Mar 27, 2013


Sarah and I took a day trip to Frankenmuth - Michigan's little Bavarian-themed tourist town. We made sure to experience the best of it: bavarian tradition, homemade fudge, Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, and Zehnder's restaurant.

Our first stop was the glockenspiel - a clock tower with figures that spin around to tell the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Each figure is four and a half feet tall, and carved in wood from Germany's Black Forest. Sarah and I were freezing our bums off waiting for the clock to strike twelve, and it was worth it.

We strode along the main street, poking into shops and fudge kitchens. At one of them, peanut butter fudge was being cut into thick slices. The aroma in the air was strong and sweet. The confectioner smiled and asked if we wanted to try a piece. Um, yes! A few minutes later we each walked out with half a slab of our own.

Then we went to Bronner's. Imagine it being Christmas all day, everyday, complete with Bing Crosby music, glittering trees, and glass baubles as far as the eye can see, and you have the idea for the "world's largest Christmas store."

Sarah and I picked out a sunny-looking beach ornament and had it personalized. We chose to have it say "Living Our Dreams" because that's what we're both on the verge of doing; I'm about to set off for Japan, and Sarah's one year away from working for the Walt Disney Company. Every year it will hang from Sarah's tree, and we'll look back and remember this time in our lives :)

Frankenmuth reminds me of Disney World in that everyone follows a set theme. From the shopkeepers to the butchers, women dress up in lacy white caps to match their dresses and men sport lederhosen. Every building, even the local muffler shop, looks like a traditional German townhouse.

One building does not, and that is Zehnder's. It doesn't need to draw tourists with a Bavarian facade - the food is enough. They are famous for their chicken dinners. The dishes keep coming on and on - appetizers, side dishes, the chicken, dessert... and all so delicious!

I'll be sharing the thirteen dishes (yes, thirteen!) in the next post. Sarah and I were so full, we almost didn't have room for our fudge. Almost.


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