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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Visiting Oktoberfest from Home

I've got another destination date night for you! It's September, which means it's official Oktoberfest time. Well, we all know all the actual celebrations are cancelled due to the pandemic, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out. We sure didn't. We had a wonderful date night over the weekend that featured a quaint German street, a Biergarten, and a rowdy crowd of Oktoberfest-goers. 

We did this all without leaving our house, literally, because the air outside is toxic. The whole west coast is on fire right now. We tried to have our date night on Friday, and were willing to brave the bad air, but then I was outside for 2 minutes and changed my mind. 

I set up Germany in the living room instead, then the restaurant I had my heart set on was closed due to smoke getting into their HVAC, so we picked up cheeseburgers on pretzel buns and bacon fries. 

On Saturday, we moved some furniture to create a little dining area, and I set up the table and my YouTube playlist while Eric picked up food I ordered earlier. Aside from creating my romantic table, using a card table, I set up a beer tasting flight for myself, because you can't have Oktoberfest without some drinks - regardless of what kind. 

I picked up 3 interesting bottles of beer from the store, making sure one was a German-style dark beer. The first beer is a stout from Seattle brewery Elysian. This was a pumpkin coffee ale called Punkaccino. The second was a Bavarian dark from Ayinger (also from Seattle) called Altbairisch Dunkel. I actually really loved this one and drank the whole bottle. The third beer was just for fun variety. A third Seattle beer. This one was called Lindemans Framboise and was a raspberry lambic beer in Belgian style. It smelled like raspberry jam, and was much more sweet tasting than that. It might be a great dessert beer, but it was not for me.

As with any German dining experience, we started with a great fondue with bread dippers. I realized I had these adorable little fondue forks, which worked perfectly, since we weren't reaching across the table to get to it. You could totally do fondue with a giant pretzel (or pretzel bites) or even bratwurst. If you have a fondue set, make your own!

As you know, I love food, so I like to try as many things as possible. I usually order two entrees so we can split them. I chose the chicken jaeger schnitzel, one of our favorites. It's pounded flat chicken, breaded, fried, and then served with a mushroom cream sauce. This one came with spaetzel. It's not my favorite, but Eric enjoys it. 

The second entree I chose was a special. It was boar bratwurst that came with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. I enjoy an interesting exotic meat and boar is one of those that I find particularly tasty. This one had fruits mixed into it, so it was slightly sweet, and came with a dark spicy mustard. We had this much on our plates and still had leftovers. 

After all that food, we took a few minutes to enjoy some people watching at Oktoberfest.
This was a perfect time to hang out in the "Biergarten" (beer garden). We saw an oompah band and tried to pick out which festival-goers we thought were Americans. Outside the festival building was a carnival that played mostly American music and served up huge helpings of delicious fair foods in between carnival rides that look like they might be a bad idea after drinking and eating a bunch. 

No vacation is complete without dessert out, so we also ended our meal with a traditional apple strudel. Usually, I avoid these like the plague because they claim to have raisins and I always think they're going to be whole raisins. I was wrong though, because this was delicious. A perfect end to a great evening.

Germany and Oktoberfest was pretty easy to plan and put together. The food is readily available in most places and has something that can appeal to everyone if you are doing this with your family.

Here are a few things you can use to make an amazing trip wherever you want to set up your destination:
What do I like most about these "trips"? Aside from being on them, planning them is fun and the unpacking is much easier and not at all stressful. Depending on how elaborate you want to go with your destination staycation, it can be a quick set up, too. This was, by far, our most expensive date night. I spent around $110, but we've been saving so much by not going out to eat, and getting takeout only two days a week, so it gives us a way to mix things up. 

Don't forget to "stamp" your passport

Get your family in on destination nights. Give everyone a part of the trip to plan: food, destination, activities, etc. This is a great time to learn more about different cultures and plan a future trip. Just know that our next trips may not be happening until we get a vaccine, so we're looking at late next year, because we also have to wait for Covid cases to drop drastically and for other countries to reopen their borders to us. 

If you want to follow along or see more pics/vids of my "trips", follow me on Instagram.

Are you trying to jazz up your quarantine time? What are you doing to keep sane?

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I may be compensated should you choose to make any purchases through them. This allows me to keep this blog running for you. 

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