Sunday, September 2, 2007

Come N See: Chiemsee

We journeyed to a quaint, bucolic town for the wedding weekend. The Bavarian countryside is dotted with a number of these miniscule towns separated by rows of cornfields, small tree groves and rolling hills. A bunch of threadlike roads twist through the undulating terrain which provide for some enchanting panoramas… that is, until a BMW (or audi) screeches around the blind corner right in the center of the street and at the last possible moment, dives right allowing you to slowly meander along until the next blind corner. I actually even complimented Ricardo on his safe driving (measured relative to the other Bavarian drivers).

I woke to birds chirping with the sun rays kissing my cheeks… (actually, we woke up to the pitter patter of rain and cars careening by, but I appreciate the poetic license to set the tone). The wedding was set in a cozy church nestled in the hills. The pews were the most upright ever, actually, the top wooden railing obliged everyone to lean into the proceedings. I thought the wedding was a perfect fit for couple: informal (children sitting on the kneelers, and at a few times racing up to the pulpit), vivacious (two dynamic careeners which the couple had seen in concert, led the church in some rousing renditions of “He’s got the Whole World in his Hands” and “Lean On Me”), and romantic (they had a wedding quote which was loosely translated to me into English and the words are too hot for print… and the most intense church kiss ever).

We had a few hours down time in the afternoon to recharge for the evening’s festivities… Quite fortuitous that I took a nap, they should’ve made it mandatory in the wedding itinerary.

The wedding reception came in two doses: first, more traditional dinner + toasts and second, party til you drop. Although the speeches were all in German, I could not have been more engaged. Brink’s father was a terrific orator… it was easy to tell based on the confident, unwavering delivery. He even incorporated us Americans into the speech breaking into English thanking us for making the long trip (our pleasure) and suggesting that the language of friendship is universal and needs no translation. I could not agree more! Oh, he did break from German on one other occasion to share that the family motto: “at first, you sink into his arms. Before you know it, your arms are in the sink.”

The ebb and flow of the proceedings was engrossing and contagious. It was Michael’s and Daniela’s most special day of the year and they could not have been more altruistic in the ways they were able to share with their friends and loved ones. We all felt like royalty. (Coincidentally, the party was in a castle... like a real, live castle, with a drawbridge entry and a knight in armor) They even selected a DJ that most people thought was my double… you be the judge.

Random observation delivered from Microsoft Word spell check… how come “coincidently” and “coincidentally” are both proper English words, but “regardless” and “irregardless” are not. I think the two latter options should be used for preambles into thoughts that warrant greater emphasis.

After a couple hours of sleep, I stumbled out of bed to the detox brunch. The same caterer that faithfully served us libations til 6am was dutifully and almost cheerfully divying out some wonderfully heavy (RE: alcohol absorbing) breakfast. Can you refer to Bavarian sausage as a delicacy? Well, this one we were required to peel the skin before coating with some sweet yellow mustard and wolfing down. I think I could've given Kobayashi a run for his money in this eating competition.

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