Sunday, March 9, 2014


I decided to have a birthweek rather than a birthday.  {Y'all should try it sometime}  I took the entire week off of work and did all of the things that make me happy.  I slept in every single morning, got my hair & make-up done professionally, read a stack of magazines uninterrupted, laid on my couch and did my nails, then just laid on the couch, drank wine, did yoga, ate whatever I wanted, watched a bunch of 80's movies, aaaannd got a massage.  I had no where to go, no where to be, no worries, and no pressure.  I concentrated on happy things, quiet things, nurturing things, and fun things.  I didn't even let the grey hair I found earlier in the week get to me!

But a proper birthweek needed a trip to be complete; somewhere I haven't been, a place on my bucket-list....and Princess Aurora's castle (from Sleeping Beauty) sounded like the perfect place to spend a birthday!

We took another day-trip through the MWR to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles in Bavaria on my actual birthday.  The bus had to be on the road at 2 a.m which meant staying up until then and attempting to sleep on a bus, which was brutal for a family that needs sleep.  But, their day trips are the best way for us to see certain places we want to see.  I can not stand to hurry through places only to say that I was there!  I'd rather pick one town or site and absorb every single detail than pack a bunch of towns or sites into a weekend and take a few pictures, just to say that I was there.  MWR day trips allow us to absorb and experience the details of one particular place, no sleep is a very small price to pay for the experience we get.  

Neuschwanstein was built so that King Ludwig II could withdraw from public life rather than for royal use and is one of the most famous castles in the world because Walt Disney used it for his inspiration for Princess Aurora and Cinderella's castles.  Hohenschwangau (the smaller but gorgeous yellow castle) was King Ludwig II's childhood home.  I couldn't wait to try out my new camera!  

Obviously, castles were not built for easy access so we had to hike up a pretty steep hill to get to both castles.  We got our exercise in for the month (and made me feel wwaaaaay less guilty for eating whatever I wanted during my birthweek)!

 I look like I'm ready to punch someone, but I promise I was just in a good hiking mode.

We toured both castles (no photography allowed in either castle, bummer).  Neuschwantstein took 17 years to build the 1/3 of it that was actually finished.  King Ludwig II lived in it for only 172 days before being declared mentally insane and incompetent to fulfill his royal duties, and then was hauled off to an asylum where he died a mysterious death the next day.  Both castles are in the Bavarian state in Germany and are surrounded by the Bavarian Alps.  The weather was amazing (about 55°) and the scenery was breathtaking!  

Neuschwanstein (Noy-Sshh-Von-Sshh-Tine):

Hohenschwangau (Hoe-In-Sshh-Von-Gau)...

The actual tours were pretty quick, which was fine with us.  It gave us a chance to see the amazingness inside the castles, but we really just wanted to spend the day hiking and taking pictures.  We hiked over to Mary's Bridge and then considered the 90 minute walk to Austria but opted to stay closer to the castles instead.  We also toured the Bavarian Kings Museum but they made me put my camera in a locker before we could go in (pouty-face), so no pictures of that either.

Eric absolutely loves Bavaria!  I think he had a past life there or something because he was happy, excited, and had a peaceful heart the entire day.  He had been to Neuschwanstein almost 8 years ago with his mom and sister and loved being able to go back with us.  He's talked about how much he loves Bavaria and was excited to finally show us how beautiful it is.

Eric is in the distance sitting on a bench in this picture.  Isabelle and I were down by the water. 

He was right, Bavaria is gorgeous!!  And my new camera didn't disappoint!  We always have a blast on our trips, this one was no exception.  Today, we are recuperating from a very long day with no sleep and lots of walking.  Isabelle is out playing with her friends and my guy is making me a birthday cake and a steak supper since we weren't home yesterday to do our usual birthday-person-picks-their-favorite-restaurant-for-birthday-supper tradition, and everything is closed on Sunday's in Germany.  I could get all sappy right now and tell you all how lucky I am and how loved my guy makes me feel everyday, but I won't.  I'll just tell you that my birthweek was exactly what I needed and I couldn't have asked for a better birthday instead!

We've got lots coming up for March and the beginning of April.  This was the first of four different trips we've got booked.  I have to work this coming Saturday (we have to work one Saturday a month and I hate it!), so we'll be spending the weekend catching up on house stuff, but after that we'll be gone every weekend for three weeks.  I can't wait! 

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