Smooth ish start… other than Jeff realizing that he included my middle name on the ticket to Berlin (when it is not on my passport). He then of course starts googling just before bed to see if that was a problem. Thousands of posts later (About canceling the reservation without a refund.) Zero sleep for Jeff as we reach the airport at 5:00 AM his panic is really reaching a peak at this point. So Jeff drags me through the airport at speeds not appropriate for zero coffee, we got to see a United customer service rep who was able to fix the issue in 5 minutes. Cool. So glad we were stressed about that. We land in Newark without a hitch and had a layover of 3 hours until our flight to Berlin (which Sarah’s sister Rachel assured us would be canceled since it was out of Newark…). Flight took off right on time and before we knew it, we were walking off the plane at 7:30 AM with the entire day ahead of us in Berlin! Yay jetlag!
Dropped the luggage off at the hotel and immediately headed to a coffee shop and begged for an iced coffee (Most places do not have ice FYI). Also most places were not open at 8am, early brunch? Not a thing. The coffee shop that was open and had ice winds up being next to Checkpoint Charlie (famous crossing point between East and West Berlin). They also have a cool exhibit near there with a remaining piece of the Berlin wall, which has a fence around it ironically to prevent people from cannibalizing it. There is also a alt subject art museum next to it called Exhibition Hall Martin-Gropius-Bao. The current exhibit is this really moving photography by Dayanita Singh: Dancing with my Camera and Emeka Ogboh’s installation, which occupies the major atrium area. The building itself is no shrinking violet either its a renaissance style building that was damaged in one of the last bombings of Berlin. When they rebuilt it they left all the rebuilt elements in their original plaster colors so you can see the difference between the original and the reconstructed. Yeah I loved it!
Falling asleep on our feet we got sucked into the Berlin Mall where we promptly purchased Vegan Burgers from Vedang which is their version of vegan fast food, jet lag cure it is not, but tasty 🙂 . Decided to get a pedicure before our next tour, Jeff refused to participate. I promptly fell asleep in the chair while she was trying to wrangle my feet, when I woke up she informed me she only took cash so Jeff was running to the hotel to get cash so that we could pay for this pedicure and get to our tasting. 30 sweaty minutes later, Jeff showed up with the cash (Berlin is so freaking hot), so we were able to get out of there and barely had time to get to the tasting.
I have to admit, by the time of the tasting everything was getting VERY fuzzy and I may or may not have used my sunglasses to hide the fact I was sleeping during the tasting (Thank you college for all the practice). I also may or may not have bought 12 bottles from Planet Wein, but I guess we will see if anything shows up in the mail. You will not see any picture from the second half of that day because while they do exist, I am hoping we never look that way again. Jeff maneuvered us back to the Hotel (Hotel Luc – Marriott Autograph Collection) where we promptly passed out for 12 hours.