20 March 2014

Tschüss Deutschland! Until We Meet Again!

There's nothing that makes me sadder than saying goodbye to an amazing vacation, but I know there will be new trips in our horizon.  Still, every time I leave Europe, I'm reminded of how much I love it there.  How even though I'm a veganish runner and a hapa with extensive roots in both Japan, France, England and Germany, I always feel somehow understood in Europe, which is odd because I don't eat meat and I don't smoke.  Still, I always feel like I fit somehow inside the world I inhabit whenever I'm there.  Perhaps it's the proximity to so much history and cultural intersectionality.  Either way, I'm truly sad to say goodbye.  I always am.

Aerial view of Germany
 Aerial view of Chicago
We're Finally Home.  Our Trip behind us Now . . .

19 March 2014

Finding Bliss Street and Genius Cafés

Our last day in Europe back in Berlin was foggy and sad.  Part of this was because we couldn't check into our hotel until 3:00pm and our overnight train from Vienna arrived in Berlin around 8 in the morning.  So, we had no choice but to walk around Unter den Linden, buy a few souvenirs, eat a simple "French" breakfast at Café Einstein, walk around some more, find "Bliss Street," which was awesome, then ride the train aimlessly.  Once we'd finally checked in, we took a shower and hung out for awhile before exploring Charlottenburg.  Somehow in our time wasted, we completely forgot about visiting the Charlottenburg Palace.  But that's how your last day on vacation is:  overcast by the time that passed by and overcast by the return of time refound against your will.  It also didn't help that Chicago was fucking cold as shit and the weather in Europe had been mostly awesome.  I suppose I'm grateful for this cold and rainy day.  It helped us make the transition back to America, where Spring is like a month behind the Old World. 

Look, This Street has the same Name as My Family! / Schauen Sie! Diese Straße hat den gleichen Namen wie meine Familie!
Wandering Aimlessly on the Train until We Can Check into Our Hotel in Berlin
Berlin Hauptbahnhof
Unter den Linden
Die Reichstag One More Time
A Light Frühstück at Café Einstein
Café Einstein #2
LB Chillaxing at Our Hotel.  Finally
Going out to Eat Dinner in Charlottenburg
Selfie, Just Because
Strolling through the Affluent Neighborhood of Charlottenburg at Night
Wine . . .
. . . and an Amazing Vegan Dinner at Vaust
The Perfect Way to End our Vacation in Europe
Walking back to the Hotel
Charlottenburg #2
Charlottenburg #3
Unter den Linden
LB at Vaust
Empty U-Bahn Station

18 March 2014

The Bittersweetness of Bittersweetness

Our final day in Vienna was bittersweet.  Sweet because we fell in love with the city.  Sweet because the day was absolutely perfect:  64 degrees and sunny without a drop of rain.  Sweet because the city acquired complexity when we walked past many of the same places a second time.  Bitter because I wish the city was larger, looping forever in discovery.  Bitter because sometimes I wish time wasn't a one-way street.  Bitter because there was still so much we hadn't seen.  Bitter because we had to leave when we just started to understand tiny pieces of Vienna.  Bitter because in the back of our minds, Chicago was waiting for us, a fresh snowstorm in the midst.

So here are the pictures of our last day in Vienna, the sadness lingering in the cracks of the streets like old raindrops for us.

We woke up to This in Our Hotel
Inside Shakespeare & Company
A Selfie that Makes My Glasses Seem Ginormous
Museums Quartier in the Distance
Walking, Walking, Walking
Museums Quartier #1
Museums Quartier #2
Museums Quartier #3
Mumok Museum of Modern Art
Museums Quartier #4
Inside the Glass Elevator of Mumok
Walking through Praterstern
Near Universität Wien
Beethoven Pasqualitihaus, where he wrote the 4th, 5th and 7th Symphonies as well as his opera, Fidelio
Me and LB, trying to Capture Time before it Disappears
Vienna Carriages.  Pobres cavallos. 
 Museums Quartier #5
Early Night in Vienna
National Library
Near Albertina
LB Dazing Out on Green Tea
A Little Square
Wien Meidling Station
On the Vienna S-Bahn
Rathaus Park
Museums Quartier #6
Vienna in the Early Evening
LB Waiting for Our Overnight Train back to Berlin
Where We Said Aufwiedersehen to Vienna
The Top Bunk of Our Overnight Train
LB Looking at Her Phone Three Inches from the Ceiling