Monday, February 14, 2005

Garmisch trip report (finally!) 

Our R&R trip to Garmisch left me with lots of photos to sort through. I've finally selected my favorites and fixed them up for posting.

First, I have to give a mixed review to the new AFRC hotel, the Edelweiss. On the one hand, it is truly a gorgeous facility. On the other hand, the food is a real letdown after the offerings at the older (and smaller and quainter) AFRC hotels in town. The Edelweiss reminded me too much of a Disney facility, with its fake log walls and animatronic bird and cats squawking at us from the rafters of the restaurant. We did, however, have a gorgeous view from our room (the steam is rising from the hot tub down below):

Mike planned on spending his 2 days snowboarding, and Fred planned on spending his 2 days skiing, but Annabelle and I were undecided as to how we would spend our time. We wound up renting a board and boots for her on the first day (hey, they were free as part of the R&R package), and she had fun letting Fred drag her around the backyard, behind the Hausberg Lodge . . . for about 20 minutes:

She lasted longer than me though. I strapped on my board for 5 minutes:

before deciding that I really didn't feel like killing myself in front of all those people:

Annabelle and I spent the rest of the ski time hanging out together in the lodge. The second day we got smart and took her Gameboy and book along to amuse her.

Fred and Mike spent all of Monday refreshing their skills in the Hausberg's backyard. By Tuesday, however, they were ready to head for the Alpspitz. Fred took a few pictures with his camera, which was good for me as I'm highly unlikely to ever get up there myself. Here's a shot from the top:

And here is Mike, trying to figure out which way to go:

And here he is, actually getting somewhere:

Each day when the guys came in from the mountain, we all headed over to the sledding hill where the kids worked on their sledding skills:

and Fred and I tried desperately to stay warm by huddling together over cups of hot wine (that's Annabelle's cat hat I'm wearing):

Mike and Annabelle found that the coming down was well worth the going up, even if the going up was pretty darn hard:

One of the best parts of the timing of our ski trip over Fasching was getting to see all the Germans who showed up in costume. This little guy was especially fun to watch on the sledding hill:

I also liked this father and child pair:

And this guy is an even bigger clown on skis than I am:

We checked out of the hotel Wednesday morning and headed for Neuschwanstein castle. We opted to travel up and down the hill in a horsedrawn carriage, and it was worth every penny:

The biggest problem with Neuschwanstein:

is that it's really hard:

to stop taking pictures of it:

As many times as I've driven past the castle, this was my first time doing the tour of the interior. The kids, who have been castled half to death between Scotland and Russia and Vienna, were most impressed and declared it to be one of the best castles ever.

As we were heading back to our car, Mike and Annabelle were thrilled to find a new addition for their Beanie Baby rodent collection. Fred and I were thrilled that they had something to amuse them for most of the drive back home.

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