Sunday, May 13, 2018

Rave Run through the Grunewald

Berlin is known for its green spaces and parks.  Close to our home lies the Grunewald, Berlin's largest park.  It is much more of a forest than a city park.  Deep insike the Grunewald lies the Jagdschloss, a castle built in 1530 as a hunting lodge for a Prussian prince.  This past weekend, we did a long run from our house to the Jagdschloss.  The kids joined us on their bikes.  Our effort was rewarded with a rasberry tart at a small cafe inside the castle courtyard...


A Day for Moms - and early B-day Celebration

I was very spoiled today!  Awesome, beautiful and creative artwork greeted me (including a newly framed painting from Peter), homemade lemon scones (baked by Eddy), fresh strawberries from the farmstand and surprise tickets for an afternoon cruise on the "Wannsee" which is one of a series of small lakes outside Berlin (20 minute train ride for us from home). 


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Wittenberg- 500 Years Later

Last weekend we took a lovely day trip to Wittenberg - about 45 minutes on the fast train from Berlin. This picturesque little town celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation last October. We saw the castle church (Schlosskirche) and "the doors" where Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses." The original doors burned in a fire, but were replaced with bronze doors that are inscribed with the 95 Theses in Latin. We climbed the church tower that looks over the town - 289 spiral steps - and were rewarded with a stunning view. That evening we attended a singalong with the church choir. Pretty cool to be singing hymns in German in that historic church.

On the other side of the town we also visited St. Mary's church where Luther was married and spent the majority of his time preaching, starting in 1512. Both churches are still in use today and beautifully restored and maintained.

The Schlosskirche, or Castle Church, where Luther nailed up his 95 Theses

The famous doors are behind us

The 95 Theses in bronze

St. Mary's Church

View of St. Mary's from the Castle Church tower
Lighting candles for our loved ones

Someone is getting extra special prayers!!

Play Ball!

The Little League  baseball season in Berlin kicked off April 14, and we are 2-0!  The league teams are all named after MLB teams, and we are the "Twins." I would like to add that our little man has pitched for a few innings these last two games, starting the last game.   Since he has never pitched before this season, this is a huge deal, and I am pretty impressed how he has handled the pressure of a new skill and new role.  I cannot say the same for myself.  Being the mom of a pitcher is a new type semi-agony. One of the team moms is also one our coaches, and she has warned me it only gets worse!  Oh dear...

The little league scene in Berlin is pretty impressive. We have 10 teams in the "Majors" (there is also the minor league and tee-ball) and each team has at least 2 coaches (we have four). There is also a "team Mom and Dad," who make sure parent volunteers bring snacks for the players and man the concession stand during the game. The concession stand is a German-American cultural mash-up - burgers and hot dogs, but also pretzels and Gummi bears.  Our German fans ask if there is beer in addition to the cokes and water for sale....because why wouldn't there be beer available on a Saturday afternoon?!  (indeed there is no beer at little league games).  Our coaches are German-Americans, fluent in both languages. They yell out instructions in both languages depending on the player's mother tongue is, so you can hear: "Schönes Pitching!" as well as "Keep your eye on the ball!" Bilingual baseball is pretty awesome. The boys and their one plucky girl teammate seem to be bonding well and there are a couple boys who are super positive and constantly yelling encouragement (again, in German or English), which is especially sweet. 

Hope you enjoy the pictures from the Twins' last two victories!

Leaving the field with a victory!

Go Twins!

Wind up ....

Swinging for the fence

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Spring Break in Eilat, Israel

A week in the Red Sea coastal city of Eilat, Israel.  Beach, desert mountains, palm trees, boat rides, swimming pool, boardwalk, and lots of fresh juices and good food.  A wonderful break from the cold and grey winter weather of Berlin!