Posting this one the day of writing it (can you believe it?!?) from the place we’re staying in Munich. Formatting posts on this iPad is a pain, so per usual for trip pictures check out MsMeetsMr.com, where we’re putting up all of trip pics (but I did sprinkle some ill-formatted ones into the post, too!).
5/6/13, 10:56 AM, Germany
Train from the Rhine Valley to Munich
- Today marks the two week point in the trip! In the two weeks we’ve been gone we’ve been to London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and the Rhine Valley in Germany. In the three weeks we have left we’re going to Munich, the Swiss Alps, Milan, Venice, Florence, Perugia, Rome, the south of France (Nice, Antibes, and Arles), and then over to Barcelona and Madrid in Spain.
- We’re engaged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, yesterday was our two year anniversary. To make the most out of the weekend and take advantage of the fact that we’d be in Europe for it, we went a bit out of budget and out of the regular travel loop, heading 8 hours from Amsterdam over to a beautiful area in the Rhine Valley called Beilstein (per the recommendation of our man Rick Steves). I know I’ve said this before, but it was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Seriously. This time I mean it.
We stayed at a gorgeous B&B called Hotel Haus-Lipmann, which has been run by the same family for over 200 years. They’re famous in the area for their impeccable service and beautiful little hotel and restaurant. It’s a good thing they’re so amazing, because I didn’t realize they’re cash only (to pay for your room and everything) so yesterday we had to walk 2 miles each way to get to an ATM to pay for our room… but we’ll get to that part of the story later.
The first night (May 4th) we settled in and went to dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. We sat outside in the sun, which was such a gift since we haven’t seen much sun in awhile. It was actually quite hot – t-shirt and shorts weather – and we basked in the rolling hills and the floating Mosel river. The Hotel Haus-Lipmann makes its own wine – there are vineyards all over the steep hills of Beilstein – and the menu is filled with my favorite type of wine in the world, Riesling. Whereas in the rest of the world (ok, in Colorado) you’re luckily to even find a Riesling (and if you do they have the very sweetest one on the market, considering it more of a dessert wine than a dinner wine) here you could choose between a dry, medium, or sweet Riesling. I ordered a medium and it was exactly like Kung Fu Girl – my go-to wine at home – except for quite a bit nicer (obviously). They also poured a nice big glass, just the way I pour them at home (further evidence that I am not dysfunctional, just very “European”). Restaurants in Colorado need to get it together. On the downside, they didn’t serve beer at all, so Chase had to get into the wine experience. Although he’s sweet about it and he does like drinking wine quite a bit, he’s super stoked we’re heading to Munich now and he can get his stein and pretzel on (realizing that we’re going from the wine-saturated Rhine Valley to the beer-obsessed city of Munich was another moment where we appreciated our former selves for how we planned this trip and felt very grateful for how well-paced it’s turning out to be!).
Now, the food in Germany is HEAVY. So rest assured, any weight that I dropped during our impoverished treks through Paris and London has been quickly restored. I’m not even quite sure how they make the food as heavy as they do, but it involves a lot of salt, meat, and cream. Needless to say, it was absolutely delicious, and I’m sure my body is wondering what happened to the juicing/running/yoga life it grew to love. C’est la vie, body. Suck it up. You can be nourished at the cellular level in three weeks. Right now, I’m busy getting my cheese on.
Anyways, we had a great dinner and too much wine, and then savored the great wifi at the hotel and watched Bridesmaids in bed. It had the softest pillows and blankets of anywhere we’ve been, and the only problem was that the room was so quiet it was almost hard to sleep. I’m not complaining!
The next morning was May 5th, our two year anniversary! We got up to the beautiful hotel breakfast – which was included with the hefty, cash only, room price (I’m not bitter, promise) – and loaded up on their German morning feast. They served breakfast in a very elegant dining room and our table was set with candles, china, a cheese and meat plate, fresh bread, and our own pot of strong coffee. On the buffet table there were pastries, bries, fruits, yogurts, croissants, granolas, fresh fruit, and even champagne. In the hot buffet there were scrambled and hardboiled eggs and crispy fried bacon.
This was only the second place we’ve been where breakfast was included, so we went to town. It was actually some of the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had (I also haven’t had eggs with the yolks in probably 15 years so that could be part of it), we ate croissants stuffed with hazelnut spread (Chase made them and was hugely offended when I didn’t want to eat it), fruit, and yogurt. I felt like a blimp afterwards. Chase just went to work taking one of the huge rolls set on our table and filling it with all of the meat and cheese he could find to make a sandwich we could eat for lunch. We’re budgeting.
After breakfast we took our overstuffed butts up into the hills of Beilstein. We hiked around the lush trees and saw the steep vineyards, castle ruins, and the moss-covered Lipmann family cemetery. One thing that happens when you grow up in a desert like Colorado is that you appreciate foliage enormously. The moist warm air was a far cry from the thin Colorado atmosphere, and the lush, moss-covered trees literally took my breath away. I have always had an affinity for fairies (I know, very childish.. but it probably plays into why I loved the butterfly for “MsMorphosis”) and I used to think if I looked hard enough I might be able to find them in the Colorado aspen groves. Now I think that if they’re anywhere out there, it’s probably in the moss covered rolling hills of Beilstein. It was that beautiful. It was magical.
I didn’t have my phone with me so I didn’t take any pictures, but Chase took a bunch and we’re putting them all on MsMeetsMr if you’re curious :)
We hiked for over an hour, working our way all the way around the hill that our hotel was on. We took a little trail down from the mountain – passing an adorable chapel no bigger than our bedroom at home – and walked back to the hotel in the sun along the river.
At this point I should throw in that Chase was enormously excited (kid in a candy shop type of excited!) because there were TONS of motorcycles. It must be some kind of European motorcycling destination – there was evidence to suggest there’s no speed limit, and the wide, curving streets did look like a fun place to ride a bike. Chase was so worked up about it, taking pictures and movies for his dad, telling me all about the different bikes that were going by and the things that they reminded him of (you know, like sporting events and other roads with no speed limits and those sorts of things). I spent a lot of time trying not to throw up in my mouth. They freaked me out normally, but with how fast they were going it actually made me physically cramp up in paralyzing fear. I kept my mouth shut (for the most part) and did enjoy listening to how excited he was – it’s always a treat when you get a quiet guy like Chase rambling about anything. Yin and yang.
We went back to the room and got organized, and it was at this time that I finally noticed the note from the hotel that said they only accept cash. Perfect. And the nearest ATM was a couple miles away. Even better. Of course I was upset I hadn’t realized this sooner and prepared for it, there was just so much to keep track of planning this damn trip that many, many details slipped through my fingers (as I knew they would). On the bright side, 2 pm on a Sunday afternoon was a much better time to take a walk than at 8 am Monday morning before we had a train to catch, so I was really glad I noticed it when I did (dodged a bullet!).
Chase was a trooper and we walked to the nearby village, tracked down an ATM, bought some bottles of water, and walked back. By this time my legs were aching and we were hot from the sun, so we settled in for the night. We had some drinks and finished up Bridesmaids. I got ready for the evening, and we went out to a little restaurant next door with an outdoor patio and drank wine. Once we were thoroughly ravenous, we headed to the top rated restaurant in Beilstein (well, according to TripAdvisor) who also took credit cards (a rarity at this point). Speaking of which, this credit/cash thing is really interesting. There are a LOT of cash-only restaurants and shops here in Europe. I NEVER have cash in America. Ever. And it has never mattered. Is this why their economy is so much better than ours? Because it isn’t sustained on credit? Can anyone explain this to me? Because it, like our conversion rate, has become an enormous pain in the ass.
Anyways, we had a great dinner that involved thick homemade pasta (which I swear was cut up and fried a bit), pork and creamy sauces, and more wine. It was delicious, and further reinforced that I would very quickly be a bowling ball if I lived in the German countryside.
At this point the sun started to set and we were exhausted from all of the food, wine, sun, and walking of the day. I had had a bit of a rough sleep the night before (in spite of the comfortable room, unfortunately – I’m just a finicky sleeper) and I was starting to crash. We went upstairs and I got ready for sleep and Chase went to take a shower. When he came out I was laying in bed starting to sleep (I had just written my girlfriend an email), and we laid on the pillows talking about what a nice day it was. All of a sudden, Chase asked me how I was feeling, and if I was happy with how our anniversary was. We talked for a bit about how exciting the whole trip has been, and how excited we are to get back home (weird, right?) so we can get busy on our new business(es), the house, and DOGS! Anyways, Chase asked me what I had thought of the day, and I told him it was perfect. ‘It really was perfect, and I’m so excited to have days like this with you forever’, and then he pulled his hand out from under the pillow and was holding the ring.
Suddenly I wasn’t tired anymore, it was like he had shot my arm with an adrenaline needle! It took me a second to register what was going on, my mind just froze. He asked me if I would marry him, and said that – just like the first time he kissed me – it was something he should have done already and he wanted to spend his life with me and at that point I don’t remember much of what he said – I was bawling my eyes out and just shaking and hugged him. He started laughing and goes “can I have a yes or a no or something??” and I started screaming yes yes yes!! Honestly, the whole thing is such a blur, but it was the most surprising, most wonderful, most exciting night I could possibly imagine. The most wonderful part was that, as always, he was so true to us. Us laying in bed after a great day, us just being in private when we have our big moments. Since the day we met we started tackling life together, just us two. Having that moment – where we were warm and full and comfortable and exhausted from a day of laughing and talking – to be the moment, was so perfectly us. Plus, leave it to Chase to do something at the single last moment I would expect it. It would have been one thing if he would have tried something at dinner, but by now my guard was completely down. I haven’t been that shocked in my entire life, and I have to admit the feeling of surprise was incredible. I haven’t cried and laughed that hard in my whole life – all at the same time. And afterwards, he was so HAPPY. I was ecstatic, of course, but it was so amazing to see him so at peace and excited with me. And the ring – oh my God – the ring. It’s amazing. He keeps making fun of me because I haven’t stopped staring at it since. I’m terrified of it falling off. I think I’m going to be paranoid for awhile. I want to get it adjusted so that instead of fitting it will be too small and I never have to worry about it slipping off. I don’t need circulation when there’s something this beautiful on the line!
After I had settled down (enough), I asked Chase if he had been planning this the whole day. We had gone shopping for the ring before we left, and I knew he had been carrying it around. He told me yes, he had been planning on today, but was waiting for the perfect moment. He had thought about doing it in Paris but thought it too cliché, and he said he could have waited until we were on the south of France or something fancy. But he wanted to do it then, and he wanted me to be able to look down for the rest of our trip and not have a worry or doubt in my mind. He wanted me to have a constant reminder of his love and commitment for me to carry for the rest of our adventure, this one, and all the rest.
Thank God for the internet, because I can’t imagine being in the days where you’d have to send a letter or do a bunch of long distance phone calls when something big happens and you’re away from your family and friends. We were able to text and email our parents and a couple other people (we don’t have many texts or minutes with our international phone plan, so it’s for emergency only and no phone calls) and the big thing was that we were able to put it on Facebook and tell everyone at once (such a lifesaver). To everyone that has sent emails and stuff, I will respond as wifi allows (I don’t know if the next place we’re staying will have it or not) but every note and comment and “like” means so much and we’re still glowing. I can’t wait to get home and be able to share this with everyone, although it’s perfect that for now we get to do it just us and sink into this in private – like we always have. Again, the timing of everything is working out so perfectly :)
I can’t believe how excited I am!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you guys for all of the love and being there for us. Also, besides already having the flower girls picked out (I decided that one years ago, long before Chase, and now he loves them as much as I do so it worked out perfectly!) we have no idea about anything wedding-related. We’re a little impoverished from the whole “5 weeks in Europe after quitting our jobs” thing, so I think we’re going to need to get home and talk to our parents, get ourselves back in order, and then take it from there. But if you think I’m not about to be a wedding Pinterest maniac, you’re crazy. Also, I’m going to need to get back to juicing if I don’t want to be a German-food-filled bowling ball bride….
Fun side story: I explained to Chase this morning at breakfast about registering for gifts, and he excitedly decided that he is going to register for a jet ski. Planning a wedding is going to be an uphill climb, ha!