Tuesday, October 9, 2012


We were lucky enough to head to spend this past weekend in Berlin.  We arrived thursday night and came home sunday night.  I'll be honest--it was a pretty rough trip.  We felt like we were just moving between different scenes of a continuous nightmare.  Andy had about a 3 day permanent tantrum, the weather was rainy and freezing, and we had a difficult time maneuvering around such a big city (bad hotel location, complicated transit system that wasn't stroller friendly, etc.).  I guess not every trip can be sunshine and roses! Especially with a toddler in tow.  All in all, we think it was still worth it.  Berlin is definitely worth a visit.  It's more of an educational trip than a fun trip.  You can tell the city has seen some hard times and is still recovering.  It has a dark, but fascinating, history.  We learned so much as we visited the different museums and sites.

Cam worked from the hotel room most of the day, so Andy and I went out exploring.  We headed out to Unter den Linden (the shopping street), Tiergarten Park, and the Brandenburg Gate.  I was a little nervous to head out into the middle of a strange city with my baby--especially since people do not speak english very well.  After a long and incredibly confusing hour and twenty minutes, we made it! The Brandenburg Gate is stunning.  Tiergarten Park is definitely the most beautiful park I've ever been in.  It even beats out the Vondelpark here and all the parks in London, which are all gorgeous.  I couldn't believe how many trees there are and how tall they are.  It feels like you're in the middle of a forest.  There was a big street fair going on in the middle of the park, which was fun to see.

Brandenburg Gate
Fair in the middle of Tiergarten.
Monument in the middle of Tiergarten.
More Tiergarten.
After Andy's afternoon nap, we headed out with Cam to go to the Jewish Museum.  After a long, confusing, and wet journey, we made it! The architecture is unusual and beautiful.  We both learned a lot.  Of course, Andy decided the ideal time to start screaming was in the Holocaust section.  We kept getting dirty looks from people who I'm sure thought we were so disrespectful in such a sacred place. They probably didn't have kids.

The Jewish Museum.  I stole this picture from wikipedia because it was too dark when we left to get a picture.  I wish the weather had been this nice when we were there. :)
We packed a lot in on Saturday.  We started out by taking Cam back to the Brandenburg Gate and Tiergarten Park.  He fell in love with the park as much as I had.  We saw the Holocaust Memorial, too.  We headed over to Checkpoint Charlie afterwards.  We learned so much in the museum.  It's crazy for us to realize the wall was up in our lifetime.  After that, we went to see a long stretch of original wall.  We happened on an incredible museum that was right by it called Topography of Terror.  It's basically a museum about the Nazi reign from 1933-1945 located right where their main offices were.  It is horrifying.  I was so saddened to learn more about what actually went on under Hitler.  Obviously I'm familiar with the Holocaust, but there was so much more.  Both Cameron and I really got a lot of out of this museum; we'd never heard of it, so we were lucky to find it.  

Cute Andy in his adult size poncho. 
Another Brandenburg Gate picture.  Poor Andy's hat was on backwards. 
We love Tiergarten.  Wouldn't it be incredible to go on a run here?

We found this cool monument in Tiergarten.  It's a monument to Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart! If you look close there's bullet holes all over from WWII.  Crazy. 
Holocaust Memorial.

Checkpoint Charlie 
Miracle of miracles.  Andy took a nap on the go! I don't think that's happened since he was 3 months old. 
Closeup on Checkpoint Charlie sign. 
Long stretch of original wall in front of Topography of Terror Museum.

Andy stretching his little legs in front of the wall.
After that came the rain disaster.  We were on our way to Berliner Dom (a beautiful cathedral).  It had been raining all weekend, but all of a sudden came a serious downpour.  Umbrellas did nothing.  It seriously dumped buckets of water for about two minutes, and then we were soaked.  It looked like we'd just showered with our clothes on.  I guess normally this wouldn't be a big deal; we'd just go back to the hotel and change, right?  Slight problem: we flew on Easy Jet (a budget airline), so we could only bring one piece of luggage between the three of us, which meant Cam and I only brought the pants and shoes and jackets we were currently wearing.  So we head back to the hotel.  There's not a dryer there or anywhere nearby.  We finally decide I'll go to H&M (which is only a couple blocks from our hotel) and buy us some cheap pants.  The only problem was that I didn't have anything to wear to H&M.  I wasn't about to put back on my soaking wet pants, so  I came up with this creative outfit.  Yes, I am wearing my sweater as a skirt.  And yes, that is Cameron's shirt I'm wearing.  We only had a few dry options at this point.  Let's just say I got some really strange looks!  I couldn't stop laughing either, which made me look even more crazy.  Oh well, makes for good memories. :)  

Don't I look beautiful?  I wish you could see my boots better because that was really the icing on the cake.
When we got back out, we headed to see the East Side Gallery.  It's the longest remaining stretch of the wall that a bunch of artists painted in 1990 to celebrate the newfound freedom.  It's a hip, trendy area.  We were pretty cold (perhaps because we were wearing our wet shoes and jackets), but we managed and really enjoyed it.  

You may or may not know that Cam is an awesome juggler.  So we had to get a picture of this amazing juggler doing 5 balls! 

Both sides of the wall. 

We headed to the Reichstag (the parliament building) in the morning and after pleading with several employees, we were lucky enough to get tickets to visit the dome on the top.  (Apparently you have to get tickets about 5 hours before you want to go, and we didn't have that kind of time.)  The views of the city are incredible!  We were so glad it worked out for us to be able to see it.  Since we'd missed Berliner Dom the day before, we headed back.  It is stunning.  There are so many things I love about europe, but the architecture might be top on the list.  You just can't find this sort of thing anywhere else.
The Reichstag.  You can kinda see the dome in the back. 
Inside the dome. 
Outside the dome.
View of Tiergarten from the top of the Reichstag.  
Berliner Dom.  I had to include at least one picture of Andy screaming to keep things accurate. 
Inside Berliner Dom.
One more miracle! He slept for 30 min. of the plane ride home.  Perhaps because he didn't get a nap the rest of the day.
One last cute picture of Andy.  I think the highlight of the trip for him was saying "Hi" (though it sounded more like "eye") into our hotel phone about 100 times a day.  Adorable.
Isn't Berlin cool?  We feel really lucky we had the opportunity to visit such a historic, interesting place.  This trip had its moments, but we're still glad we went.  However, we've promised ourselves we're not taking "any more" trips with Andy.  I'm sure we'll forget how traumatic this weekend was and book a few more eventually, but we hope to use babysitters more. We are unbelievably excited for our trip to Paris next week...because we have some awesome sitters staying at home with Andy.  Yay!


  1. How fun! You guys are so sweet and patient, I think if Milo cried most of a weekend, I would be writing about how awful the trip was - if we even made it through the whole weekend!

  2. Seriously you guys are such troopers. I think I would have been done after the first trip with a toddler! Glad you were still able to make it a good trip! Excited for you guys to enjoy a baby free weekend!

  3. okay I loved this post. First of all, those pictures are amazing! it look so beautiful even with the rainy weather. Second, I am dying at that picture of andy in the rain poncho. I can't stop laughing he look SO cute. Also, I am laughing so hard about your outfit to H&M. haha I can only imagine. I miss you guys!

  4. Gorgeous pictures. What a trip! I'm glad you learned so much and got to see beautiful places, I mean the architecture is incredible, even through your pictures. Paris is so soon! I'm excited for you.

  5. Wow, you guys are amazing. Seriously, I can't believe how much you are exploring, especially with Andy. I can't imagine traveling all over Europe with a little one but he seems to be doing pretty well! Props to Andy! And Andy in that poncho...adorable. And saying hi, so precious! Your outfit is hysterical, I can just see you walking down the street and laughing. Classic!

    Berlin looks amazing, so does that park, so so pretty! I can't wait to go to Europe and get all of your tips :) I am so excited to hear about Paris, what an amazing trip that will be!