I partnered with Viking River Cruisesfor some wonderful excursions they treated us to during our Christmas markets trip. My favorite was a visit to a stunning family farm outside of Passau, Germany.

The farm has been in the family for 16 generations, and Barbara, the eldest daughter will soon be taking over the operations, making her the 17th generation! I was really impressed at the family’s ability to adapt to the times and to hear the history of the different animals raised, crops, etc. over the ages. The farm is now primarily a horse farm, where they board horses, host riding competitions, and it serves as an event venue as well. The property encompasses hundreds of acres, much of it heavily wooded, and they have their own sawmill which they use to produce the boards needed to construct new buildings, such as their massive new horse arena, that was of course, built by the family.

I was so thankful to get to experience the farm during the Christmas season and to see the incredibly beautiful decorating done by Barbara’s mom. As Barbara showed us around, it was so sweet to see how proud she was of the work her family has done, as she complimented her father on the buildings and furniture he has created, and all of the lovely decorating done by her mom. The style was classic, natural, and completely perfect for the setting.

After visiting the farm, we made our way to the family’s hunting lodge, (completely built by Barbara’s father, everything from the lumber to the construction, including all of the furniture too) where we were treated to a traditional Bavarian Beerfest. We were greeted by the President of the local Bavarian dance club and another of its members playing music for us and then were welcomed inside.

MaryJane and I cracked up that the two of us were at a beerfest because neither of us are beer drinkers, but it was great fun!

This is the fifth post in a series covering my visit to Europe and the Christmas markets in cities along the Danube River, all via a Viking River Cruise. You can find the first post here, the second post here, the third post here, and the fourth post here.

Viking River Cruises offer excursions at each stop along the way of your journey, in our case that meant all along the Danube River. There are excursions that are included in your river cruise and there are optional excursions that are an additional fee. The visit to the farm and the Bavarian Beerfest was an optional excursion and I was so happy Viking arranged it for us. (See disclosure below). So often when I would check in with Colin at home I'd tell him, "Today was my favorite day!" And this day really was a favorite for me.

I will be posting a full recap of the Viking River Cruise portion of my trip next week and answering the many questions I've been receiving about it. If you have any questions regarding the river cruise or Viking, please feel free to comment below or send me an email and I'll make sure to cover everything in my post.

MEET SERENA!

Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.

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