Quick Jaunt to Munich and Oktoberfest
Last week, I headed to Munich, Germany for two nights for work meetings. Because what would my life be without a few flights sprinkled throughout the week?! I haven't been to Munich in probably 15 years and didn't pay much attention to the fact Oktoberfest was set to begin while we were there. A quick early morning wake-up, tram to the train station, train to the airport and then two flights got me to Munich.
It took basically all day (this is my own fault because I only want to fly SkyTeam, which always means a connection through Amsterdam), so a quick shower and I was in a cab to dinner. It was a big work dinner at a pretty traditional German place where nearly everything was breaded and fried. At that point in the evening, I was still making good decisions and went with the steak tartar with a side salad (and some fries). It was great catching up with people I hadn't seen in months.
With all the famous Munich beer houses right around the corner, about a dozen of us decided we needed to hit the Oktoberfest night life. I walked into Hofbrau and agreed with a coworked that we would only have a glass of wine. Before I could say anything, a round of these were delivered to the table:
I had that moment where I knew drinking one would be a bad idea for so many reasons, but then the side of me that loves an adventure spoke up and won. I cheered and drank with the group and loved every moment of it. I knew the experience and memory would be worth it....until I had my cab ride back to the airport. Forty-five minutes later, I was crawling into bed at nearly 2am with a full day of meetings staring me down.
I think I look pretty decent for only a few hours of sleep. The next day was spent in meetings from 8am until 5:30pm. It wasn't too bad and in hindsight, I'd do it all over again. I skipped going out that evening, basically because I needed sleep and I couldn't fathom another Oktoberfest night. Apparently, I'm getting too old...and the whole gluten-free thing is a huge downer at a beer festival.
Instead, I went to the hotel restaurant and caught up on work and emails while eating alone. I assume other people who travel frequently feel this way, but I have absolutely no issues with eating alone. I typically take a book or my laptop and still enjoy. I had been in meetings all day and traveled the whole previous day, so I was behind on work. I would rather get caught up over a glass of wine and a steak with salad and go to bed knowing everything was taken care of than having a sense of anxiety and unfinished business.
The next day, I flew back home (of course via Amsterdam) and managed to get home early enough to enjoy a lovely evening out in Gent dining al fresco. Soon the Belgian rain will start and these warm days will be a distant memory.