POETRY BREAK – “Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been” – Hofbrauhaus

Welcome back from the Holidays! It certainly looked different for the M.B. Henry household this year, with Covid keeping us from our usual travels and family visits. We had little to do but watch Christmas movies, and I also cooked us a nice big meal on Christmas Eve. But the change of pace also allowed us some time to reflect. On our futures, since next Christmas, we will be living in a different state and our holiday season will come with big changes once again. And our pasts, which have included many travel adventures in addition to seeing family and friends. 

Those memories and thoughts helped us get through a pretty bleak holiday season here in California, especially when we recalled Hofbrauhaus. If you’ve ever been to Munich, Germany, I’m sure you’ve heard of this delightful little pub, and probably visited it yourself. It has become a bit of a staple stop in the city, with its impressively sized beer steins and pretzels to match, along with lively German bands and delicious food. For us, it provided even more than a full belly. 

In 2018, we took off for a long-planned and dreamed of trip to Europe for historical sight seeing and other major tourism stops, but things kicked off a bit rough. Our airline had a shortage of planes, which delayed us by several hours in Los Angeles, then by several hours more in Denmark. By the time we finally reached Berlin, we were exhausted, frustrated, and two days behind on an extremely tight schedule we hadn’t budgeted any travel mishaps in. We also had some uncharacteristically warm weather to deal with in Berlin, with temperatures soaring into the high 90s and low 100s Fahrenheit. 

So you could say that the first few days of our dream trip, which saw us scrambling through blazing heat to get back on schedule, had us a bit put out. It wasn’t until we visited Hofbrauhaus that we finally got to slow down, smile, and let it set in that no matter what our schedule looked like or what we had to lay aside to get back on track, we were still on a wild adventure in a foreign land, and it was time to make the most of it.

So, this one’s for you, Hofbrauhaus. Thanks for the smiles and memories. 

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“Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been” – Hofbrauhaus

 

Our flight to Europe was a mess, delayed time and again

We were a day and a half behind when we finally reached Berlin

The weather was hot, the city crowded, we felt lost and tired

We only managed a few hours before we got in the car and retired

 

But we couldn’t sleep, oh no, a long drive still lay ahead

To stay on schedule we couldn’t rest, no time for a soft, clean bed

We had to drive all the way to Munich, six or seven hours at least

And we had to quickly learn the Autobahn, that speedy highway beast

 

We didn’t reach Munich until very late, even dinner hour had passed

And we couldn’t much stand our tiny room, our sanity wouldn’t last

So we walked out onto the Munich streets, crowded despite the dark

We needed a place to sit for a spell, to try and recapture the spark

 

That’s when we found the Hofbrauhaus, warm and inviting inside

Wooden tables, music, and big beer steins, everyone smiling so wide

It felt a bit loud for my usual taste, but for food, it seemed like the best

Besides, I needed a chance to put my shaky German to the test

 

The Waiter frowned, looking quite tired, no English, from what I could tell

But I smiled and said “Ich Spreche Deutch,” (although certainly not very well!)

The man smiled wide, gave me a wink and a friendly clap on the back

He handed me a menu, helped us sit down, and our hearts opened up just a crack

 

I ordered a beer for my husband and me, and a pretzel the size of my head

It had been a long few days, I thought it would put me to bed

But then the Waiter struck up the band, and music filled the air

He also sent over a free platter of meat, and some samples of German fare

 

It finally hit me, sitting there, that despite the rough start to our trip

A dream was coming true before my eyes, with every little beer sip

A smile stretched across my face, my exhaustion broke all apart

The music, the people, the smiles, the food, it all went straight to my heart

 

There at Munich’s Hofbrauhaus, the adventure in me came awake

I felt at home in a faraway land, my nerves finally got a big break

When I think of the lively place today, I still manage to smile

With just a beer, some music, and a pretzel, they made me feel better by a mile   

2021-01-11

These photos provided by my husband Joel Henry. For more photos from our trip to Europe, click here.

To plan your own visit to Munich’s historic Hofbrauhaus, click here

TO AMERICA, WITH LOVE

Both my husband and I were heartbroken and sick beyond belief to witness what unfolded at the US Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. last week. While it’s hard to find much of a silver lining right now, we hope and pray that these unprecedented events, at the very least, provide a stark wake-up call for some badly needed unity among the people of this country. Because it will take all of us working together to end injustice, inequality, and violence, along with the other dizzying struggles before us, like a pandemic that isn’t slowing down in the slightest. As gut-wrenching as it was to witness, we know and believe that love is so much more powerful than hate. And that will prevail in the end.

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88 Comments on “POETRY BREAK – “Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been” – Hofbrauhaus

    • I still can’t believe what I witnessed, in all honesty. So heartbreaking and awful. But I’m very glad you enjoyed the poem! 🙂

  1. Love the poem and the pub sounds great and I sure hope things resolve peacefully with unity and love, something we could do with more of over here..

  2. MB, I loved the poem and your background story introducing it. Travel can indeed be SO frustrating at times, but experiences such as the one you described in Hofbrauhaus help make seeing different places wonderful. 🙂

    • And the frustrations do always make for funny stories down the line! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the poem Dave.

  3. What a sweet memory and a great picture! I mean the one of the two of you, not the one with the pretzel, though I suppose that’s pretty great, too. 🙂

    I join you in praying for unity.

    • The pretzel was fantastic – the best medicine for a weary traveler – beer and carbs. 🙂

  4. Loved the poem MB!

    We were in Munich two years ago! And we had a beer or two there and also at the outdoor market! A few times. Lol!
    Travel can be a pain but when it finally happens and we get to our destination… it’s fabulous.
    I pray for our nation to heal!

    • How fun! So you know the magic of those Munich pubs. I wish we could have had more time in that city, we only spent a couple days there. We are hoping to do a big Europe trip again later this year (Covid pending of course). If we do, we’d like to stop by Munich again. I’m glad you enjoyed the poem and it brought back some memories for you!

  5. That sort of start to a trip would really have me around the bend. We’ve had a few rough spots, but never two days behind! I think we probably visited that place on our first trip to Europe. I enjoyed your poem.

    I think this country needs a super-duper mega-marriage- counselor to get us back on track. “Can this relationship be saved?”

    • A marriage counselor is an excellent way to put it haha. That is certainly what we need. Maybe a whole team of them. I’m still choosing hope that yes, this relationship can be saved, but it’s going to take a lot of work from all of us.

  6. Hi there, I moved to the United States 30 years ago,from Munich my hometown where I was born and worked. But believe it or not I have only been once in the Hofbraeuhaus, it gets very crowded and loud there. I’m glad to know that you had a wonderful time there.

    • We did find it to be very crowded and loud haha! You are right. Normally I too shy away from such a setting, but I have to say something about the atmosphere really infected me. Maybe I was it the jet lag or something haha. We had a wonderful time at any rate. I would love to go back and spend more time in Munich someday, it’s a lovely city!

  7. Our first European trip when Pretty and I got together was to Munich in 2001. I had won a business trip and was, of course, eager to impress this woman I adored.
    I’m not sure we went to the pub you wrote about – it’s possible. But the beer (or old age) has made me forget the pub names.
    After reading your post, I was reminded of one of the side trips we made while we were in Munich. We went to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in the Bavarian Alps, stood where the Nazi leaders gathered and took in the magnificent view. I remember thinking no wonder he thought he could conquer the world when he looked at this view from the top of a mountain.
    All dictators, or would be dictators, must surely believe they stand atop a mountain – rising above the foot soldiers below. Democracy is precious, but it’s not a given. We have to be vigilant to keep it.
    Thanks for your post and the reminder of the complex country that is Germany.

    • Verrrry interesting – we thought about trying to stop there. We had it on our list of places to visit for awhile but we ended up exchanging it for more time at actual battlefield sites. I imagine it was quite a chilling experience for you to see it. What an apt observation too, about how where we sit (literally and symbolically) can impact how we look at our place in the world.

  8. My husband was in Munich in the fall of 2019 with his sister ad I believe they visited, drank, and ate pretzels at this very place! He loved it! Your poem is creative and fun to read, too!

    • How cool! It is a very fun and memorable place, I’m glad he got to visit as well! And I’m very glad you enjoyed the poem.

  9. That pretzel looks so good! Your joyful poem was a pleasure to read.

    What happened at the Capitol was a wake-up call that we can’t take democracy for granted. We have to stand up to all the forces that would undermine it, and the mob is only one of them.

    • Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 Yes I’ve been cheating on my blog writing with book writing! I hope to get a few more posts up before our big move too.

  10. A great read MB and poem! Welcome back, wishing you a happy healthy new year.
    The world seems to be experiencing so many crazy things, let’s hope for a happier, healthier new year for everyone. 🙏

  11. That pretzel has my complete and utter admiration! I still remember the first time I bit into something other than a hard, oversalted pretzel from a plastic bag. It was heaven.

    I smiled at your mention of not scheduling in time for travel mishaps. They’re never fun at the time, but in retrospect? Some of the very best travel stories involve those mishaps and “rearranged” plans. I loved Germany, and I’m so glad you got to experience it. Your poem brought back a few memories for me, including the inn where I stayed in Dornhan. There was a pub on the ground floor, and rooms above — the town was celebrating their 1100th anniversary, and the celebrations went on all night!

    • Yes, once you have a real pretzel it’s hard to go back to the ones in a bag! And yes, sometimes it’s the unplanned parts of a trip that are the best. One of our favorite stops on this same trip was Talbot House in Belgium, something that wasn’t on our itinerary simply because I didn’t know it still stood! When we happened to find it there we spent half the day and loved it. And how fun about Dornhan. I would love to go back to Germany when Covid calms down and explore more of the country. We had an absolutely wonderful time there.

  12. Happy New Year, MB. You look so sweet with your lovely husband! You know how old I am…we lived through domestic terrorism (IRA) during my childhood, then Al Quaeda terrorism, then we were in Cairo during Gulf War II. All this will pass. In retrospect, I wonder if the Capitol riot was an opportunity to for us to see how real our domestic terrorism threats and divisions are, although I am deeply sorry for any deaths. Let’s make America good. K x

  13. It would be difficult NOT to have fun at the Hofbrauhaus! I recall a joyful atmosphere filled with Oom-Pah-Pah music, animated customers and very large mugs of beer! I’m glad you were able to kick back and enjoy. As far as this country goes, surely people can’t harbor hate and intolerance much longer, and our goodness will shine again.

    • Yep – you said it best. Hard to not have fun there, even when we were exhausted and frustrated! 🙂 It was certainly a good way to get things back on the right foot. And yes – I agree with your thoughts about this country too. Goodness will shine again!

  14. Awe happy new year my dear friend. This made me a bit homesick and I’m glad you have great memories. It’s a must do experience and I loved reading this. Take good care of yourself and stay safe. Hope all is well. Big hugs 🤗

    • Happy new year to you as well! <3 Sorry to make your homesick, but I'm very glad you still enjoyed reading it 🙂 Big hugs to you, I think about you a lot!

      • Oh it wasn’t in a bad way and I didn’t mean it like that. 😉 Home will always be home and fest’s and special occasions like this will always pull on the heartstrings a bit. But home is also where the heart is. We will never forget our roots, but luckily hone can be found everywhere within your heart.
        Thank you so much for thinking of me and I’m sorry I’ve been absent for so long. It makes me smile to know that good friends sometimes go a long time without talking and I am beyond grateful to have found someone like this in you. Bless you, special soul. Hugs

      • <3 <3 No apologies necessary - it's been wild times for all!

  15. What a pretzel! A little hot mustard and perfection. Glad that you had this wonderful trip and hope it won’t be too much longer before the next.

    • Yes, I’m happy to say I conquered that entire pretzel with no regrets haha. 🙂 And yes, I hope very soon we can take off for another wild adventure! Be safe and well

  16. Oooooh, I loves me a good pretzel and that one has my mouth watering.

    There was a poem there? Sorry, didn’t notice because I was staring longingly at the pretzel. If you expect people to read stuff here there needs to be fewer distractions. 🙂

    • LOL!!! 🙂 Yeah it’s hard to focus on anything else! Except maybe the beer!

  17. First up, MB, one of those huge steins of beer is almost guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. And if one won’t do it, well there is always two. Peggy, who had lived in German, introduced me to the smile-inducing power of good German Beer.
    Two, last week’s tragedy was just that, a tragedy. Thanks for your thoughtful words. Fixing the damage that was done will be a long, difficult process. –Curt

    • Yes, the power of German beer is incredible! Especially when served in a loud German pub.
      At this point, I’m not sure what the best path forward is for our country – I fear you are right in that this pain will be with us for a long time. I just hope somehow we can learn to take better care of each other.

  18. great to see you both with intoxicating smiles! Travel inconveniences make the best stories in retrospect and your poem did it justice 🙂

    I was a nanny just outside Munich and remember a tourist van driver asking me for that pub … I had no idea 🙂 Tho I must admit I totally enjoyed the winter festival in my tiny village .. it entailed lots of beer, loud singing and much dancing! I skipped the first two but made the most of the third 🙂

    heard he’s been impeached for the second time … why can’t they ‘sack’ him? Unity and much Love are needed to heal the damage done!

    • I feel like a lot of German festivals involve beer and loud singing. Which is fine by me! 🙂 Especially if there’s pretzels too.
      And yes… we need a lot to heal the damage done in this country. A lot… a lot… a lot.
      Stay safe and well!

  19. Wonderful poem! I could picture everything. As my father in law used to say, The Germans know how to party!

  20. Great poem, MB. I share your sadness about the recent events but my heart feels lighter tonight as we anticipate tomorrow’s inauguration. Let the healing begin. 🌈🙂

    • Ha! : ) Your son sounds awesome. Tell him that’s what I said when I saw the lady carrying those pretzels around in the pub! “Yes please! I’ll take one of those!”

  21. I enjoyed hearing about the Hofbrauhaus and how it revived you both after a long and hard trip, MB. The photos were fun, espec. that pretzel that really was the size of your head. And I can say something similar is already beginning to happen after this week’s peaceful transition of leadership. Although many of us had been shocked to the core by the riotous mob at the Capitol, two weeks went by and the Capitol hosted a beautiful and hopeful inauguration to a new era. whew. Prost!

    • Prost, indeed! I hope we can all move forward and start healing together. <3 <3

  22. I’ve never been to Germany, but I have fond memories of Austria and Vienna (Wien) where I was lucky to live for a few months many years ago. I was there to study music, but the memories of goulash, schnitzel, and the beer linger. Amen about the events of 1/6!

    • I have visited Austria before but only once, and we only spent a few days, mostly in Salzburg. What a beautiful country – I’d love to go back and visit again once we can travel. And yes, to sample more of the delicious food too! 🙂 🙂

      • The beer in Vienna was a revelation after drinking Miller in college. The local beers were wonderful, and there was a Czech Budweiser that would make Anheuser-Busch pale with same.

      • Haha I bet! I didn’t even really like beer until I drank some in Ireland in 2016! 🙂 🙂

  23. Travel can be great, except when it isn’t. But it sounds like your trip to the Hofbrauhaus was the tonic you needed. Your poem is captures the frustrations and joys of travel, and that pretzel looks absolutely perfect.

    • “…except when it isn’t.” Yes. Exactly. 🙂 🙂 🙂 But I find those misadventures do make some of the funniest memories! So even they make it worth it in the end. And yes the pretzel was ABSOLUTELY perfect.

  24. I have been often and loved everything you wrote about it, with one possible quibble. You describe the Hofbrau as a “delightful little pub”. The pubs you usually go to must be the size of football stadiums!

    • 🙂 It was more meant as a figure of speech, since even though the place is quite large as you point out, they made it feel like a small-town pub to me. But I also see your point haha.

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