For those of you that do not know my husband in real life, lederhosen are something my guy thinks is the coolest fashion ever in the history of clothes. He's a laid back sort of guy, it takes a lot for him to show any kind of excitement, but his lederhosen and my dirndl got him excited! For those of you that do know my husband in real life, you already know that he has been coordinating his lederhosen ever since we found out we'd be moving to Germany.
And I know y'all have just been dying to see this....
......Have you ever seen anything more adorable in your whole life?!
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 and burgundy, but nope, Eric is an 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. An experience of a lifetime. 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 little point-and-shoot camera and literally pointed it at something 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 Eric's ultimate bucket list experience. Sorry folks, terrible pictures plus not great writing.... just bear with me.
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 and wait to drink beer, or 2) find a place to stand along the parade route so that we could watch the parade but not get to drink beer. 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. As parents of a pre-teen daughter, you take advantage of a kid-free day when you can, and we wanted to drink beer at the world's largest and rowdiest beer festival, so by gosh, that's what we were going to do!
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! People were shoulder to shoulder and it was hot in there, which is my for real nightmare! I could feel that everyone else was getting more oxygen than me and it wasn't fair. So we had no choice but to sit outside in their biergarten, which was really our only option for seating and didn't bother me all that much because there was more oxygen to go around out there. The rule is that you have to be seated to be served beer, if you are standing you will not get served and the waitress knows to ignore you. Getting a place to sit, especially for a large group like ours was absolutely crucial for the kind of experience we were hoping to have. So even though it was pouring rain and we were having to sit outside, we hurried to nab a table 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 later 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 being that guy 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 his college years 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!
We felt like VIP's and I totally wanted to rub it in their faces a little bit.
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 and I found myself right in the middle of their shenanigans. And once I realized I was in the middle of what was about to happen, I was committed and was going to be apart of whatever it was that they were going to do.
They were clinking their really heavy mugs of liter beers 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 completely shattered, thick pieces of glass flew in every direction, beer went every where, and one of the guys bolted. I was standing too close and got beer spilled all over my legs from the knee down and felt glass flying too but thankfully didn't feel any cuts. The mugs were so heavy that it's easier to hold them by putting your hand through the handle with your palm against the mug, which is what the one guy did, so when they clinked their mugs together his hand got badly cut and blood splattered everywhere just like the glass and beer did. And because I'm a nosy bitch and was standing so close, I got beer, glass, and blood 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!!!
An almost injury in the "VIP" area of the roped area was enough for me to say that I had had enough, but was crossing the rope into masses of drunk people really a good idea?? Once we crossed that rope there was no going back unless we wanted to wait in another line so was it worth it, was that blood really worth crossing that rope for?
I guess we'd find out....
Oktoberfest is every frat party you've ever seen on TV, ever 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 every bar bathroom. It is every party you'll ever go to in your entire life. Oktoberfest is every drunk experience you've ever had.
It's.... an experience.
There was a skeleton in here that would pop out and "pee" water everywhere. It was hysterical.
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.
The Löwenbräu tent was 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 vomit on her shirt. I took a picture but I was trying to be discreet so it didn't come out that well, and now that I'm thinking about it I wouldn't post it anyway. She was in a bad way and I really hope her night got better.
By that evening, Eric and I were ready to go somewhere quieter with less people. Eric won't ride any rides and we figured that a roller coaster wouldn't be a good idea with the amount of beer and greasy fest 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 take us home. To get to that pub we had to walk past "Puke Hill."
Yup, that's the name of a piece of nature in the middle of Munich.
I'm not sure if Puke Hill is the name of this little spot all year round, or just during Oktoberfest, but Puke Hill is where medical personnel or security literally dump you when you've passed out or when they don't know what else to do with you. There is a constant stream of medics pushing a gurney with someone covered in vomit going to and from Puke Hill - I mean, 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 so worth it!
Eric says the ultimate must on his bucket-list was everything he hoped it would be! And seeing how happy he was and how adorable he looked in his lederhosen that he spent so much time putting together is something I'll never forget!
Eric has managed to accomplish so much in his life, and if he's shown me anything in our 8 years together it's that anything is possible. He's proven that no matter how silly the idea might seem at first, it can produce the most incredible experiences. And this time.... the lederhosen and his unassuming excitement gave us a day of hilarious memories. Memories of a lifetime.