For those of you that do not know my husband, lederhosen are something my guy thinks is the coolest fashion ever in the history of clothes. He's a laid back dude, it takes a lot before he'll show any kind of excitement, but his lederhosen and my dirndl got him excited! For those of you that do know my husband, already know that he has been coordinating his lederhosen ever since we found out we'd be moving to Germany.
I know y'all have just been dying to see this....
......Have you ever seen anything more adorable?!
Eric has spent the entire 15 months we have lived here coordinating his lederhosen and my dirndl (the female equivalent of the lederhosen). If I asked him to pick out my outfit ever before in our 8 years together I'd get a big shoulder shrug and he'd say it doesn't matter to him what I wear. But when it came to my dirndl he knew exactly what he wanted to see me in. I personally wanted our outfits to be our wedding colors, black & burgundy, but my guy is all American male- born on the 4th of July, a soldier, and loves Budweiser- so it's not surprising that he chose red, white, and blue- and since this was his thing, I just went with whatever he wanted.
We just got back from Oktoberfest 2014 and it was..... an experience. I did not take my big camera because we figured we'd run into different sorts of crazy situations and I didn't want to risk my camera getting damaged. Instead, I took my point and shoot, and literally pointed my camera and pushed the button. I didn't pay attention to anything when taking pictures and they are terrible!! So since I have only terrible pictures to show you, I'll have to rely on my writing skills to tell you about the crazy. Sorry folks, terrible pictures plus not great writing.... just bear with me.
Eric and I went with a group of people that Eric works with on an MWR bus trip to Oktoberfest. Isabelle was going to go with us (Oktoberfest is actually very family friendly) but at the last minute she decided that she'd rather go to a sleepover with one of her friends. Usually, Eric and I wouldn't give her a choice, family time is family time whether she likes it or not, and missing experiences is something she'll regret later on, but after we discussed it we figured that maybe it would be best if she went to her sleepover and we'd deal with the crazy situations as adults. If we weren't taking my big camera because we didn't want to risk it getting damaged, it only made sense that our kiddo probably shouldn't go either. Hopefully, we'll get the opportunity to take Isabelle next year when we'll know better what to expect and what to steer her away from.
With Eric's lederhosen and my dirndl at the ready we took another early morning bus ride that dropped us off at the front of the festivities. We did not have reservations to any of the beer tents (which don't look anything like tents) so we had two choices: 1) Stand in line to get a table for people who do not have a reservation, or 2) Find a place to stand along the parade route so that we could watch the parade. With more than 3 million people attending Oktoberfest in its opening week, and since we did not have our daughter with us, we opted to hurry to get a seat at one of the tents, especially since we were told that the line to get into a tent is up to 3 hours long.
We went to four different tents before we were even allowed to wait in their line! Once we got in to the Hacker Festzelt tent it was so absolutely insanely packed! Packed! People were shoulder to shoulder and it was hot in there- which is my nightmare! I could feel that everyone else was getting more oxygen than me. So we had no choice but to sit outside in their biergarten, which was really all we were going to get anyway, and didn't bother me too much because there was more oxygen to go around out there. So even though it was pouring rain we hurried to nab a table (you have to be seated to get served beer, if you're standing you will not get served), and then waited until the mayor tapped the first keg at noon marking the start of Oktoberfest!
It was pouring rain for the first part of the morning, making it a little miserable and sabotaging a cute hair day, but once the official keg was tapped and the beer started flowing, the sun came out and we didn't care anymore that our butts were soaking wet or that my hair had frizzed.
You know at parties how there is always that one guy that gets the party started? That guy that thinks he's everyone's best friend and constantly orders rounds of shots, and then you find him passed out in a closet with marker all over his face at the end of the night? But he's super proud of that so his Facebook profile picture is usually some sort of drunk pose with his tongue hanging out? That eternal frat boy? You know... that one guy that spends all of college partying and he's really only fun to talk to when he's drunk? Yeah, that guy was at Oktoberfest....
Frat guy was an American and had the entire biergarten singing "Heeeyyyy heyy baby!! (ooh! ahh!) I wanna knOOooow.... if you'll be my girl..." and that must have worked some magic on this random girl because she jumped on his shoulders for about twenty gazillion rounds of 'Hey Baby' while he ran from one end of the biergarten to the other with her on his shoulders. He was too wild for me to get a great picture, but he sure looked like a lot of fun!
Before we officially left the "in group" I stopped to watch two very drunk guys, because watching a couple of drunk guys is kinda funny. I was right in the middle of the action....
....They were clinking their really heavy mugs of beer together as hard as they possibly could and I told Eric one of them was going to get hurt.....
.....and sure enough one of them did. They clinked their mugs together so hard that one of the mugs shattered, beer went every where, and one of the guys ran off. I was standing too close and got beer spilled all over my legs from the knee down and got blood splattered on my dirndl and face.....
.... I didn't get a picture of the blood on my face because Eric hurried to wipe it off, and it might not look like much on my dress but there was splatters every where, and besides, any amount of blood that is not yours is SO GROSS!!!
I had had enough, but was crossing the rope into masses of drunk people really a good idea?? I guess we'd find out....
Oktoberfest is every frat party you've ever seen on TV, heard about, or even went to on a GIANT scale. It is the movie 'Beerfest' and 'Animal House' in real life. It is every drunk girl crying with mascara running down her face you've ever consoled in the bar bathroom. It is every party you'll ever go to in your entire life. Oktoberfest is an experience!
There was a skeleton in here that would pop out and "pee" water everywhere. It was hysterical.
In order to drink liters of beer we needed to make sure that we kept a good base of food in our tummy's. Greasy fair food might not be the clean eating we've gotten used to but it sure goes good with beer! So my guy ordered us a late lunch and we kept exploring!
Seriously though, isn't he adorable?!
Gut, Besser, Paulaner.
(Good, Better, Paulaner.)
The only thing that could have made this trip more amazing than it already was, was if we could have gotten a beer at the Löwenbräu tent, but it was impossible to find a seat so we just stood there for a little while laughing at all the drunk people.
This is where we saw a lady who was crying with mascara running down her face, laying on the ground, with her underwear twisted and showing above her shorts, and puke on her shirt. I took a picture but I was trying to be discreet so it didn't come out that well. Poor lady.... I hope her night got better.
By evening Eric and I were ready to go somewhere quieter with lots less people. Eric won't ride any rides and we figured that a rollercoaster wouldn't be a good idea with the amount of beer and greasy food we had in our tummy's anyway, so we decided to make our way to a pub we had seen that was near where the bus was going to pick us up. To get to that pub we had to walk past "puke hill." Yes, that is the name of it (I'm not sure if that's all the time, or just during Oktoberfest?), but puke hill is where medical personnel or security literally dump you when you've passed out. There is a constant stream of medics pushing a gurney with someone covered in vomit going to and from puke hill- a constant back and forth of medics! Puke hill is where you're encouraged to vomit if you feel like you need to, so waking up here can't possibly be a pleasant experience.
Our internal beer tanks were sputtering and we were fading quickly! So we headed to that little pub and nursed another beer to refill our tanks and watched all the people going to and stumbling from Oktoberfest. Our group met up at the pub little by little, we ordered a pizza, and had great conversation!
The morning bus ride started at 4 in the morning and didn't get us back home until 5:00 the next morning..... probably the longest day of my life with the most brutal bus ride ever! By the time Eric and I got home more than 25 hours after we had left we were barely functioning. We managed to brush our teeth and take a shower, and left our lederhosen/dirndl trailing up the staircase until Monday. But it was worth it!
Eric says his ultimate must on his bucket-list was everything he hoped it would be! And seeing how happy he was and how adorable he was in his lederhosen is something I'll never forget! The crazy and the lederhosen made for a really great.... experience!