Sunday, July 14, 2013

{ hello again }

Dear Friends & Family,

My dad has reminded me that it's been a month since I've updated my blog, so I will try my best to make this one a good one.

So much has happened in a month! We've had friends come visit during one of the hottest days EVER. Berlin felt like an outdoor sauna, it was so humid. We took a trip to Amsterdam with said friends. And we are continuing to make our place a home in our beautiful neighborhood that we love more and more.

The friends that came were John's old labmates from USC, along with John's advisor, Jack, and his wife, Carol. They were here for a workshop that Jack was presenting at John's work, MPI, and had plans to explore Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, and Paris for a couple days each.

As excited as we were to show them around, we just couldn't beat the heat. Luckily, the ice cream here is really good, very cheap, and pretty much on every corner.

Our friends then left to Prague, and a few days later we met them in Amsterdam.

John & I talk about this many times, but we truly feel so lucky to live in Berlin and to be able to explore other countries in Europe. We've been to Paris, we plan on visiting our friend in the south of France when she comes in September to visit her family, we've talked about going to Prague, we plan on going to Italy this year, and my parents have booked a timeshare in Austria in April. So we are definitely taking advantage of living in Europe.

Between Berlin, Paris, and Amsterdam, there was something refreshing about Amsterdam. There are a lot of tourist in all three, but usually tourist blend with the locals. I can't recall locals among the area we were at, so I don't know their cultural behaviour. In Berlin, Germans have no personal space. People stand and walk very close to you, and if they're not paying attention, will walk right into you. In Amsterdam at the Rijkmuseum, someone was courteous enough to acknowledge someone else taking a picture and ducked out of their way. That does not happen in Berlin. Everyone's in their own little bubble, including me most of the time.

John and I really enjoyed Amsterdam. The buildings were so beautiful, and nothing seemed out of place. I believe all the buildings were built in the 16-1700's. Everything was brick that stood along the canals. Everyone spoke English. There was wifi everywhere to keep us connected when we needed it. There were even cats hanging around and inside establishments. John and I were sitting at the bar in a "brown" cafe when a cat just jumped on top and strolled over to two patrons enjoying some beers and snacks. After it got bored of people taking its picture, it strolled by us and jumped onto a nearby table of 12 before heading to the back. After that, I would see cats either inside places, or I would see them pop in or out of the doors.

Another thing we enjoyed in Amsterdam was the food! (of course)
For the first time in 6 months, we finally had an actually decent burger to our normal "American" standard. Sure we've had good burgers in Berlin....but for Berlin they were good. We wouldn't take our visitors to any burger places here. Our first night in Amsterdam, we met up with our friends for Indonesian, and we all agreed the food was amazing. We also went to Pancake Bakery since it's supposed to a very popular place among the locals and tourists.

We hope this has enticed you to book a trip to Berlin to visit us! After Berlin, you can go to Amsterdam, Paris, Prague, Italy, or wherever you fancy! And remember, the beer is cheaper than water here!

The Prindles

{ entertainment just before dinner }

{ getting to know the city...via map }

{ pancake bakery } 

{ dutch pancake with bacon and apples }

{ sweet sassy mollassy }

{ canal tour }

{ love hearing the history of the buildings }

{ kevin & randy }

{ erin }

{ the heineken experience }

{ being cheesy with randy }

{ watching past heineken commercials }

{ houseboats }

{ line was too long to see this }

{ our air bnb home }

{ our air bnb cat }

{ there's always time for ice cream }

{ i AMsterdam sign }

{ in front of the rijksmuseum }

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