Friday, June 29, 2007

A cruise down the river Spree

Berlin weekend, Day 2 resulted in a stroll in and around Museum Island. Quite impressive, so if you find yourself in the big “B”, check it out. First, the Pergamon Museum, home to the original ancient Pergamon Altar…







...the Roman villa and market place gate (yes, here was our “obligatory ‘under renovation” site), so only the villa facade was viewable…


…and the Ishtar gate of Babylonia.






Now, on to that lovely cruise down the River Spree…could we have asked for a more perfect day of weather?



Angie’s house (the German Chancellor's house).



The Reichstag from the river.


Budman enjoys a little boat action and ice cream.



Nikolai quarter from the Spree River.


Musuemsinsel - Museum Island, and the Berlin TV Tower.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Diadeloso x 3

Hard to believe but we were the veterans of Diadeloso this year. After all, this is the third consecutive year we’ve attended “Diadeloso Germany Style”. (For those new to the blog and needing some context, here you go).

The Baylor International Network and Baylor Alumni Association host a number of BU Diadeloso events around the country, and even in a few international locations. Our first two forays into the “Day of the Bear” celebrations took us to Heidelberg where we shared stories of life at ole BU, drank a little Dr. Pepper, met some really great Baylor grads who happen to be living in Germany, and of course, took in a little sightseeing.

If you’re not a Spanish speaker, Diadeloso is roughly translated as the “Day of the Bear” (Baylor’s mascot is the North American Black Bear). It is a campus-wide event that was even in existence when Budman and I were at Baylor which resulted in a day off from classes, usually involving a gorgeous spring day and a huge mudfight. This year's alumni event saw the venue changed to accommodate those grads living in northern Germany…and so, a weekend in Berlin.

Well, the weather could not have been any more perfect for a weekend in Berlin. Having just finished off a major deliverable at work, I was looking forward to “fun, fun, fun in the warm Deutschland sun” (name that Beach Boys blatantly stolen song reference, please). A four hour bike tour of Berlin (courtesy of Fat Tire Bike Tours: - highly recommend it and they have tours in Paris and Barcelona) was really the perfect way to enjoy sunshine, blue skies, delightful companionship, and a hoot of a guide. Thanks, Randell, we had a blast!

Scenes from the day – first up, Budman and Hachie Gal get revved up for the tour, and acclimate to their bikes.

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Randell…our fearless leader for a Berlin biking bonanza.

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Our first stop, Alexanderplatz (Berlin TV tower in background), Rotes Rathaus, and St. Hedwig’s Cathedral.

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The “Bears” next stop is Bebelplatz, site of the Third Reich book burning. On this date…yes, a book fair was in progress. Ironic…

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The French and German Cathedrals…mirror images of each other.

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OK, next stop: site of the former Checkpoint Charlie and the only remaining intact portion of the Berlin Wall.

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Sic 'em Bears in front of the Berlin Wall.

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Hachie Gal in front of one of the remaining East Berlin guard towers.

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Brandenburg Gate, the Soviet Memorial, and the Victory Column. WWII GIs nicknamed the Victory Column, “chick on a stick”.

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Budman and Hachie Gal take a break from the bike tour in a biergarten in the Tiergarten.

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Baylor Bears end our bike tour in front of the Reichstag.

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The night was capped off by the best Mexican food I’ve had while living in Europe. For those who know me, it was a sour cream chicken enchilada combo plate for this gal, with rice, refried beans, and corn (not flour) tortillas. Perfect ending to a FAB day.

Go Bears, Go!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quite an achievement!

There are milestones, and then there are milestones. A high school or college graduation, a wedding, the birth of a child, a professional accomplishment...all important and worthy of celebration. However, a 50th wedding anniversary is a significant achievement in any family and one that we recently celebrated with my in-laws, Bob and Dee. A quick trip to Dallas (the Budman and I were like the marines…in and out in 72 hours) allowed us to honor this wonderful couple and celebrate this milestone with them, family, and about 75 close friends.

Congrats Bob and Dee!



Immediate family celebrates the big day!




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The larger clan comes from all over Texas….


The immediate family poses for those last photos .