I've had the Peter, Paul, and Mary (not John Denver) version of Leaving on a Jet Plane stuck in my head for the last week or so.
The time has come where my long anticipated return to the Fatherland is less than a week away. The buildup has been excruciatingly dragging for the last few months but now that it’s less than a week away, time seems to move a little faster for some reason. I’ve talked about gear that I’ve wanted to get for the trip but I’ll rundown a few of the things I’ve settled on and some of my itinerary (because I know you care).
Aside from my essential Blackhawks jersey that goes with me on vacation, I needed my Cubs hat. I wasn’t able to find my cap that I’ve had for years so I had to replace it. I won't spend the extra $2 for name brand socks but I won't hesitate spending $40 on a hat. Though I have a lot of problems with the city and like to avoid it if at all possible, Chicago is still home and I like to represent it when I’m elsewhere. I just bought a new pair of gym shoes (on top of the hiking boots I purchased a while ago) for when I’m in more urban areas like Munich or Salzburg to ped around in. Germans and Austrians don’t wear gym shoes in their day-to-day life like we do so it makes me stand out a little, which I like. I think my body language, bulk, and the way I hold myself give me away as American but I just want to make sure there’s no confusion. It’ll help to sell the John Wayne/Al Capone hybrid image I’m going for to the frauleins anyways. Serengeti Aviators will be making with the trip with me as well. My OPMOD binocular and backpack will be coming with. I’ve talked about them in previous blogs so I won’t expand any further on them. I wanted to get a new binocular like a Nikon Monarch 7 or Vortex Diamondbacks but my budgeting was a little off, and not to the surplus spending side either so new ones will have to wait.
I’ve been watching the weather for the last week or so to see what I’ll be heading into and it looks like rain will be our companion for a big chunk of the trip. I personally don’t mind as it’s usually cooler when it’s raining and you cannot find air conditioning ANYWHERE there. I do prefer, however, not to walk around drenched all day so I bought a rain jacket. It usually won’t get too cool even up in the mountains so as far as a cold weather goes I won’t use anything more than a fleece.
The schedule is going to be a bit adjusted this year. We’re staying an extra day in Berchtesgaden which is fine by me as that’s one of my favorite places over there. The mountain backdrop and cooler weather are a perfect mix. Berchtesgadener bier is also just about my favorite thing on earth and unfortunately that’s the only place you can find it since it’s not exported. One day less in rural Austria was alright with me as you kind of run out of things to do after a bit but we’re still staying a good 8 days there. There is still plenty to do, the scenery is beautiful, and it’s the most economical as far as eating two meals plus drinks out each day.
Our trip will wrap up with 3 days back in Munich. The beer halls, garden restaurants, and open air cafes are awesome as is the whole vibe the city gives off. You get a different feel from a city that’s been around for 2,000 years as opposed to 200. Entire neighborhoods of cobblestone streets that were built only wide enough for horses and carriages to fit through are a huge contrast to what most of us here at home are used to here at home. It’s a stimulating experience to all of your senses and I can’t wait. Only a few days let and I’ll be back in the thick of it. Enjoy your weekend, week, and 4th!