Saturday, June 6, 2009

How Brian Spoils Us When We Travel...

Brian loves to spoil us. He loves the look on our face when he presents a surprise to us, or when the girls scream with delight at some activity he's arranged. He's so giving and unselfish that it's inspiring. And because of this, we have all learned and experienced so many things for the first time.

Here is one way he spoils us. He always books us really neat, cool hotels to stay in. He always finds the best hotels that aren't super expensive...and so good at locating the ultimate "find". The one I'm writing about now was not only so modern in decoration, but the girls experienced so many upscale things for the first time, which made them feel so important and like royalty. hehe.

Check out this hotel. Everything about this hotel made the girls' mouth hang open.


The two castles (I am in the midst of writing about) that we traveled to on our last weekend in Germany were located 4 hours away. So we drove "almost" all the way there, about 2 1/2 hours, and stayed in Munich. Then we would only have a 1 1/2 hour drive to the castles.

These next few pictures are courtesy of Xanthe, our budding photographer.

This is the breakfast room.

These are the chairs in the lobby.
And who could go to a Marriott without seeing the picture of Mr. Marriott and his son?

Breakfast Time
European Breakfasts are so much different than American ones. There is always a very elaborate "bread, meat and cheese" station, as well as a cereal station, stocked with all different sorts of European cereals. You won't find Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops there, that's for sure. Lots of granolas and flake cereals.

On the Bread Station, my favorite things are the croissants filled with Nutella Chocolate Creme, and drizzled with white & milk chocolate. It also has a great jam selection. There are always a minimum of 6 jams (as well as honeys and chocolate cremes) in beautiful turines with tiny little individual cups for you to serve it into.

There's always an elaborate Juice Station, with fresh squeezed (for real...) orange juice and grapefruit juice, as well as sparkling water. You can also count on there being fancy teas (herbal and black), as well as coffee and hot chocolate (which is so much more amazing than Denny's for sure... think of the movie Chocolat) . And right next to the Juice Station is a beautiful Frest Fruit station, with a large yogurt selection (in large bowls, or individual packets), including ones I had never heard of, like Apple Yogurt, Melon Yogurt and Chocolate Yogurt (isn't that really just pudding?)

If you're lucky, some of the bigger chain hotels, like Hilton and Marriott, serve a European version of the American breakfast, which I am in love with! Not only will they make you an omelette to order, but they have silver chafers with scrambled eggs, beans, roasted basil roma tomatoes and grilled ham, which a person eats by taking a small piece of each on their fork meshing the tastes together. Mouth-watering!

Oh and they also still eat their hard boiled eggs out of egg cups. How fancy is that! But don't always count on getting a white shelled egg. Most that I have seen are brown, and even bright, bright orange with a yolk to match.

The servers are always so gracious and in the bigger hotels they all speak English. They really cast a "positive" light on Customer Service which has, of late, been a very discouraging concept for many businesses.

So! now when all of you travel to Europe (yes, the breakfasts were all very much the same in England, Italy, France, Czech Republic...aka Prague, and Germany) you'll know what to expect and how to eat it! Woo hoo!
K. Enough talk about their breakfasts. Here are some fun pictures for you.

This was my breakfast one morning. Do you see the chocolate croissant & jam cup? The Cream Orange Tea Infusion made me want to cry. And remember how gracious the servers are? They even didn't laugh at me when I asked for a Diet Coke!

Right before this picture was taken, Spencer leaned over to me and said, "Want SEE food!"

Some Comments That Might Have Been Heard over Breakfast some days:

-"They all speak English!"

-"Why do they drink their milk warm?"

-In our hotel in France: "Guess what, when I asked for French toast, the waiter pointed me to the bread station and told me there was a toaster right next to the bread."

-"They let me serve my own food!"

-As each girl watched another guest eating their food: "They speak English too! See, they're talking about something about shopping!" (The girls were obsessed with people who spoke English and who didn't.)

-"Mom, I stole you a chocolate croissant!"

-To every waiter at every hotel: "I'm so sorry our baby made such a mess."

-Can I have water, no gas? (That sounds really funny when written out. hahaha. But you have to say it that way cuz a lot of European places serve water that is sparkling. You have to specifically ask for it without.)

Himaphan Spirit Retreat
Oh ya. You can believe that's they called their "pool". Because it really was like a resort. The girls were so enamored with this pool. I guess I was too. It had glass walls all along the bathrooms, sauna rooms and waiting area. They had massage rooms and a very posh work out room. We got to the hotel earlier than we thought the night before we had to head back, so we totally took advantage of the pool and sauna! And then went the next day too!

When we were there, it was so crazy because as I was acting like an underwater dolphin giving rides on my back, I heard a bunch of marbles hit the floor of the pool. I thought maybe someone's bracelet had come apart. I jumped up and said, "What happened?"

Everyone was looking around with this scared look on their face. I looked over to the door and one of the big, thick glass doors had shattered into a pile of glass. It looked like ice, a big pile of it. Very surreal. Because it takes a lot to shatter glass like that. Maybe the construction going on a few floors above hit a weak point? The girls said it sounded like a gunshot when it exploded. We were still talking about it for awhile after it happened.

Anyway, we had to get out of the pool and tiptoe across the glass to call someone to come down and wait a long time til they got there. Wonder how they'll get the glass out of the pool. And I didn't get pictures of it cuz Brian had just taken Spencer upstairs and took the camera with him. I really wish I would have.

Room Service
The night we got back, we were trying to rush back to get to the in-house restaurant in time for dinner. When, of course, Brian pulled out this one- "Why don't we all go swimming? And then one of us can head back up early with Spencer and order Room Service. It's not that much more expensive here than the restaurant."

The girls about pooped their pants. They've never had Room Service. Yet again, another way Brian spoils us and gets us to experience new things. Oh, and did I ever mention the girls' obsession with "Apfel Shorle," another thing Brian introduced them to. It's basically like Martinelli's but not as strong and they serve it as one of their fountain drinks, or out of vending machines. That's all the girls drank every time we went out. It was cute listening to them speak German words...."Apfel Shorle", "Gutentag," "Danke Shein". They would get excited when people heard them.

Spencer even got in on the action. He was watching Baby Einstein and just grabbed Xoe's pizza out of her hand. hahaha.

Thanks Brian for treating us to this fun experience. The girls LOVE all the new "firsts" you introduce them to. They're really becoming veteran world travelers.

1 comment:

Randi said...

That was so cruel of you to post a picture of your chocolate croissant knowing that those were my favorites! I am also totally not surprised that you ordered a diet coke for breakfast. You are so bad.