Berlin – The City We Barely Saw

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oh, where to start. overall, we had a great 9 days in europe but the first few days were not fun.

first of all, traveling with a two-year-old is very different from traveling with even an 18 or 20 month old. something is happening in their brains and it makes them crazier than the weird kid in middle school who would snort pixie-sticks.

at least i snapped this cute photo of daddy and daughter on our way to the plane.

we flew to berlin via icelandair (with a stopover in iceland) and i was pleasantly surprised by the airline. though – should you travel on icelandair, be prepared that you’ll have to deplane without a jetbridge, meaning if it’s snowing and 40mph wind, you WILL walk outside in that from your plane and to your next plane. plan accordingly.

you do have to pay for all food and booze, which is not common when compared to other overseas airlines. the plane was new, it had free movies/tv and they gave atlas a cute little bag of goodies to keep her occupied!

this was the most haunting goodie inside the bag:

i apologize in advance for the nightmare you will indeed have tonight.

as i mentioned on my instagram story before we left, i bought this thing from amazon. i ultimately chose it because you can inflate it via the airplane air-vent (though we used our own lungs and it took less than 2 minutes).

it’s basically an inflatable footrest thing that goes in between the seat so your toddler can lay ‘flat’ and ‘sleep’ on the airplane.

it took some getting used to but eventually atlas laid down and slept for a few hours (after screaming and throwing punches in both of her parents’ faces).

we got into berlin in the afternoon and despite all of us being desperately tired, we knew walking in the daylight would (or should) help combat the jet-lag.

atlas wasn’t having it. despite having a cold the week before, she caught another cold so she wasn’t feeling 100%. add being exhausted and add being a two-year old and add not being allowed to fling yourself into oncoming traffice and you get this:

we managed a few smiles here and there:

from our hotel, we walked to checkpoint charlie, the most famous crossing point between east and west germany during the cold war. soviet and american tanks briefly faced each other at the location during the berlin crisis of 1961.

part of the berlin wall

eventually we started taking pictures like this because atlas would purposefully scream when we tried to take her picture. she’s there though.

this is apparently ‘bradenburg gate’ (though admittedly i had zero idea what it was or what it meant because jet lag with a toddler is a special type of terrible). it has an interesting history and from 1961-1989 it came to symbolize divided germany because it shutoff access to the gate from both east and west germany.

it was the backdrop for president ronald reagan’s speech in 1987 when he said, “mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

it is now a famous landmark in berlin and a national symbol of peace and unity!

we walked through the ‘memorial of the murdered jews of europe’ and it was powerful, to say the least. this area was purchased by the german reich and became the headquarters of the reich food ministry in 1919. then it was used as the office-villa of the reich propaganda minister. an underground bunker was added to the villa and apparently still exists today.

the building that was there was damaged by air-raids in 1944 and when the berlin wall was built in 1961 – it was completely demolished.

in 1988, journalist lea rosh and historian eberhard jackel made a public proposal for establishing a “highly visible memorial for the murdered jews of europe.” it finally passed in 1999 and was opened in 2005. it comprises of 2,711 concrete stones and a subterranean information center.

it honors the six million jewish victims from throughout europe.

good thing we went out right after arriving in berlin because it went downhill from here. that night was horrible with atlas not sleeping and coughing to the point of gagging and other terrible things. it was bad bad. thank GOODNESS my in-laws were with us on this trip because they took her the following night so we could get some sleep.

then ravery got hit hard with a terrible cold, fever and sore throat and then i got hit the following day with chills and bronchitis. then atlas got a horrible ear infection. if someone would have made me sign something that said “never will i travel with a toddler again” i would have gladly signed it in blood.

thankfully my in-laws stayed healthy so ravery and i took turns hanging with them and atlas while the other one slept.

other highlights is that i got to hang with one of my favorite people and partner in crime for vocal women – olivia! i haven’t seen her in the flesh for a few years so it was extra good to be with her!

plus she brought ravery a good mix of cold remedies from her hometown in england as well as berlin! she also brought atlas a cute teddybear and carries a fantastic bag that had to be documented:

one of my favorite things about blogging is meeting internet friends in the flesh! i got to hang with rebecca, who moved to berlin a few months ago with her family! someone was blowing massive bubbles in the square and we watched her youngest daughter run around trying to catch them. adorable.

i’ll need to venture back to berlin because i know it’s a cool city but we didn’t get to see much of it thanks to sickness. thankfully ravery still rocked his keynote there, despite feeling like literal garbage.

due to some miscommunication, we left for switzerland without him and he joined us the following day. i’ll be back next week with our ultra-amazing time in switzerland, which was thankfully much better!

have you been to berlin? what else would you recommend we do next time we go there?


  1. Audrey

    October 10, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Oh man… If only all trips could go smoothly, right? That sounds very very taxing… I’m glad some good things happened, though! And it sounds like Berlin has some rich and interesting history! I’ve never been to Germany but it looks beautiful.
    I hope Switzerland treated you better!
    Funny story… Your husband posted a picture of the giant flower clock on his IG story and I messaged him that I’d been there- because I thought YOU had posted it. And he very nicely said, “Cool! :)”. But I was like oh my gosh I’m the weirdo that just messaged a near-stranger something totally dumb. Hahahahahaha. The whole thing made me laugh and smack my forehead.
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    • chelsea

      October 23, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      hahah that is hilarious! and i can assure you he appreciated the interaction 🙂 but that is seriously funny!

      thankfully switzerland was waaaay better!

  2. Penny Bowman

    October 10, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Even though you all got sick, and even though you were traveling with a 2 year old… it still sounded like a fun trip. Thanks always for sharing your wonderful times. I really enjoy reading and seeing all the great pictures. Love you all!

    • chelsea

      October 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      yes i’m still glad we got to see some of the city and thankfully we all got better within a few days! thank you for reading and comment, aunt penny!

  3. Charlene Maugeri

    October 11, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    I’m so sorry you all got sick and were miserable most of the time! It looks like you made the best of your trip anyway, though!

    • chelsea

      October 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      we did! and thank goooooodness that my inlaws were with us because they helped SO much!

  4. Penny

    January 4, 2019 at 8:42 am

    I would love to sit across the table from my husband who died in 2003. He and I used to laugh and laugh together until we had tears in our eyes or we gave each other asthma attacks. I have not laugh like that since he has been gone. So I would want to be with my Joe again one more time!