This morning, Goldilocks woke up to a Saint Nikolaus Day surprise. Chocolate in her boots! (She often puts toys and bows in our boots so it was fun to see her reaction to us turning the tables on her!) The modern tradition (at least in less-Catholic northern Germany) is that the children of the household leave out their freshly polished boots by their door or radiator and Saint Nikolaus comes in the night on December 6 and fills them with candy, toys and fruits. They wake up the next morning to a delicious treat. It reminds me of the typical American Easter basket.
It’s officially the holiday season! That means so many things, warm, delicious beverages, Christmas lights, decorating and Christmas music. It also means you’ll probably start getting those holiday cards in the mail from family and friends. I have always loved sending Christmas cards. We have sent one out for each year of our marriage and it has normally accompanied an announcement of a big event like a birth or move, or both! However, living abroad has provided a new challenge for sending out holiday cards.
We are very blessed that Papa Bear receives German and American holidays off of work. So we took full advantage of two three-day-weekends in a row in the last two weeks! For Columbus Day weekend we made our first flight out of Germany and headed to Brussels, Belgium. I have wanted to go to Brussels since this last summer when I found out about the Harry Potter Exhibit taking place there! It ends in November, so the clock was really ticking to travel there. Luckily we were able to fit in the trip and found that we really love Brussels!
To celebrate the start of the fall season we decided to go fruit picking in Potsdam! It was really meant to be a pumpkin picking trip, but it turned out that they didn’t have a pumpkin patch. Oh well, it was still a great little family getaway before the weather turned dreary. The you-pick-it farm we went to was called “Hofladen” and it was super fun!
I have to admit I was a bit wary about conquering public transit in another country, in another language that I don’t speak, with a child and one on the way. It seemed like a daunting task, especially as I pondered the thought of it before we moved here. However, now that we’ve been living here for 6 full weeks, I have learned the ins and outs of traveling via trains and busses with a toddler. I hope the following tips help you as you try out public transit in Berlin with kids.
Germany is all about order. Everything is “in ordnung.” Transportation is on time (or early!), pedestrians never jaywalk and signs indicate how everything is done. I had been warned about how children and even dogs should behave in public and was nervous about how this would actually play out with a toddler. Even Papa Bear told me that children are beloved in Germany but often they are meant to be seen but not heard, especially in places where adults are more likely to be carrying on business or conversation. Places like restaurants and museums.
We’ve been in Berlin for 4 days now and I can’t believe how quickly it has begun to feel like home. I think the biggest reason for that is that we were able to move straight into our new home, which I will feature in a blog post soon! We really do love it here. I already love the community we’re a part of, with other Embassy families all around us and showing up at my door with food and friendship. I love the view from my back windows and being able to walk to the Grunewald (a VERY large park) within a matter of minutes. But there’s also a lot to get used to about the culture here in Berlin. Here’s a snapshot of my first impressions of this great city of Berlin.
Today I will be beginning a new guest series on Third Culture Kids and raising children overseas. First up, is a great friend of mine, Maia, who grew up in South America. Read all about her story and her encouragement for parents considering moving overseas with their children. It’s a great perspective from someone who grew up in the expat environment herself!
It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWWWWN! We are officially 26 days out from our big move to Berlin! We realized just last week how quickly our departure is approaching. We sat down and went over the entire moving checklist for the month and a half before our move. It’s a doozy! I’m having a hard time not feeling overwhelmed at the sheer length of the checklist of items that will go into this move. Here’s a look at what our current checklist looks like:
So I’ve hinted at my life as a military kid, but I’ve never really told the story of my upbringing as a military kid and a self-proclaimed “third culture kid” (TCK). I say self-proclaimed because I feel that the term TCK is mostly used in reference to kids who grow up overseas away from their parent’s home country. However, I feel that my story aligns very well with the overarching meaning of the term. That I grew up in multiple places and away from my parent’s home “culture.”