Friday, May 25, ’12:
We plan to leave here three weeks from today for our trip to New York. What’s different is that we’re doing it by car. The first unexpected problem was West Texas. The last time we drove through there it was like bumping along the border. It was very cheap, rarely more than $50.00/night.
I was astounded to read that the La Quinta in Midland is selling rooms for over $200.00/night! That’s more than I paid for the Loews Coronado Bay Resort room and certainly more than the California La Quintas. After all, La Quinta is supposed to be a budget chain, and West Texas is the middle of nowhere.
That’s why you should always make reservations ahead of time. You never know what you’re going to run into.
Saturday, May 26, ’12:
I’m always experimenting with luggage and bags. It’s an enormous challenge to fit the most in the least space possible. I settled on a Travelon bag to be my Fort Knox. Then it got a Pack Safe bag use as a camera bag. Now I’ve converted the Tilley bag I got at Christmas into a half bear bag and half briefcase. I think it might work, especially because the Tilley bag is tough. It was very expensive. And there’s a certain amount of built-in redundancy. If one bag falls apart, you can stuff loose items into one of the others. The European outlet strip is so big, however, that I’m stuffing it into Gary’s suitcase. I can’t put it in any of my carry-ons.
Sunday, May 27, ’12
I think I just bought the last two Canon camcorder batteries Amazon had in stock. I bought this camcorder six years ago. I haven’t used it in about five years for a long trip. I’d gone to taking movies on digital cards. But for the purpose of going to Europe I wanted something of higher quality that was better at longer takes. Now I recall how expensive it is buying the high definition tapes! I just got rid of a lot of them that my son couldn’t even sell on eBay. Ironically I thought I’d never need them again.
Monday, May 28, ’12:
It might be Memorial Day, but we spent dinner staring at maps of Munich online. We were trying to figure out how to get from the Nymphenburger Schloss where we have reservations at Hotel Kriemhild to the Hofbrauhaus in downtown Munich near the Residenz and the Mandarin Oriental. My husband traced the route and found parking garages. But we don’t know if they’ll be full.
Gary was looking at how to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg. He found a grocery store in the center of town where they would sell cold cuts to take to the Obersalzberg.
It’s amazing how much research and how much planning you have to do.
Tuesday, May 29, ’12
I want to see Ludwig I’s “Hall of Beauties”. Then I can meet Lola Montez face to face. It would be fascinating to assess the woman who caused the revolution of 1848 and caused Ludwig to lose his crown. That’s why I plan to visit the Nymphenburg Palace.
I’m glad to hear it’s not one of the rooms closed for renovation this summer until the end of July.
Wednesday, May 30, ’12
I’m very partial to La Quinta. I resent it when another chain charges a pet fee or some other sort of fee. Ever since September I hold up La Quinta as a kind of standard for what I went in a motel. I’ve booked almost straight La Quintas between here and the East Coast.
I continue to check nearby restaurants for all my reservations. They are becoming more strikingly similar all the time. I see Applebees, Dennys, McDonalds, Burger King, Outback Steakhouse, Fridays, Texas Roadhouse, etc. all the time. I wonder what they have in Europe. My son showed me a Google street view of Windsor across the street from the Palace. I see a Pizza Hut and a McDonalds. It was hard to find a fish and chips.
Thursday, May 31, ’12
Boy, are we having a hard time booking tickets for evening performances in Salzburg! But that was before we read the Frommer’s Guide to Austria and found out about the Salzburger Ticket Office. We called them early this morning when they were still open and reserved three adult tickets for the Friday, July 20 performance at the puppet theater. Guess what it is? The Sound of Music of course! We’ll have to try for Mozart tomorrow for July 21.
Gary called the ship and asked about drinks. We finally find out that drinks that come from the bar are charged extra for. That includes bottled water and soft drinks. Apparently they come from the bar. Hot tea, coffee, iced tea, milk, orange juice, and other fruit juices are not subject to additional charges. The bad part is that there’s no way to get free bottled water, and living in Arizona we’re used to going through lots of bottles per day.
Friday, June 1, ’12
Gary called the Salzburger Ticket Office as soon as he got up this morning. He reserved three tickets to a performance at the Schloss Mirabell in the Mirabell Gardens. This is supposed to be in the Marble Room at 7:30PM. That’s after we have a three-course dinner at the Stiegl Brau. That’s included in the deal. We’re to listen to chamber music played by Russian musicians of all things! This is during the Salzburg Festival, so we’re lucky to get reservations to anything, I guess.
It might be a “deal” at 150 euros, but it seems quite expensive to me.
Saturday, June 2, ’12
We started to plot our route across the country to Brooklyn. We haven’t gone east of Las Cruces, NM in fourteen years — not since we moved here in 1998. Trying to recall the highways, we remembered West Texas being open and empty. There are no tops between Van Horn and Pecos with the exception of a single rest stop just outside of Van Horn. But we remember that you felt like you were being held up when you reached the Dallas-Fort Worth area after speeding out of West Texas. There was always a traffic jam around Dallas.
Sunday, June 3, ’12
Gary started to look for a different hotel in Weimar, but didn’t have any luck. For better or worse, we’re stuck with Hotel Leonardo on the edge of the park where Goethe’s Garden House is located. On the opposite end near an underground parking garage we will find the Klassik Stiftung Library, the Anna Amailia Library, where we have tickets for July 17 at 2:00PM. We will also find the Schloss Museum, or City Museum and a cafe where we can have lunch. Gary says the Leonardo rents bikes. How will I carry my handbag, camera bag, and briefcase on a bike? Stay tuned!
Monday, June 4, ’12
I’m spending my time packing. No matter how I try, I still can’t figure out how to condense what I have to carry into only two handbags. In addition, I’ve added a second small suitcase. I hear that any one suitcase can’t be more than 50 pounds. The spillover into a second one prevents this.
Gary did directions to the Hofbrauhaus Car Park in downtown Munich. It says “women parking”. I don’t know what this means.
Tuesday, June 5, ’12
Gary rented bikes to get around Weimar. But I see on the map that the Leonardo Hotel is only 50 meters from the nearest bus stop. They claim that makes the city center easily accessible. That sounds better than bikes with everything I have to carry including my camera bag and purse.