It’s been about a month since we’ve moved to Italy.  We’ve finally found a place to call “home” and have unpacked most of our belongings.  That “haus” will be covered a little later once we get pictures up and the place looks a little more homely.  Since being here, we’ve also tried to use our off-time wisely to see as much as we can, as well as trying to get integrated with my new squadron mates.

Prost!This past weekend we signed on to a trip to Munich – the host city of Oktoberfest.  You can imagine by being in a city with that kind of reputation, you’re bound to get housed (or “haus’d”, in German) at some point.  In fact, it’s about time I go to a place where there’s good beer! Unfortunately for me (the beer snob), the wine flows in Italy but the beer leaves a lot to be desired. So to Germany we go to provide me a little beer-sanity. We arrived on Friday just in time to grab dinner at the Hofbrauhaus.  Prior to this, we’ve only been to the one in Las Vegas which is supposed to replicate the one in Munich.  My German buddy, Limey, once told me that the Vegas version didn’t hold a candle to the real thing; he was right.  The place was HUGE… though the beer and the food were mostly the same.  After three liters of beer and a group photo later, we decided to call it a night to prep for the beerfest the next day:

The Hofbrauhaus

The main event was “Beer Rafting.” About 50 people load up on a barge made out of logs (ie, a true raft), along with 5 kegs and an “oompah” band. Granted, it’s not white water rafting for all you adrenaline junkies… it’s almost like being in a paddle boat on the Mississippi River. But the floor is definitely not flat, and you can see the river bottom between the spacing of the logs underneath you.

Beer Rafting

I did learn a few things while I was out navigating the rivers of Munich:

  1. Cat-like ReflexesDrinking does not get rid of a headache from the night before. Apparently the 3 liters from the Hofbrauhaus had caught up to me, so I figured after a few beers the headache would go away… Nope. I ended up with the best of both worlds: a headache while feeling pretty tipsy. Luckily, someone had Motrin (thanks Cassy).
  2. Cat-like agility is gained with more imbibing.  When I first got on the raft, I cautiously walked about so I wouldn’t slip and fall into the river.  After keg #3 was tapped, I could almost do a gymnastics routine on the thing without falling in (see picture at right)!
  3. It was cold and rainy the whole time (typical Bavarian weather from what I understand). They say the sun is always shining when you wear sunglasses?.. well, the sun comes out when you drink a lot too. The more kegs that floated, the warmer you magically felt!
  4. Beer Rafting is definitely something to do again in the future! It was seriously a blast!

And now for one last shot of Pam in her “St. Pami’s Girl” outfit:

St. Pami Girl

Other cool day trips that we’ve been on since we’ve been to Italy include Venice (only an hour train-ride away!):

Ahhh, Venice...

And Barcis, a 300-man town in the mountains of the Alps just North of us (this is not enhanced at all… this is “as taken” – click for larger):

Barcis, Italy

Hopefully, there will be ample opportunity over the next three years to keep this kind of stuff up. Until then, Cheers, Prost, and Salute!

Cheers, Prost, and Salute!

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