germany (part three)

We decided to spend our last full day in Germany wandering around the Deutsches Museum Munich – which was so huge (with a total exhibition space of 66,000 square meters!) and comprehensive as to nearly be overwhelming. It was established in 1903 and is among the world’s oldest and largest museums of science and technology. It would probably have taken multiple days to see everything without being totally exhausted, but we did our best.

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The computers and technology exhibit was up on the second floor of the museum. There were many devices from the whole history of computing - this is the inside of a UNIVAC I Factronic computer. It was the nearly the size of a city bus and had a maintenance door on the side!

The computers and technology exhibit was up on the second floor of the museum. There were many devices from the whole history of computing – this is the inside of a UNIVAC I Factronic computer. It was the nearly the size of a city bus and had a maintenance door on the side!

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We left the museum late in the afternoon, heads full of science and tech knowledge. Rather than trying to cram in “just one more thing,” we took the U-bahn back to Marienplatz to see the square at sunset. Brandon also took the opportunity to find a real pair of lederhosen, which turned out to be pretty easy in the shopping district of the Bavarian capital!

It had been an incredible whirlwind trip, but it was time to pack up and prepare for our early (very early) departure for the train back to the Munich airport in the morning. Adding even more fun to the equation was the end of daylight savings time in Germany (it happens a week early over there), meaning we gained an hour in the middle of the night while we were making sure everything was ready to go.

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Auf wiedersehen, Deutschland! We made our morning trains with no problem, and despite a little international flight check-in hiccup for Brandon, we arrived at our departure gate in Düsseldorf with plenty of time to spare. The return flight to L.A. was longer than the trip over (earth’s curvature and rotation are funny things) but it all went smoothly and we made it back to Burbank in time to pick up Albert from the kennel. Our trip was amazing but we missed the little dude! Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to relax since Halloween was the next day – but at least Brandon had a cool new costume to wear.

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germany (part two)

As we mentioned at the end of our last post, after our little sojourn to Salzburg we returned to Munich and our hotel for the conference – the Hotel Motel One Deutsches Museum, just a short walk away from the Gasteig where Animago was taking place.

The hotel was nice and cozy, virtual fireplace and all!

The hotel was nice and cozy, virtual fireplace and all.

Changed leaves in the courtyard below our room. We don't see that color much in SoCal!

Changed leaves in the courtyard below our room. We don’t see that color much in SoCal!

After breakfast, Brandon ran through his talk one last time and then headed to the conference. His talk was the last one of the day before the big awards ceremony, so he spent a little time checking out other talks and booths before heading to the big theater. His talk “The Art and Tech of Zoomania” (that’s the German title) covered the process of and his involvement in building the title city for the film. The audience seemed to enjoy the talk and there were no technical glitches, so I guess you could say it was a big success!

esri people

gasteig theater

presentation sq

The main event at Animago is really the awards ceremony at the end of the first day. We saw a lot of amazing work from students and VFX studios alike. They even had live English translation, so we were the dopes sitting in the crowd with headphones on so we could understand what was happening. All in all, the conference was a really wonderful experience, even though it was a scary proposition at first to be the only person representing Walt Disney Animation Studios in a foreign country.

The next morning, after another hearty breakfast at the hotel, we took the U-Bahn to Olympia Park München to see the stadium, park, and other facilities that were constructed for the 1972 Olympic Games. We wandered around the park and goofed around taking pictures in front of the tower.

structure 2

flags

“morning

“morning

“structure

“point”

slant

“schwimmhalle”
pool

“park

“morning

“misty

“misty

“hill

park pano

hiya

tanz

“bmw

“lake
“stadium

“lake

“misty

“evening

“photo

“lake

“telescope”

“rolling

“bmw

“hill

“cartwheel”

“pointed

“brandhandstand“
“redhandstand”
“morning
“evening

When park playtime was over we grabbed a quick lunch and strolled over to the BMW museum (visible from the top of the hill in the park), which was celebrating the company’s centennial with a special exhibit! They had cars, parts, and documents from all the way back to the company’s founding as an aircraft engine manufacturer during World War I. It was a very thorough and (of course) meticulously-designed exhibit that was fascinating even for non-gearheads like us.

outside the museum
century museum

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This little guy was Savannah's favorite. He was so tiny and cute!

This little guy was Savannah’s favorite. He was so tiny and cute!

yellow guy

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“evening

Next, we hopped back on the U-bahn for a quick trip to the Olympia Einkaufszentrum so we could pick up some Christmas presents for our family.
u-bahn

We dropped off our gifts back to the hotel and then hit the final dining landmark on our checklist – the famous Hofbräuhaus. In case you’re not familiar with the place, it’s a beer hall and restaurant the size of a city block, originally built in 1589. It’s one of Munich’s biggest attractions and you better believe it’s crazy on a Friday night in late October!

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After our visit to the Hofbräuhaus, we headed back to our hotel, marking the end of another full day. It was hard to believe that our trip was so quickly nearing its end. There was still so much to see and do and hardly any time left to do it!

salzburg

We had a lot of fun exploring some of Munich on our first full day in Germany. We had been debating what we wanted to do during the other days before Brandon’s conference, and several of our friends had previously recommended traveling to Salzburg, Austria – so we hopped on a train for a short 90-minute ride across the border and checked in to the Hotel Mozart!

Auf wiedersehen, Hotel im Hof!

Auf wiedersehen, Hotel im Hof!

train ride

Voter studies on the train: CA propositions and LA bishop

Settled in at Hotel Mozart!

Settled in at Hotel Mozart!

After we checked in and dropped off our stuff, we headed out into the city to see some of the sights. We wandered through Mirabell Gardens and saw a bit of the Old Town before getting lunch and coffee at a cafe.

St. Andrä Church, across from Schloss Mirabell

St. Andrä Church, across from Mirabell Palace

The garden behind Mirabell Palace

The garden behind Mirabell Palace

garden tunnel

Look familiar? These are the covered tunnels in the Mirabell Gardens that Julie Andrews and the Von Trapp children scampered through during “Do Re Mi!” Our path through it was much muddier than in the film, though.

sculpture
Crossing the bridge into the Old Town

Crossing the bridge into the Old Town

mozart platz
latte
salzburg dom
kirche tur

We worked our way toward the Festung (fortress) perched atop the hill overlooking Salzburg. The view from up there was pretty incredible!

festung

On the Festungsbahn headed to the top!

festung 2

festung grate

cannon

festung view

pastoral

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foggy

There were several museums inside the Festung – we checked out the main exhibit about the history of the fortress itself, but also the marionette museum and its intricate displays of puppets.

The fortress was first built in 1077 under the direction of the Archbishop of Salzburg

The fortress was first built in 1077 under the direction of the Archbishop of Salzburg

The last major structures were added by 1619

The last major structures were added by 1619

A cabinet made from rifle pieces, part of the military history display

A cabinet made from rifle pieces, part of the military history display

One of the displays of the Rainer Regiment museum

One of the displays of the Rainer Regiment museum

Rainer Regiment uniforms in miniature

Rainer Regiment uniforms in miniature–so tiny and so cute!

A grenadier of the Rainer Regiment

A grenadier of the Rainer Regiment

One of several WWI-era portraits by Karl Reisenbichler

One of several WWI-era portraits by Karl Reisenbichler

another soldier portrait

Another soldier portrait

Guitar from the Rainer Regiment during WWI with many soldiers' names etched into it

Guitar from the Rainer Regiment during WWI with many soldiers’ names etched into it

parts
And on to the occasionally-creepy marionette museum!

And on to the occasionally-creepy marionette museum!

triangle

heads
demons

devils
puppets

Marionettes of the Von Trapp family

Marionettes of the Von Trapp family

After we left the Festung, we strolled through part of the Old Town and saw Mozart’s Geburtshaus (birthplace). It was a little odd to see the first level of the building occupied by a convenience store, but it was cool nonetheless.

Mozart's birthplace

Mozart’s birthplace

(We didn't go inside)

(We didn’t go inside)

We also stopped by the Mozart Wohnhaus (residence), which Mozart and his family moved into in 1773 after his Geburtshaus became too small.
A good day of exploring and walking called for a good meal, so we stopped by a gasthaus near our hotel called Alter Fuchs for more schnitzel and the locally-brewed Stiegl beer. Heads, stomachs, and camera cards full, we headed back to our hotel and to bed…

Each night before bed, we’d login to the cameras at Al’s resort and spy on him. Sometimes he would be trotting around with dozens of doggies and others he would be standing atop a rock. –>

 

We decided to spend day two in Salzburg like true tourists – we signed up for Fräulein Maria’s bicycle tour, recommended by our friends Jacob and Tracy, which was tons of fun and proved to be one of the best ways to see the city (as well as the key locations from The Sound of Music, of course).
doggie cam
Crossing the bridge to the old town, looking up at the Festung

Crossing the bridge to the old town, looking up at the Festung

A modern statue of Mozart that is apparently supposed to show his feminine side

A modern statue of Mozart that is apparently supposed to show his feminine side

The Festung, from the bottom of the Festungsbahn

The Festung, from the bottom of the Festungsbahn

Some of the buildings in this part of town were built right into the cliff face

Some of the buildings in this part of town were built right into the cliff face

We had no idea that Austrian National day celebrations were taking place on the day of our tour!

We had no idea that Austrian National day celebrations were taking place on the day of our tour!

Stiftsbäckerei St. Peter is Salzburg's oldest bakery, opened in 1160. The water wheel at the bottom of the hill powers the flour mill for the bakery.

Stiftsbäckerei St. Peter is Salzburg’s oldest bakery, opened in 1160. The water wheel at the bottom of the hill powers the flour mill for the bakery.

St. Peter's cemetery and catacombs beneath the Festungsberg

St. Peter’s cemetery and catacombs beneath the Festungsberg

St. Peter's Chapel in the cemetery

St. Peter’s Chapel in the cemetery

In the movie, this is where the Von Trapps hid from the Nazis during their escape!

In the movie, this is where the Von Trapps hid from the Nazis during their escape!

Monastery structures around the cemetery

Monastery structures around the cemetery

St. Peter's Stiftskeller, the oldest restaurant in Central Europe, opened in 803!

St. Peter’s Stiftskeller, the oldest restaurant in Central Europe, opened in 803!

St. Peter's Abbey is one of the oldest monasteries in the German-speaking area, in continuous operation since its founding in 696!

St. Peter’s Abbey is one of the oldest monasteries in the German-speaking area, in continuous operation since its founding in 696!

abbey

altar

window box
window box 2

abbey dome

organ

tomb

cemetery doors

The outside of the concert hall where the Von Trapps performed before their escape

The outside of the concert hall where the Von Trapps performed before their escape

Lady in Red, looking toward the man in the Dom Platz

Lady in Red, looking toward the man in the Dom Platz. This sculpture, and the Man on the Ball, are more modern pieces (which the locals aren’t always happy about), placed in the city by an anonymous artist

The Man on the Ball in the Dom Platz, looking at the Lady in Red

The Man on the Ball in the Dom Platz, looking at the Lady in Red

National Day festivities in the Dom Platz

National Day festivities in the Dom Platz

Headed up the hill toward Nonnberg Abbey

Headed up the hill toward Nonnberg Abbey

Above St. Peter's

Above St. Peter’s

abbey photo
abbey sign
Nonnberg Abbey
ceiling
inside nonnberg abbey

abbey altar

abbey walls

Leopoldskron Palace, used as the back side of the Von Trapp house

Leopoldskron Palace, used as the back side of the Von Trapp house

Our tour guide, Tom

Our tour guide, Tom

Lake pic

Our trusty bicycles

Our trusty bicycles

Our route took us through some residential areas and farmland as well

Our route took us through some residential areas and farmland as well

The view down Hellbrunn Allee, outside Frohnburg Palace

The view down Hellbrunn Allee, outside Frohnburg Palace

I have confidence!

I have confidence!

The famous front of Frohnburg Palace, used as the front of the Von Trapp home in the film

The famous front of Frohnburg Palace, used as the front of the Von Trapp home in the film

Riding toward Schloss Hellbrunn

Riding toward Schloss Hellbrunn

plaque
The gazebo 20th Century Fox built for the film - and then left behind as a "gift" for the city

The gazebo 20th Century Fox built for the film – and then left behind as a “gift” for the city

The long walk to Schloss Hellbrunn, the Archbishop's "summer daytime" residence

The long walk to Schloss Hellbrunn, the Archbishop’s “summer daytime” residence

Brandon loves milk so much y'all

Brandon loves milk so much y’all. There was a tap to fill your own liter bottles with fresh milk for 70¢… so of course we did.

Fresh milk!

Patriotic cow

Patriotic cow

More National Day festivities

More National Day festivities

Our tour (and several others) ended back at the Mirabell Gardens

Our tour (and several others) ended back at the Mirabell Gardens

We had a wonderful time in Salzburg and loved getting to ride around the city, but after our tour it was time to get back on the train to Munich and check in to our hotel near the Gasteig. We ate dinner with some of the ESRI folks at a nearby restaurant called Wirtshaus in er Au and then headed to bed. Brandon’s big talk was the next day!

germany (part one)

Earlier this year, Brandon was invited to speak at the Animago conference in Munich, Germany and talk about his work on the movie Zootopia. So, we decided to make a vacation out of it and spend a week in Germany! We knew we would miss Albert, but he was headed to the Bungalow so we knew he would have fun while we were gone.

We started our journey by boarding our saturday evening flight to Düsseldorf, and nearly a whole day later (thanks to the time zone change) we got off the train from the Munich airport at the u-bahn stop near our hotel.

Albie helped pack all his meals and snacks for his resort stay!

Albie helped pack all his meals and snacks for his resort stay!

 

We left home with two half-full suitcases to have plenty of room to bring back gifts. What we forgot to do was leave time to shop for gifts while we were there...

We left home with two half-full suitcases to have plenty of room to bring back gifts. What we forgot to do was leave time to shop for gifts while we were there…

 

Enjoying some sun in the grass while Brandon loaded all our bags in the car

Enjoying some sun in the grass while Brandon loaded all our bags in the car

 

Al had lots to say on our way to the bungalow

Al had lots to say on our way to the bungalow

Morning in the air to Munich

Morning in the air to Munich

On our first “real” day in Munich, we set out on the u-bahn to explore some of the city. we started at Marienplatz just a few stops away and saw the Rathaus (town hall), Victuals Market, and the Munich Dom (cathedral).

Delicious breakfast at Hotel im Hof

Delicious breakfast at Hotel im Hof

u-bahn 2
howdy u-bahn!
Approaching the Rathaus from Marienplatz

Approaching the Rathaus from Marienplatz

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The 'new' Rathaus (town hall) opened in 1874

The ‘new’ Rathaus (town hall) opened in 1874

 

rathaus 2

clock tower
courtyard 2

 
rathaus 3

outside rathaus

Savannah loves the Olympics!

Savannah loves the Olympics!


 

Inside the courtyard of the Rathaus

Inside the courtyard of the Rathaus


 

gargoyle

Stained glass window in the Rathaus depicting Marienplatz

Stained glass window in the Rathaus depicting Marienplatz

inside rathaus 2

 

Portraits inside the Rathaus (outside some city employee's office)

Portraits inside the Rathaus (outside some city employee’s office)


 

aschaffenburg

eyes

When your shoes (almost) match the tile, you gotta take at least one #fromwhereistand photo.

When your shoes (almost) match the tile, you gotta take at least one #fromwhereistand photo.

Up the stairs...

Up the stairs…

park 2

 

And into the tower!

And into the tower!


 

portrait view

View from the tower in the Rathaus

View from the tower in the Rathaus


 

munich view 2

market
kirche tower
spielzeug museum
marienplatz 2

rooftops

rooftops 2

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"Albert alley" near the Dom

“Albert alley” near the Dom

Outside the Rathaus again, headed toward the Dom

Outside the Rathaus again, headed toward the Dom

 

The Dom

The Dom


 

dom windows
 

We stopped for our first schnitzel and beer of the trip at a neat little place called Andechser am Dom (suggested by our friend Whitney’s sister Lindsey, who lives in Germany) and then proceeded on to the Munich Residenz – the former royal palace of Bavarian monarchs and the largest city palace in Germany! Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take any pictures inside, but believe us that it was just as grand as it sounds. The Hofgarten behind the Residenz was lovely as well and provided a small preview and gateway into the Englischer Garten.

residenz garten

Hofgarten behind the Munich Residenz

Hofgarten behind the Munich Residenz

pavilion

garden portrait

Doggie in the garden!

Doggie in the garden!

grass

After the Residenz, we headed over to the Englischer Garten to enjoy some green space and watch the sun set. We spent hours there and barely even scratched the surface of this huge park that spans over 900 acres – even larger than Central Park in New York!

Love all the green space!

Love all the green space!

park bench view

park bench view 2

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park 2

garden 3

Under the Monopteros

Under the Monopteros

stream

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Inspecting the map to see just how little of the garden we've explored!

Inspecting the map to see just how little of the garden we’ve explored!

Biergarten in the garden, of course

Biergarten in the garden, of course

Outside the Chinesicher Turm

Outside the Chinesicher Turm

garden explorer

garden 4

Augustiner bier by the liter!

Augustiner bier by the liter!

We wrapped up the day with more beer and schnitzel at Augustiner Keller before heading back to our hotel. Prost!

santa barbara + solvang

savannah and albert outside the school

savannah and albert on the warf

Warm sun and ocean air!

brandon, savannah and albert on the warf

brandon, savannah and albert on the warf

Look at those ears blowin in the wind!

brandon and albert on the warf

stern's warf

stern's warf

such a tired albert the doggie

Such a tired little Albert the Doggie!

albert on the bed

Well rested and ready for more adventure!

albert - santa barbara botanical gardens

brandon and albert - santa barbara botanical gardens

savannah and albert - santa barbara botanical gardens

brandon and albert - santa barbara botanical gardens

brandon and albert - santa barbara botanical gardens

albert - santa barbara botanical gardens

Squirrel chasing!

albert - santa barbara botanical gardens

savannah and albert - solvang

brandon and albert - solvang