Showing posts with the label Christmas Market

Christkindlmarket and Dog Friendly Carmel

It was a busy and exciting day before as I took my service dog (then still in training) Teddy to Carmel, Indiana. My friend Jaimee stayed over with us at the Home2 Suites by Hilton . It was a bit of a tough night getting the little guy to sleep on his first overnight in a hotel.   We had requested a corner room, so no one seemed to be disturbed, but we were ready to get out of the hotel suite and let him run around outside. After breakfast, which is included at all the Home2 Suites, we decided to check out one of the pet friendly city’s dog parks. I had asked around and Clay Terrace was mentioned as a good one by a few people. Teddy definitely agreed and it gave him a chance to burn some energy before he was back on my lap on the scooter “working.”   We were on our way next to the Carmel Christkindlmarkt . This was my second trip there and I was happy to be back as it was my favorite in the U.S. The market, which does not have an entry fee, is a yearly event fille

Tasting Chicago during the Holidays

Brittany and I woke up pretty early at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago .  We had a pretty full day and I didn’t want to overdo. We had breakfast downstairs at Fisk & Co. as we planned our day. Our first outing was to the Christkindlmarkt .  I had never been to one in Chicago before, but had a good time at the Carmel one last year (and really loved the ones in Europe ).  The Christmas Market is a great place to get handmade souvenirs and German treats.  I picked up a few Christmas tree ornaments and warmed with hot chocolate, while bringing home some potato pancakes and a pretzel. I didn’t want to eat anything at the market because we had a brunch plan—and it turned out to be a big one. After a nap, we took an Uber to the restaurant. River Roast   turned out to be an excellent choice for brunch. The location was scenic along the river and there was live jazz music in the background. We put in an order for the freshly baked ci

Holiday Time is a Great Time to be in Chicago

I was back in Chicago right before the holidays with Brittany and my scooter. We had a few more things to discover before I took some time off for more back surgery.  We checked into the Kimpton Hotel Monaco , which has a perfect location downtown. I had never been to a Kimpton before. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get a chance to take advantage of their wine in the evening.  What we did get to see was one of the best rooms I’ve ever had in Chicago. The one-bedroom suite is reasonably priced (compared to most of the suites in the Windy City) and very big.  I loved the separate bedroom, with large window seats. We were in a corner, so they provided a beautiful view and also had cushions large enough for kids to sleep on. I’d definitely recommend this room as comfortable for a family of four, or even six.  The original plan was to check out some outdoor activities, such as the Lincoln Park Zoo lights or the Christmas tree at Millennium Park. The weather wa

Discovering Slovakia with Viking River Cruises

Our Viking River Cruise along the Danube was coming to the last two days and my friend Tracy and I were having a great time discovering a part of Europe neither one of us has previously been. It was time for Slovakia and we were bundled up and ready to see its capital. The ship docked right in the city of Bratislava so we could walk around ourselves, but we chose to first take the bus tour to Bratislava Castle and then on a downtown walking tour of the city. The Bratislava Castle was quite impressive and also had a great view of the city. Unfortunately, it was a cold and cloudy day so we didn’t get to fully appreciate it. In fact, I liked everything about Slovakia and the people we met were all very friendly. It represented a European city in perfection, with its architecture, cobblestone streets, and craft filled markets. Every building from the Opera House to the Court House looked like it was filled with history for me to spend a day exploring. We s

Gingerbread in Germany with Viking Cruises

I’m not sure which my friend Tracy and I were more excited about, being on a Viking River Cruise along the Danube, or going to our first Christmas Market*, but it was clear from the start of our day in Passau, Germany, that it was going to be a magical one. We were up by 7:00 and had breakfast in the main dining room, enjoying the selection of fruit, cheese, pastries, omelets and yogurt. It was then time for our walking tour of Passau. The Viking Embla had been decorated for the holidays, but it didn’t begin to compare with what we would see in Passau. Tours are included on Viking River Cruises and while we had buses available to us at all ports, Passau was a place we could walk. We were divided into groups so that we could experience the sites and hear our guide along the river and through the cobblestone hills. She told us about the town’s flood the previous year and how this town fared during the war. Then we were off to a gingerbread demonstration at Sim