I pretty much ooze love & giddiness all over whatever it is I'm excited about, which can be just about anything because I think this world is pretty darn great and there's just so much to love. But birthday's are extra special! And when it comes to my little family I tend to get really excited about their special days. This past weekend was my husband's birthday! He never asks for anything, birthday or no birthday, but if there was ever a day that this man needs to be celebrated, it's his birthday! And there is no better way to celebrate than by going to his paradise on Earth: Schönau am Königssee! Where lederhosen are the outfit of choice, and beer is served with breakfast!
This is the view from the front door of our hotel.
This time, we opted to skip Salzburg altogether since we felt that we had seen everything we had wanted to the first time, and instead stayed near Lake Königssee & Berchtesgaden. All Eric really wanted for his birthday was clear weather so that he could actually see the Alps.... and that's exactly what he got!
Check out the difference weather makes....
Crazy, huh!!?! You can read about the crummy weather we dealt with last year if you want to right HERE. We really did try to look on the bright side, but I am so glad we went back!
For our first afternoon in Bavaria we took a boat cruise in the middle of the Alps on Lake Königssee- one of Germany's most pristine lakes! The thing about this trip was that everything was just too pretty for pictures. The colors were all shades of blue and green- the water was even turquoise! Bavaria is way prettier than my limited picture-taking abilities could ever capture! We hiked some trails around the lake and tried to forget about how much we were sweating.... 100°+ temperatures with no air conditioning anywhere in Germany makes it really hard to forget about how much you're sweating, and really hard to want to do anything except not sweat, but I'll tell ya....the scenery did an amazing job of distracting us!
We were absolutely stunned by the views! We spent the entire afternoon walking the trails around the lake, but the temperatures, buckets of sweat, and a 6 hour drive that started at 5 a.m made for an early night. We took the world's best showers and then crashed in our beds pretty quickly.
The next day was Eric's birthday! And he wanted to spend the day at the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest). We couldn't decide whether to hike up to the haus or take the bus- a hike up would take 4 hours, the same exact hike down would take 2 1/2 hours- it didn't seem like a difficult decision to make, actually, it seemed pretty obvious, but hey this was Eric's day, not mine. Thankfully though, he decided that we'd enjoy our time on the mountain more if we took the bus up but hiked back down. Great idea!
With an entire day ahead of us, and no where to be, we hopped on a bus and spent our day inhaling the scenery on top of the world!
The Kehlsteinhaus, a.k.a Eagle's Nest
Austria is in that direction.
There's my man on top of the world!
Lake Königssee in the background.
A birthday beer for the birthday boy!
A strawberry sundae!
We spent ALL day hiking around the Kehlsteinhaus. It was such a great feeling being able to enjoy the day without stressing about having to get to anywhere for a tour, or hurry to get to a bus, we could just sit and breath. Not one time did we check our phones for the time!
Eric got a birthday beer on top of the world and we couldn't have been happier with how different everything looks when the weather is so clear! But, there was a hike down the mountain ahead of us and a birthday dinner to get to, so even though the views could have kept us there until dark, we decided to head back down the 1800m (6,000ft) Kehlstein Mountain... on foot.
Starting the hike!
Eric took this picture- it's blurry, but I like it.
Isabelle took this picture!
There was not a single point on our descent where the path leveled out, it was all downhill and my picture-taking quickly stopped when I figured out that if I didn't pay attention to my steps the sheer momentum of the jiggles in my flab would propel me down the path in an all out roll.
Besides that though, I was utterly amazed at the bicyclists who were riding their bikes up the mountain! I had to kick up my concentration level just a little more every time someone rode past us on their bike.... uphill! It could have quickly become a recipe for disaster- if you know me you know I have zero coordination- a short attention span, with the ability to squeal about pretty flowers & rock star bikers every few feet, an expensive camera around my neck, and the potential to fall thousands of feet in seconds with just one wrong step. But I could not believe that people were riding bikes uphill! And well...you know me... I just thought they were awesome!
I tried to be mindful of my complaining because it was my man's birthday and I figured those bikers going uphill on a bike wouldn't give me, someone walking downhill, any sympathy, but my gosh, going downhill totally worked muscles I never knew I had! Wowza!
But we made it! We hiked the entire way! I'd like to think some of my jiggly flab stayed up on that mountain but by the looks of me I probably could use a whole lot more hikes. Isabelle had had enough of being in the hot sun and decided that she wanted to take a shower and not do any more exploring, so we took her to the hotel and Eric & I wandered around Berchtesgaden. We were disappointed to find that all the shops had closed for the weekend about an hour or so before we got there, but the little village was adorable so we just did some window shopping instead.
It was Eric's birthday! And we had worked up an appetite hiking all over the Kehlstein Mountain, plus, as Eric & I looked each other over we noticed that we were getting pinker by the second, so we figured it was time for another beer.... a beer next to our hotel where we could park our car and drink lots of beers!
The view from our table!
Our time in nature and on top of a mountain left Eric & I really sun burnt, and being in 100°+ weather with no air conditioning for the past few days had taken a lot out of us, by Sunday morning we were ready to get home.
A 6 hour drive in the only air conditioning in Germany felt amazing on our sunburns that had surpassed the pink stage in between all the birthday beers we drank the night before. We made it home in time to get groceries, make hamburgers for supper, and spend the rest of the night laying in front of fans in our living room with almost no clothing on as our bodies burned from both the inside and outside (I reeeeeally miss air conditioning).
Eric is a no-frills kind of guy. He just doesn't want for much, which drives me crazy when I'm trying to spoil him on his birthday. And, he hates cake! Who hates cake?! Isabelle and I love cake, usually his birthday means extra cake for us, but when I asked him what flavor birthday cake he wanted, he said "beer." That's it. Just beer.
What, exactly, is that supposed to mean....? He just smiled and said "beer."
I wasn't sure, so this is what I made him.
I don't know what he thought I'd do when he said "beer," but I think it's the most perfect cake for my husband, and the look on his face when he saw it was adorable! For a split second I got a glimpse of his giddy 4 year old self, and it made me happy. The cake isn't much, but for a guy like Eric it was perfect. He said that his entire birthday was perfect!
And that's all I could ever want for a man like him.... simple perfection.