Monday, February 21

The Berlin lockout and icing on the cake!

Ryan was set to fly out Sunday morning to the States and we loaded everyone up to go drop him off. We were already missing him! But as we got in the elevator, I noticed Morgan was missing her coat. Grrr. And then my key didn't work in the apartment door so I hollered to Ryan for his key. He remembered that he'd left it in the lock inside the apartment. We'd need a locksmith. Great. And I'd left my cell phone in the apartment, no biggee, just an inconvenience since Ryan had is laptop and the manager's info.

Ryan ran across the street to use the internet at Starbucks and send the apt manager an email shout out for help. After dropping Ryan at the airport, I tried to pass time until the appointed hour Ryan had set in his email for me the apt manager to meet. The manager didn't show so I took the kids across the street to the Museum of the Wall at Checkpoint Charlie until I figured out how I would call him. Museums and little kids don't really mesh well so I had to manage my expectations. I would have loved to stay and read everything at the museum, but we breezed through stopping for poignant images or displays to explain what was happening before, during, and after the Wall was built. The kids especially liked the different methods people had devised for hiding in vehicles and trying to find the replica stuffed doll inside some vehicles.

After checking our apartment again for sign of the manager, we were sitting in the car warming up when I mentioned to the kids that I had to figure out how to call the apartment manager. Easton asked why I didn’t use the phone booth next to our car. Smart kid! And not ten minutes later, the manager was there and the locksmith could be there 45 minutes later. Easton saved the day! In this age of cell phones, how does he even know what a pay phone is?!

With the serious chill outside and Morgan not having a coat, we used that 45 minutes to do a Unter den Linden drive-by tour. The kids seemed to enjoy this a lot since I prepped them to say “Oooo . . . Aaaaah . . . Awesome! . . . Cool!” on que! And then we met up with the locksmith to pay a hefty 142.80 euro. Ouch.

I was exhausted after our fun morning adventures so we hunkered down with Toy Story 3 in the apartment until early dinner. We went to snap a picture in front of the nearby stretch of remaining Berlin wall before heading to Vapianos for dinner. Man I love that simple rucola ravioli dish!!! The kids had pizza and then danced like dervishes in front of the fireplace while I finished. Ahhh, I love near-empty restaurants!

After dinner, we headed to a great chocolatier shop at the corner of the Gendarmenmarkt. It had some beautiful chocolate models of Berlin sites, chocolate bear bigger than McKay, and a bubbling chocolate volcano. But we were there to choose among their huge selection of truffles. We boxed up a dozen and would have stayed for their famous hot chocolate but it was a bit too refined a joint for "Me vs. the 3." So home again, home again, jiggity jig!

On Ryan's layover in New York, he apparently shot worried emails out for someone to check in on me. Many thanks to Tamsyn for laughing it out with me! At that point in the late evening, I had almost finished writing up our trip after the kids had gone to bed and saw a lot of humor in our mishaps. But the fun wasn't over yet. Easton had passed out early on my bed with a tummy ache and I just had a gut feeling he'd be sick later.

Sure enough, he initiated our final day of the trip shortly after midnight by throwing up all over the bed. That was fabulous, my favorite way of being awoken from a deep sleep. Luckily, that seemed to be the end of his troubles and we had no incidents on our way home. Our only "incident" was Morgan's prolonged exhausted whining tantrum asking for gum which she had devoured during my five minute absence that morning to move the car. Stinker! Five days with no naps had caught up with her. She and McKay zonked out minutes after we got in our van to drive home and she napped for three hours, waking up refreshed and feisty as ever. I'm so tempted to write something on her forehead bandage as if it were a cast! Suggestions?

There you have it. We survived our vacation to Berlin and lived to tell about it!