Germany Adventure, Day 3: Berlin & Fancy Dinner

June 21, 2008

I am writing this a day late, as I fly on Lufthansa from Berlin to Munich. We were out late last night and enjoying every last second in Berlin so I am catching up during some downtime. Our flight is one hour long, so just a quick hop.

Yesterday we had an unscheduled day in the city of Berlin. Other than a dinner hosted by an important executive in the evening, we were on our own to explore. The night before we decided to sleep with the blinds open a bit in hopes that when the sun came up, we would wake up naturally instead of to a beeping alarm…well…the plan worked great for me except that I forgot that the sun came up at 330am which left me WIDE awake by six in the morning, after sleeping only about five hours. I am of the belief that I can tolerate lack of sleep for six days; I would much rather get up and see as much as I can even if I am a tired!
So our day began with breakfast at the hotel, the same amazing spread that we found out costs about 28 Euros, or over $45 US dollars per person. The spread was again, amazing. I think I could live on the cream cheese (brie looking) and the fresh bread.

I typically start my day with eggs at home and here I have noticed the eggs have yolks that are very orange in color vs. the yellow we see at home. They are much tastier which makes me wonder what our chickens have been bred to produce. Each of these had a different hot cuisine, mostly egg dishes & sausage (gross!!).I just have to comment on the espresso availability here. Every corner has a little café where customers can sit outside, enjoy their espresso and pastry and watch the world pass them by. The chairs all face the road and the coffee drinks are the most amazing looking little pieces of heaven. Non-fat milk is very hard to find here so you can assume that all lattes are make with whole milk. The waiters that I have requested skim milk to, do not understand what I mean so I decided to just suck it up and drink whole milk and boy, will I be disappointed when I get home and continue to make my lattes with skim milk! I now have a different view of my Starbucks. Once thought to be my gold standard, having true European espresso taught me that starbucks coffee is CRAP! I mean it! This girl, who drinks starbucks everyday (though I make it myself), is declaring they probably have the worst coffee in the world! Pumped full of sugar because the coffee can’t flavor the milk enough, we Americans don’t know what we are missing. Forget dessert, forget sugary syrups, give me a straight German made latte and I am a happy girl.

[pretty much what I spent the day doing! Thank you for your patience Tori!!!]
After breakfast we just started wandering around town. We went to Checkpoint Charlie which was rather disappointing. Merely a series of posters and pictures I was expecting something more tangible. We walked and walked and saw large pieces of the Berlin wall, graffitied and colorful.
[the line where the wall used to be was marked with a two brick line throughout the entire city]
We saw a holocaust memorial where I may have shot my prize picture of the trip:
My favorite favorite favorite place we passed was a wrought iron gated building what was white and grey, with mirrored windows that reflected the blue sky. Growing in front of the building was the most gorgeous display of hydrangeas I have ever seen. I took the opportunity to take a ton of pictures even though I had to shoot through the gates. If there was ever a picture that was a collection of all the styles that epitomize “me” it would be this place. I loved it!!! If I ever had enough time & money I would have a garden like this!

We did a little bit of shopping along the way, mostly window shopping. It is very expensive over here and the dollar:euro exchange rate is not good. I did splurge in the Berlin Couture shop which sold “couture” Berlin logo clothing. I got Tommy a red track jacket and was amused when I asked the sales guy who was about the same size to try it on. I thought the jacket fit just right and he claimed it was way too big. He grabbed the smaller size, shoved himself into it and zipped on his second skin. “Now it fits,” he said. Picturing my husband in a jacket that was skin tight made me giggle and I ended up buying the larger size. I ended up with a bling black sweatshirt, encrusted in Swarovski crystals in the shape of the Berlin bear. It cost way too much, but I didn’t buy much else. I collect Swarovski crystal figures whenever I go anywhere, and had to get one for this trip. I found a Swarovskimaus” that I just had to have since this place reminds me of my grandmother (and her love of mice) and I figured I had to have the maus to remember Berlin. That was the extent of my shopping. Oh, one more—Tommy said not to get him anything while I was here, unless, of course, I found Heidi Klum and she wanted to come home with me. So, I just had to grab a German magazine with Heidi on the cover, so I hope he’s happy!
Some other random shots from the day:
[cutest smart car ever!!]
[beautiful office building]
[lunch at potsdamer platz]
[and what can I say, two girls, one hotel room …]

For dinner, we went to LuttnerWegner, one of the top 10 restaurants in Berlin, and offering an authentic German cuisine. The ambiance was amazing, the company was fantastic and the wine was plentiful. The potato soup was excellent (I have ordered it every day!) and the main entrée was great too. I had vegetarian ravioli and Tori had the famous, award winning Sauerbraten, beef soaked in vinegar and slow roasted. I swear, this tasted just like my mother & grandmothers cooking. I feel like I am at home! The wine was a German wine and I am kicking myself that I didn’t take the name of it. It was a champagne grape that provided just a hint of carbonation when it hit the tongue. It was by a long shot, the best wine I have ever tasted.
[on the platz near the restaurant]
[our lovely host’s wife, a photographer from NYC, grabbed my camera and shot on the fly, declaring that photographers never have good pictures of themselves!]
[umm, that wine was the best I’ve ever had in my life. And I drank all I could!]
[beautiful dessert!]
The night was over. Off to Munich. I love this place.

Hi! Hello! I am Shawna, the founder of Styleberry Blog. This creative corner of the internet has become a learning haven for moms and creatives, offering a warm and encouraging nudge to those who wish to be better and do better, but often don't know where to start. From Decorating to DIY to Diapers and Paleo-ish Dishes, I strive to make the complicated simple and empower women to take action beyond their personal comfort zone. I subscribe to the Shine Theory & so strongly believe that we shine when the women around us shine and mutual support—lifting up instead of tearing down--will always be the culture here. Are you in? I hope so! Beyond the computer, I run Styleberry Creative where I work with clients to create low fuss, high function spaces that are pretty and practical in San Antonio, Texas and beyond. I LOVE making a house a home. My own studs out renovation is now complete and I am now back to working with clients. Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you'd like to work together! I hope you’ll join me on this fun new adventure! Xo.