A Song of Beer and Lederhosen: Prague to Munich in Retrospect
[scene opens at coffee time on the Forever House porch and Tom Petty playing in the background as the camera pans to Jack still in lederhosen, one eye half closed, pizza hut in one hand and sipping a Radler in the other]
It's amazing how things unfold, isn't it? At one point in time, perspective on a certain event can be one way but that very same outlook can change months, week, days, even minutes up until it happens. I have never really fully felt the phrase "you don't value a moment until it becomes a memory" up until this trip. And it's not even so much the adventure from Prague to Munich that resonates so much, but rather the journey it took to get there and the everlasting impact it has had on me. So sit back and pop open an ice cold Radler... this is "A Song of Beer and Lederhosen"... my journey to Prague, my adventure to Munich, and the beautiful life lesson that grew from it.
Beneath the blistering sun in the southwest United States, I marched along a trail in the Grand Canyon with a Disney tune in my heart (almost certainly Colors of the Wind) and beloved friends at my side. It was here where my dear Sasha (personal photographer and future bride) first described to me the amazing journey that awaited VoyEdge Rx in April of 2019 for the Prague to Munich trip. She spoke of excited as many people from previous trips had already signed up and it was looking to be the ultimate reunion and clashing of worlds. Having had been on several trips before, I was excited but admittedly cautious. I remember thinking back on traveling alone and the fears I had of meeting new people and possibly not fitting in with some groups. The idea of reunions sparked thoughts of preexisting friendships and I remember muttering to her... "do you think I'll fit in?" I most certainly will never forget the look of "are you serious" that came across her face and before you knew it, I was signed up for the trip ready for my next adventure.
In the interim of all of this, I had to most fortunate offer an opportunity to come on as a tour guide for VoyEdge Rx. Very grateful and excited for the future, I most assuredly accepted and learned that Prague to Munich would be my on-the-job training experience. Anticipation grew, FaceTime calls made it real, and before you knew it, wheels were up and I was heading east to begin the journey.
Arriving a day early, I was greeted with open arms from my dear Sasha and with a beer from my darling Tony. The overwhelming rush of excitement and home immediately hit and we were ready for the trip to start. In any sort of adventure I have taken with VoyEdge Rx, the landscapes, scenery, and culture are tremendously profound. Prague, Salzburg, and Munich were no exception to this rule. The stunning Gothic architecture of Prague, the small old-world feel of Salzburg, and the gentle blend of both in Munich made for an amazing experience. We explored century old castles, tasted the finest pork knuckles, and sampled-- er alright, egregiously consumed beer.
Now as I had stated, the culture and scenery are very important to make a trip worthwhile. However, paramount to this is the people by your side enjoying it with you crafting these memories. There were 22 of us bright-eyed and bushy-tailed adventurers. Some came as groups, some had previously traveled together, and some were all strangers. Between Sunday to Sunday, what happened was magnificent. This group of personalities from different places all merged into one family unit and created life long memories with friends we will certainly not forget. I could have gone into detail about the places we had seen together, its history and its meaning in society. Honestly, that's not important. The history that matters most to me is the one that exists in our memories that we crafted together that week. Prague may be centuries old but I will certainly not forget our first group dinner where we met, traded stories, had our first roll call, and made aggressively extended eye contact with Kenny. The walking tour through the castle was only paralleled by stories of our pet kittens. Cesky Krumlov will forever be home to a sad blanket boy and a car ride with sing-alongs and burritos in the backseat. Memories overlooking Neuschwanstein Castle will conjure feelings of a few guys being dudes having great convo over some Radlers. One of our culminating events in the beer hall tents of Munich, decked out in our finest lederhosen and dirndl, truly manifested in one of the greatest memories of the trip. We all had a dream of Springfest and I'm sure what we experienced was unlike anything we could have thought up. Mega platters of meat, enormous steins of beer may have been the standard, but we put our spin on it with an electric stein holding competition, lots of laughs, soaking up the local color. These are the memories that last more than a photo could ever tell.
So now that we have gone our separate ways, I look fondly back at this trip. If someone would have asked us on the first day if "y'all ready for this" I highly doubt we would have known what would have been in store for each of us. I am eternally grateful for trips like this and the people who make it possible. As I move into my new role with VoyEdge Rx, I will do my absolute best to continue these memories. At the end of the day, I know 22 of us returned home to tell our own unique versions of "A Song of Beer and Lederhosen." I can only imagine that we all had similar fairy tale endings because of each other. And luckily I love cover versions so I cannot wait until the day I can hear their songs again... Prost!
[the camera pans backward revealing me to have been telling this story to Squid the Cat who is clearly not paying attention as the light fades to black... but hey that's showbiz baby. FIN]