Big Bockedra and the Mediaeval Hamster Wheel

Hi guys! New city, new team, new adventure! This year Ken and I are located in Großbockedra, Germany. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, I haven’t really gotten a straight answer on that… I do know that groß means … Continue reading

OK, I’ll just chop off my toe then…?

So, guys! Believe it or not, Kenny and I have friends! Kenny’s teammate, Nico, and his fiancee, Dominique, joined us on our Lapland adventure. Said adventure started off a bit rocky. Ironically, the most annoying part was the fact that Kenny and I … Continue reading

Kenny loves bikes and pictures. Except not pictures, at all.

Giraffes are my kin.

Hello fellow babies! Big things have happened for the Frease clan! As the majority of my readers are our close friends and family you are probably aware of the fact that we moved… countries. If you aren’t aware… surprise! I am currently writing … Continue reading

Turkey in Turkey! Well okay, maybe just pancakes…

Ladies and Gentleman, after a hiatus of a year we are back. There is no legitimate excuse… we did plenty of cool stuff last year. Although, I will attribute it to that, cool stuff, cool friends, and just overall goof-offery … Continue reading

Prague: Uncensored

FINALLY, it is here. This is a big week for the Frease’s of Germany. A day we have been anticipating since it was made official. COREY AND RACHEL ARE COMING TOMORROW. I know that you are all super jealous of the two of them; we would be as well. These honeymooning lovebirds get to spend a glorious week in our company. Worry not blog-readers, I will try and do our time together justice.

Also, I would like to take this time to reflect on another countdown of ours. Currently, we have 49 days until our tentative flight home for the summer. Can you guys believe it? Time really flies! Also, to keep the theme alive, we have 141 days until our wedding. Naturally, this fun little fact incites equal parts excitement and panic.

Moving forward, not much has happened since my last post. Except, OH YEAH, we went to PRAGUE! A couple of weeks ago Kenny got four days off of practice; obviously, we took full advantage. Unbeknownst to us, Prague was less than a five-hour drive away. Also, bonus, our friend Brendan Coleman from Xavier is living in Prague at the moment. He’s on a program called “TEFL Worldwide” where he helps Czechs learn English. (BTW he sent me a link… definitely looking into this for next year.) So, Kenny booked our hotel that Thursday and we left Sunday morning. We got an incredible deal on an amazing hotel right in Old Town. We felt super fancy when we walked into our room and saw this:

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Also, I have to post photos of the chandelier from the lobby. Each crystal is suspended from a separate string = coolest chandelier I’ve ever seen.

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Anyway, after we toasted to our unconditional love and downed the bottle of champagne, we made plans to meet up with our friend Brendan. Brendan took us to a little restaurant he likes that serves genuine Czech cuisine. It was very good! And the beer was very, very good! Speaking of that sweet nectar, after dinner he took us to a charming little bar with an impressive array of beers on tap. My deepest regret is that I did not get a picture of him and Kenny together. C’est la vie, next time! After we said our goodbyes we were anxious to get back to the hotel. There was a king-sized bubble bath calling my name. Also, there was a casino in the hotel for Kenny, need I say more?

In my opinion, one of the greatest parts about staying in a hotel is the complimentary breakfast. My attempts to rouse my husband were futile. His late night in the casino turned him into an angry morning bear so I gave up and dined solo. I felt badly because; let me tell you, this was a breakfast fit for a king. Though, forgiveness came easily when he saw the big pile of pastries I brought back for him! We had a big day ahead of us so we set out to feed the hangry (hungry + angry. Go ahead and use it) bear. The Palladium, Prague’s giant shopping center, was directly across from our hotel. When I say giant…

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I mean giant! Naturally Kenny beelined for the fried chicken. After Kenny consumed mass quantities of KFC we set out for our adventure! That is until, I saw it: Starbucks, in all her glory.

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Morning = made.

Now, finally, we were off! We stopped back at the hotel to confirm our route. The concierge drew us up a foolproof map and sent us on our merry way. We were first to take bus #8 and get off at specified location and then take bus #24. This is where it all went wrong. I would like to preface this journey by reminding you people that Kenny and I are not city-folk. We have no idea how to use the public transportation system. We were like two newborn baby turtle hatchlings trying to find the ocean for the first time. The funny thing is that we were completely unaware of our blinding incompetence until we got to the tram stop and the doors opened in front of us. There were people with tickets, some people didn’t have tickets, there was pushing and staring and babies crying. It was a mess. We ran away confused. I said we should go back and ask the concierge how to do it; Kenny said that was too awkward. Kenny offered a cab; I said it would get too expensive. We were really in a pickle here, guys. Finally we came to the conclusion that we should just jump on the #8 bus. I mean, what could go wrong?

The answer to that question is: a lot. A lot went wrong. We ended up on bus #8 for a good 45 minutes to an hour. Let it be known that I wanted to get off the bus  when we first started to realize these we not the correct tram stop names. But Kenny just kept saying, “It’ll loop around,” “It’s gotta loop around,” “It’s going to loop around soon.” It became his mantra for the day.

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“It’ll loop around”

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“It will for sure loop around”

Long story short it did not loop around. No looping happened at all. We were dying laughing; it was so hilarious. We were in the middle of nowhere next to a strip joint and XXX video store.

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“I thought it would loop around”

We did get to see some beautiful local artwork…

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???

This poor woman was lost with us…

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Bye-bye bus from hell.

Apparently, we went in the exact opposite direction. There was nothing left to do but hop on another bus and head back to where we started. The tram took us about 20 minutes down the way when decided to cut our losses and grab the first cab we saw.

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“I can’t believe it didn’t loop around”

Finally we made it to Prague Castle! We were so relieved to be back on the map we almost didn’t notice the lack of people in the courtyard…

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The castle was closed for the day. Imagine that! So we just snapped some pictures of the stone cold guardsmen underneath some brutal statues.

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Also there was an awesome view to the right of the castle, but I will post that next time in order to do it justice.

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Anyway, back to our trip from hell. After we saw as much as we could, we began our trek home. Our path lead us down the side streets of Prague. Ken and I must be spoiled in the pristinely clean and always salted streets of Germany, because this place was awful. It was nothing but brown slush and garbage. We had three maps, two more maps than you need really, and they all turned out to be completely useless in these side streets. However, we did see this little gem drawn on a fence outside of the vast courtyard.

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Greatest number in the whole wide world!!

To make a long story short, about 30 minutes and a pair of boots later we located the river and got a cab (R.I.P. Tan Leather Boots.)

We got to the hotel and headed straight to the hot tub to melt away our troubles. In order to use the hotel “spa” you are supposed to the wear the “spa slippers.” Needless to say they fit Kenny like a glove.

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After our hot tub dip and a surprise sauna visit we headed back to our room to get cleaned up. Due to the failure that was our day Kenny and I decided we would treat ourselves to a lovely dinner. Let me tell you, lovely doesn’t even begin to describe the perfection of the meal we consumed. We went to a restaurant called “La Dégustation.” The menu was in a fancy shmancy envelope.

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There was a choice between a six or an eleven course meal. After a great debate I convinced Kenny that a six course meal would be sufficient.

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This meal was art. It definitely made up for the day’s shortcomings. Here is Kenny looking super excited about the fourth course in front of us.IMG_3516

Here is Kenny looking extra classy and philosophical.

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That about concludes our fantastic first day in Prague! Despite all of the setbacks I still had a wonderful time with my husband. It really made for a great memory. Cheers!

The Descent

As per usual I need to preface this blog post with an apology to my avid readers out there (moms/grandmas). I have no legitimate excuse for my excessive delay other then my addiction to the Game of Thrones series and that Kenny bought me a gym membership… However, to make up for it, I have some excellent photos for you guys! This post will finally conclude our trip to Zugspitze! Holy cow, that was a long time ago…

Mountain peaks are really cold, guys. Once the exhilaration wore off I could no longer feel my face. Thus, due to that and my admittedly incessant whining, we decided it was time to go! Lucky for us, a train was headed out within the hour. Except that the mountainside is too steep for trains and we had to take another lift car just to get to the train station. Kenny was hoping he had seen the last of these…

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Fortunately, this one was a larger than the last. Plus! There was the softest most adorable Lassie-dog on it! The “Lassie-dog” was named Duke.

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Contrary to my initial thought, the dog was named after the monarchical station, rather than the university. At least that’s what I gathered from his owner’s blank stares in reaction to my Blue Devils reference. My awkwardness strikes again.

The ride was short but, naturally, I managed a few breathtaking photography feats for you guys.
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Not even the Hogwarts express could work with those angles.

Not even the Hogwarts Express could work with those angles.

Also, awww… look how cute we are.

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And here is my happy Kenny about to step on solid ground.

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The train station turned out to be quite the charming little stop.

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The gift shop was pretty standard. Although we did find giant gloves for Kenny’s giant hands! The best part is that he has not even lost one yet; its been months! Additionally, there was an outdoor café. Clearly, it’s a popular place.

The view was incredible. The lack of guard rails provided equal parts excitement and terror.

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Also, there are some truly remarkable snowboarders out there, check this out.

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Those zigs and zags were intense.

Next, we visited the highest chapel in Germany: Maria Heimsuchung.

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Apparently this chapel, known as the “Chapel of Visitation” was consecrated by the Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI: very impressive. The inside was modest, yet beautiful.

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The quaint little chapel was well suited for the serenity of the mountainside.

We only had a few minutes before the train was to arrive so we took it all in, one last time.

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Kenny and I were both exhausted when we got on the train. We had such an amazing day. Here I am with a happy, tired Kenny.

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Now, here is a happy, crazy Kenny.

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Haha. Cheers!

Zenith of Zugspitze

I can’t lie to you guys, the fact that Kenny was able to wake up before 8am in a good mood almost impresses me more than the mountaintop scenery, and that is really saying something because -let me tell you- this stuff is GOOD. I can’t be sure whether it was the complimentary breakfast buffet or the excitement of the day that got him out of bed without x10 “snoozes,” but it truly was a moment of shock and awe.  After our traditional European (aka weird) breakfast and coffee we packed up our things, checked out, and put our stuff in the car. Luckily the mountain scaling business takes place right across the street from our hotel. After a little bit of awkward conversation we purchased our tickets for the train and the sky-lift and boarded the train. It was around this point in time when Kenny began to show signs of mild anxiety, however, he was not to the point of admitting it… yet.

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The train ride up the mountain was very scenic, which was fortunate because I could have moved faster than that thing. The outskirts of Garmisch have not yet reached the 21st century, to say the least. Goats, cows, horses and pretty much every barnyard friend you can imagine were were roaming the fields. Also, there were dozens of very primitive little wooden sheds with gigantic spikes jutting out of them (unfortunately we neglected to get a decent picture). These were either for storing hay or killing people… I can’t be sure.

Anywho! Finally the train managed to crawl it’s way to our next stop: the sky-lift station. PS Maddie, every time I say “sky-lift” I think of “Skyward Sword”?

Kenny, at this point, was visibly nervous. I think his biggest issue was the size of the thing… or lack thereof. After all, he is an extra large human being and this rather small “vehicle” will be scaling the mountain at an exceedingly sharp incline suspended over jagged rocks and ice…

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There was probably less than a foot of room above his head. Here is Kenny just lovin’ life…

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I, on the other hand, loved it! It was incredible, with every gradual movement more wonderment was revealed. This is Lake Eibsee mirroring the treetops from the surrounding mountains. It was really cool to the see different angles reflected as we ascended. DSCN0368

One of the lift cars in action.DSCN0377

Every time we went over one of these things it shook the car like crazy and Kenny was sure we were goin’ down. DSCN0370

There is no way to capture the magnitude of this angle we were traveling but that didn’t stop me from taking 15 pictures of it… Here are the best ones.DSCN0382

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At last we completed our ascent!DSCN0394

Next, we walked in the building and into tourist-land! Overpriced everything with a side of uselessness:) Except for the café section… coffee is never useless. Nevertheless we bypassed it, climbed three flights of stairs, and (finally) opened the doors to the most mind-blowing spectacle I ever did see.

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Fun fact: the “Summit Cross”marks the highest peak in Germany. It has been taken down twice, once on account of multiple lightening strikes and once after an American soldier shot it at the end of WWII! Third times the charm, I guess.

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We took a couple of lovely solo shots and waited for more people to arrive…DSCN0418DSCN0419

A nice German fellow helped us out with this one…

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We felt like we were on top of the world. We could stand in one spot and turn 360 degrees and we were able to see 4 different countries. No foolin’! Mountain peaks from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy were all visible! This particular mountain in the Bavarian Alps officially belongs to Germany but the border between Germany and Austria divides the mountain. Fun fact #2: apparently there used to even be a border checkpoint at the summit… although I cannot imagine how that would work.

Before I end this I just want you guys to know, because I know how you worry, I did get to drink coffee on top of the world…IMG_0467

Next post follows our journey down the mountain! Cheers!