Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sick and home, but not homesick

Hello everyone. Perhaps some of you have been wondering where we've been. I didn't want to put this out on the internet before, but Greg left three weeks ago for some training, so the kids and I were all alone (not really a thing to tell to the general public). I decided that I'd had enough and needed to come home, so I caught a space-a flight in a C17 cargo jet back to the States on Sunday. My friend Jillian, another Captain's wife came with us, and was a tremendous help. I couldn't have done this trip without her. It took us 4 days of waiting at the Air Force base to finally get a flight that could seat us, but it's worth it just to be home. My mom and Jonathan came to pick us up at McGuire in NJ, and I felt like I would cry with relief when I saw their car drive up. It was a long trip.

No more details right now -- I have a head cold and fever, but it's just good to be here. All I wanted was my mom. I have things that I need to do, a list of stuff to buy etc. before going back in a few weeks, but for right now I think I'll just hibernate for a little while.

I'll try to post pictures of the kids etc. soon, but for now I just need to lie down. It's good to be home.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


(This post contains large photo collages. If you wish to see all of these pictures and more, click on the collage and it will take you to that particular photo set. I created 5 sets for this trip, according to subject.)

Honestly, when we decided to go to Berlin for a few days, I had no idea what to expect. I knew a tiny bit about the historic aspects of the city, but nothing more. Hannah had been there though, earlier this year, and based on her recommendation and those of a few other friends, we booked four nights in a hostel called Odyssee, and set off.

As it turned out, the city was fascinating. We stood next to the Berlin Wall and started to understand it for the first time.
Berlin Wall
Strangely ugly and beautiful all at once. The painting of the walls began years before the two sides of Berlin were reunited in an expression of individual protest from the West (the free side, and the only side that was also free to touch it).

We bought some books about it, and have been learning more about it. (You can also read about it at Wikipedia here..)

The boys had a great time at the zoo. In the top left corner, you can see how Lavella was able to stay warm, even on that cold and rainy day (can you spot her?)
Berlin Zoo

We also visited a huge museum, and spent a whole day there.

We also spent some time at Unter den Linden, saw the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche (the roof was bombed out, but the church still stands, with modern portions built up on either side).

In this collage, you can also peek into the hostel we stayed at. Does anyone know the signifigance of the orange/purple/yellow mural in the bottom two rows below? It was painted across one wall of our room, and depicted some important Berlin landmarks (the Fernsehturm TV tower, for one) along with a woman in a purple hat. We couldn't figure out what it was supposed to mean.

And of course, there was the food. We ate at some hole-in-the-wall places and did a bit of fine dining as well. Quite honestly, the "finest" of the dining I found a bit pretencious, but at another restaurant just a step lower, we had some of the best Italian food we've ever had in our lives. Seriously.

In the top left corner, you can see Andrew enjoying a Kombucha Tea. This was the first time I'd found it for sale anywhere, and it's very tasty. I wish that I knew someone who would share a Kombucha mushroom with me, because I'd love to be able to make it at home.
Berlin Food
In the bottom row, you can see the chocolate shop we visited, Melanie (on the corner of Goethestrasse and Knesebeckstrasse, in case you ever want to stop by). Some of the truffle flavors we purchased included lavendar, thyme, rosemary, and curry. I'm pretty sure it was some of the best chocolate I've ever had in my life. The actual address of this place is Goethestrasse 4, Charlottenburg.

Alltogether we had a wonderful trip, and I'd love to go back sometime.