Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SAE Invasion

Over the weekend we had more visitors to see us while we were in Berlin. This time it was a couple of brothers of mine from good ol' SAE Fraternity. We were expecting them both on Saturday from their respective cities of study, Dublin and Prague, but Hogie got the dates mixed up and showed up a day early on Friday! No worries, because the weather was great and we enjoyed one anther's company outside on the sidewalks of different cafes and bars... which would turn out to be a recurring theme throughout the weekend. After a night of fun and a random house party, we had to get up early (a little too early for all of our tastes) and pick up our second visitor from the airport.

If Friday wasn't the most beautiful day we had yet, Saturday blew it out of the water. We took them on a little tour of Berlin, stopping at beer gardens and parks along the way. Lucky for us, our friend Jeff was having a huge shin-dig at his apartment that night. The party was raging and there was barely room to enjoy your beer, but the company was great and everyone had a blast. On our way home we got to see the sun rise (once again) and rode the S-bahn back with a Scottish friend we had made there.

As you can imagine we got off to a late start on Sunday. But once again we were blessed to have the lucky weather. We spent a majority of the day lounging in the parks, walking Berlin, and using public pay toilets... a great day in my opinion. In the evening we met back up with our friends from the party and headed out to a little bar down the street. Little to our knowledge, two of them hadn't slept and ended up falling asleep at the bar! And you can imagine who had to deal with getting them out... no, not Superman, just Ebe and I.

Monday was another beautiful day, but unfortunately for me I had to go teach some of the dumbest kids I have... but none the less, we met up with both of them after their adventure with Knut and the rest of the animals at the Berlin Zoo, as we lounged in front of the Berliner Dom in the Lustgarten enjoying a nice cold beer. That evening we enjoyed more tasty local food, which impressed both them by it's deliciousness and value. We ended up having a nice relaxing night at home with a few other friends, enjoying some beers, watching and impersonating South Park, and reminiscing about the fraternity days. We said goodbye to both of them on Tuesday.

We were really glad they had the opportunity to visit us while we were here. We couldn't have asked for better weather, and I hope with them leaving us, they don't take it with! Until next time bat fans! Same bat channel, same bat time!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A little bad news & a bit of good news

Bad news first- ready?
The parents have left. Very sad to see them go as we had such an amazing visit. The places we saw, the incredible food we ate, the car we drove, the games we played. It was all amazing. Just as at the end of any great vacation though, it is a little nice to return to routine & thoroughly relax. P's: give Bella an extra hug from us & tell her she looks skanky- she likes that.

Good News: I am having some pictures published in the Walk Travel Guide for Berlin ( I saw this note on flickr & submitted 8 photos which were accepted. Exciting! Apparently I will receive a portion of the profits (which I am sure will make me rich & famous- ha!) so check out the book & maybe buy it to support your favorite Berlin expats. (It is available through amazon for $19.95. I also get a 5% discount for friends & family- so ask!)

In the meantime- please write us & let us know what s going on in your lives because we love mail (who doesn't like seeing "new message" in their inbox?) Happy Spring and may the Northwest be as rainy as it has been here- we would hate it if y'all were missing out!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Visitors

...and they are here! Both the parents arrived safely and are now sleeping on the couch. They did pretty good making it to the Reichstag, Sony Center, Brandenburger Tor, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Hotel where baby Jackson was dangled out the window, and a bit of Unter den Liden. More places to be seen, more things to be done, but that is enough for today.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hamburg Hooligans

We had a lot of fun while Travis was here, but I think the definite highlight has to be our whirlwind trip to Hamburg. Thanks to an awesome deal which the Deutsche Bahn offers, Travis, Ebe, John, Jeff, and myself were all able to go to Hamburg for only 7Euros a piece! The three of us met John and Jeff at the Ostbahnhof, where our trip was to begin... little did we know that Jeff had a little surprise for us: whiskey in a murse. Yes, that's right, a murse: a male purse. He insisted that it was manly, seeing it was the keeper of a fine bottle of Jim Beam, but we saw through the illusion and recognized it for what it was: a purse.

On our roughly five hour trip to Hamburg, we played cards and talked a lot about South Park. Unfortunately Ebe and I weren't up to date on our South Park viewing, but we found it quite entertaining none the less... needless to say, we've been making up for it the last week by watching South Park pretty much non-stop.

When we finally got to Hamburg it was already dark and quite chilly. Travis and I made the mistake of not dressing the warmest, but it wasn't a problem later in the evening after we put on our beer jackets. We walked out of the Hauptbahnhof and preceded on our way to the infamous Reeperbahn: our goal for our trip to Hamburg. The Reeperbahn is infamous for many reasons, mainly it being one of the biggest red-light districts in all of Europe...

The night started off great with a wonderful meal at a little local watering hole. We all ordered a beer and then ordered their special of the day: duck. But there was a problem. They were all out! We were bummed, so we figured we'd finish our beer and then find some grub at another spot. Half-way through our beers, the waiter/owner brought out a huge platter of anti-pasta with utensils and plates for all of us. We thought it weird that he would bring out huge plates just for this appetizer, but a few minutes later he brought out another platter heaped full of Rotkohl and duck legs! It was super tasty and we ended up drinking a few more rounds of beers, along with taking a few shots with the owner... and what did we have to pay for such a wonderful meal? Sixty Euros for five of us! It was going to be a great night.

The rest of the night was amazing as we wandered along the Reeperbahn going into any bars or clubs that looked like they might be fun. Amongst some of the highlights was a bar playing fifties surf music and the infamous Herbertstrasse, a street where only men over the age of 18 are allowed to enter... I think you can imagine what kind of "businesses" are along its sidewalks.

We had a blast until around 5:30 in the morning, when we had to leave the Reeperbahn and head back to the Hauptbahnhof. The walk back was amazing with the sun rising over Hamburg's harbor. We took a look at our watches and realized we needed to put a little kick in our step our else we might miss our 6:30 train, so we decided to skip there. Yes, that's right, we skipped and good thing we did, as we damn near missed our train. It was a long ride back to Berlin, but the five us were glad we had made the journey.

Hamburg harbor

Tired ebe

Good thing we didn't have to do anything later in the day... oh wait, we had the Hertha Berlin game to attend!

Nazi era archetecture Berlin

Berlin Olympiastadion
Hertha Game at Olympic Stadium

More pics of our Night out in Hamburg
and a Day in Hamburg  

Post about the 2 Berlin Football teams Battling it Out in 

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008