Apartment wishlist: Natural light

February 22, 2013

Uh,.. in my dreams!

With moving to Berlin still many months away, we have already started to keep an eye on the market. Berlin is a highly desirable city and while the rental rates are not anywhere near San Francisco or Manhattan, it is still, from what we hear, a highly competitive process to score a good place. Something like preschool transcripts and every award you have ever received should be included on your application (yikes). So while the reality is we might end up in something closer to a cardboard box, considering our crazy dog, less-than-stellar German and sub-4.0 high school GPAs, we are still beginning the process with optimism - and a wishlist for the perfect apartment.

Here at the tail end of winter, it's easy to understand why good natural light tops the list. Coming from sunny California, German winter is one of the most difficult things about living here (after the German language and their affinity for paperwork, of course) - it's long, cold and very grey. Having blue skies any time within a good six-month window is reason enough for calling in sick to work. Seriously. There's a reason that come spring, people will literally strip down to their underwear while biking through the park just to stop for five minutes and soak up some precious vitamin D. So it's easy to understand why maximizing what sunshine we do get - grey haze included - is key.

These Berlin listings look like they would indeed be a dream come true...

OMG, are you dying? I'm dying. I want to move in here right now. 

... unfortunately, short of robbing a bank, they will likely have to stay just a dream. Aside from 'penthouses' - which often get the best light - being a bit of a financial stretch, they also have the added burden of being of the top of what is almost always here in Germany an elevator-less building. On the plus side, we would have fantastically in-shape asses. 

Our natural light reality will probably look a bit more like this: 

This is very similar to what we have now and I love the light we get in our apartment. While we don't have any floor-to-ceiling windows (that's right, no balcony - boo!) and have just as many grey days as Berlin does, we still somehow manage to feel like we're not living in some dark little box. I think the high ceilings really help combat this as well (adding to the list...). Here's to sunny days when we arrive in Berlin and many windows with which to enjoy  them!

Photos from listings on null-provision.de and immobilienscout24.de
Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

They grow up so fast

February 15, 2013

It's hard to believe that our Bailey-dog is seven years old today. Could it really have been that long ago that we saw her photo on the Bay Area Boxer Rescue site, her rescued mother having just given birth to a litter of black and white mixed-breed pups and called to say that we wanted to come and pick her up? Seven years seems significant in dog years and it amazes me to think of all we have been through together..

From the very first night we brought her home,

all we wanted to do was snuggle her and take care of her, 

play with her,

and provide her with warm alternatives to snuggling with her brood of brothers and sisters. 

We will never forget the time we looked all over for her, only to find her curled up in the closet amongst daddy's shoes. 

Or how quickly she became a daredevil to get out of her puppy confines in the kitchen.

She has grown up with a major love of sticks,

(one might even call it an obsession)

even when said stick is actually a whole tree.

She has been through a lot in her seven years, including packing up life in California to move to Germany,

being made to wear ridiculous things like doggles

and daddy's old shirts, 

and last summer, she had her first - and then not long after, her second - attack by other dogs in the park. She is resilient though (I'm still more traumatized than she ever was). 

As a dog, she's gotten to experience more than even some people, going from a California beach doggy,

to being a swanky Wiesbaden Hund,

not to mention visiting castles in Germany, 

to sightseeing in Strasbourg, France. 

She has gone from her first California snow trip in Tahoe, 

to snowy parks every winter here in Germany,

and from swimming in Grandma's pool, 

to having entire rivers to cool off in.

She always warms our hearts and makes us laugh, whether it's becoming 'nun Bailey' whenever anyone is in the shower, 

the silly ways she contorts her jowls

and her ears,

how she kind of looks like a cow from underneath

and like a Gremlin when she was a puppy that we used to let sleep on the sofa,

that she always wants to be a part of whatever is going on in the kitchen, even if she shouldn't,

her never-ending quest for people food, 

her boundless optimism that one day, she will get that squirrel, 

or just her general, jubilant craziness.

Sure, she is afraid of doors

and vacuum cleaners,

has a bit of a drooling problem,

(make that a major problem)

and as an elusive Boxador, perhaps suffers a bit from an identity crisis,

but deep down, she's really a lover

(even to her toys she rips apart)

and when we're away from her, we miss her terribly.

We've come a long way together...

and we only hope she has enjoyed the ride so far as much as we have!

So today we wish a big happy birthday to our furry member of the family as well as to my baby brother, though he's far from a baby now. Happy birthday guys - we love you both!

Here's to many more years of fun!

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische