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Posted by Jessica on Oct 13, 2010
Two Layovers in Germany

'Your two traveling hedgehogs speaking at the Meet, Plan, Go conference in Boston last month. We're not exactly sure what Tim's doing with his finger here.It's been exactly two months (yikes!) since we mentioned where we're headed this fall. And given fall is only a few months long, well, that means our trip to South Africa is fast approaching! The past few months have flown by in a flurry of visits from friends and family, speaking at a travel conference in Boston, barbecues on our deck during those last precious few summer evenings, a daytrip to the world's largest arcade, our continued volunteer work for Elephant Nature Foundation and, of course, planning for our upcoming trip.

August, September, and October are normally busy months for us, but this year was busier than most. Luckily we knew ahead of time that we'd have a lot to fit into just a few weeks, so back in August we made ourselves quite the geeky little color-coated calendar mapping out each of our days between August and the beginning of our trip.

'Did I mention the word geeky?We carved out time for South Africa research several days each week before the work day began. We fit in a few trips to the dentist on our lunch hours. And during the evenings and weekends, we've been furiously catching up on all of those things we've been wanting to do for a while now ("Shit, we still haven't fixed the paper shredder?") and those things we actually need to do before the trip ("Remind me to transfer money over to our travel account"). Somehow, even amongst some awesome times with friends and family, we're managing to get it all done.

It probably goes without saying that this flurry of activity reminds me a great deal of all the craziness we experienced before our 18-month trip around the world. Back then we had a massive to-do list, much more ginormous than our current to-do list could ever think about being. (I mean, really, there's no comparing a three-week vacation to an 18-month trip. Things like selling your car and all your worldly possessions typically don't come up for the former!) I still have copies of some of our to-do lists in memory boxes, and one day I'll have to pull them out, photograph them, and display them for all the internets to see. But for now, just trust me when I say we had entirely too much on those lists and not nearly enough time to do them.

Luckily, though, the things that truly needed to get done, did. Just like they will this time too.

'My awesome and adorable shoes which are in need of a cobbler are on the right! Here they are during their honeymoon, er our honeymoon, to India last year.But why am I babbling about our to-do lists to you, fine HWB reader? Well because we had a very special "to do" on our calendar today. Directly above the line that reads "call the cobbler" is a line that says "email Klaus about Frankfurt." And that, my friends, is the fun news I wanted to mention to you here.

(Side note – Yes, we actually had to call a cobbler today because the shoes I want to wear in South Africa need a bit of tending. And he answered the phone simply by saying, "Cobbler!" How neat is that?!)

So Tim and I manged to score some pretty nifty tickets to South Africa and we love them dearly for three reasons. First, they have us landing bright and early on a Sunday morning in Johannesburg, whereas most other tickets would have gotten us there in the evening. (We love arriving in the morning, particularly because we don't book lodging ahead of time.) So hey, free day in Jo'burg! Second, they have us leaving Johannesburg a few weeks later in the evening, whereas most of the other tickets had us leaving in the morning. So hey (again!), another free day in Jo'burg! And third (and most exciting of all) they give us not one but two long layovers in Germany. Specifically we'll have 12 hours in Munich and 7 hours in Frankfurt – both places we have never been before. Heck, we haven't even been to Germany before. So hey (again! again!) two free trips to someplace new!

'The three musketeers: sweating and smiling in Luang Prabang, LaosPlus our dear friend Klaus, who many of you may remember we first met in Ecuador and then traveled with throughout Southeast Asia (not to mention meeting him in Peru and Colombia several years later), just happens to live in Germany. And while he lives in neither Munich or Frankfurt, he will (quite coincidentally) be landing in Frankfurt the day before we do on his way home from a trip to Egypt. So as any good traveling friend would do if they could, he's planning on spending that night in Frankfurt just so he can meet up with us the next morning when we arrive in town for seven hours. How neat is that?!

(Perhaps not as neat as someone answering the phone by saying "Cobbler!" but still, it's pretty darn special.)

Anyway, all of this is a rather long way of saying: in addition to traveling to South Africa this fall, we've also scored ourselves two free trips to Germany. And although we won't have too long in either Munich or Frankfurt, we're hopeful it'll be just long enough to give us a taste of Germany (much like our whirlwind trip to Paris at the end of our honeymoon last year). We're really looking forward to trying some local food, taking in a few sights, people watching, and (of course) sampling a few pints.

But most of all, we're really, really looking forward to seeing a good friend. (Actually two good friends, but that's a story for another time!)

October 13, 2010 at 1:13pm
i asked derick if he had any good tips for germany and he said he didn't… unless you wanted to go clubbing :)
October 13, 2010 at 1:17pm
LOL! Well when we land in Munich it'll be smack in the middle of the day, so probably no clubbing for us. But when we land in Frankfurt it'll be around 5am…so a few places might still be open! ;)
October 13, 2010 at 3:17pm
*email sent* :D
PS: did we ever tell you that we went to Paris? Click on my name :)
October 13, 2010 at 4:39pm
Yay! *happy dance*

Your photos from Paris are gorgeous, Klaus! One day we'll all have to meet there too for some wine and cheese. (Mr.MouseApproves.com!) :)

October 18, 2010 at 1:50am
I'm so happy to meet another person who gets excited about the word cobbler! I'm glad they're still around these days as I'm very attached to my shoes…

In any case, it's great to squeeze in two extra little trips with your SA trip. Years ago, I did the same, except I stayed in Frankfurt and Vienna! I'm a big believer that you can see and do a lot with just 8 hours in a country!

October 18, 2010 at 1:43pm
LOL! Cobbler is just such a wonderful word. I do love it so. :)

…I'm a big believer that you can see and do a lot with just 8 hours in a country!

I couldn't agree more! It's also a great way to inexpensively see some of the highlights of the more expensive European cities. Yay!

October 19, 2010 at 6:53pm
Timmy looks like he is going
"That is it!"
October 19, 2010 at 7:00pm
Philsie – Either that or he's saying, "I would like to thank you…" ;)
October 19, 2010 at 7:05pm
How exciting that your trip to South Africa is almost here! And even more exciting that you get free mini-trips to Germany. We, too, ended up spending a short time in Munich to visit a college friend. We were only there 3 days, but it only took a few hours to discover that the beers and pretzels are tasty! My friend took us to the beer garden in the Englischer Gardens (please excuse any misspellings) which was, we were told, a proper beer garden. We also enjoyed walking along the river front, which is so accessible and integral to the gardens. That's what I would suggest if it is a nice day! I can't wait to hear all about your trip and relive our South Africa memories through you.
October 20, 2010 at 1:46pm
Perfect! Thank you so much, Amy, for your Munich suggestions. We're really super excited for our two mini-trips in Germany.

And it'll be so wonderful to finally be in South Africa after reading about it for so long. Your blog has definitely been one of our inspirations, and I'd be thrilled if we saw even half of the beauty that you guys experienced while there. :)

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