Saturday, April 20, 2013

Goodbye's are always hard

Grabby getting goodbye hug
from Scout.
We have ended our trip to Berlin and this morning we sit in Minneapolis, MN and reflect on our trip. We are truly blessed for a couple of reasons. We have such a wonderful family, that we do love to spend time with. That we can afford to make these trips.

Grandpapa and Scout saying goodbye.
Becca has been able to get us to some great touring sites. Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom, Crete, Spain, Estonia, and now Germany. We have always enjoyed our trips, look forward to more of them, and I hope that all of you that read my blogs enjoy me sharing our family's time together.
Abby, Scout, Becca, & John
one last photo at the Airport.

 Two weeks of vacation goes by quickly. In those two weeks we were blessed to see our lil flicka Scout grow so much! Rolling over, crawling, gaining more attention to her surroundings. Getting to know Grabby and Grandpapa, coming out in the morning with a great smile. All of this brings the two of us to want more. The distant between us hurts, the memories heel.

Life is great! We know that we are not the only grandparents that have their families away from them. Whether it's one or thousands of miles, the urning to hug, kiss, watch, the growth of the next generation grow and mature, will always be with us.

Until our next meeting we'll cherish our last. God Bless our family, and all of yours.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 11-Berlin

As I wake and turn on my lap top, I find a ruthless act of terrorism occurs in Boston. I pray for all of the people affected by this act. I pray for all mankind.

We tour the city of Berlin, a city that has been here for more than 750 years. A city that was more than 70% destroyed in WWII. A city that was divided for around 29 years during the cold war.

Remains of the wall now a
Becca told us a story of a co-worker, friend, that grew up in East Berlin. She was about 9 years old when the wall came down. She told Becca that the government gave them some West Berlin money so that when they crossed for the first time from East to West, they could buy something. Her memory was yogurt. In the East they had yogurt, one flavor fits all! In the West, there was flavors, a rainbow of flavors.

Yesterday, it was around 70*F in Berlin. A wonderful, coming out type of a day! There were thousands of people milling about the city. On the side walks, in the parks, all taking in the warmth of the sun.

Check point Charlie.
More East side gallery art.
More East side gallery art.
All of this glory, and yet when you tour a great city like Berlin, the reminders are there.

Next to check point charlie now is a McDonald's, Becca said it best, the West has won.
Becca & Scout at our lunch stop.

 We get off our bus to stretch our legs and grab a bite to eat. We're in the Western part of Berlin, Charlottenburg, we find a brewhouse and partake in local German cuisine. I love the German sausage that is available, goes great with the beer and kraut.

Our bus tour is available for 2 days on the tickets we bought. So Abby & I will go back to a couple of the spots for closer inspection. Specifically, we are going back to a antique area and Check Point Charlie.
The TV Tower, tallest building in Berlin.

Daughter & Mother.
We were going to go up in the TV Tower last night, but wouldn't you know it, of all days, it was closed for maintenance on 4/15/2013.
Grandpapa & Scout on the bus.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sunday Day 10-Berlin-Breaking the Mold

For my friends, you know who you are! 

Becca, Scout, & Grabby.

Jesper & Scout.

German Capitol.

Everybody pedals here.
Brandonburg Gate.
Todays post will be photos only, enjoy!
Beautiful reflections.

Becca & Scout.

Tax write off!

East to West.

Night caps, White Russians!

Friday evening walk.
Abby, Scout, & John.
Grandpapa & Scout, morning time.

Friday evening drink.
Becca, Scout, & John.

German beer, yummy!
Passport stamp.

Abby & Jesper.

Day 7-Berlin

Spicy or Mild they were both
Becca & Jesper's favorite Pizza
A little rain, cloudy skies, then the sun pops out, the temperature has been very nice, around 50* to 55* F. Our walking helps us offset the wonderful food that is available around us. Thai, Indian, Spanish, Italian, of course German, the choices are many, the flavors are bountiful.

The Spanish Restaurant "Tauro".
 The wine and beer are always so complimentary of the food. 

Today we look forward to riding the tram and expanding our tour of Berlin. On the way to the tram we'll walk through a Saturday market. The population of Berlin is over 3.5 million and over 80% of these people live in apartments. As we walk about, there'll be blocks with just apartment buildings, then some with stores on the first floor or even in the basements. All types of shops, makes you wonder how they survive. We haven't seen any large box stores, yet. 

Getting back to the market. The vendors offer many items from fruits, meats, cheese, clothing, olive oil and olives, wines, and the list go on and on!

Lot's of people walk, there's lots of cars, lots of bikes. The ladies push strollers, dogs are being walked.
The journey continues....
Of course Grabby & Scout enjoying each other!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 5-Berlin

Abby next to the Berlin Wall.
Abby & I walked to the Berlin Wall or what's left of it, which is the history. Relics of the wall still stand, and iron pipes are set in the ground to give the appearance
Relics of the wall.
of the wall. As you walk along in the DMZ, you read about the history of the wall. Least we forget that this not only divided a city, but a country as well! Thousand escaped the east, 136 tried and died.

As we walk about the city center, we find many shops, bakery's, clothing, shoes, bicycle, markets, restaurants, bars, and the list goes on. Great cathedral's and synagogue's are around us. The bells ring daily.
Lunch pleasures! 
 Breaks for latte's and muffins are easily to take as we walk through the streets. Stops for lunch, never going back to the same location twice, but always duplicating our beer at lunch. The Europeans have that down!

This evening, we're tired so Abby and Becca prepared our evening meal, we watch a movie, and play with our lil flicka, Scout.
Our lil flicka, Scout!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 3

Vietnamese food is found quite often.
Of course we all here can't play, so while Becca works, the rest of us play! Abby, Scout, and I went to the store yesterday to shop for the days grocery's. That is one thing I noticed about Europe is that there are plenty of market's, bakery's, to go to. I have said before and will say again, the breads are the best in Europe!
The lower level here is Pizza.

Fish & Chips, pub style bar, serves a South Dakota flank steak
Home cooked meal.
 Three of the places we have ate thus far. We went to the pizza place the first day. Thin curst pizza was very good. Then supper at White Trash, which also serves as a Tattoo parlor. I couldn't talk Abby into that yet! Then yesterday, Abby & I was out walking around and took in a light lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant, spring rolls with chicken and shrimp, wontons, and chicken satay. Mint tea for Abby and Earl Grey for John.

Last night was John's turn to cook. So at the market we picked up pork chops & fresh vegetables, baked in a tomato base.

After supper walk took us for a couple of night caps. On a personal note, I've woken to some great blood sugar counts. The only thing I can contribute this to is the amount of walking we do when over in Europe. This should tell me something shouldn't it. Until the next blog, we say auf wiedersehen..
Grabby gets to feed Scout!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Berlin in 2 weeks, Day 1

April 6th, 2013 our trip started from Minneapolis on the 5th, off we head to Berlin via Newark. We always stay at the Comfort Inn at Bloomington, as always try to get to Sawadee our favorite Thai food establishment.

Spring roll at Sawadee
On our arrival in Newark, we transfer from terminal A to C, we've done this before, and yes we enter terminal C right at the Oyster Bar!
Abby actually tried a Oyster!

 The flight over on United was OK. Our arrival in Berlin was around 7am, my personal clock is off, but we're with our family again, in the flat in Berlin. For breakfast it was fresh pastries and pizza for lunch. Now we're off for a walk in the fresh air. More to follow.....
At home in the flat with the family.

Desert with Scout!