o this was Berlin last week. The start of spring in our chosen new home brought buckets of snow, chilling wind and temperatures so cold, my eyeballs nearly froze. Even amidst the slushy streets and precarious icicles of death perched on building ledges high above, threatening to break free and impale us at any moment, we realized that somehow we still loved this city. Even the early darkness couldn't dampen the spark of excitement we feel when we are there.
There is just something about the endless opportunities big cities provide. Whatever kind of food you might feel like - Korean, Mexican, Indian, Jewish deli sandwiches - there's a place to find it. Whenever Bailey may tire of one park, there are countless others only blocks away for her to discover new smells and make new doggy friends. In true city fashion, there always seems to be something going on - art gallery shows, concerts, any number of various gatherings centered around any interest one might have. My husband and I spent most of the early part of our courtship in San Francisco, we were engaged in Paris, we decided on a whim to get married in New York City's Central Park - only to leave the country two months later to start a new life overseas. We have such a love affair with these great cities, it's about time we called one of them home.
This trip to Berlin was really to get Bailey there and see if she could take to the big city life we so enjoy - and it turns out, she took to it even better than we could have hoped (although I'm sure endless snowballs and bribes of roast beef under the table at restaurants didn't hurt). We all explored some new neighborhoods and rediscovered ones we knew we loved. We found even more amazing food spots that blow even the best of Wiesbaden out of the water - actually decent coffee, sweets that don't taste like marzipan and bread that is neither sour nor brown. It is like the best of Germany with a dash of what the rest of the world has to offer as well. As much as people complain about German unfriendliness, we have received more smiles and kindness from strangers there than we ever expected. And not once did anyone take our flawed German as a sign to switch over to English, meaning we were increasingly confident every time we opened our mouths to speak.
Yes, I think we'll get along here just fine...