Today is already our last day here in Berlin. We're packed up and ready to hit the road for a few weeks and then head back home for a bit. Here are a few things I will miss about this city:
My morning walks around the lake. This little path was definitely love at first sight even though it had little ice pockets on it when we first arrived and no color around whatsoever. Every day the love has grown deeper as it has put on quite a show in the last few weeks!
The path is fabulous in the early morning all alone but equally charming later in the day with the entire brood.
I have loved watching this little 'lake' (to me a big pond- but it is technically a lake on the map) go from cracked ice to lush green complete with lily pads! We've only seen lily pads in Asia before this so it's a funny change of reference for us. They seem so perfect in a Balinese temple or Japanese garden- but are equally lovely in a German pond in the city.
I will miss bringing left over breakfast to poor broken foot here. The poor duck can only swim in circles due to his broken or malformed leg. He still has that patient little look on his face when trying to swim towards food in the water but just goes in circles. All of our aim has improved by trying to get it as close as possible to him.
I will certainly miss watching these little darlings grow up.
I'll miss this crazy dude watching me while at the park with the kids. And of course it goes without saying will miss all the fabulous parks this city has to offer. I've never been a huge fan of parks or kids playgrounds but must say I'm a convert. The kids have had so much fun on these playgrounds in the past few months.
I'll miss the sidewalk outside of our apartment. These days whenever we go anywhere we are rolled out the pink carpet, which I think is even more fabulous than a red one. I took a landscaping class back in college where one whole lesson was one choosing trees with minimal 'tree litter.' Can you imagine anything more depressing? Tree litter?? This must be why Southern California feels so stale and over planned. I love all the tree litter happening around here these days. There is a huge tree outside of my brother's work where his co-workers told him that he shouldn't park under during the summer months because it drops a sap that ruins car paint- so no one parks there. I guarantee if that happened in LA, the city would be sued and the tree removed.
I will definitely miss the tree litter.
I will miss all the kids peeing in the bushes at the park- not only ours but lots of others as well. It is the common bathroom with no fuss about it.
I'll miss the gorgeous lampposts,
and street signs.
And the knock out landmarks around each corner. (Some things just look more suitable to b & w, don't they?)
I'll miss downtown city sidewalks that look like this.
And bike paths like this- though I do not even have a bike here! I just imagine myself biking on these paths and love that the sidewalks are bike free! With a bunch of kids it so nice to not have to watch out because this is definitely a biking culture here, which is another thing I will miss.
I will miss this city with its rather illustrious past. Here we have the old Checkpoint Charlie- hardly recognizable since the last time I was here nearly 20 years ago.
And here the last bit of The Berlin Wall they've kept up as a memorial. I was here in 1990 when the wall was being torn down. Everyone was after bits of the wall and I thought I'd like to be different so took a piece of rebar that you can see sticking out through the wall here. I still have it in some box in storage somewhere. Luckily my mom was here a few months before me and brought home bags of pieces of the wall so I was able to glue a bunch of small shards around a frame of my backpacking pal Jenny and myself standing in front of a section under deconstruction. They are still selling small pieces as souvenirs.
I will miss being in this city that has taken a hard hit and recovered.
I'll miss grand architecture around every corner.
I'll miss the flea markets with gobs of gorgeous books for sale. Even though I purchase none of them because I have a daughter with a dust mite allergy- and they absolutely adore old books. I just love the way they look.
So many great things about this city that we bid farewell today. I hope someday to be back and play in its midst again. But for now we're on our way to the land of the brothers Grimm. Yup, we're going to be looking for some real life fairy tales.
With guidebook in hand we will say our good-byes for a bit. We'll be taking a little blogging break as I do not want to concern myself with finding little inns with high speed internet. We're going to try to get as lost as possible into the woods of Snow White, Hansel & Gretel and The Frog Prince. We'll see you on the other side.