Monday, June 30, 2008

Berlin Botanical Gardens

Saturday we went to the Bontanical Gardens. They were beautiful. I had Burchart Gardens in my head, but this was different. Most of it was much more natural and wild, less manicures and landscaped. Their green houses were awesome though. Thats where we spent most of our time. Anyway, we took some great photos. This is my favorite one that Brian took... he's getting pretty darn good with that camera...



And this was one of my favorites that I took. They had tons of water lillies, which I loved. However, I don't know what that gross looking thing is near the lilly... I totally didn't even see it when I framed the photo in the lens. Oh well.


Allison did really well Saturday. She only took one short nap but she was so happy and fun. She loved walking through the gardens and seeing all the pretty flowers. It rained too, but she loved it. She's a true Seattle girl.
She did get kind of tired and loopy though. Like her mom, she gets silly when she's tired... we got a cute video of it.


video

The whole trip tuckered her right out... I can't remember the last time Allison fell asleep in her stroller.

All in all, it was a really great way to spend a Saturday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fun sounds

Apparently Allison loves to hear the sound of her own voice... especially when bumping along the cobbled street in her stroller. Its quiet, but you can hear it.

video

In addition to being cute and funny, my munchkin is 11 months old! How on earth did that happen? I can't believe that in 30 short days I'll have a 1 year old (and I'll be in Paris, but thats just bragging)! Time sure goes by quickly...

More Discoveries in Berlin

This last Saturday we explored more of the city... this time we visited Hauptbanhof (the central train station) and to take photos of the horse sculpture outside. Allison enjoyed crawling around outside for a while. The horse is crayz looking, but it has a neat story. Apparently it was commissioned when the goverment decided to move the capitol to Berlin in 1990. It uses and highlights parts of an old major station and chornicles the railway history in Germany.

While we were there, Brian caught this awesome picture of Allison. Isn't it amazing?


We also went to visit the Neptune Fountain. Allison loved that. She had a lot of fun playing and crawling around the water.


We also visited several churches. One was full of statues and was just gorgeous inside, one was ancient and had an amazing, gorgeous organ, one was recontructed and preserved in its post-war bombed out state... that one was really amazing. They took the pieces of the frescoes and mosaics that covered the walls and ceilings and pieced them back together where they could. But, I didn't bring those photos along with me... guess you'll have to track me down when we get home to see those. =)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Daily Life in Berlin

Its certainly an interesting switch for me. Not only did I go from working mom to stay home mom for the summer, I am staying home in a foreign country where I don't speak the native language. Let's call it an adjustment.

Allison and I try to get out everyday, either between nap and lunch, or nap and daddy coming home. Allison loves to take walks and see people, and its good for me too. We take walks into the Tiergarten (Berlin's answer to Central Park... we can be in it in a short 3 minutes walk from our apartment), we head to an internet cafe every few days and we go to the market every few days (European's have small frigdes... about half the size of a small one by American standards). Usuallz a trip out will take us at least 2 hours. I go three metro stations away for the market (its the closest of the really cheap one that I like) and at least 2 metro stations away for an internet cafe. Its good for us to get out.


In the down time at home, Allison has been absolutely entralled with the large mirror-doored cabinet in the living room of our flat. Narsacistic much? Yes, she is kissing her reflection.


She has also been pretty intent on the daily unpacking and inspection of her clothes.

We've really been lucky with the flat we ended up in. The couple we're renting from is inredibly nice and they have a three year old, so there are some toys left in the apartment that Allison has enjoyed playing with. Thats been a real life saver for me.
As for me, I've been spending my time working on Allison's birth announcement cross-stitch (I know, she's almost a year old now, but my goal is to finish before her brithday...) and reading. I also should be studying for my level 2 teaching license exam, but I just haven't been able to bring myself to that yet. Maybe when I run out of other things to do... altough I have found two H&M stores in Berlin that sounds like a far more appealing way to waste, I mean spend, my time (and money).
On a side note, Allison has cut her third tooth on the bottom row, and we think she might be teething her top 4 right now... time will tell!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Discovering Berlin

We spent our day out discovering some of downtown Berlin. We had so much fun. Berlin is absolutely amazing. Here's a little taste of what we saw (on foot!) today.
The Brandenberg Gate... major crossing point from East to West Berlin


Remnants of the Berlin Wall... only a few pieces are left. I was surprised at how thin the wall was... not more than a few inches! The whole path of the wall is marked through the city with brick.



The Berliner Dom... huge, AMAZING Lutheran Cathedral. We'll post more photos of this when we visit again and don't have dead camera batteries for the interior


Monument to the Slaughtered Jews... its a whole city block of rectangular stones. A little strange, but pretty cool all the same.



The Reichstäg... Germany's capitol building. Theres a really cool glass dome on top.



Overall, here's how we feel about being in Berlin togther. More another time!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Safe and sound, just not as planned

Allison and I made it to Berlin, just not quite as we expected to. Lets just say it was an interesting experience...

I was far too excited to sleep well on Tuesday night, so getting up and to the airport on time was no problem. The airport was the problem. Actually I guess it was air traffic control and the weather in the midwest or the east coast or somewhere between where I was and where I needed to be. My flight out of Salt Lake was delyed, twice, by air traffic control. Since mz flight was delayed, I missed my flight to Berlin Wednesday evening my minutes. Literally I'm pretty sure I saw my flight be Berlin leaving as my flight from Salt Lake was landing.

Continental only flies once per day to Berlin, so Allison and I received a nice hotel room in downtown Newark, New Jersey compliments of Continental airlines. On the bright side, we both got a good nights rest that night. Thats probably a good thing, since I haven't quite had once since. Allison only slept about 3 hours on our flight to Berlin (an overnight, 9 hour flight) and jet lag has been hard on her... she's been waking up at 10 pm from what she seems to think is supposed to be a nap, and wants to play until 1 am. Its been an interesting battle, but I think we're over the worst of it and I'm a few nights from total victory. Last night's prepared strike of a melatonin spiked bottle really helped on that front... both mom and Allison got at least 9 consecutive hours of sleep for the first time in days.

Germany is absolutely beautiful! Its very green, which reminds me of Seattle. Besides trying to get over jetlag, I've been learning how to get to and from the market (an important, almost daily tas), the metro, the internet cafe and playing with Allison. This weekend we plan to get out and do something fun...

Brian is learning a lot in his internship, even if its not necessarily what he was expecting to learn. I'll enlighten you all on that in another post. Sorry, but no photos yet. I'll be sure to get some downloaded and ready to post for next time.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TOMORROW!!!

To quote little orphan Annie:

"I love ya, tomorrow, you're only a day away!"

Cheesy, I know, but I leave for Germany tomorrow and I CAN'T HARDLY WAIT!!! I get to go to Europe, Allison get to see her daddy and I get to see my Brian, who I miss so much. I just can't wait!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Three

My sister-in-law Katie tagged me... here goes!

3 joys: my amazing, sweet and currently much missed husband, Brian; My adorable Allison. Going to the temple (which hasn't happened in way too long)

3 fears: Harm or loss of my family; not knowing the next step; My 5 hour FULL flight to Newark with Allison sitting on my lap

3 goals: Get to the temple monthly once we're back from Germany; Finish my wedding scrapbook before Christmas; Pay off my student loan and the car loan before Brian graduates

3 current obsession/projects: Scrapbooking & Close to my Heart products; getting to Germany this week; Finishing all my half-started projects

3 random facts: I have only spent half of my wedding anniversaries in my husband's company; I feel incomplete if I don't have my toenails painted; We eat pizza every Friday night in our house

I tag Kristi, Liz and Bonnie