Food Frenzy!

Eating is one of my favorite past times. Bro says it runs in our blood and I’d say that’s a blessing and a curse. Either way, I’m typically not one to shy away from new and exotic foods. I remember, … Continue reading

#TBT: Photo Memoir of Contiki 2013

After graduating high school in June of 2013, I embarked on a remarkable excursion to Europe for roughly about a month. I joined the European Whirl Tour through Contiki While there, I visited Iceland, England, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech … Continue reading

Top 5: Places I’ve Been

My over-zaelous-ness with flags and stickers invites a lot of people to ask ‘why?’. When I explain that all the countries I bear are ones that I’ve been to, their reactions typically are ones of ‘awe’, quickly followed by the question “Well, which is your favorite?”

 

…. DAMN YOU ALL!

 

Do you know how difficult that is to answer? Anyone who has/does travel, whether over seas or within their own nation, will know that this question is impossible. Each one offers so many different experiences that they can’t be compared!

But, in spite of all the banter, I’ve decided to create this list that will serve as my go-to when answering this question.

V) Iceland

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The ever exotic Iceland. The country that everyone wants to go to, but few actually do! My time there was limited, only because – thanks to Icelandair – I was able to do an extended layover while flying to London.  But wow, am I glad to go at all. There’s something soothing about knowing that you’re on an island country that’s in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean alone. The weather was brisk, the air was clean, and the people were as friendly as could be. It was a nice pre-trip adventure before embarking across Europe.

IV) Germany

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How could you not choose Germany?? The always alive – always vibrant – always friendly nation. I’m fortunate enough to have been twice, and both times were off-the-charts awesome. Beer gardens, bratwurst, and football games** are always a recipe for success.

**disclaimer: I am a bandwagon fan. I was not an FC Bayern Munich fan until I went there the second time.

III) Mexico

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Now we’re getting into the sentimental part of the list. I will always hold Mexico near and dear to my heart. Bro (my grandpa) lives in Cuernavaca, and so every once in awhile I get the opportunity to go visit him. I’ve been to and from Mexico a guestimated half-dozen times and each time is a new experience. When I went this past summer, my entire family and I visited Bro and had a blast. We visited ancient Aztecan ruins, played golf and tennis, and ate FANTASTICALLY.

II) Switzerland

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The first time I was in Switzerland was mid-January, with my dad when we attended the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference. We spent a few nights in Geneva, and then travelled farther along Lake Geneva to Montreux and Leysin. My friend Michael (the one on the left in my Germany picture) actually went to boarding school at the Leysin American School so we visited him. I happened to mention to Mike how awesome it would be to go skiing. By coincidence, he had an extra pair of ski pants that fit me, so there we were! Impromptu ski trip in the Swiss Alps. Dad let me rent some equipment and off we went. I’ll never forget that one.

I) Finland

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My first trip :’) ! Where the wanderlust began. Summer after 8th grade, my mom took me to Finland, where out ancestry hails from. My grandmother was born here so our family there is relatively closely related! I feel like I got the true Finnish experience. Our family picked us up from the airport in Helsinki and immediately drove us to their town of Hankasalmi, where we met up with the rest of the family. Almost within the same minute, we were in the sauna, and then next thing I know, I’m butt naked in a freezing lake! For the rest of my life, this trip will be embedded in my brain and heart as the one that started it all. I’m glad my brother will be able to experience the same thing this upcoming summer.

There it is, my list. STOP ASKING ME NOW! It was hard to narrow it down, but I did. There were a few that JUST fell short, including Italy, Austria, Georgia, and the Netherlands. No hard feelings, bud.

More Beer.. (17.5.14)

Although yesterday began with a slow start due to lack of sleep, it still ended up being a very memorable one! I made a return to the English Beer Garden that I had visited last summer while I was here. Unfortunately it wasn’t as “poppin'” as it was last time but I’m guessing thats I’m here in Mid-May rather then the high season of Late-June/Early-July. Either way, it was still a great time. You can never go wrong with liter beers, brautwüst, fries, and friends.

Not only is the beer garden phenomenal, but the walk there wasn’t half bad itself. It took about 30-40 minutes from our hostel for us to reach the park. On the way we passed many historic buildings, most of which we had no idea what they meant.

Today we’ll venture out to the Hofbräuhaus, a large house filled with women in ledehosen and of course, beer. I’ll keep you posted on what’s going on.

For Now, Cheers!

Alex

 

Day One: Complete (15.5.14)

Today marks day one of our trek complete, and let me say we’ve accomplished a lot within the first 24 hours. Unfortunately, our journey began with a three hour detour of missed trains, premature exits, and wrong directions. Fortunately we were able to maintain our composure and finally reach our destination.

Our first night consisted of Cards Against Humanity, bar hopping, and lots of poor decisions that will end up being memories, most of which shouldn’t be discussed again. By the end of the night, we ended up taking pictures like the following:

(ended up being 7or 8 deep in these)

Tomorrow we have a wide arrange of plans including beginning with Pho in the “morning” (noonish) followed by a tour of the BMW Factory and of course the Beer Gardens. Who knows what will actually be completed, but I know we’re going to have a great time no matter what we decide to do.

Some ask about the loneliness of traveling but so far, I am incredibly grateful to meet/re-aquaint myself with friends like Joey and Brenna. Experiences like these with friends like them lead to life long camaraderies that I can’t wait to continue.

As for tomorrow, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

For Now, Cheers!

Alex

Departure Day (14.5.2014)

Finally, after all the waiting, departure day has arrived! Being the plane/airport aficionados Michael and I are, we decided to arrive at Dulles 3.5 hours before our flight was scheduled to depart. Incase you were interested, here is the link to track our flight (LH415).

Michael and I arrived around 6:45 and checked in on Lufthansa, and of course, being the anxious traveler I am, I payed no attention and walked straight up to the First Class booth. I guess the suit made me look good enough for first class.  After checking in, we swiftly made our way through security (and by swiftly I mean 25 minutes from check in to the gate). Matusaki on Concourse A was a must, almost like a new found tradition. 2 Veggie Rolls for me and some ridiculously expensive platter for Mike.

Our first stop is Munich, where we’ll be staying for three nights, almost like an extended layover. On the agenda is the BMW Factory, Beer Gardens (of course), and an undescribable amount of Bratwürst and liter sized Beers. If you have any tips as for things to do or places to go, please feel free to comment them in! We’re interested.

I’ll check back in when we have arrived and I have a few spare minutes.

For Now, Cheers!

Alex