29 August 2011

What I've been doing while I wasn't here...part 2 Aug 2011

And more that we did this month, with a few photos to relieve the eye...
  • T2 entered as a vorschulkind into her last year before Grundschule, complete with Winnie-the-Pooh small schultuete. It hurts my feelings a bit when she tells me, "Mama, go!" But at least she hugs and kisses me before she sends me on my way. I'm glad that we didn't push for her to go to first grade this year, as she is enjoying it so. Erste Klasse won't be a bed of roses and I think she will have a grand time this year in kita.
  • We went for a weekend religious retreat and really enjoyed the warm feeling, although it was a bit hectic because the following Monday—
  • School started again, with T1 switching teachers (which makes us sad because we loved her old one). And wow- is 3rd Klasse incredibly harder than 1st or 2nd! (Kita resumes far earlier than school starts, at least here in Berlin.)
  • We went to Amsterdam for the concert at the Hotel Pulitzer and found that suite 273 was charming, bright and airy. We met a lovely expat couple (Mexican and Portugese, respectively) and I need to send them some photos. We had "won" a package and we had :the weekend in a gorgeous suite (more bathrooms than we have at home!), a walking tour with visits to a historic distillery and a cheese cave, a wonderful meal with accompanying wines and a sommelier to guide us (and including what I think is the best piece of beef we have yet had in Europe), a boat tour through the canals, pontoon side seats during the Prinsengracht/Pulitzer concert (the director sat next to us, when he sat) and an invitation to the after party: we sat on a garden bench and "people watched", wondering who the people were that all the others were fawning over (our best guess:Dutch nobility).
  • While we were in Amsterdam, the children were enjoying the Soester Fehde and I was a bit jealous: if I had known this existed, I might not have tried for our Amsterdam package but instead enjoyed this! They also did some boating and swimming with their cousins.
  • T1's Zahnspange lost a piece while being brushed (with a soft toothbrush!). She needed to go for another impression and will get a new upper plate next week.
  • The German shifted his Munich workweek a bit and came home to go to the "Faces of the Renaissance" exhibit at the Bode Museum (in partnership with the Met): it was gorgeous. The Bode itself was a lovely , extremely and ornate, gilded piece, but the exhibit was fabulous. We took a guided tour with my women's club and I'm sorry that we did: once again, I find the audio guides to be infinitely superior to a single human as guide. No matter how much that person knows, it won't be as much as the many erudite and recondite sources who put together the audio guide, nor will she have her own period soundtrack or the ability to be put on pause while one gazes and ponders. I'll probably make a repeat visit, with audio guide. During the tour, I took lots of photographs (I asked, as always, at the door and was told it would be fine with no flash): at the end of the tour, the guide told me that in this special exhibit, photos were not allowed (due to the many private owners of individual paintings collected) so I was lucky. Strange that no guard stopped me if it was actually forbidden, though.
  • I took a bread course, an African cooking course, a Persian cooking course and a vegetarian Persian cooking course. I enjoyed them all, even though a woman in the bread class informed me, as I was discussing sourdough starters with the teacher (a Master Baker), that the US has only "squishy" bread. I asked if she had ever been in the US and she told me no, although her friend had told her all about it. The folks in the African and Persian courses were much more friendly and open. I wonder if there is some correlation between taking a cooking course in a foreign cuisine and not having negative stereotypes about foreign cuisine? (Perhaps that's a bit obvious:-)).
Now I have posted these, perhaps I can get going on some more current posts! I can say that I may expand on some of these and re-post as individual pieces, but I seem to never get around to doing it.

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