Thursday, January 16, 2014

Christmas Tree Throwing Contest

IKEA hosted a Christmas Tree throwing contest and it was hilarious! They had teeny trees for the wee ones : )

The cuteness!

Action shot!

I didn't do so well, but check out my form!

Monday, January 13, 2014

German Christmas vs. American Christmas!


Germans celebrate all the days in December leading to Christmas (12/1 - 12/24).

This building is ready for Christmas!

Advent wreaths are quite popular in homes and stores. Every Sunday in the month, they light another candle in the wreath.

I've seen advent calendars before, where every day in December you get another chocolate... but I've also seen makeup ones, too!

3 Days of Christmas!

Germans celebrate 3 days of Christmas (12/24 - 12/26). Presents are opened on the 24th and then they eat their first Christmas Dinner. In addition, they get 2 more days- 12/25 (called First Day of Christmas) and 12/26 (Second Day of Christmas). Americans have got to adopt this tradition!

Real Candles on Christmas Tree

I went over for Second Day of Christmas Dinner at a friend's house and he had REAL candles on his Christmas Tree, like this! I thought it was sooo dangerous, but my friend said it's fine as long as you place them carefully and keep your eye on them (the candles melt down in about an hour). Aren't they purdy??

Santa Claus vs. St. Nicholas

Apparently in many European countries they are two different guys! As I mentioned, Saint Nicholas Day is on December 6th whereas Santa gives presents on December 24th. LOL- I'm still quite confused!


You'll also see clementines everywhere because they used to be available exclusively in the winter.


Christmas Themed Foods!

Tons of random Christmas-themed foods in the grocery store. Chocolates, ice-cream bars, but of course I went for these...

Star shaped potato pancakes... not bad!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Markets in Berlin

One of the reasons I wanted to come to Berlin in December was because I heard about the awesome Christmas Markets. They're known for attracting crowds during Advent (December) with food, alcohol, and vendors. They're all over Europe and there are over 60 in Berlin alone. I went to as many as I could! I wish you guys were here cuz you'd definitely love them, too!

Saw these pyramids at almost every Weihnachtsmarkt!

There are all types like the classy one at Gendarmenmarkt:

Chorus and Disco Ball surrounded by the beautiful Concert Hall and Opera House
Kid-friendly fun ones like the ones near Alexanderplatz with roller coaster rides and ice skating rinks.

The Food:
YUM. Wursts, ham sandwiches, waffles, friend dough balls, and more! You guys would love the food!!
Classic Christmas Market meal: Gluhwein and Rostwurst. Sorry for the bad pic, but the wurst was BOMB.
Traditional gingerbread cookies (lebkuchen) that people buy for lovers/loved ones!
Definitely too pretty to eat!
Magz DON'T tell Dr. Park about all the candy I'm eating!
Red bull nuts LOL
The Crafts: Tons of handcrafted holiday goodies and Christmas ornaments.

I want the fabulous one in the all silver glitter suit!! 

Of course the best part of going to the markets is the famous Gluhwein (mulled wine). Each market has their own commemorative glass : )


Ash came to visit, I'll post more pics!!

Beer for my Cindys

I think EisWeissBier translates to Ice White Beer.

Anyways- this one's for you, Cin!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

German Christmas Tradition: December 6th

It's not secret that Germans excel at the art of chocolate making. Imagine my delight when the checkout girl threw in a free chocolate with my drug store purchases! Later the day, I received another chocolate with my lunch.

My German friend explained that December 6th is Saint Nicholas Day. On the evening of December 5th, kids will leave their shoes outside of their house and Saint Nicholas will drop candy or toys into their shoes. 

The tradition sounded so strange to me I thought my friend was making it up just to mess with me. Turns out its a real German tradition! Why don't we have this?!

Free 99

More about this awesome tradition!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Berlin’s Bloody Water

I do not like the taste of water here. And when I shower the water is slightly brown. Even the bottled flat water tastes odd to me. After some googling, I found out that tap water I'm used to is soft water, whereas Berlin's tap is hard water.
Really the main thing we do is extract iron. Otherwise the water would have a slightly blood-like taste… via Exberliner
Berlin's hardwater is

  • Has higher quantities of iron and lime
  • Has a thicker, more viscous texture
  • Leaves white residue after boiling
  • And tastes just a little bit bloody

Have you ever made green tea that thickened after 5 minutes? *shudder* Thank God for Brita filters!

Friday, December 13, 2013

I’m SO Cali

This is a bit embarassing.

On my way back home, a piece of ash fell from the sky. Then another, and another. I got pissed.

Who the FUCK is emptying their ashtray outside?
I looked up and it took me 2 whole minutes to realize that it wasn’t ash. It was snowing.

Later in the day it got wild!