Milly Goes to Europe

We were super happy when Megan (AKA: Milly) sent us a text with her flight confirmation. She had been talking about coming for awhile but it wasn’t real until I saw it for myself.

Megan, for those of you who don’t know her, is one of my best friends. We’ve actually known each other since the super star basketball days but we became really close through college and especially after. My husband sort of loves her too. Whats not too love?

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We drove to Munich to pick megan up. I was supposed to go alone but Jerry said he was “worried” about me driving alone. AKA: He wanted to sleep in a comfortable hotel bed. So, we left late at night and slept in a hotel. We planned on staying in Munich for the day but it was um, -18 and snowing and Miikas paws were freezing to the cement. No joke! Ugh, one day I will experience all of Munich. Megan came with LOTS of christmas gifts…….

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Megans first full day in Europe was a “game day” for Jerry. In the morning I showed her around Bruneck, lots of walking with Miika! We met with some of my friends before the game and Megan got to enjoy her first Hugo! Then we headed to the hockey game. I was happy she got to see Jerry play! That was the only home game he had while she was here. For the away games, we cheered from home!

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The next day (new years eve) we headed to one of favorite little cities, Brixen (Bressanone). We went shopping for new years eve dresses and had a really nice lunch. The Christmas market was still up so I was glad we both got to enjoy that before they took it down!

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We had an amazing New Years Eve dinner at a beautiful hotel up in the mountain – Hotel Petrus! It was an all out celebration. So happy Megan got to experience true european dinner. AKA: 6 courses, lots of presecco and a midnight cheers! After midnight the entire dinner party lit chinese lanterns with all of our new years wishes on them and let them go. It was so fun and so beautiful!

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I couldn’t let Megan leave Europe without visiting one of my absolute favorite cities: Innsbruck!

It’s true, I made her eat Subway while we were there. However, I don’t really care much for austrian food anyways lol! I was going to take her to Vapianos but we let ourselves get “hangry” (so hungry that your angry). So, Subway was closer. Megan is a great friend. She didn’t even judge me for eating 3 subway cookies.

I took her shopping and too one of my favorite little pubs that’s tucked away on the shopping street in Innsbruck. An old Irish Pub that I visited with two of my girlfriends last year. The same bartender was behind the bar but somehow didn’t remember me and those 2 crazy blondes from last year ;). We met some really funny Aussie’s who said: “Every American we meet is so nice!”… I wish I could have tapped that and let some people listen to that.

Megan loved Innsbruck!

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I knew of an outdoor winter classic going on in the Austrian league (the league Jerry played in the last two years) and wanted Megan to experience a Winter Classic in Europe! So, we jumped in the car with two friends and headed to Klagenfurt, Austria for the game. It was F’ing cold but so worth it! I think she enjoyed it once we got the feeling back in our toes. It was great watching a game and not really caring who wins. Just wish I could have enjoyed some hot wine to keep me warm!

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Can you believe we’ve lived in Brunico since August and never went to the top of our ski hill (Kronplatz)? With megan here it was finally time to experience it. Especially with the beautiful snow! We took our friend Claudia and Jerry with us. They all enjoyed a nice drink and I had a nice hot tea! The joys of being the pregnant person 🙂 The views were amazing and I was so happy we finally made it up there to see the views. We all had a lot of fun!

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Claudia and Megan enjoyed a shot or… three once we got down to the bottom again!

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It’s safe to say Milly made some good friends while in Bruneck!

Jerry finally got a free day from hockey so we got to drag him on a day trip with the girls! We headed to Bolzano to do some shopping, eat and watch our friends hockey game. Megan got to get her first taste of Zara! That’s right, us Michigan girls have no clue what Zara is until someone tells us about it…… not cool! She loved it. The Christmas Market there was also still open! We had lots of fun shopping and then I took them to my favorite restaurant in Bolzano for a nice lunch before we headed to the hockey game.

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We spent the last day in Bruneck saying goodbye to some of Megans new friends and visiting some places she wanted to see before we packed her up! Squeezing in a few more Hugos before she heads back to USA was a must!

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Milly’s European trip would end with an overnight stay in Venice. My FAVORITE city in Europe! I haven’t seen them all but this one will always be my favorite. You’ve heard me say this before but it’s just so special. Anyways, it was Megans first ever train ride!  Exciting! Minus the getting up at 5 AM part, haha! We checked in to our hotel and were immediately upgraded to a suite right on the canal! OH MY GOD. Amazing! Ugh, I could just die! We headed out and stopped at one of my favorite little lunch places, where I also took my nane last December. Nothing special just a good spot for lunch and the name is slipping my mind right now. Then we headed out after fueling up and grabbing a cappuccino to go. TIme to get lost! The city was dead … preparing for Carneval as it starts in about two weeks!

I think were ready for carneval!

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I told Megan to drop her maps because were getting lost in Venice baby! The best way to see Venice is to “get lost” and see everything. Even the side streets, the residential area, just everything.

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We found our way to a gondola, as that was obviously at the top of Megs list of things to do! We ended up hitting the “jackpot” …no we didn’t get a gondola for less than $60 but our gondolier was amazing! His name was Andreas and he made the $60 so worth it. Let me tell you first, that a gondola ride for $60 does not come often and that was only for a 15-20 minute ride! He told us about all the building in Venice and gave us so much history, things even I didn’t know.

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I was so excited to get on the gondola and show Megan exactly where Jerry proposed! It was so fun and we had lots of laughs with Andreas. We finally decided to take a break and sit down for a little before we found a place for dinner. I assured Megan we’d be walking into a random place and hoping for the best. That’s what I always do in Venice! And guess what? I’ve NEVER had a bad meal! I won’t lie, we were nervous at first….. and it’s hard because there are so many things I cannot eat right now because I’m pregnant. It can be frustrating but we found stuff and made it work… and our dinner was amazing! When we left you couldn’t get a seat in the place, so obviously we did something right!

A few extras from our trip:

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It was a beautiful trip! We ended the night at our hotel with a drink and a nice hot shower (in a BIG shower) something I haven’t experienced in 5 months! I stayed in there for a half hour. Megan had to be up at 430 AM to catch her plane, my train didn’t leave until 8 am but I was up since Megan left. Of course! I had quite a long travel day back to Bruneck but it was so worth it to spend time with one of my best friends in my favorite city ever!

Jerry and I were so happy to have a slice of home here in Bruneck and she couldn’t have come at a better time. It was good to have a good friend here to remind us of how loved we are and remind us that we have so many people at home who love and miss us. I’m so glad that Megan took the leap and came to Europe. Traveling at our age is so important, there is no better time. It’s always so nice to open our doors to visitors so they can see our life over here and what it’s like for us. Instead of being a tourists, they are locals like us, which my grandma said was one of her favorite parts of visiting us last year.

Thanks Meg for putting up with my pregnancy hormones & crazy goalie wife superstitions. I wish we could have enjoyed more vino but I know you and Jerry did! We hope this was an experience you will never forget and that you get to come again , another hockey season! It was so good to laugh until our stomachs hurt (watching home videos from college) and have someone to talk to on my walks with Miika so I don’t look crazy talking to myself. You made new friends, tried new food, shopped in new stores and visited cities people can only dream of! We can’t repay you for all the things you do for us and what a great friend you are but I hope this experience helps a little. Everyone you met here in Bruneck LOVES you and has had nothing but good things to say about you, of course. We love you and see you in THREE months – Redwing play off hockey, birthday celebrations with all of our friends, DETROIT food, and a summer of excitement! (minus over consumption of alcohol at Luke Bryan)!

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As for me, school is back in session and I’m back to full weeks of English Tutoring! I’m going to be so sad to say goodbye too all of the kids and families, I’ve gotten so close with.  I’m in my 16th week of pregnancy. Still no bump, still no sickness, and I have gained 3.5 lbs! I guess this is where all my good karma is kicking in? I’ll take it! Tomorrow I go to the doctor but just to be weighed, blood pressure and all that. I’m not supposed to have an ultra sound but Mr. Kuhn plans on asking if I can because he’s dying to know what we are having. I’m planning on him finding out and not telling me. As for hockey, We are a few games shy of playoffs starting. Playoffs?! Crazy! Hoping for the best for Jerry and the team. Good luck and good vibes our way! Before we know it, it will be time to head home to our amazing families and friends. We are looking forward to this summer more than all the last summers by a long shot! (…. I’m dying for American food and too get back to work).

Until next time – Peace + Love,

Amanda xx

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