Jan 2 was one of my favorite days of the trip. We got breakfast and lunch food at REWE and then all met up at a spray paint shop called Writer’s Corner. Nat and I got a little lost along the way when we had to stop to take care of Simon but eventually we made our way to the group. Each kid got to pick a can of spray paint and the off to Mauer Park we went to tag the Berlin Wall. Blake as long been fascinated with graffiti artists and he reveled in the chance to create his own masterpiece. Move over Banksy!
True to form, Josh drew a Pineturtleapple and Halle drew sprayed puppies. Rusty painted his classic doodle face.Our badass grandma spray painted a kitty. It was so fun to be there with everyone in the sunshine at the Berlin Wall leaving our mark (which was totally painted over 2 days later when we walked by).
Everyone ended up with a little spray paint on their clothes, but it was worth it!Then a trip to the East Side Gallery. This wasn’t quite as fun with 20 million children in tow, so we just did a pretty quick walk by. But, we had to do another handstand pose and Carlie nailed it at 35 weeks pregnant. She went right up and then I got all flustered because I didn’t want her to be up there long and I totally choked. I couldn’t get my dang boots over my head. Finally I managed but Nat says I look a bit wild 🙂
Now the moment we’d been waiting for….build your own chocolate bar at Ritter Sport. So fun. You choose your base and your mix ins and they create the bar of your dreams. The only downside was they took FOREVER to harden and by this time kids were DONE. Carlie took some adults and Halle to see the book burning memorial and a few other things while Dan guided the rest of us home. We had Döner for dinner and called it an early night.
The next day was mostly for the kids. We drove to the darling town of Lüebbenau and Rusty found a really fun park. The kids played their hearts out. Natalie and I laughed our hearts out watching Dan guide Rusty through the sensory path. And all the kids loved Michael pushing them on the big swing.
Then we walked along the icy river and they all had a blast fishing big chunks of ice out of the water and then throwing them out onto the ice and watching the skid, break, and smash into the water. Halle and I saw a duck just slipping and sliding as he tried to walk along the ice. We got a good kick out of that.
Lüebbenau is famous for pickles. And Dan loves pickles. So while moms got hot chocolate for the kids Dan and Rusty when and bought buckets of pickles. Horseradish pickles, salty pickles, and everyone’s favorite, sweet pickles. They were so tasty!Spreewald swimming with the penguins was next on the agenda. Josh said it was a little hard to enjoy the town because he was so excited about swimming. And it lived up to our expectations. The water could have been a bit warmer, but we got used to it after a little bit. There was a giant thermal bath, a wave pool, two water slides and penguins! The penguins were on the other side of a glass wall but we could watch them swim and dive right along side us. We paid for 4 hours and had to drag the kids away. This is the only pic I got pre swimmingNat and I enjoyed some time in the German sauna. This time we chose the relaxing 50 degree Celsius instead of the 95 that made us want to die. We had a little nap in the warm air and then enjoyed some adult swimming in an indoor/outdoor pool. Now it was the boys turn to enjoy the sauna while we started getting all the kids ready to go. Rusty loved it!
Why is getting ready after swimming always so stressful? Josh lost his locker key, Halle couldn’t remember what locker she had used and it was a mixed dressing room with all kinds of naked mommies and daddies and kids. A new experience for all of us. Parents nerves were frayed by the time we walked out, but we made it.
I’m so glad we did this. The kids were much more relaxed and happy after their day of play. G&G and Cole stayed in the city and went to the Unterwelten tour and to a concentration camp just north of the city.