Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Memories: "The Goal is between the Flip Flop and the Backpack"

family fun at the beach!
We are far from the most athletic of clans, but we make up in enthusiasm what we lack in regard for the rules. Sportsmanship is not our strong point. Most games end in all of us collapsing on the sand, out of breath, vigorously contesting which side claimed victory (and frequently, even at the very end of the game, still discussing who is on which team). Some members of the family seem to think you can compensate skill with rigorous debate. I belong in this camp. My motto is:  you can cheat, foul, yell, pull shirts and trip ankles, just as long as you're pulling off an adorable orange blouse while you do it! 

In this photo, my father is failing to catch, my sister is failing to block him, my cousin is failing to care, my mother and aunt are failing to participate and my grandma is just hangin' out in the middle. I may suck at sports, but it must be because an apple does not fall far from the tree. And amen to that, because I wouldn't give up this crazy clan or my genetically predetermined two left feet for anything!
Look up at the Sky!


PS. Hanging out with the same crew at the lake, in a restaurant, and around the pool, way back in the day.

PPS. Another picnic at a California beach!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Memories: Swimming in Chapada Diamantina

loving Brazil: a refreshing swim at the end of hike!

Really, is anything more delightful than a quick swim in cold water on the stickiest and sweatiest of summer days? I think not. Right now we're enjoying lukewarm sunshine and those first trickles of warmth but pretty soon August will be roasting us alive in our own skin and I for one cannot wait! I loved running through sprinklers during hot summers as a kid and I love jumping into cool lakes now that I'm (kind of) grown up

Mom and Zelda
This picture was taken on a family vacation to Brazil a few years ago. One of the highlights of our trip was the Chapada Diamantina National Park. Here, we were at the end of a long, hot, but breathtakingly beautiful hike that lead us to a lovely waterfall and this natural pool. Of course all four of us had to hop in!  It was sooooo refreshing and--once the water-tag started--so much fun!

Look up at the Sky!


PS. Monday Memories of hiking in Costa Rica, a romantic weekend in Lausanne, Switzerland, and skiing in the alps with friends or just with Karl!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Five Favorites: Post-Exam-Elation!

last lecture of the semester!

It over! Today is the last day of this semester and my last exam is behind me.  Without diminishing or disrespecting the civil rights movement in any way, I would like to sing out: free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I'm free at last! Thanks for bearing with me during my moments of frustration and complaining. Those last few weeks felt like a sprint at the end of a marathon, but all went well and now....

Well. Now....what? The end of the semester always feels a little anticlimactic. Yes, we go out to celebrate but sometimes crossing the finish line still feels like deflating a balloon. So in an effort to really savor the moment, here are five totally trivial things I will especially enjoy doing again now that these exams are over.

1. Doing Laundry. ie, wearing clothes that are truly clean and not some acceptable approximation of the concept.  I have to say, Karl has been a hero on the home front,  keeping the fridge full, the dishes washed, and the laundry basket below overflowing level while I've been buried behind textbooks. Still, the prospect of extending my wardrobe beyond those last-choice-everything-else-is-dirty options will be a joy.

2. Get moving. While I generally try to squeeze a healthy amount of exercise into an average week, I have to admit it's the first thing that goes when I get busy. I insist on walking/biking to school or the library so that I'm active and out in the fresh air at least twice a day, but I'm excited to really get my sweat on and see how my badly-neglected body does after these weeks at a desk (often slumped over. Sorry,  lower back!)

3. Binge watch shows. Don't even tell me what Olivia Pope is up to right now. Seriously. No spoilers.

4. Cooking and eating something that takes more than 10 minutes to make.  Unlike the early years of medical school, I still eat pretty healthy during exam time, but usually it's something veggy and bulgar/quinoa-y that can be thrown together super quickly. I made the mistake of bringing these delicious cookies with me to the library a few weeks ago and Sophie and I cajoled the guys into baking these amazing brownies for us -- on two different occasions. But other than that, I've been good about eating right lately, despite exam stress. I'm so happy with myself about this -- mens sana in corpore sano, and I feel much better during those marathon study sessions when my body is fueled by real food and not bloated from a salt-and-vinegar-chips binge.

5. Catch up on news. I didn't even know there was a solar eclipse today until it was too late -- that's how out of the loop I am. I can't wait to sit down with my laptop and find out what has been going on in the world since I went into library hibernation. Israeli elections? Some kind of magical, color-changing dress? I am waaaay behind right now!

Look up at the Sky!


PS. Five Favorite ways to welcome spring, things about my birthday, and romantic movies!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Monday Memories: Childhood Monopoly Games

Playing monopoly in our pajamas!

I love this old photo of my friend Sam and me playing Monopoly in our PJs. We have been friends since before either of us can remember, and our younger sibling are perfectly age-matched too (well planned, parents). We were so sad when our family moved to Berlin and they stayed in New York City, but every now and then one of us flies over the pond for a visit.  On these occasions, we kids used to play a single monopoly game for four or five days straight. The younger kids dropped out after a couple hours (lightweights), but Sam and I played on and on, each with about equal properties values and no intention to quit. If fact, I distinctly remember him bailing me out with a cash infusion when money got tight on my side of the board. Of course, our parents still had activities and sightseeing scheduled for us, so we always woke up extra early to squeeze in a round before breakfast. Ah, to be a kid again....

Look up at the Sky!


PS. Sorry for the bad quality of the photo, it's one of those real physical printed ones that you had to pay to get developed way back in the day.

PPS.  Monopoly continues to be one of my favorites...check out my top five games here!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five Favorites: Welcoming Spring

Berlin, decked out in springtime!

There's a freshness in the air around me and I've already felt a couple rays of sunshine soaking the vitamin D back into my friends, I do believe spring is right around the corner!

In light of all the complaining I did about this long, long winter, I think it's time to be a little more positive and at least enjoy that it's finally ending. Truthfully, it wasn't all cold and rainy and depressing: I loved skiing in the alps, celebrating valentine's day and my birthday, baking up a storm, and spending those long winter evenings having fun with friends.  Actually, when I write it out like that, counting my blessings like ducks in a row, I kind of hate myself for all the moaning and groaning. What are a few frozen toes when life is as lovely as this?!

So now, I'm going to be carpe diem-ing it up a little more.  Here are my favorite "firsts" for spring.

1. The first time you're outside and realize your jacket is way to warm and have to take it off.  Such a little thing, so much joy. This happened two days ago and I swear I was walking down the street wearing a sweater and the hugest of smiles!

2. The first time you wake up on a weekday and it's light outside.  Okay, nature get's a little help from daylight saving time with that one, but still, how good does it feel to get up when it's not pitch black?

3. The first time you voluntarily spend more time outside than necessary. I took the long way to the supermarket the other day, just to enjoy the sunshine a little longer. I haven't taken the long way since October! It's a whole 'nother twenty minutes!  Whoohoo!

4. The first ice cream cone.  Woah, I might be getting ahead of myself here. I haven't crossed this milestone yet but it won't be long now and I can't wait.  It's going to be chocolate all the way!

5. The first time you leave the house in ballerinas instead of boots.  Summer clothes! Skirts and dresses and bare legs!  I tried to explain to Karl how amazing it's going to be to just throw on a summer dress and flip flops and go. He didn't get it at all. Is it just a girl thing to get excited to bust out some summer outfits again?

Zelda in Sicily last summer
Here's Zelda last summer in Sicily, rocking the summer look. At least my sister will always get me, even if the prospect of shorts doesn't exhilarate the boy in my life quite as much as it does me. Sisters always understand!


Look up at the Sky!


PS. Five favorite ways to procrastinate and ways to save!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday Waffles

Waffles slathered in homemade apple sauce with dots of raspberry jam...yum!
Wednesday Morning
Wednesdays this semester are wonderful. It's the only day in the week that the alarm doesn't go off at some ungodly hour...we don't have class till the afternoon, and boy, do we love it!  This morning, Karl and I woke up and stumbled out of bed to the intoxicating smell of: waffles! My roommate Sophie had woken up earlier and there she was, all sleepy and pajama-clad, spooning batter into our trusty old waffle iron and producing these disks of bliss (okay, I may be exaggerating now, when when they're piling up and you're hungry, boy, do those puppies look good!) 
Homemade Apple Sauce

She and Pete (her BF, Hong Kong born, Florida raised) had even decked the table, including the homemade apple sauce and her mom's delicious homemade jams. Something about a lit candle at breakfast makes the occasion feel so festive! 

Needless to say, everything was delicious. We had just made some apple sauce the day before out of some no-longer-perfect apples we had lying around. There's no recipe for this: just peel and core and cover in some water. Boil until they're soft and mash mash mash. We don't add sugar (or cinnamon, or cloves, or anything) and it tastes perfect just the way it is!

This is our recipe for waffles:

100 g butter, softened (a little less than half a cup)
60g sugar (that's 1/3 cup or 4 Tablespoons)
300g flour (2 1/2 cups)
3 eggs
375ml milk (1 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
a dash of vanilla

Beat the butter with sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt and alternate adding milk and flour mixture to the batter, mix until smoothly combined.  Easy peasy!

Spoon a ladle-ful of batter into a pre-greased waffle iron and wait impatiently until each waffle turns golden brown. Yum!

Leftover "ich liebe dich" (I love you) cupcake!
And for dessert, the last of the valentine's day cupcakes (they froze surprisingly well!) Thank you, Karl, for dreaming up such a cute and long-lasting surprise.

Look up at the Sky!


PS. The last time we had waffles 

PPS. Who's who? The Boyfriend/Roommate situation explained.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Memories: Picnic in California

Family picnic at the beach (those not pictured are off treasure hunting for sea glass and shells!)
Today I had two exams back to back and they are going to keep on coming. One last two-week sprint, and the semester is behind me! 

All this studying and stressing and stupid, stupid procrastination is taking it's toll, and what I need now is a little sunshine. One of those special memories you can keep tucked away, only to be unfolded every now and then, when you really need it.  Just pressing away the well-worn creases and drawing strength from the remembrance of happy times. 

Part of my family lives in California and whenever we are visiting we always make time for a visit to my favorite beach in the world for a bagel picnic by the sea. I love those long, lazy afternoons, all of us hanging out together, eating on a blanket spread on the sand and then dispersing for naps, walks, and beach-treasure-hunting.

I just booked flights for a visit to the Bay Area this spring and I can't wait to head to the ocean and feel the sand squidge between my toes and that salty spray on my face. Here's to getting through the next couple weeks!

Look up at the Sky!


PS. Memories of a ski trip with Karl, playing "Who am I?", having some summer fun at the lake, a romantic weekend in Lausanne, and last year skiing with friends!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Five Favorites: Procrastination

birthday flowers, brightening up my room!
Well, it's exam time again here at our friendly neighborhood medical school, and as always, I am finding time to do everything besides study. That's because I am one of the world's best procrastinators. I eventually sit down and get to it, obviously, because long hours in the library with a textbook are the only path through medical school. But before I pull myself together, I'm fabulous at doing just about anything else.  

Here are some of my favorite ways to push off studying.  I highly recommend them for anyone looking to create an inefficient and frustrating exam-prep experience!

1. Clean room, organize shelves, rearrange desk ect. This is particularity great if you want the feeling of being productive while actually avoiding the task at hand.

2. Spend time researching some rare pediatric mutation in glorious detail instead of focusing on the relevant material. If it's a topic I find interesting, an hour flies by. If it's boring, I look up after an eternity and twelve minutes have passed.

3. Do laundry.  Fold each piece in lovingly instead of just shoving them in the closet like I usually do.  Pinking off lint is also time consuming.

4. Discuss the pros and cons of health care reform in excruciating detail. Always great if you have med school friends who are attempting to avoid studying with as much dedication as you are.

5. Bake cookies! I tried these ones, recommended by Naomi from Love Taza. We brought a bunch to the library with us and an empty tupperware back. Way too delicious!
chocolate chip cookies: keeping blood sugar and spirits up since 1938!

Other common pastimes for when I should really be studying include writing thank you notes for birthday gifts, bickering unnecessarily with Karl, spending a lot of time deciding what to make for dinner, leafing through recipe books, wondering why the fridge is empty, and using exam stress as an excuse not to go grocery shopping. I'm a procrastination champ!

Look up at the Sky!


PS. Five Favorite Birthday Things, Ways to Save, Romantic Movies, Parlour Games, and Vacation Destinations

PPS. Last semester's exam week here!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


I love fire. In a safe-distance-away, controlled-setting kind of way, of course. I love the way it looks and moves, all those flickering colors and fleeting shapes. I love it's warmth and coziness and maybe even the whisper of danger. Huddling around a fire feels primordial and right.

Karl and I were down south last week on a skiing getaway weekend, right on the border between Austria and Germany in tiny little village in the mountains. There we stumbled on a local celebration (outside, of course, in below freezing temperatures, because the people that live there year-round must be utterly resistant to
cold) and man, what a bonfire! It was huge, the size of a small house, and magnificent. People stood around and drank beer while the flames licked high into the night sky and sent sparks and smoke flying across the snow. The whole scene was like Robert Frost's poem, Fire and Ice, come to life. There were kids playing everywhere (because this is Europe, after all, and safety is more an every man for himself, common sense kind of endeavor) and people laughing and talking but all I could do was stare into that inferno.

Then I noticed clusters of people huddled around some sort of "warmers". I had to take a closer look. From what I could make out, they were hollowed-out tree trunks with smoldering ashes inside that emit heat as a kind of makeshift mini-fire. I was fascinated. What keeps the whole long from burning? How does it self-contain? I have no idea, but I huddled up to one too as the night got colder and I must say; I'm a fan!

Look up at the Sky!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Memories: Sun, Snow, Skis!

The view from the living room window.

As I mentioned here, Karl and I ditched this icky winter weather last week for some sunshine and sport on the slopes!

We spent five days in the tiniest tinyest alpine village you ever saw, where the views are breathtaking and the rules are rigid. Seriously, only four families live there year round, and
Karl on his board--he's actually a certified instructor!
you can bet everybody knows everybody else's business. Karl's family has a vacation home
there, and you can ski right up to your own doorstep! They have been visiting the same valley since his grandfather's day. Though his mom officially owns it, all cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends are welcome. You just have to give her a call to see if it's free when you want to go. Needless to say, Karl knows the village and the slopes inside out--but this was only my third time so I'm still learning! 

Stopping at a ski hut for luch!

It was great to get away just the two of us, especially as I am entering exam season now and won't reemerge for a couple weeks.  We had wonderful weather and new snow and lots of time to talk and smooch around on the lifts. I'm so glad we made time for this little trip!

One of the highlights was enjoying that hearty Bavarian cuisine. Lots of "wurst" (sausage), knödel (bread dumplings), spätzle (egg noodles), and pretzels with extra sides of meat and carbohydrates and more meat and more carbs. Just what you want after along day skiing in the cold! Of course, Karl loves his apple strudel, but my favorite is "flädle suppe", a flavorful broth with thin strips of pancake floating around. Yum!
Knödel soup, pretzel, apple strudel and flädlesuppe!

 Look up at the Sky! (or down at your plate!)


PS. More monday memories of playing "Who am I?", lake fun, a romantic weekend in Lausanne, and hiking in Brazil!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Five Favorites: Birthday Edition!

Blindfolded at my 21st Birthday Party

I love my own birthday. I just do. I know that sometime after you turn twelve, this is supposed to subside. What can I say? I'm immature. 

Today, Karl and I are heading to Berlin to celebrate my birthday family-style. This evening we have tickets to see Igor Levit perform Beethoven's sonatas, and I am so excited! Levit is an incredibly talented, up-and-coming pianist and it's such a stroke of luck he's performing the day before I turn twenty-three! As for the rest of the weekend...I think Karl has a couple surprises up his sleeve (he's the worst secret keeper ever) and whatever we end up doing to celebrate, I'm happy to be spending this day with him and with my lovely family.

Now for my Five Favorite Birthday Things:

1. CAKE. My dad always makes me an amazingly decadent and buttery chocolate tart from the incomparable cookbook, From Simple to Spectacular. Yum!

2. PRESENTS. My style for the year is basically defined by what my fashion-guru of a younger sister gives me for Xmas and Bday. Thanks for that, Zelda! Sorry you had to explain what an ombre is to this trend-ignoramus sister of yours. And my Mom is a pretty amazing gift-giver as well.

3. REFLECTION.  I love looking back over the last year, like we do at New Years and on birthdays, and really taking stock of the grace and blessings in our lives. Too often our gratefulness gets swept away by life's many small frustrations like papercuts and annoying cell phone ringtones. I try to grab any opportunity to put those little things aside and embrace this time as it flies by!

4. FUN PARTIES. When we get back, you betcha we're having a big ol' blow out. Above is a pic from my twenty first, and yes, that's me blindfolded and on the way to god knows what. Whether it's a crazy party or a group of friends gathering for some food and conversation, we love having everyone over for a good time.

5. GETTING OLDER. Nope, it's not my favorite, but in an effort to stop hating it, I'm putting it on the list! I started having serious angst about my birthdays passing when I turned 10 (double digits!) and it hasn't ceased since. But as much as I mourn how fast the years are going by, I know it only feels like that because we are having so. much. fun. every step of the way. So I am going to love every blink of an eye that passes before this time of year rolls around again...each blink is an immeasurably precious gift.

Look up at the Sky!


Breakfast table decked for a birthday (dark because it's 6:00AM in northern Europe)

PS. Five Favorite Ways to Save, Romantic Movies, Parlour Games (some even work for parties!), and Five Favorite Destinations for 2015!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Super Quick and Easy (Microwaveable) Brownies

Ladies and Gentlemen, a confession. 

I am an absolute and unabashed chocoholic. The darker, the better, and I can never get enough. Today I'm sharing with you one of my favorite last-minute-must-get-out-the-door recipes. Its for those days you arrive home sweaty and frantic twenty minutes before a dinner you've been invited to...thirty minutes away. This is great for potlucks, hostess gifts, spontaneous gatherings and late night meltdowns.  I first got this recipe from my best friend Clara, a prodigious baker, who used it as a bakesale contribution in high school whenever she overslept.  Its incredibly easy to put together (in one bowl), uses ingredients we always have around the house, and best of all, it's practically fool-proof. Seriously. Even Karl made it (while I yelled instructions from the shower while simultaneously brushing my teeth and writing a card).


And did I mention you can bake it in an oven or a microwave? And that the later takes all of six minutes? Yeah. It's awesome. They also happen to taste pretty darn good.

Here's Clara's recipe for Super Quick and Easy

(Microwaveable) Brownies:


115 grams butter (1/2) cup

1 cup sugar 
2 eggs
200 gram dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 /2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


If you have a pan or pot that is oven/microwave proof, great.  You'll be able to mix and bake this all in one go. If not, grab any old pan/pot and transfer your batter before you bake.

Melt butter on the stove. Turn heat to low and add sugar. MIX WELL about three or four minutes with a fork until mixture is fully emulsified. This is the only really important step. The batter will become thicker and paler and the sugar grains should all disappear. If you proceed too quickly, the brownies won't turn solid and will taste fatty.

1. Melt butter, 2. Add sugar, 3. Mix extensively until thick and pale, 4. Add eggs

Emulsified butter and sugar? Good. Now take off the heat and add half the chocolate, mixing until melted and integrated. Remember, the better the quality of the chocolate used, the better the brownies taste! A dash of coffee powder will sometimes help compensate for lower quality chocolate. When mixture is brown, add  eggs and and mix till combined. Add all the rest of the ingredients in one go.

For microwave:

Microwave your batter on high for one minute. Then, add the rest of the chopped chocolate and mix with a fork. Return to microwave for five minutes. If the brownies are unfinished, keep microwaving in 1 minute intervals till they are done. My microwave usually needs six minutes total to finish the job.

For oven:

Add the rest of the chopped chocolate and bake brownies in oven at 190°C (375°F) for twenty minutes. Voila!

Let brownies cool and enjoy! They're even better the next day....

Look up at the Sky!


PS. Tragically, no pictures of the finished got eaten too fast!

PPS. Try adding some chopped nuts sprinkled on top, its even more delicious.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Memories: Skiing in the Alps

Patrick, Frederika, and Karl with our epic snowman!
Just a short post today, because we are beyond the reach of reliable the Alps! I love it here. The mountains are majestic and the snow makes everything so serene and still.

Karl's family has a vacation place here and we come almost every year for some snow, sunshine, and skiing. Last year, we went with a couple of friends from medical school, Patrick and Frederika, but this years it's a romantic getaway à deux, which is lovely after the hustle and bustle of these busy winter months. 2015 is just flying by and I'm so happy to have a couple days of calm with my sweetheart to leave it all behind and just enjoy eachother's company (and some hot chocolate and good books too)!

Look up at the Sky (it's a fantastic night sky here)!


PS. More Monday Memories here, here, and here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five Favorites: Ways to Save

Pete's Christmas gift currently graces our bathroom
This week's "five favorites" post stems from our very student-y budget constraints. Many of the things I love (great chocolate, fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meat, and most of all: trips) don't come cheap. Here are some tips Karl and I have gathered on how to make each Euro count!

1. DIY.  This is a "duh" suggestion that I never really took seriously until I started making my own bread (yum!) and realized how much dough we were saving (terrible pun intended). Now we're all about finding ways to add thoughtfulness and save pennies with DIY. We loved making 
homemade holiday cards out of scraps and our low-key  Valentine's Day fit right in with this new philosophy.

2. Turn that thermostat down! Last winter, during the coldest week of the year, our heating broke down. We froze for seven days before it got fixed.  After some bitter complaining and several evenings spent exclusively in bed (the only warmish place in the apartment) we actually kind used to it. To our surprise, we just sort of shifted from breakfast in PJs to breakfast in an Anorak. The couple seconds after a shower were hellish, but beyond that, we learned that when one is ensconced in fleece, cold is actually okay. Although we certainly cranked the heating up when it was finally fixed, we tend to keep the apartment about seven degrees colder than before...and now we save several hundred Euro a year, without minding at all!

3.Stay in! At the Sophie/Pete/Karl/Zanna house,
we LOVE games. We've found an evening of poker or a snuggly movie night on the sofa is just as awesome as a fancy dinner out--for a fraction of the price!

4. Meatless Mondays...and Tuesdays...and Wednesdays.  My roommate Sophie is a vegetarian, and though the rest of us identify as carnivores, we only eat meat about once or twice a week. I tend to insist on organic, local, and free-range (for various ethical and health-related reasons) and that's about as expensive as it gets! So we have some morally righteous meat every now and then and enjoy eggs and other protein-laden, purse-friendly alternatives the rest of the week.

5. Car sharing.  It took me a while to warm up to this one, but Karl insisted, and now we use it for every car trip and have never looked back. When we travel as a couple, there are two empty seats in the back and it can cover the entire cost of gas to rent those out! We use the two most popular sites here in Germany,
Mitfahrgelegenheit and Bla Bla Car, but we learned during our time in France and Switzerland that there are equivalent sites for most European countries. We're heading down south for some skiing this weekend, and the rides we have lined up will reimburse the whole car trip!

In addition to these tips, we also have a couple general rules, such as: no credit card debt, no bottled water, no magazine subscriptions, no take-out, no ATM-stops at non-affiliated banks, no brand-name products, ect.

One thing we NEVER agree on is handymen. Karl always thinks he can fix it, whatever "it" is, and I would rather just call an expert and not make it worse. We're still hashing that one out!

What about you? What are you favorite ways to save pennies and what's worth a splurge?

Look up at the Sky!


PS. Very first "Five Favorites" here!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Memories: "Who am I?"

One of the greatest blessings in life is family, and I am lucky enough to have two. I like to call them the bloody and the non-bloody families, because that's what they are: the one I am genetically related to and the one my parents built for me. 

In a way, I was born into both of them. I have my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins galore who all live far away. I also have an incredible, close-knit group of "aunts" and "uncles" right here in Berlin, friends of my parents who have known me from birth and whose kids, in turn, are like nieces and nephews to me. We all love hanging out together at our lakeside mini-cabins and we try to meet en masse as regularly as we can! Here is our annual Christmas Goose-Eating Event (held at a restaurant this year so no one spends four days cooking and no one cleans up!) We love Engelbecken in Berlin--they have the best Wiener Schnitzel around!

Zelda entertains the gang
Kiki, whose artistic talent graces many napkins at restaurants all over Berlin
Papa makes a point

 Sleepy Cousins
The restaurant empties around us
The evenings tend to get long, and the kids get antsy while the wine is still flowing freely on the adult side of the table. So this time, I took some decisive action in providing entertainment.

Multi-generational Who am I ?!

And it turned out amazing. So. Much. Fun!

Everyone, young and old, gets to write out a name for their neighbor. The not-yet-learned-to-write faction gets a little help.

We ended up with quite an eclectic cast of characters. 

Johnny Depp




David Cameron

Mika Häkkinen

Then, you go around the table and each person asks yes-or-no questions until they hit a no. Then it's the next person's turn. You go around till everybody has guessed who they are. Unsurprisingly, the kids did way better than the adults!

Richard Wagner was a tough one...

The five-year-old wins first place!
It was a wonderful evening and I'm missing the crew a lot right now! There's just nothing like spening a cold winter evening cozy inside, with a whole big bunch of family. 

Zelda holds Kiki and we all say goodbye
Look up at the Sky!


PS. These photos were taken as a group effort (ie. a camera was lying on the table and most everyone fiddled around with it for a while. Thanks, Team!)

PPS. Past Monday Memories: A Day in Lausanne