Chinese restaurant that we'd eaten at many times before.
"So Mom, I was thinking I'd order the stir fry... "
A trip down memory lane. We're standing in front of the 300+ year old house we lived in for 6 months. Same photo at the end of 2009 before two babies changed our lives. To see inside the charming house, go here.
After a few days in the North, we headed Southeast to Dresden. We'd been a few times before, but we're always amazed at how gorgeous it is. This was one of the first places we ventured to by car when we lived in Germany. Here was our first adventure there, and our second adventure with my parents.

Naturally, I must eat gelato when in Europe.
You didn't think I'd hold out on Benjamin, did you? Trust me, he wasn't letting that happen.
There are a series of these photos and B's faces are all different and equally funny. This particular one, he's showing his interest in some of the oldest standing churches in Germany. The Frauenkirche is in the background. We actually walked in on our first gaunt to Dresden in 2009 and sat down, only to sit through an entire church service in German!
The disrespect continues. The kid sleeps through Zwinger. No big deal... just a palace that dates back to the 12th century.

Baby butts and a baby we woke up to experience the culture. He can sleep later.

Herbstmarkt! Fall markets were alive and everywhere in Germany. They were lovely, but considerably smaller than the Christmas markets. Still wonderful and a lot less cold. I also enjoy the guy caught mid-step in this photo. It's like Where's Waldo. Hah.
Watching a train go by in Dresden's city center fall market.
In our hotel room in Dresden. Their pack n' plays are on metric and significantly longer than ours.
The cuteness cannot be contained.
Off to Nuremberg! We'd been here once before with our families when they came to visit over Christmas in 2009/2010.
The Nuremberg ring, said to give good luck to those who spin it. It's connected to the Schöner BrunnenYes, we promptly sanitized after. And no, I hardly think it will bring good luck, just like the Harvard statue in Boston.
The Nuremberg Castle. We finally made the trek up to it. We did not visit during our first trip there. It was also daylight, so that helped.
Here's looking at you (and the city), kid.
Nuremberg view from the castle.
One more for good measure. And because I can't resist this cute little face.

Heading down from the castle into the city center.
St. Sebaldus Church
Frauenkirche and the city center with their lovely Herbstmarkt.
Dinner outside in the city center.
B getting a taste of a famous Nuremberg sausage. Don't let Ray's plate fool you. There were NINE.
In front of our dinner restaurant.
And what's a trip to Germany in the fall without a stop over to Oktoberfest in Munich? I mean... naturally.

We logged a lot of driving hours that day (and B was surprisingly a champ), but had to stop in for a beer only the most famous beer fest in all of the world! We do love our festivals. And breweries. And beer.

We'd been there once before with some good friends from California who came to visit while we were living there. With a baby in tow, this wasn't quite the same kind of adventure, but an adventure nonetheless! Here was our first Oktoberfest adventure.

Again, the U.S. would NEVER allow for that.
One of the beer tents we went to back in 2009 with our friends Alison and Nic. The other was Paulaner.
Enjoying a brew...
The outside beer garden we sat in this go around.
B's first large German pretzel. 
We made another 5 hour drive up to Frankfurt and stayed at a hotel near the airport for our early morning flight. This time, no bulkhead! The flight was a bit longer without the extra tailwind, but luckily the flight wasn't full and we were able to finagle our way into asking the German guy next to us to move up one row (he would have a seat next to him free... so we're not entirely selfish!) so we could have an extra seat for B. It was SO nice. I'd say I might even have preferred the extra seat to bulkhead this time!
There you have it! Another trip with gobs of photos that B will never remember taking. Let's just say traveling with a baby, especially internationally, is a whole lot more challenging than traveling without. But for us, well worth the effort! We may or may not have plans to take another, much shorter, international flight with the B-man before his first birthday! Stay tuned for details on that one. It's not booked yet... but plans are in the works.

Back on U.S. soil for just a bit and off to Canada (via road-trip) for a birthday celebration and to finally meet and hang with my good friend Laura and her rainbow baby Grace!


Veronica said... [Reply to comment]

What a trip!
Been to Germany once as a teen on a family trip...and my mother and I have plans to visit in July '13 to see her sister/my aunt. Your pics got me so excited!!
That beer looks delish.
I'm glad your travels with the babe went smoothly. He'll remember it at heart!
And I'll send my Canadian love as you enter my homeland!
Have fun!

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

I loved the photos!!! When I saw sweet Benjamin turning the ring in Nuremberg my heart leapt. The pictures from the castle, I have stood right there and dreamt of bringing our little one back there. What a lovely trip! I am living vicariously through you, from the pretzels to the beer and the cobblestone streets. Adored this post!

I also think you are an absolute rockstar for travelling with such a little guy. R.O.C.K.S.T.A.R

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

We have one of those spider web thingies in our park, my 4 year old loves it!

Renel said... [Reply to comment]

You guys are seriously awesome. I was always really impressed when I saw people traveling with children! That trip looks amazing

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

I am in awe! Such a well travelled handsome boy!

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Omg. Gorgeous pics. B's face is priceless. I love the stir fry one. You make me so want to visit Germany.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

We are toying around the idea of heading to Germany over Christmas as we have some good friends stationed there. What do you think? Worth venturing in the winter?

Also, totally jealous that you and Laura get to hang soon.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

PS - love the pics/recap