Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oktoberfest 2009

Back in September Chris and I achieved a life long dream... we joined 5,999,998 other nuts in Munchen for Oktoberfest! This was one of the first trips we booked upon landing in London back in October of 2008. We rarely plan anything a year in advance but this... well, this was special and required considerable planning. I think about 10 or 12 people were in on the tent hunt, trying to locate a tent with a table for 20+ that didn't require our first born as a deposit. Thanks to our good friend Tim and his American Express Platinum Concierge for getting the job done in the 11th hour! We landed on Saturday morning, made a b-line to the nearest German consignment shop to purchase some traditional Bavarian threads, and spent about 2 hours enjoying the calm before the storm.
Saturday night we headed to the Oktoberfest grounds and made our way into the first tent we found with open doors, Hofbräu Festhalle! I experienced a few moments of sensory overload. Pictures could never do it justice. There were thousands of people, thousands of litres of beer, an oompa loompa band, Bavarian damen carrying 8, 9, 10 litres at a time and... everyone was in dirndls and lederhosen!!! I instantly knew this was going to be a good weekend!
The Hofbräu Festhalle was a bit insane. We arrived just after 9 pm to find thousands of people who had been drinking all day and we were just getting started. We had decided to save our traditional wear for Sunday, thinking it would be a novelty. Little did we know that lederhosen and dirndls are common place in Munich during the fest. We were the novelties in street clothes! After a litre or 2 of beer, we fought over a pretzel. It was a good thing when the lights were turned up and the band played Ein Prosit Gemütlichkeit for millionth and final time. We headed for the door and back to the hotel to prepare for the next day which would be starting sharply at noon!

11:30 am, Sunday, September 27th, post coffee but prior to beer!
The rest of our 25 will be join us inside the Hippodrom Tent.

Prepared for the day in our Bavarian working class threads and our first litres of beer. Das Leben ist schön!

There are probably only about 3 or 4 people in this tent without litres! Somewhere down there smack in the middle is a 18/19 year old German guy wearing a University of Florida hat! I said "Go Gators" to him and he looked at me like I had a second head! Maybe "Go Gators" means something different in German?!?

It was next to impossible to get out entire group into one photo, especially post second round! It looks like about 18 in this picture so we are only missing about 5... not to shabby!

From Hippodrom to Armbrustschützen-Tent (aka Paulaner). We were unsure if we would be able to get 20+ people into another tent but Tommy and I sweet talked the group into the Paulaner tent. Tommy did most of the talking, seeing as how he speaks German, and I smiled and looked innocent. As it turns out, there was no need to sweet talk because they had just opened the doors for free seats. It took a while to find a bench for the lot of us and along the way Chris and I made friends with some very drunk Germans. These guys were so excited to meet Americans and wanted us to take pictures with them. For every picture they would yell "Usain Bolt" and assume the pose. Most of this pictures were blurring because I was laughing hysterically and couldn't hold the camera still! But the picture of Chris above tells the story well enough!

This is the end of the pictures but not of the adventure. It was around this time I decided to put the camera away to prevent it from being broken, lost or stolen. Shortly after the camera was tucked away, Chris made his way back to the hotel. He hadn't bought in to my plan; a litre of beer, a litre of water, a litre of beer, a litre of water... you get the picture. In the end, a good time was had by all and everyone made it to their respective homes safe and sound. The plan worked brilliantly and I was sans hangover on Monday morning!!! Come back soon for Gnew Gnoah Gnomes adventures in Deutschland!
Until then... XOXO

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