The Journey Begins (December 20, 2013)

I wanted to post daily blogs during our trip to Europe over the 2013 holidays but … I became lazy really quick. ¬†Following is my first blog before I became lazy. ¬†I’m going to record this lovely trip in subsequent blogs as I don’t want to forget.

The USAirways Club was made for international travel. Mr. MM and I spent our suggested two hour early arrival in said lounge in PHL’s terminal A before our flight to Frankfurt. Let me just say — Lufthansa is the only airline to fly with to Germany. And the 5:40 pm departure is the way to go. After a decent inflight meal with several glasses of wine finished with a German pils, you’re ready for a cat nap. Several inflight movies later we arrived in Frankfurt. No delays and a quick transfer to our connecting flight resulting in an 11:00 am arrival in Berlin.

A big thank you to my mom’s side of the family for hosting us and helping us navigate the process of getting married in Germany. Mom, sister and two family friends rented a flat around the corner. Mr. MM and I stayed with family.

Upon arrival, we were treated to a simple lunch of white sausage with spicy sweet mustard and various breads. After a restorative one hour nap, we hit a local shopping district to get some fresh air, participate in Christmas shopping madness, and exchange money. We found that if you exchange for 200 Euros, there is no fee. It is definitely worth asking if this is an option the next time we exchange.

I bought a couple of hand made cleaning brushes at Karstadt. I saw similar brushes in an issue of Martha Stewart but couldn’t find similar ones in Philadelphia. I found it interesting that when they swiped my credit card the total price showed up in both Euros and dollars. I then had to select which currency to pay in. I chose Euro. We are using a Capital One Venture card as it is the only credit card, we found, that does not charge fees for using it in Europe. I’m now wondering if it would have been better to choose dollars as it is an instant exchange instead of a delayed exchange when the charge goes through?

We then went to the local Christmas market (a warm up for the main market). Gluhwein to warm us up and fried cheese to tie us over until dinner. We then returned “home” for a dinner of Konigsberger Klopse with various breads, cheeses, and lunch meats to start us off.

Konigsberger Klopse

I love dinners that spill over into lively discussions that cause us to start pouring the liqueurs and laugh our fool heads off. Alcohol is our translator.

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!