My goodness! If you’re reading this you’ve survived 2020 thus far! Boy has it been a whirlwind of a year. So many of our cheers were overshadowed by head tilts, facepalms, heartbreaking moments. But before I go off on a tangent, this post is not the annual end of year reflection piece. It’s about the holidays! Christmas time is here! Between you and me, my Christmas came at the beginning of November. I started watching Christmas movies as soon as Hallmark and Lifetime released them. Shortly after I was listening to Pentatonix mid November. Next thing I knew, I was decorating my place before Thanksgiving! I even bought majority of presents before December. Because so many events this year were out of my control and my mental health was taking a toll, Christmas (my favorite time of the year) was the one thing I felt I could control. I needed the joy and merriment that comes with the holidays. The cheesy movies provided a sense of unrealistic but appreciated consistent happy endings. The tunes brought coziness as they describe the feelings of gathering around a fire while it’s cold outside. Then there’s the celebration of hope that comes with the reminder of God’s gift to us, the birth of Jesus. Christmas came early for me because I yearned the comfort. I needed to be distracted from the uncertainty, the chaos, the paralysis, and ugliness taking place. More on that on my end of year reflection piece.
As you should know, I love to travel and explore places. This year I didn’t go out as much because of the pandemic, but I found opportunities to discover new places in Michigan, Georgia and California. Being in the positive Christmas spirit, I decided it was time to go out and explore some place new. Somewhere I could embrace the sights and sounds of Christmas in America. Luckily, such a place is Frankenmuth, Michigan. Frankenmuth is small town about an hour from me that is known for it’s Bavarian flare and Christmas vibes. Thanks to the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce, I was able to have a wonderful (and safe) Christmas experience.
I stayed at the Marv Herzog hotel for the night. Of course because of the pandemic, I was a bit weary. It was my first time staying in a hotel this year. Thankfully the lobby was empty but clean and festive. The staff wore their masks. Even the woman serving the complimentary wine and beer wore gloves and stood behind a screen. If you do book a room here, make sure to get the river view.
There’s a lot of beautiful German architecture all through main street, but my favorite spot was definitely the River Place Shops. It reminded me of the little downtown shopping centers I used to visit when I lived in Europe. That bit of nostalgia definitely hit the spot for me. If you’ve ever watched The Princess Switch on Netflix, the River Place Shops kind of looks like downtown Belgravia. Of course they had places to shop and eat. I had the most delicious eggnog latte from La Crepe Du Jour, yummy beignets from N’Orlins and some incredible whiskey from Grand Traverse Distillery. Unfortunately, with the pandemic there was no indoor seating and sitting outside in the Michigan winter is not for the faint hearted. Although, you can sit in one of those bubble things that have popped up this year (pun intended) at the Frankenmuth Visitor and Welcome Center.
I didn’t get to do as many activities as I had hoped due to personal reasons. My trip was actually cut short. But at least I got to try one of the famous chicken dinners from Zehnder’s Cafe. Next time I visit I have to give the Bavarian Inn’s chicken dinners a try and then decide on which is better.
If you’re ever looking for the cutest and coziest Christmas getaways, check out Frankenmuth.org for more details on where to stay, where to go, what to do, what to eat etc. You will not be disappointed especially at night time. The lights were FANTASTIC! I’ll definitely be heading back into the town during summer. I heard that’s also great time to visit! Until then, AUF WIEDERSEHEN Frankenmuth! If you live in America, you can check to see if there is any Bavarian town in your state. I’m sure it’ll be worth the visit, like the time I went to Helen which is about an hour from Atlanta. Anyway, in the meantime, I hope to have a happy Christmas. And I wish you one as well. Also…mask up and keep your social distance!