Archive for September, 2010

Get trashed in Germany.

Hah. Well, in all seriousness… Go to Munich! Where anybody can feel like royalty. Here’s the deal: Munich, with it’s unbelievable smoothly driven subway, is host to two life changing events. The first is just a couple hours outside the city. Take the train to Fussen and visit a little Bavarian town called Schwangau. This town is home to Schloss Neuschwanstein, the beautiful castle that inspired the animated version for Cinderella. You can even take a horse drawn carriage up the hill and soak in the breath taking views. It’s beautiful in all seasons, but make sure you wear a jacket, even in the summer. Now that you’ve spent your morning feeling truly blessed and monarchical, it is time to rebel. Head back into town and find the Hofbrauhaus. (It’s hard to miss). Here is where I learned to drink beer.  And before you say “Beer? eww…” I challenge you to try a Radler. It’s drink comprised of half beer and half lemonade. It would make anyone happy. Oh, yeah. It’s also served in one liter steins. Whether you like the dark, amber, or white beer, you will find yourself having a great time amongst the live Bavarian music, perfect strangers sitting at your table, and questionably terrible food. It is an experience like no other, and can hardly be substituted with the New York replicas. What makes it so much better than New York’s beer gardens? Well, aside from being original, it’s the atmosphere. You enter a beer hall and garden, the size of a city block, with all of the tables packed, and you are allowed to sit wherever you can find room. This makes for some “forced intimacy” that may be unusual for Americans, but everyone else likes the idea of predetermined social interaction.

If you need a break from drinking–and who doesn’t?–head out to Englischer Garten. You aren’t in the park for the paddle boating or nude sunbathing. You’re here to surf!! Munich offers a slightly obstructed canal, which has generated an ever-present wave. It’s a wave that never crashes or falls, much like the wave machines at amusment parks. Except this one is in a park! It’s technically not allowed, but I don’t think the police really seem to mind. The police will harp on you though, if you jaywalk. Yes, jaywalking is the highest crime in Munich. If you walk out of step, even in the bike lane, other vehicles (with or without motors) are allowed to hit you and then send you the bill. So, be careful.

Otherwise! Enjoy. Avoid the Atomic Cafe, unless you love crappy beer and few people, and take in the clock tower show.

I would also like to add that I spelled Neuschwanstein correctly on the first attempt.


Let’s Go Surfing Now

Posted: 1 September 2010 in The States, Western Bliss

Coronado, my illustrious hometown, may have won the travel channels vote for best beach, but sometimes I wonder what they were thinking. The one main drawback: the water is frigid! Yes, there is lots and lots of sand, but that means a really long walk to the water. Yes, you can take your dog to one part, surf in another, and lay under a cabana by the dell.  I learned a custom in Newport Beach, which has similar application. A tourist arrives, decked out in board shorts, too much sun block, and a surf board under their arm. You sit there and watch them run towards the water, eager to learn how to surf. And like clockwork you watch them run back not more than three minutes later, crying over their lack of a wetsuit. It may look warm in Southern California, but one should really pay more attention to coastal climate trends before embarking on your daily activities. Coronado does have a great perk though. You can walk around and do nothing all day long! There are places to shop, or eat. Great Mootime ice cream, and a plethora of parks and sandy alcoves. And aside from the “traffic” on Orange Avenue, it is an ideally quiet little town. Here’s what I recommend

Wake up: Start your day off waking up at the Marriot Coronado Island Resort. It used to be called Le Meridien, and has an idyllic view of the San Diego skyline.

Breakfast: Walk towards the ferry landing (can’t miss it), there’s a nice coffee shop with an ever changing name on the corner of first and Orange.

First activity: Walk to the Del. The Hotel Del Coronado, that is. It is just great to look at. The shops are more or less overpriced, but well worth a window shopping. And make sure you see the upside-down-hull ballroom, and of course the haunted room.

Next step: Beach or pool, either way you’re in for a first class treat, and both are ridiculously close together. It’s an island people, doesn’t take long to get anywhere.

Lunch: Firehouse restaurant back towards the ferry landing is tasty and reasonably priced. It also has a pet friendly patio. Orange Ave btw 1st and 2nd

After Lunch: Cafe 1134. They have great coffee drinks, and it’s on the way back to the beach. Orange Ave btw 10th and Church.

Sunset: You have to go to the beach. Even if you were already there. Make another trip. Ocean Ave off Church or 10th.

Dinner: Chez Loma is right around the corner from the beach, it’s quaint, but has existed in Coronado for as long as I can remember. They must be doing something right. On 10th… maybe. It’s close to 1 134.

Desert: Mootime! On Orange btw 10th and C (you’ll get used to it)

Real Desert: Try McP’s or the Brewery. They are on opposite sides of the island. And when it gets really really late, head to the little club. Or stop by the very landing, enjoy the night sky over San Diego’s waterfront, and back to sleep. McP’s Orange btw C and B. Brewery on Orange btw 1st and 2nd. Ferry landing on Orange and 1st.

Makes me miss home. What I do know, is that I’ve taken full advantage of what it has to have offer. Don’t discount Peohe’s or Miguel’s, they are also great places to eat. And Alexander’s pizza is awesome, especially if you have pizza lovers! Go explore! And don’t speed. You’ll get caught. No, really. You will.