Monday, July 28, 2008

Number 13

So I told you earlier about 12 reasons Brian and I look forward to home. I forgot one. A big one. Here, in all is glory, is number 13.

AIR CONDITIONING!!!
Europe is largely un-air conditioned. It hasn't been a big problem... we had a mild summer in Berlin and London is mild by nature, but Paris has been hot. Nigh unto down right miserable. We're talking close to 30° C every day (thats around 85° F for all your non-metric gurus out there) and humid, and the evenings stay very warm. I think it goes without saying that we are so anxious to get back to our nice, centrally air conditioned apartment.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Allison Turns One!

I can't believe that my little baby is officially one! Allison spent her birthday at the Lourve.

She wasn't too much of a fan of all the crowds at the Mona Lisa...


All the looking at old stuff sure tuckered that poor girl out...


Her favorite part was splashing and dipping her feet in the fountains outside.


And she LOVED the chocolate cupcake mommy and daddy got her from a French patissarie (no, Brian's not helping her shove that in her face... he's keeping it from ending up in her lap!)

Happy birthday, little munchkin! Love you so, so much!

London Calling

London was amazing! Loved it and can't wait to go back someday to catch all the things we missed (its so expensive!). Here's a sampling...
Buckingham Palace... it was beautiful!







Big Ben and the Houses of Parliment... amazing architecture!




The British Museum... another awesome Egypt collection, among other things.




The Science and Natural History Museums... Allison loved playing in the water tables in the children's garden.



Friday, July 18, 2008

Twelve Reasons

Brian and I are getting a little anxious to get home to everything familiar to us. We've been thinking about it for a little while now... I've come up with 12 reasons why we look forward to getting home, even though we have enjoyed living in Germany this summer.

  1. Window coverings. The aparment we're in now has HUGE windows... no window coverings. Thats especially bad at 4:30 in the morning when it gets very light outside (and inside). We've made do with sheets over the bedroom windows, but I miss Allison's black out drapes... she sleeps past 5 in the morning with those on the windows
  2. No loud birds. Seriously... the birds here are freakishly loud and, like the light, get started at 4 am.
  3. Allison's own room. Brian and I have relinquished the one bedroom in our flat here to Allison thinking that maybe we'd get a little more sleep. No such luck (reasons 1 & 2 lead to Allison thinking 5 am is the perfect time to wake up for the day).
  4. Moutains. They block light when its too early in the morning for it to be getting light outside.
  5. Adult friends. We miss you guys!
  6. English. Not only is it a beautiful language, but we speak it fluently and understand it nearly effortlessly.
  7. Memory foam matress topper. Enough said...
  8. More than 2 TV channels. The only channels in English here are are CNN International and BBC World, and I'm sure sick of international news over and over again. I think I may never watch the news again...
  9. Allison's toys. This poor girls has just been getting so bored (and cranky to go with it) with no real toys to play with.
  10. Space for projects. With not much to do in the evenings (since Allison is asleep) Brian and I are both getting anxious to get back to our hobbies at home.
  11. A car! Don't get me wrong, public transport is great here! But I do look forward to not having to carry all my groceries home from the market.
  12. More sleep, hopefully! Between the light, the birds and the early waking child who has been sharing our room for almost 2 months, we really hope that going home and getting settled back in will equal sleeping past 5 am on a daily basis.

No place like home indeed, even when you've been somewhere fun and exciting. Only 11 more days, and those should go quick... London and Paris, here we come!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Museums

Thursday nights are free museum night in Berlin's museum district. Brian and I decided to take advantage a few weeks ago and we went to the Altes Museum... its the Berlin Museum of Egyptian Art, which is currently also housed with the Museum of Greek and Roman Art, since they're doing MAJOR contrsuction on several of the buidlings in the museum district. We had a great time, and Allison was a happy girl, even though it meant she got to bed late. Maybe having her favorite blanket along with us helped...




The major attraction of the Egypt exhibit is the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti. It was pretty cool, but then again, what about ancient Egyptian artifacts isn't cool?


One a completly different note, at a completly different kind of museum, I took Allison to the Labyrinth Childrens Muesum and met up with one of Brian's acoustics professors and her kids (yep, small world... they're in Berlin too!). This was a really fun place... tons of toys to play with and a sort of obstable course that kids could ride through on scooters, stilts, mini bikes, wheelchairs... all kinds of fun. Allison like being pushed around the course by mommy, but she wasn't too keen on being dressed up like the crossing guard cop.


We skipped Allison's afternoon nap for that day of fun, but I think she'd say it was worth it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Allison's day at the Berlin Zoo

Allison has been begging us for weeks to take her to the zoo. Ever since we got here, its been "Please, please, PLEASE take me to the zoo!" Okay, not really. She can't say any of those words. And she doesn't know what a zoo is. If if she could, and if she did, I'm sure it would have happened that way.


We went to the zoo on Saturday. Let me tell you, theres a reason that zoo is famous. Not only is it HUGE, but its really nice. They have very few fences. Most of the outdoor animal areas are enlosed with large ditches and small electric fences where necessary. Allison had a blast.


She got to ride on Daddy's shoulders, which was tons of fun. "This is a way better way to travel than that wheeled thing mom always pushed me around in"

She got to play for a little while a the seal fountain. "Water! Now how am I supposed to get in there?"

She got to get up close with lots of animals.

"This thing looks funny, and it keeps staring at me..."

Her favorite were the monkeys, but I forget to grab on of those photos...

The absolute BEST part of the day, however, was at the aquarium. They have an open air koi pond there and you can touch the fish if you want.

video

Do you think she liked it? She's the one you can hear laughing... I guess a better question is do you think they liked her? I'm pretty sure that her little fingers looked a lot like fish food to them. Good thing they don't have teeth!

Ode to A Quiet Life

Life in a foreign country with a foreign language and a two nap a day child is, in a word, quiet. Here is my tribute to the quiet.


I started this shortly before Allison was born and now, about a year later, its finished. When I got to Germany, the bunny was all done and the moon was just barely started. Everything else, I did since June 7th.

I'm pleased. I'm not a cross-stitcher... I know how but I've never done one before. I enjoyed it. Maybe I'll try another one someday.