July 25, 2016

#prayformunich olympia-einkaufszentrum munich germany

Like many people, I spent Friday glued to the television. I was anxious for the up-to-the-very-second news of what was happening in Munich. Munich. I kept asking myself: How could this happen in Munich? But like so many things that seem to happen in the world, there’s no reasonable explanation. There is no logic.

Just shy of five years ago, I visited Munich for the first time. I’ve been back once since and I’ve been mentally planning the trip next year for far too long. So many people have had their heart stolen by the romance of Paris, New York, London. For me, it’s Munich. I could write ad nauseum about the city. And I’m sure some would argue that I already have.

They call it a “toy town,” a major city that feels like a village. Walkable, beautiful, and green. The locals are friendly, the food indescribably delicious. It’s a casual lifestyle that involves cake and coffee (or tea) in the afternoon with no worries of spoiling your appetite for dinner. With art and culture. And I won’t lie and say that I don’t secretly wonder what it would be like to wear a beautiful dirndl.

Last year, I had my first taste of Prinzregententorte at the Richart’s in the Olympia-Einkauszentrum. I’ve shopped at the Saturn electronics store across the street, next to the McDonald’s. I window-shopped for tea at Eilles and bought a car magazine for my husband’s friend in Galleria Kaufhof, both in Olympia-Einkauszentrum. I’m confused and heartbroken. But I’m also more determined than ever to return.

Sending love and warm, kind thoughts.


Where to Stay & Eat in Pittsburgh in 36 Hours

July 20, 2016
Food, Travel

view from kimpton hotel monaco pittsburgh

It is amazing how much you can do in 36 hours when you try. My 4th of July weekend trip to Pittsburgh was packed. Last week, I covered everything I got to see and do — from the Warhol Museum to a ride on the Monongahela Incline. This time I wanted to share where I stayed — Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh — and some of the restaurants I visited. Because when you are traveling, having a nice hotel and decent food are pretty important!
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German Music: Die Fantastischen Vier

July 18, 2016
German Music, Learn German

Die Fantastischen Vier
German hip hop groups and rappers like K.I.Z. and Cro are currently gracing the top of the German language music charts. However, it was bands like Die Fantastischen Vier that paved the way. But one should not talk about the group in the past tense. These guys haven’t hung up their microphones just yet. The four member group have had big hits that are sure to catch your ear. And what better way to practice your German skills? Let’s get to know Die Fantastischen Vier better with this month’s German music feature.
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What to See in Pittsburgh in 36 Hours

July 13, 2016

pittsburgh skyline
A long weekend in the summer calls for a road trip! So that’s just what we did on Fourth of July weekend. We packed up and headed to Pittsburgh to spend, roughly, 36 hours. From Philadelphia, it is roughly a four or five hour drive across the state. We kissed the puppy goodbye, hit the road early and lucked out with relatively light traffic.

Pittsburgh is a relatively large city and the second largest in the state of Pennsylvania. The Steel City attracts a lot of attention these days and is definitely a trendy location. The city is considered extremely livable, has a foodie reputation, low crime and they’ve got winning sports teams. It’s just the right size for exploring on a brief stop over or a longer excursion. It’s also just the right size to see large portions on foot. But, there are a lot of hills and somethings are spread out so a car can offer much needed convenience.

Here’s a quick guide of what we did and what we say on our whirlwind trip! Yinz ready? (That’s Pittsburgh-ian for “you ready?”)
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German Films: Wolfgang Becker

July 11, 2016
German Films, Learn German

Wolfgang Becker
Some filmmakers have a certain rhythm to their work. Such filmmakers release a new film every few years. They are prolific. But other filmmakers, like German director Wolfgang Becker labor longer on each project. Since the writer-director released his first film (Schmetterling) in 1988, he’s since released only five other full-length movies including a documentary. But quality and quantity are not synonymous. Which is why Wolfgang Becker is this month’s featured filmmaker recommendation for German language learners.
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6 German Beer Breweries You Can Tour

July 6, 2016
Food, Travel

German beer steinkrug

There are plenty of things — you might call them stereotypes — that Germany are famous for. From precision engineered cars that race down highways with no speed limits, to pretzels the size of your head. The list is rather lengthy. But beer just might be the country’s most famous product. The ingredients in German beer are closely regulated by the Reinheitsgebot, which ensures high quality beer. And while Bavaria is arguably the center of the German brewery world, the rest of the country has more than a few brands to boast of.

Many of Germany’s beer breweries offer tours.  Regardless of whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just curious by nature, take note. These special tours often include guided walks through the production line, insight in to the brand and brewery, and even tastings! Previously, I highlighted Bavarian beer breweries that offer tours. Now here’s a follow up with German beer breweries around the rest of the country.
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Must See: Wurstelprater Amusement Park

July 4, 2016

wurstelprater in vienna, austria

Paris has temporary ferris wheels like the Roue de Paris and the Big Wheel on Place de la Concorde. The English capital has the London Eye, a fancy wheel that serves more as a moving observation tower than as a ride in an amusement park. But before either of these major cities had their ferris wheels, Vienna had theirs. The Austrian capital’s Wiener Riesenrad, or Viennese ferris wheel, stands as the star attraction of the Wurstelprater, a permanent amusement park that is a part of the Wiener Prater park. In fact, you will be very familiar with this particular ferris wheel if you’ve seen the 1949 film The Third Man with Orson Welles, as it serves as a particularly important location.

The ferris wheel is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions. The Wurstelprater is a combination of history, whimsy and fun. The Wiener Riesenrad and the rest of the amusement attractions at Wurstelprater are this month’s addition to My Must See List.
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5 Blogs in German That I’m Reading

June 29, 2016
Learn German

reverberations tablet

Truth be told, I love following blogs in German not just for the educational aspect but also because I love to look at the photos and dream. With that said, it will come as no surprise to those who know me that several of the bloggers I follow are based in Munich. (Some dream of Paris, I dream of Minga.)

Regardless of where they’re based, blogs written in German can be a great way to practice your language skills. Most aren’t written at an extremely high reading level and aren’t too serious: both of which can be be discouraging when reading newspapers or classic literature. Academic-level texts can be so difficult.

Instead, with blogs, you get a peek into how people actually write and talk. And, depending on what the blogger writes about, you can get a really great feel for what is going on right when the “publish” button was pressed.

Here’s five German language blogs for a mixture of topics that you should check out!
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5 Fantastic Bagged Tea You Should Try

June 22, 2016

5 fantastic bagged tea to try

Loose tea is all the rage these days. Recently, I explored five great loose teas that you should be brewing up. But what about the old standard: bagged tea! We can’t forget our old friend. You can’t argue with the on-the-go convenience of bagged tea. And these days, tea drinkers aren’t limited to bland bagged teas that taste like cardboard. The market has exploded and expanded. To celebrate the rebirth of bagged tea, here are five fantastic bagged tea that you should try!
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German Music: Rapper Cro

June 20, 2016
German Music, Learn German

German rapper Cro certainly isn’t the first musician to have a gimmick. His just happens to be a panda mask that covers the top half of his face, obscuring his identity. It features an upside-down cross drawn on the mask between the eyes. But while Cro might be considered a rapper, his music is positively poppy. Since the release of Raop, his debut full-length, in 2012, the young musician has been a star of the German music scene scooping up awards and topping the music charts. Let’s get to know Cro for this month’s German Music feature!
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