Places I Will Remember

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed…

– The Beatles

IMG_9335.jpgMy lovely cousins from Canada decided to take a last minute weekend trip to visit us in our final few weeks in Berlin. Since they had already visited us during the earlier part of our move, we decided to bypass the tourist attractions like:  The Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Museum Island, Potsdamerplatz and Ku’damm. So much still to see and do…

Four days is not enough. However, we squeezed in as much as we possibly could in this short span of time. So after an early afternoon arrival, we had lunch at home then took a stroll to Schloßstrasse.


Fresh baked bread, delicious desserts and coffee at Cafe Baier. A lovely hideaway on the second floor that includes a courtyard patio along the busy shopping streets of Schloßstrasse.

DSC07510.jpgPizza and wine at Rüdesheimerplatz where we sense the meaning of community at the Rheingauer Weinbrunnen. I happen to agree that this is one of Berlin’s best kept secrets. DSC07548Between qualifying races at the Formula E, we stopped for lunch at Cecconi’s under The SoHo House.IMG_9355.jpgWe couldn’t believe how good the lighting was.DSC07553Karina ordered some gnocchi and I had the eggplant parmigiana. DSC07552Don’t you love the copper serving dishes? DSC07558Profiteroles with pistachio ice cream served with chocolate sauce on the side.DSC07564We watched the ePrix Berlin or the electric version of Formula 1 also known as Formula E at Aleksanderplatz (former East Berlin). 48 laps with what sounds like Star Wars sound effects. It was quite exciting as they changed cars once the battery ran out. I giggled as the drivers tip toed ever-so-delicately into the next car because as we know, there is no margin for error, every millisecond counts.DSC07523And because it was so hot, we had to try the handmade Paletas fruit-sicles. All fruit and oh so yummy! I had the Mango Coconut, Lani had the Blueberry Cheesecake, Shirley had the Cucumber Lemon and Karina had the Raspberry Vanilla. Odd had beer.DSC07591We headed to Das Café in der Gartenakademie in Dahlem for Sunday Brunch. Karina swears it’s the best brunch she’s had! Must be the company. Smiley face.DSC07593Our amazing friends, Jörg and Doreen hosted a casual BBQ dinner at their home. They live somewhat in the forest so no driving street to get to their house. A group of soccer/football players ran past as we made our way. How exciting!DSC07616Shirley is thrilled to find something in common with Hanne and Nils.DSC07617I suppose the men found something in common too.DSC07609Shirley is adorable and loves to pose here with a bowl of Japanese Noodle Salad. By the way, Lani could not stop raving how good it tasted. It was a group effort to make and we all know, everything tastes better when it’s made with love, right? DSC07610Odd with the Thai Chili sausage while Karina and I enjoyed the haloumi Jörg grilled for us. It always tastes better over a charcoal grill, doesn’t it?DSC07626The Rhubarb Crumble dessert that Hanne made with spelt, almonds and cinnamon was a hit! DSC07585A shopping trip at Hackescher Markt in Mitte is always fun.IMG_9358Soaking in our last few moments with interesting artwork around the city.

To be honest, even if we did a lot of eating out at nice restaurants (which is always a treat), I rather enjoy the quieter moments with my cousins in our cozy and humble abode. In these moments, the conversations become more real and special. That is what I treasure. And for some reason, these moments were always in the kitchen. DSC07588Shirley made us a late night pasta meal with garlic, shallots, white wine, tomatoes, spinach and parsley. Oh sooooo good.DSC07635Lani showed me how to make ratatouille. My new favorite. Yummm.

We sure did a lot in four days. Thank you for the memories, lovelies. You gals definitely make the world a better place.

If we had more time, I would have liked to have shown them other restaurants too. I guess we like to eat. If you plan to visit or live in Berlin, here are a few of our favorite restaurants (in no particular order):

Café am Neuen See – Restaurant and Biergarten in Tiergarten (I’m a poet).

Klunker Kranich in Kreuzberg for a panaromic view of the city.

Good Time Grill by Adenauerplatz – before becoming vegetarians, we really enjoyed the crispy duck.

Buddha Haus in Schöneberg – Tibet, Nepal, Thai cuisine; Momos in the middle picture.

IMG_8516Royals & Rice in Mitte – Rice Bar & Cafe; pictured is the Banh Bao Burger Mass Appeal mit Tofu – marinated tofu burger topped with crispy fresh veggies, avocado and cilantro. Karina loves the Woked Udon Noodle with Grilled Avocado. They have a great Asian menu and Odd particularly likes the ambiance in the evening.

Windburger – popular burger restaurant in Charlottenburg; they offer haloumi burger too. One of Karina’s favorite burger places to go with her friends.

IMG_8972.JPGShiso Burger in Mitte – this place is always busy and burgers are served in bamboo steamers.

Bun Bao in Prenzlauerberg – burgers are served in steamed bao buns and is, coincedentally, directly across from Anna Blume. I love the fun names for their burgers:  “Saigon Calling – Pimp My Shrimp” or “Tokyo Sunrise – Tuna Me On” or “Vegan Lovers – Bean Me Up, Scotty”. Sooo clever, right?

Anna Blume in Prenzlauerberg – I am in love with their 3 Tier Breakfast and assortment of cakes. Karina can’t get enough of their Chocolate Cake.

Neni by Bikini Berlin – where “life is beautiful”; reservations are necessary.

KaDeWe – Wintergarten (top floor) has a large selection of pastries, desserts and much more. There is much history to this building and is recognized as one of Europe’s largest shopping department store.DSC05846Unsere Feines Restaurant! in Lichterfelde – where we enjoyed our first Christmas goose dinner last year with our friends. Great memories.

The Harp – an Irish Pub by Adenauerplatz where we watched many “football” matches these past two years. Oh soooo much beer.

Odd would like for me to mention Meet Up. He wants to reassure you that it is not a dating service (ha!) but rather a place for like minds to “meet up”. With a little coaxing (and whiskey), he has some funny stories to share. It is world wide so if you find yourself in a new city or even in your own hometown, you can look up anything from hiking to yoga to cooking to computer related meet ups. He tends to steer towards wearable technology, agile thinking and product design – in case you too are interested. It’s about community – where giving and learning from others takes center stage.

Hope you were able to get some ideas from this extra long post. And as always, thanks for stopping by. Smile. Life is good. Or as Neni’s likes to promote, “life is beautiful”.

 

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3 thoughts on “Places I Will Remember

  1. Thanks Arlene for your amazing comments! I’m sorry I’m super late but grateful that you can catch up with me here on my blog. And of course, thanks for the birthday wishes -even if I try to not think about it so much 🙂 Much love to you!

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  2. Hello Vern, the countdown begins,(sigh). Purging and sorting of what to take and what to giveaway, which cookbooks to keep and which ones to donate. The memories, the sights and smells you’ll always carry with you, thank goodness for that.

    What a great time for the the ladies to close this chapter with you as they were also there in the beginning of your journey. Am sure there were a lot of giggles, belly full of laughters and savory and aromatic fragrances wafting thru your kitchen. This is good for Karina to experience, seeing her mom so at ease with her cousins reminiscing of days gone by.

    Let Mr. Odd know that I too am a fan of ‘meet ups’, such a brilliant idea and civilize way to socialize. Meeting up with like minded folks talking over each other for comments and ideas…. Love it for when i go to my Operas and classical concerts and the occasional food adventure. One thing about meet ups are you always meet different people.

    Momos, i love momos. Seriously who doesn’t like dumplings but my fave are momos. I have a Nepalese friend who showed me how to make ’em complete with homemade hot pepper sauce. yummmm

    I look forward to your next journey and next chapter of your life story. New neighborhood, new friends, new experiences and most of all being close by to Stian. NC is easier and close to travel to.

    Best wishes to you and Odd on your next relocation and to Miss K for another academic adventure.
    Just be!
    hugs and kisses to all.
    A

    PS. advance Happy Birthday tomorrow, May 27th. May you continue to carry your own sunshine where ever you may be and fill every corner of your world with light, colors and the sounds of music that makes you get up and dance.
    Namaste!

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  3. Vernie…it was our pleasure to be able to share these moments with you, Odd and Karina.
    I look forward to your next move, North Carolina.
    Xoxo
    Shirley

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