Saturday, April 11, 2009

We woke up after a good night’s sleep and had some fruit for breakfast. We ate a lot of fruit on this trip! We thought the plan was to get on a hop on, hop off city tour bus. After getting ready, we walked back over to Museum Island. We waited just a few minutes and one of the buses pulled up. I asked the driver how much it was and could I pay him. He told me something in broken English and all I got was that I could not buy my ticket from him. I’m not sure where he told me to go to buy it, so we were kind of stuck. Finally, we decided just to get on a city bus and ride down the road to Brandenburg Gate, which we knew was just down the street. We stayed on one stop too long and actually ended up at the Reichstag, the parliament building. Derek and the kids looked around while I tried to consult with Trudy (the GPS) as to exactly where we needed to go. While I did that a man started talking to Derek and it turned out that he is a tour guide in Berlin who is originally from Ohio. He was waiting for some clients so he talked to us a little bit about the Reichstag and the other buildings in the area. Then he gave us a tip about where to go next. So, we headed through a park area and ended up coming out right behind Brandenburg Gate. The last time I was there, I was freezing and this time, we had the most beautiful weather. We looked around, took some pictures, and saw some guys dancing. Next we cut through a student art building (tip from the tour guide) and bought a pretzel on our way through. It was pretty good, but we were still hungry when it was gone, so we decided to have lunch. We found a nice little Italian restaurant right next to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. We ordered a pizza and bought a fruit cup. As soon as we were done, Cade sat right there in his seat and threw up his whole lunch. I threw away my sweatshirt, since that is where it all landed and the only bad part was that all of my stash of Kleenex was in the pocket. Oh, well…could have been worse. We still were going through about a box of tissue every day. Anyway, Cade fell asleep in the stroller so we did a little souvenir shopping and then made our way to Check Point Charlie. It was quite a walk, but we didn’t have or know another way. So, we did it. It was quite a busy place and pretty neat to see. The kids had their pictures taken with some people dressed up as soldiers and then we made our way back toward our hotel. Again, quite a walk, but we didn’t have another way. I’m not for sure, but I think we were walking right along where the wall used to be. There was a pole at what I thought would be the height of the wall that stretched for most of our walk. I was pooped out by the time we got back to the hotel, but I was glad that we had seen all that we did. We barely scratched the surface of a city packed with history, but for us, it was a wonderful visit. Cade woke up and we did some diaper changes in the hotel bathroom before getting our car from the parking garage and heading on our way. Before we left the city, we drove by the East Side Gallery, which is where a long portion of the Berlin Wall is still standing. We just pulled to the side of the rode, jumped out, looked, and took some pictures. After seeing the top of the wall, it made me pretty sure that the pole we saw earlier was, in fact, the top of the old wall. We were on our way again, and it took less than 3 hours to get to Hannover and we found our hotel with no problem. The kids slept part of the time and it was an uneventful car ride…the best kind! After Derek checked us in, I unloaded the car while Derek took the kids up to the room. I was a little disappointed that the kids didn’t feel up to swimming. There was a pool on the 17th floor overlooking the city and I never even made it up there. Congress Hotel am Stadtpark was probably really nice back in the 80’s, but it was still okay and very clean, just a little dated. For 60 Euro, though, it was awesome. Derek went to pick up some supper and I stayed at the room with the kids. Cade fell asleep and Abby watched some German cartoons. When Derek got back, much later than I expected, I found out that his outing did not go quite as planned. He had used Trudy to go to Subway (yes, the food place.) Well, what it did not tell him was that it was in a huge train station and there was a soccer game in the area. He had to park in a garage and set off an alarm when he pushed a coin return button. After getting that figured out, he headed inside and ended up at a different sandwich place instead. They ended up being okay, but not as good as Subway. Then he went into Aldi and bought some juice, milk, and fresh fruit. When he got it back, he realized that the apple juice was carbonated, which Abby did not like. It was not the first time we ran into that problem. Derek really could not tell the difference between the still and carbonated apple juice and evidently it is easier to find the carbonated because that is what he almost always ended up with. Abby drank milk instead. Anyway, we ate supper, played some toys, and then it was time for bed. After all, we had to get to sleep so the Easter Bunny could come!
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