World Cup Fare

I don't know about you, but I spent Saturday cheering on the USA, wearing one of Shaun's many USA jerseys, and eating enough buffalo wing dip to feed a family of five (more on that later). Though it was a sad turn of events, it got me thinking about World Cup 2006, when Shaun and I somehow scored first round tickets through the crazy FIFA lottery system and trekked over to Germany for our first Euro vacation.

With tickets to 2 of the 3 first round games, we made the plan to do a 3 city tour, spanning Germany and France. The trip began in Cologne, Germany. With fan fare unlike any I've other seen, there wasn't a whole lot to do in Cologne aside from walk the pop-up street fairs in honor of the World Cup and park ourselves at outdoor cafes for hours on end, watching games, drinking Kolsch (the official brew of Cologne) and eating wiener schnitzel and frites until our stomachs begged us to cease. Yeah, it was pretty great.

In a land where it's cheaper to buy a pint of beer than a glass of water, we sampled all of the local goods. From gelato with bits of ice cream cone mixed into it...To neverending bratwurst...

Even though it was years before The Avid Appetite was born, it's pretty clear that Shaun and I were destined to be world-seasoned food fans, don't you think? Anyhow, at the first US game in Gelsenkirchen, we encountered that fan fare enough to top any Subway Series game to boot. Fans draped themselves in American flags, sang American songs, and drank in the streets for hours on end (and in the blazing heat no less).

And we partook in the fun...

With days between games, we made our way to Paris for a few days and then circled back to Kaiserslautern, Germany for the tailend of the trip. Since our friend Geoff, along with his wife Blaire, was stationed at the US Army base there, we had our own personal guide to the town. Somehow, the nights turned back to food at an outdoor cafe (where I sampled bona fide moldy cheese) followed by beer and Jagermeister sampling through the town's street fair. With dark beer served by the meter and Jager at every turn, here's a peak at what happens when you mix the two after many many hours...don't try this at home...

Yep, Shaun ended up riding a metal pony in the middle of the town fountain. Anyhow, while I'll continue my depression over the US loss to Ghana in 2010, it's pretty fab to relive our German adventure of '06 and reminisce over our first major trip together in a real once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plus, ya gotta love a land that encourages train breakfasts consisting of bread, nutella and beer.

So there you have it - a peak at our World Cup adventure of '06. How are you feeling after Saturday's game?