Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Ferris Wheel in Berlin

I know all your heads are going to explode when you see I am posting AGAIN so soon, but my last post on the Santa Monica Pacific Wheel reminded me that I hadn't yet shared another recent, amazing ride from my travels this summer.

As you know, I spent almost three weeks traveling in Germany this past June and July. We were fortunate to have wonderful friends and family to stay with for most of the trip, but during the last week, we headed to Berlin where my son went off to stay with friends and my husband and I bunked down at the incredible Hotel Adlon, overlooking the Brandenberg Gate. (The hotel is famous for, among other things, being the place where Michael Jackson dangled his young son out the window.) When we first arrived, our room wasn't ready, so we had cappuccino and strawberry cake out on the terrace while we waited...also having a coffee nearby was Calvin Klein creative director, Francisco Costa, in town for Berlin Fashion week! (We were not invited to "mingle" with the Berlin fashion cognoscenti, alas.)

More importantly, though, that first night, Berlin was celebrating the World Cup semi-final match between Germany and Spain. The city had set up a big party (for +300,000!) in the Tiergarten with big screens, performers, and, happily, plenty of beer stalls! It was a short walk from our hotel across the Pariser Platz to the Tiergarten, joined by so many exuberant German football fans.

And I was thrilled to find a ferris wheel set up amid the celebrations. (I should note that, as far as rides go, I'm more of a roller-coaster girl...I also adore Merry-Go-Rounds, especially when it plays Strauss or Sousa.) The views from the wheel were amazing. I'll let my photos do the talking...

Sadly, Germany lost that night. We ultimately didn't stay for the whole match in the Tiergarten; instead, we watched the final minutes from the cozy confines of the Hotel Adlon bar, sipping Hendricks martinis.

PS: Can you tell I have papers to grade? That's the reason behind this recent re-interest in blogging.... Ah, procrastination!

PPS: Thank you to M.Lane and LPC for kindly remembering Chez La Vie...and especially to LPC for her lovely comment regarding my family!

USC Parent's Weekend!

The first weekend in October, my husband and I traveled to Los Angeles to attend Parent's Weekend at the University of Southern California, where my youngest son goes to college.

My brother, his wife and daughter came down from Palmdale to see some Trojan football with us. Too bad USC lost to the Huskies in THE LAST THREE SECONDS.

It was a busy weekend, and I was so sorry not to have time to meet up with The Daily Connoisseur and see her new daughter. We did have two quick visits to Santa Monica, and I kept hoping to run into a beautiful girl pushing a stroller, but no luck!

On our final evening in SoCal, I had made reservations via OpenTable to a bistro in Santa Monica, Anisette. (It opened after I moved away from Santa Monica in 2007, and I wanted to try it next time I was in town.) Unfortunately, no one had apparently told OpenTable that Anisette had closed its doors on September 30. As luck would have it (but not my bank account), Boa was right down the street and had a beautiful table open. So we feasted on lobster (yes, I know it's a steak house, but...) and wine with a great waiter and thus celebrated my forty-fifth birthday!

But first, I convinced my son and husband to go on the Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel with me. Even having lived within walking distance to it, I had never gone!

Here we are, our excursion on the Pacific Wheel immortalized, below. My poor husband plays his usual role of straight man. I love the uncomfortable smile on his face!

A big thank you to Petunia in Paradise for her Twitter message letting me know she was still looking out for Chez La Vie! My only readers now seem to be spammers: "Kiev Girls" or Christian Audiger merchandise (yuck!) or I-don't-know-what 'cause it's in Chinese.