Monday, December 26, 2016

Visitors Galore!

We hope you had a very merry Christmas and start to a happy Hanukkah this past weekend! We're rewinding to the beginning of December where we had two weeks of visitors!

The beginning of December was jam packed with visitors and Christmas markets and, looking back, it was perfect.  It was a great distraction for me to keep my mind off the fact that we weren't going home for Christmas and it was a great way to show off our new home!

The first week of December brought the Bryants!  They're the Olmsted family in Florence, Italy and we've tentatively been planning their visit for a while.  They were our first Olmsted visitors and we were so excited to show them our city since they showed us around Florence last February on our big trip.  Plus, their girls are a blast to hang out with.  There's something about being with kids at Christmas time that adds some extra excitement to the air. 

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, outdoor
Autum, Matt, Elle and Emma Claire.  I would post the picture of all of us from Instagram, but for some reason, it's not letting me save it....

We spent most of our time eating our way through Christmas markets while taking a break every once and a while to do some sight seeing.  It's such a good time to visit Berlin because the city is decorated for the holidays and there is always a Christmas market to go to, but there is also the history and sights that can keep you busy for a week (or a year!) if you want!

The day after the Bryants left, the Dombrocks arrived!  This was a last minute trip for them, but we welcomed them with open arms and were so excited to see them! We visited them in their home of Rabat, Morocco last February as well and Melissa came to Ramstein while I was there for a few days and stayed with me last May.  The four of us had a blast sight seeing around the city, hanging out at our house, and, of course, hitting up a few Christmas markets!

Olmsted Scholars and their Olmsted coin in Berlin!

Imitating penguins

We headed out to Spandau, which is a suburb of Berlin one day, since it was supposed to be a great Christmas market and a cute suburb.  It didn't disappoint.  The Christmas market was huge, the town was picturesque and the sights were interesting.  I'm not sure I would do it if there weren't Christmas markets to add to the itinerary, but they had a citadel and museum that were worthwhile.  The museum was of all of the Berlin monuments, which, at first, I thought was a little strange.  Why wouldn't you just go to the monuments themselves? But, it was arranged in chronological order of the monuments and was actually really interesting.  Spandau for the win!

We also celebrated my birthday! Hooray! Mike had class on my birthday and I had a doctor's appointment (Baby Maximus was kicking up a storm in celebration!), but Melissa and Ryan made me breakfast when I got home and after a few hours of sight seeing, the four of us had dinner at Kim Chi Princess.  Mike and I went right after we moved to Berlin and loved it, but it's definitely a place to go with more than two people. You order a dish off of the menu and they bring grills to your table to cook it in front of you.  There are lots of sides, fillings and food to go around.  Afterwards, we headed to a bar where I enjoyed a very delicious birthday mocktail while the rest of the gang had some true cocktails. We ended the night with a game of Phase Ten and drinks at home. Overall, not a bad way to ring in twenty eight!

Hi Ryan!

 We love showing off Berlin and our new home to visitors.  It's only taken a few months for us to truly appreciate all that the city has to offer.  There is always something going on or a sight to see and there is history on every corner.  It doesn't have that old German charm like some of the southern cities do, but there are definitely some spots that can take your breath away.

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