munich + paris, sep. 26 - oct. 3

the one thing about living in europe is that a 9-hour international flight has replaced a 4-hour drive on i-95 for my best friend and i to hug, drink, eat, and watch "say yes to the dress." while my move to switzerland definitely means susan and i will see each other (and hug, drink, eat, and watch "say yes to the dress") less often, it does mean that while we're together, we have a pretty damn amazing time. susan was amazing enough to take a week off to visit me amidst a chaotic time at work, and we planned an amazing itinerary spanning three countries: munich for oktoberfest, paris for ... champagne?, and basel. it was one of the best weeks i've ever had. thank you so much for coming, su.

we picked up susan bright and early from the zurich airport, and then drove on up to munich. we had been walking around munich for a little while before we realized we hadn't taken a selfie yet. EMERGENCY SELFIE was taken in front of pretty flowers. crisis averted.

here is a photoseries of susan and i primping each other so we are photo-ready for our picture. (thanks for patience, alex.):

and, finally, the product of our hard work:

then alex took us to a lovely tiny garden in a little adorable hidden courtyard. susan and i proceeded to kick off our our shoes and dance in the fountain. alex ran and hid somewhere and began rehearsing his speech calling off our engagement.

obviously, we are doing "the robot."

that night, we met alex's friends at oktoberfest. fun facts for americans: oktoberfest is a huge state fair type-environment with rides and rollercoasters and haunted houses and food stalls. susan and i did not know this but were THRILLED, and when alex sat down at a table with all of his friends to drink beer, we ran off to ride all the rides, like the sophisticated adults that we are.

here is the view from the top of the ferris wheel! (THAT'S RIGHT.) you can see that oktoberfest is very big and very fun.

first stop: the crazy high swings.


 third stop: FERRIS WHEEL.

fourth stop: HAUNTED HOUSE.

after all the rides and pretzels, by the time we got back to the table where alex and his friends were drinking, they were closing. no more beerz. so we went to bed sober, with a very, very drunk alex. still, i think it's obvious who won oktoberfest.

next morning, we assembled for traditional bavarian breakfast: weisswurst and beer. and pretzels, natch.

and before we knew it, it was time to slip on our dirndls and head back to oktoberfest to start drinking. here is susan modeling the dirndl:

alex kicked things off by drinking on our walk over to oktoberfest. [this is legal -- and very common -- in europe, don't worry everybody.]

once we got into the tent and had huge mugs of beer put into our hands.... well, here are many blurry pictures, presented without comment.

okay, one comment: this was the best part of the night. i turned to susan and suddenly her face is painted like a cat's. she kept saying "I DIDN'T WANT THIS". best night ever.

the tents close at some ridiculous time, like 11pm, and after peeing in the woods, we went to watch Teufelsrad -- "the devil's spinning wheel". basically they call out groups of people -- "blonde girls", "single men," etc -- and then all of those people sit on this wheel, which spins really fast, and people fly off the wheel. the last one on the wheel is the winner. if someone manages to stay on for too long, the aids in black t-shirts on the side of the wheel hit him/her with big pool noodles. fun times.

susan and i went onto the wheel during the "blonde girls" call, i think. we are in the bottom right corner of this picture, holding onto each other for dear life:

then susan wiped off her cat paint and i laughed at her.

that night, we ate pizza, chips and oreos in bed. i will spare you those pictures.

next morning, up for brunch (at 2pm):

^looking just a LITTLE hungover/worn-out, ahem.

we wandered very briefly around munich before hopping in the car back to basel. susan and i had an early morning train to paris!

8am TGV to paris! it's not bad, living a 3-hour train ride away from paris. susan and i were especially happy to be going, since the first time we had ever been to paris was 10 years ago, when we were 15. we were more than ready for round 2.

rather than staying in a hotel, we stayed in an air bnb (meaning, a dude who rents out his apartment when he goes out of town). when we arrived at our apartment, i got a text from the dude saying simply, "i'll be there in 1.5 hours. go have lunch." we obeyed, at the cafe directly beneath our apartment.

cheese, meat, bread and wine for lunch, because: paris.

we left like a 30% tip for lunch, thus ensuring that this cafe loved us, so we could come back forever and be treated like kings, which we did, and were. good call.

we were really charmed by our tiny french walk-up and had a photoshoot in the hallway, as one does.

so every morning i would wait to see how susan got dressed and then i would match her perfectly, like a creeper. so here we are in our black and white stripes, side braids, and lipstick. i was SO STOKED about this. #TWINNING

dinner (including two bottles of wine, bringing us up to four for the day -- we'd had a bottle of champagne in our apartment before dinner, AHEM):

then we reapplied lipstick before going sight-seeing, at midnight.

we saw notre dame and the seine and some other places! it was great because these things are gorgeous at night, and empty. it was sad because photographs don't work so well at night.

then we posted up at our favorite cafe and ordered another bottle of wine. 5 in one day. new record. needless to say, we slept in the next morning...

the next morning (and by morning, i mean "we woke up at 1pm") we were a little hungover. i admit it. we halfheartedly stuffed lox into our stomachs and began an aimless walking tour.

which concluded with falafel, eaten in bed.

we decided to really celebrate our 10 year anniversary in paris by going to see a concert from our all-time favorite band from 10 years ago, the Libertines. there was a 10% chance that this concert would actually happen, but susan and i were thrilled because: a) the band showed up, b) we got to sit down during the concert, c) there were bathrooms, d) we didn't have to stand in the mosh pit and get drenched in sweat/blood/beer and crushed by angry euro-dancing, e) the concert ended early enough that we could take the subway home. ALL AROUND SUCCESSS.

^ pic from susan's phone.

the next day, we crossed the seine and headed to the luxembourg gardens. it was an absolutely gorgeous day -- bright blue skies, big happy yellow sun, temperatures in the 70s. beautiful.

then we bought champagne and crepes and ate them in bed.

^ remember this creperie? (it's called la drougerie du marais)


after dinner that night, we went back to our favorite cafe, and ordered a few more bottles of wine. the cafe is across the street from an italian ice cream store, so right before it closed, susan ran over and bought us some ice cream to eat while while chugging our wine. such a good call.

annnnnd, somehow we'd consumed another 4 bottles of wine that day. the next morning, we were a little hungover, again. and this was not awesome on the train. especially since we rode facing backwards. there was a scary moment there where i literally held a plastic bag up to my face while internally screaming at myself YOU WILL NOT THROW UP ON THE TGV, YOU WILL NOT. thankfully, i didn't.

we are sad to be leaving paris. and we were even sadder a few days later when susan got back on the plane to go back to america, land of her amazing job and husband and adorable dog. THANK YOU for coming, skoo. i love you so much. see you in a couple months!

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