I LOVE when I get a chance to see friends in Europe. So when Kawika Shoji’s team was playing just outside of Munich it was a great opportunity to see him and make a little day out of it with the American’s in Innsbruck. I drove down, they drove up and we met in the middle of Munich for lunch and to see the match.
We checked out the Hofbrauhaus and cruised around the city a bit. Then met up with the Hein’s and some of their Innsbruck teammates for lunch at a Mexican restaurant 🙂
Dining Room at Hofbrauhaus
Beautiful day in Munich
It was an exciting match to watch in a packed house and Kawika came away as the MVP! All due to our cheering of course.
Paul Carroll, Andy Hein, Scott Touzinsky, Kawika Shoji, Kate Hein, me, Sydney Yogi, and Erik Shoji
They had to catch a flight back up to Berlin shortly after the match, but Erik, Syd and I went back to the Hofbrauhaus for some food and drinks before heading out separate ways.
One Sunday morning I took a drive down towards Munich to see Norisha Campbell perform and give her testimony at her church. Norisha has a long, amazing story but I’m going to keep it short and sweet: She is an American and played volleyball for our National team but has been living in Germany for the past 11 years. She plays for the 2nd Rote Raben team and most recently was a contestant on The Voice of Germany! Besides all that, she’s a fantastic person 🙂
Norisha on my TV screen while on The Voice of Germany
I was so excited to hear Norisha sing and let me tell you, she’s incredible. You can really feel her when she sings. But I did not expect to get so much more from my visit. Her story and her testimony is incredible. Her faith in the Lord is exquisite and he surely is using her to do special things. I was so inspired and am so happy I woke up early on a Sunday to see and experience her story and song.
Afterwards, Norisha and I headed over to the English Garden in Munich (think Central Park in NY but way bigger) and grabbed a hot chocolate at the Christmas Market at the Chinese Turendum. Again, it turned out to be such a beautiful day, nice and sunny, beautiful blue sky. We had an awesome view at one part of the garden. And as we were leaving, there were people SURFING in the water there. There is a smallish rapid at one part of the river and crazy people decided to put wet suits on and surf on that rapid. I think it’s a pretty normal occurrence but it is WAY too cold for that… crazy people.
The Chinese Tower- in the English Garden- in Munich, Germany…
Surfing in Munich!? Was??
Norisha and I
Anyways, it was a fantastic spontaneous day and just what I needed to relax, reboot, and be inspired for the next week.
We don’t mess around! 5 days in to being in Germany and with my team and I’ve already hit one of the big bucket list trips: Oktoberfest!
Oktoberfest is celebrated all over the world, but the big kahuna of them all is in Munich. My team and I got all dressed up in traditional drindls and leiderhosen (dresses and leather pants) and hopped on the train for an hour and some change to do as the German’s do!
I came to learn that it’s not exactly what German’s do. It sounds like many German’s prefer to enjoy Oktoberfest in their local bierhaus and avoid all the tourism and overpriced beer in Munich. Regardless, it was an incredible experience! There were TONS of people there. Basically, it feels like a huge county fair or amusement park. There’s stands left and right with food, drinks, games, and souvenir shops. And almost everyone is dressed to the 9s in their traditional German garb. (I really wanted to get my hands on a pair of the wool calf warmers!)
But the main attraction are the tents. Which aren’t really tents in the common sense of the word. They’re more like big event halls. Each is named after a brand of beer and sell liters of only it’s respective brand. Inside there are big long tables with people jam packed in the seats. Those are a free for all, so people tend to get their early in the mornings to snag their spots and drink their day away. There are also sections of tables on the outer edges that are reserved far in advance for meals and drinks. Somewhere in the tent is a raised stage where a band is playing crowd favorites to keep the party going. They played quite a few German songs and some classic American tunes as well- Sweet Caroline for sure.
We walked through 5 or 6 tents and hovered on the outer rim to look for seats and get a feel for the tents. We sat and got some food and beers at a tent that was meant more for meals than the crazy party tents. Before we left though I somehow spotted people leaving a table so our group extended their stay for a little longer so we could really get in the mix. My one goal: stand on the table with my stein! Check! 🙂
The pretzels in Germany mean BUSINESS.
Tama and I in our get ups
My first hot dog in Germany, woo.
Liana ordered a pig elbow. Couldn’t figure out how to say that, so we pointed to our own elbow and ‘oinked’. Totally worked!
amusement park style
Tama looking tough in the u-bahn crowds