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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Vacation

"Peace and joy and love are everywhere
You can feel the magic in the air
Let the spirit of the season carry us away
Hip, Hip Hooray for Christmas Vacation

Christmas vacation....
Christmas vacation...."

~Mavis Staples "Christmas Vacation

As you might have gathered by now - it's Christmas vacation time! By the time you read this I will be done (hopefully) with work for the week and getting ready for our Christmas vacation. We are doing it right this year and celebrating Christmas to the max. And who knows how to do Christmas the best??

Zee Germans!

And the Czech...

And the Italians...

That's right, we're going on a full Christmas market tour and we're hitting up the big guys - Prague and Munich. We are starting off our super Christmas vacation with a few days in Prague to hit up the Christmas markets and have a few potato dumplings while we're at it. Prague was the first European trip that Brian and I went on together over FIVE YEARS AGO!

Good god, did I just type that correctly??

Since we have been there already it will be nice to revisit our favorite places, check out the Christmas markets and tuck in to some goulash and potato dumplings (and a pint or two of Pilsner for Brian). I can't think of anything better to keep me warm!

Prague Christmas market
Next up we are off to Munich! The last time I went to Munich was *gulp* eight years ago when I was studying abroad. Pretty much all I remember is spending a lot of time at the Hofbrauhaus and spending the night in the hallway of our hostel due to a very LOUD, snoring guy in one of the bunks in our room. Worst.Guy.EVER.

So, needless to say, I am excited to go back and see some more of the city. And check out their many Christmas markets of course! I might even pick up a cuckoo clock or seven.

Munich Christmas market
When we were thinking about where we wanted to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day we didn't have to think long. We tried to convince ourselves to go somewhere new and see another city. But in the end, Italy pulled at our heart strings and won (as usual).

What? It's been two months since we were last there...clearly it's time to go back! So, we are headed back to our favorite spot in the Dolomites - Castelrotto. We first visited this cute town in October, 2010 during our two week trip around Italy. We fell in love with Hotel Mayr and their delicious dinners that we decided to go back last Christmas. This year we decided to do it once again - maybe this will be a new tradition?! What we love about staying at Hotel Mayr is that you really feel like you are at home and with family (even though really, you are with a bunch of strangers). The family that owns and runs the restaurant are so warm and welcoming and really make you feel like part of the family. There are very few things that I look back at with such fondness as I do when I think of sitting with my husband in the hotel living room by the roaring fire, with a glass of red wine in my hand and a plate of homemade Italian Christmas cookies in front of me.

Pure heaven.


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