Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Day 68: Water and Chocolate

I made up for yesterday! I took over 200 photos today! Whew, I'm back! So many photos... I'll break today into two posts!

The owners of the apartment have put a few books on our shelves. A few of them include coffee-table style books with a focus of Berlin. Cools spots to see. Restaurants to try. All accompanied by beautiful photos. Anyway, I began flipping through one of the books and found a few more places to add to our list of excursions. Seeing as we've mostly completed our own lists, we can add to the list (otherwise, the kids and I will just sit and stare at screens all day long).

So, for today, I have a list of 4 things to see (one of which is new from the book). I think we can fit them all in.

Side note: When in the U.S., our afternoons are often filled with extracurricular activities (Circus Arts, Book Clubs, Music lessons, Math, etc.) And if we want our brains to do any "academics", we must do them in the morning. So, usually, I want us up and ready to "do stuff" by 10am. And, after lunch, it's pretty hard to motivate any of us to do anything to strenuous.

Here, in Berlin, I may eat and walk with Chris in the mornings, but the kids either sleep or play on computer (you can probably guess which kid does what). So, by the time I'm back from walking, the morning's mostly gone. I tend to blog, shower, laundry, or something like this, and the kids will come out around 11am-12pm, looking for food. Sometimes, I still have to prod them to come out of their rooms.

Anyway, we don't normally "get going" until after lunch, maybe 1pm at the earliest.

And so it is like this today. It is after lunch and we're just getting out the door to begin my "4 Destinations" list.

Venice asked for this braid for today. My first try, not so bad!
Her colours continue to be beautiful.

First on my list, the Wasserturm (the Water Tower). It is no longer working, the pumps have long since been inactive, but this Water Tower is now a landmark. And it's so close to our farmers market, but on the other side. Just a block or two farther and yet we've never been. We could see it (and an information plaque) from the Fernsehturm (TV Tower). Now we get to see it up close.

Sharing an Autumn Hug.

The main reason I took so many photos today is that the autumn colours are just so beautiful. My eyes can't get enough of the leaves. I just want, and need, my iPhone to capture what I'm seeing. Photoshop helps, but it's still better in person, but I keep trying.

Not the Water Tower, but a raised area within the same park.

Leaf Art

Fall Selfies (Fallfies)

Even the statues are looking good with the fall leaves.

After exploring around, we finally get our first glimpse of the Wasserturm. Pretty cool.


And bonus! There's a park at the bottom of the Water Tower. The kids stop to play for a while. I occupy myself by taking more photos.

After a stint of playing, it began to rain (sprinkle, really), which encouraged the kids to finish up. They were ready to go and head to Stop Number 2 on my list. With the rain, came a little bit of wind. The wind would blow through the trees and cause many leaves to tumble to the ground. The kids had fun trying to catch the leaves before they hit the ground. Unfortunately, Xander chased a leaf into some bushes... which turned out to be Stinging Nettles. Ye-ouch! Poor guy. He dealt with it bravely and marched on (the lure of Stop Number 2 was strong enough to encourage bravery).

"Lovebird Seats" (left), Stinging Nettles... now we know (right)

Photos I took while waiting.

And so we trudge on. We are headed to a chocolate-specialty store I read about in one of the books. It's an U-Bahn (remember, German's pronounce the "U" as "ooo" not "you", so it must be "an" before, not "a", in my opinion) ride away.

A cool "60s-ish" looking building (left) and an empty square (right)

We find our chocolate-specialty store, "Winterfeldt Schokoladen,"on the corner down the street in Shöneberg, Berlin. The store portion of the place has tons and tons of chocolate from all over the world (but it seems mostly from Europe, Asia, and Africa). The packaging on some of these items are so beautiful. But at €7-15 per bar/package, I must skip buying one of each.

The book instructed us to not get too lost in the visuals of the items in the store. It was recommended to sit and have some drinking chocolate. The book said the drinking chocolate would be served in a tiny espresso cup and would be enough (because it's so rich). However, ours came in large cappuccino cups, with lots of milk. Don't get me wrong, the beverage was very, very tasty. Just not quite the thick drinking chocolate we were expecting. We did like it a lot and did buy some to bring home, thinking we could experiment with less milk to make it thicker.

And, since none of us are scone fans, we got a slice of chocolate cake with fudge frosting, a gluten-free cheesecake, and a carrot cake (with regular frosting, instead of cream cheese frosting like we were hoping for).

The kids play checkers (on iPod) while they wait for their drinks and treats.

It was a most delicious afternoon.

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