Perhaps this post is a bit overdue, seeing as today is December 27 TWENTY-TWENTY. Today, also, officially marks one year since I’ve hugged my mom and my sisters. Seeing as 2020 was a bit o f a dumpster fire and limited our chances at travel in our final year abroad, I wanted to reminisce on our Christmas in Regensburg (and beyond) in 2019.
This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase at no additional cost to you! You can read more in my disclosure policy.
October through December of 2019 was a whirlwind. In October, we had three friend groups visit us.
Then, less than a week after my friends left, we boarded a plane and flew up to see our friends and family
Once we came back to Germany, we had lots to do as we prepped for both of our families to come to visit.
Visiting Christmas Markets in Regensburg
As soon as we touched down in Munich, we hit the ground running. Both of our families were due to arrive in just a few weeks and there was lots we wanted to do before they arrived.
For starters, we wanted to experience some Christmas markets together, without having to play hostess.
Thurn und Taxis
First up, Thurn and Taxis. This beautiful market is on the grounds of Schloss Thurn und Taxis, a palace right here in Regensburg.
My friend, Ginny, who I met through Instagram and went on to become a business coach for me, came to Regensburg along with her husband, two boys, and mom.
This was my first time meeting Ginny in person and I was so glad to finally meet someone who had been pouring into me for a few months.
A couple of weeks later, our friends Lori and Franz invited us to attend a medieval themed market a bit outside of town. This one was at Schloß Guteneck, another castle.
This market was one of my favorites because it was different from the typical Christmas markets only offering Glühwein and trinkets to buy.
Christmas in Regensburg
Despite knowing we wouldn’t be home on actual Christmas, I insisted that we have a tree to decorate our home with for our guests. So Cody took a day off work, rented a car, and we drove out to a Christmas tree farm a few miles out of town.
Of course, we spent time wandering around Regensburg, taking in the beauty of our town.
Christmas with the Families
Both sides of our family were scheduled to visit during the Christmas holiday. Cody’s mom and sister were scheduled to arrive first. Then, a couple days after they left, my family was flying in.
We decided to split up with visiting the must-see Christmas markets in Bavaria since neither of us really wanted to go to all the markets twice.
Plus, it gave us each some alone time while the other’s family was visiting since we are both really introverted and enjoy our alone time.
Christmas with the Jacksons
Cody’s mom and sister arrived on a Thursday morning. He met them at the airport and took them on our standard tour of Munich, only this time with a few Christmas markets thrown in!
They came to Regensburg Friday and spent time bouncing around to the different markets in town. They also got a chance to take a train to Nürnberg and visit one of the most famous markets in Germany.
Christmas Markets in Vienna
The following Monday, all four of us left for Vienna. Vienna is one of my favorite cities in Europe and I was ecstatic to see it at Christmas time.
My older sister, Allison, flew in a few days earlier than my family and met us in Vienna.
While we were there, we did all the touristy things. We visited Schönbrunn Palace, sampled lots of different Glühweins, and even strolled through the zoo at the palace.
On Wednesday morning, Cody’s Mom and sister flew out from Vienna, Allison took a train to Salzburg, and Cody and I returned home to Regensburg.
We only had two days til my mom flew in and three days til Emily and Shelby arrived. (Dad opted out of this trip because he doesn’t like the cold and wasn’t a huge fan of Germany, their food options, or their lack of ice and iced tea.)
Christmas with the Buchtiens
Now it was my turn to do the Tour-de-Markets. I suppose if I wanted to be linguistically correct, it would be more like “Markttour.”
Allison and I met up at the hotel and headed out for some Christmas Market exploration while we waited on my mom to arrive, settle in, and get a little rest.
Once Mom was freshened up, we set out for a few more Christmas markets and a typical German meal at a local Brauhaus.
The Brauhaus vibe is something I’m reeeeally missing this holiday season. Low lights, cozy seating, a dark beer, and filling meals all go together to make the perfect dining experience when it’s freezing outside.
The next morning Emily and Shelby arrived. After a quick run-through of the main market in Munich, we hopped on a train back home to Regensburg.
We spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday exploring Christmas markets in Regensburg and also the market in Nürnberg– it’s one of my favorites (probably because it was one of first markets we experienced when we moved in 2018.)
Also, how cute are those bags ^^^?!?! My sister had them made for us to hold all of our Christmas Market goodies! They say “Buchtiens in Bavaria” on one side and “Christmas 2019” on the other.
Christmas in the Black Forest
After exploring all the markets in Bavaria, we loaded up five women, one man, two dogs, and an unknown amount of luggage into a VAN and headed east to the Black Forest.
Our plan was to head east and ski in the mountains. The lack of snow alllll winter long meant we didn’t get to do any skiing.
Instead, we did some touring around the Black Forest, played lots of card games, had a cozy Christmas celebration, and visited the tallest waterfall in Germany for a Christmas light show.
On the Buchtien Girls last day in Germany, we loaded up and headed even further East for a quick stop in Strasbourg, France.
After touring around and grabbing a bite to eat, we headed north to Frankfurt. We stayed the night at a hotel next to the airport. Our last night was spent in the hotel lobby hanging out, chatting, and enjoying a drink.
It makes me sad to think about that being the last time I saw my family. As much as we wanted to stay in Germany a bit longer, being away from them for so long has made me anxious to get home.
Just the Two of Us
After we said our goodbyes and loaded the van, Cody and I pitstopped in Frankfurt. He had been there a couple of times but I hadn’t and we wanted to do a quick tour of the highlights.
We did our standard walking tour, courtesy of Rick Steves and saw the banking district, Frankfurt’s “Red Light District,” and the Holocaust Memorial.
New Year’s Eve
Cody and I rang in the new year solo this year. Which we were absolutely thrilled with seeing as we had months of being with people and were happy for some time to rest and recharge.
We started our evening with a progressive dinner at one of our local favorites and ended the night watching fireworks light up the sky in a complete 360 around our house.
In between that, I finished my first trip through the Bible from beginning to end!
We had a wonderful holiday season celebrating with our families. The holidays in Europe are magical and I am so grateful for the time we have had here to experience it, pre-pandemic!
Stay tuned, I’ll be posting a recap of our 2020 Christmas season soon!
Until next time,