Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Oktoberfest day two

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We learned a lot on our first day of Oktoberfest and were determined to put our newly learned knowledge to good use, mainly being that we didn't need to drink so much beer so fast.

Mike had a friend, Scott, who is stationed at Naples who was coming, so we were determined to spend day two of Oktoberfest with him.  It's amazing how hard that is when you don't have a cell phone (we didn't have an international phone plan).  You realize how reliant you are on technology when you don't have it.  Luckily, the train station where we were supposed to be meeting him had wifi in some spots, so we were able to communicate and coordinate. 

The three of us arrived at the park around 8:45 and decided that Augustiner was going to be our destination for day two.  Before we actually arrived in Germany, we had visions of going from haus to haus, but that's not the case.  Seats are so hard to come by that once you get one, you just kind of stay there all day or at least until you're ready to leave.  

We once again were greeted by lines outside of the houses, but not nearly as long as the day before.  We were almost at the front of the line!!  When the doors opened at nine, there was no pushing, shoving or running.  It was very orderly and German-like.  In fact, we grabbed a table and there were tables around us that remained empty.  Scott had other friends from Naples who were there and we were able to save basically the whole table for them. It was definitely different from the day before. 

When we sat down, a waitress came up to us and we thought she was there for food.  She looked at us and said "Three beers?"  We all looked at each other confused because we thought they weren't serving beer until noon.  Oh, were we wrong! They start serving beer at nine after the first day!  We ordered beers and began to wonder how the day was going to go since we were starting to drink in the morning.  I don't remember if it was Mike or Scott who just shook their head and said "You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning."
From the Naval Academy to submarines to Oktoberfest

Mike, Scott and I
Oktoberfest is fun!

The day went much smoother than the previous day.  We drank a little slower, ate a little more, and just had a great time!  We hung out with Scott's friends who came and soaked in our last full day of Germany.
For those who were wondering if everyone wears lederhosens and dirndls, the answer is yes.  Plus, the little guys look so cute!

Despite our attempts to last all day, by three o'clock, we were done.  Not only had we drank a lot, we were tired.  Oktoberfest is hard. We headed back to the hotel for a nap with the thoughts that we might return later that night.

That didn't happen.  We didn't leave the hotel again.  I think if our hotel had been right downtown, we might have tried to go back out again, but since it was almost an hour trip into and out of the city, it was just too much effort. Plus, Oktoberfest is hard.

We napped, watched TV, FaceTimed with my parents and eventually got dinner downstairs at the hotel restaurant.  Mike did get a beer with dinner, so it's not like we stopped partying all together.  Needless to say, Oktoberfest is fun, but hard.

Overall, we had a blast.  I had pretty low expectations going into it because I just envisioned long lines, lots of people and not a lot of beer.  There were long lines and lots of people, but if you get there early and are prepared, it is worth it.  Being in the tents is a blast and the atmosphere is so much fun and not something that I've ever experienced. It's a party like no other!

My tips for Oktoberfest

1. Wear an authentic lederhosen or dirndl.  We saw people in all sorts of things that kind of resembled them, but it's definitely more respectful to be in the authentic ones. I thought we might stand out in them, but, as it turns out, you stood out if you didn't wear one.

2. Get there early if you are going on the first day. Depending on the size of your group will determine the time.  If you have more than two or three people, you should get there before seven. If you only have two or three people, you can probably wait until nine, but don't wait until after ten.

3.  Don't go too crazy with beer.  I promise they won't run out. Take it slow.  You don't want to drink too much and then have to leave early.  They serve it by the liter, so you'll definitely get a nice buzz even without trying.

4. If you don't like crowds, don't go on the first day.  The first Sunday was not as crowded and much more mild.

5.  We had a ton of fun sitting with random people and made great friends! If you are in a big group and are there for multiple days, spend one day apart from the group and find a random group of people to hang out with.  Both Mike and I agreed that we're glad that we did one day with our friends and one day with strangers.

6. If you don't want to deal with the lines and chaos of the actual Oktoberfest, look into the brauhauses outside of the park.  Lots of them have events and host their own mini-Oktoberfests and are equally as fun.

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