A couple of days after Christmas, our brother and sister arrived: Casey and Patrick!
Arriving in the evening of the 28th, we hauled the two Texans over to the Charlottenburg Weihnachtsmarkt…only to find that on its last night, the market closed down early. No glühwein, no baumstriezel, but still some pretty lights.
We woke up the next day to the first real snow of the year! Naturally, in preparation for the trip I had told Case and Pat not to worry about subzero temperatures as we’d had only the merest suggestion of frost up until Christmas. That’ll teach me for trying to predict crazy Berlin weather. At least there was sun!
My christmas present from PC this year was a fancy DSLR camera. I have no background knowledge or experience in photography, but I’m planning on watching every tutorial under the sun, and attending a few classes to practice my camera skills. Looking back in the blog archives, I realized that the age of my horrendous iphone photos needed to end.
So, for the next few days of their trip, I messed around with all of the settings, dials and modes that I could. This led to a large number of blurry, or otherwise crap photos. This will be evident in the photos to follow. However, I’m having a lot of fun, and looking forward to seeing my photography improve.
We made our way to Topographies des Terrors, where we found it the most crowded I have EVER seen it. They say there’s at least a million extra people in the city for new year’s, and boy, I believe it. You could barely move through parts of the exhibit.
Continuing on our terror theme, we walked to the Holocaust Memorial. There, we walked through the blocks, but decided against waiting in what looked to be an hour long line for the underground exhibit.
Later that evening we met up with Brent and Nadine. Hailing from Bavaria, Nadine wanted to show off her native land, to Brent. Luckily, they were able to come up and spend a few days in the Haupstadt to ring in the new year with us.
The six of us grabbed Shiso for dinner, and then found our way over to the East. At the behest of frostbitten toes, we eventually settled down at a homey looking bar.
Aaaannd then these knuckleheads stole my phone while I used the restroom.
The next day was New Year’s Eve! We began with a trip up to the Reichstag Dome.
Unfortunately, some frozen fog ensured that our guests saw approximately jack diddly. I attempted to point vaguely at the landmarks the audio guide described, but ultimately gave up, and played with my camera.
However, everyone soldiered on.
That evening , we began with dinner at Schnitzelei.
After dinner, we u-bahned over to the Potsdamer Platz Marriott where Brent and Nadine were staying. We stopped into the lounge to prepare for the war zone we were about to enter. Obvi, it was also time for a selfie.
Then we grabbed our fireworks, and ran outside just in time for midnight, and reveled in the bedlam. Members of our group may or may not have shot a firework directly into a police car at one point…
*** I need to point out that this incident was purely accidental. Also, it did not actually enter the police car, or injure anyone.
Here’s my terrible camera work, but you’ll get the idea.
Afterward, we joined the party inside the hotel before schlepping home.
The next day we all relaxed with brunch foods, naps and movie watching. Brent and Nadine continued on their German adventure, and we all turned in early.
On Pat and Casey’s last day, we spent some time strolling around the city, took a tour of Hohenschönhausen. Then PC had a brilliant idea: Alba game.
Patrick and PC had been chatting about NBA just about nonstop during the week(and watching Game of Zones about 1 zillion times), so when Alba Berlin happened to have a Euro League match against Barcelona, it was a no-brainer.
When we arrived, Alba was down big in the first quarter, but they ended up with a comfortable victory.
It was such a special week having friends and family with us. Wish we could see them more often, but are so grateful they could make this trip out for us. Now, we just gotta find time for PC to storm the good ol’ Fart Worth.
2014 was pretty great…especially August 2nd, but I can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring.
Frohes Neues Jahr!