Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Drive Through Europe: Cologne and Berlin

So I took about three thousand photographs on our vacay. Which is technically only a thousand a week, so it's not THAT bad. Except it's more like 5750, but after I culled through and deleted all the eyes closed and mouths mid-word and duplicates...three thousand. "Three thousand DOLLARS!!!" Name that movie.

Anyway. That won't work with my yearly scrapbook, and I wanted more than the Ava (or Scott or Warren or Daisy) on Holiday cutesy books I do for the kids, so I (naturally) ripped this idea off of Ali Edwards (who's site is down right now while she rebrands or something, but I managed to find this link to show you the book from the Artifact Uprising site) and make a mostly photos book with just a few words scattered throughout. Except I'm gonna use the 11x8.25 book because small books? Eh. My goal (hear me laughing?) is to do no more than ten pages per destination, giving me a 70 page book (I am AWESOME at math- or at least my tens times table) which I think is pretty manageable. However, it's looking like it's going to be ten SPREADS per destination...which is a 140 page book. Not as manageable.

ANYWAY.  All that ranting and raving to say- here are the first 11 pages. And hey, they're pages, not spreads, so technically I am under the limit!! However, Austria...ain't no way. Austria could be a 140 page book all on its own.

I was going to buy Ali's diamond stamps here, but I wanted more custimaztion and I was terrified (yes, terrified, fonts terrify me) that I wouldn't be able to match the font, so I designed my own diamond to use. I just saved the diamond and the horizontal lines as a one layer on a white background (easier for me to see) and then type in whatever I want in a separate layer using this free quicksand font and turn the layers on and off depending on what I need. If anyone is interested, and if that makes any sense. As long as you turn off the white background, you can 'stamp' the document onto anything you want, really.

First, the nitty gritty, in case anyone is planning a trip any time in the near future:  We took the eurotunnel because Nick really seems to enjoy that thing, and we couldn't find a place on my beloved HomeAway so we used a similar site to find this place for Cologne.  That link is tricky because it's the entire apartment complex. Our apartment was fine, nothing special, but not nearly as nice as some of those photos. We only had one night so who cares.

We were within walking distance of the Cathedral and the river and the cute little downtown area. Cologne was cute and small and very nice, but again, we were there for one night- we just needed to break up the drive from London to Berlin.


We got to Berlin Sunday evening, and we had four nights in this fabulous apartment. FABULOUS.
Although we did have to take the subways everywhere. And they're not subways, they're above ground. I'm not gonna lie, I was unimpressed with Berlin. Other than London, I don't really like big cities. I thought it was very loud and kind of dirty. I loved all the WWII memorials and museums and everything to do with that time period. I've always been interested in it, so I've learned a lot, so it's interesting. I never really cared about the Berlin Wall, so I never learned about it, so that was all very confusing for me.

There was a great pizza place next door, and Prater, Berlin's oldest beer garden, was amazing, and of COURSE I loved the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, but other than that...eh.

However, this little gem outside the city? WAS AMAZING. Tropical Islands, an indoor water park. Pools and slides and a playground and restaurants...perfection. Worth every penny. The baby area was FANTASTIC, and I'm pretty sure the ground over there was heated. Being from Guam and Hawaii, I could have stood it being a LITTLE warmer in there, but it plenty warm enough. (Side note: I just wrote that I could have standed it being a little warmer. STANDED. What is wrong with me?!?!)

We cram a lot into our holidays because we want to see EVERYTHING and let's face it, we probably won't be coming back to Europe ANYTIME soon. So they don't usually feel as vacation-y as I might like. But this day? This day was like a vacation from a movie. And a good one, not like a Chevy Chase one where everything goes wrong. Although Dub knocked his tooth out within (literally) the first ten minutes.

So there you go, our first five nights. Next up, I have to cull the pics down for Austria. It's gonna take a while because ya'll... Salzburg was literally- LITERALLY- a dream come true.


  1. Has your spouse considered post-Navy work in Austria? Being in the UK is a good time to look at EUR work opportunities....

    1. Weeeeeelllll, my husband sort of wants to retire in America :( But I might be able to convince him, he's obsessed with German engineers so he might want to do that...

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