Thanksgiving In Berlin

This was not our first Thanksgiving away from home. Last year we had turkey and guacamole (weird, I know) in Jamaica during our Honeymoon. It wasn't bad, though, because we were going home at the end. This year was more difficult, because we weren't with our families, and we're in a foreign country. But...our wonderful friend Steph Johnson saved the day! Marc was coming in town to visit, and she invited us to spend Thanksgiving with her and the Antioch Berlin team in Berlin. We were so excited to see Berlin, and equally excited to have a somewhat normal Turkey Day. Stephen got off work on Wednesday around 5 and we headed out. After a stop for dinner in Cologne and a few accidental detours, we arrived in Berlin at 2am. Steph was such a trooper and stayed up to welcome us. We all bunked together in the "dorm" and slept like babies. Thursday morning we awoke to a great German Breakfast awaiting us. Steph was such the hostess! It was wonderful. Then the preparations began. I made my first pies, two pecans (one "B" and one "U") and one pumpkin. I'm so domestic! Around lunchtime we headed over to the Tartar's house, where we met all of Steph's team. They were all so great and inviting, making us feel so welcome! We had a feast, complete with two turkey's (Madonna and Pavarotti-one cajun and one lemon herb), stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie, salad, crescent rolls, and cranberries. Then, we had my pies, cherry pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cake, and pumpkin cookies! It was delicious! The kids (there were 7) played and the adults laughed, it was very comforting! We finished the night off watching Elf, to bring in the Christmas spirit! That movie is so great! On Friday, we woke up and caught a walking tour. Stephen and I are pro's at these! We saw all of the Berlin historical sights, including the Holocaust Memorial, Hitler's bunker, the Berlin Wall, Museum Island, and many others. You can see the pictures chronicaling our tour using the link below. It was an awesome tour. I would highly recommend it if you are in Berlin: The New Berlin Walking Tour...and it's free! Can life get better? Later that night Steph had an open house at her apartment. We ate leftover desserts and met some of their German friends that go to her church or live nearby. It was so neat to get to talk to them (don't worry, they speak better English than I do) and hear their stories of the history of Berlin, but also just to interact with people that Steph and her team hold dear! They were so nice and fun! We sang and danced and had a great time! Saturday we joined Steph and her family (Marla and Kenny) for Steph's "Neighborhood Tour." She showed us all of the cool sites, my favorite being Tacheles. It's a building taken over by artists where they display their art (inside, behind, on, EVERYWHERE). It was very ecclectic and original. We then had a very typical German lunch, schnitzels, and went sight seeing. Steph had great patience, carting us around her town. It was nice! During our walk we stumbled on an open Christmas market, so after dinner Stephen, Marc and I went back to enjoy it. I had some cider and we even participated in one of the amusement "rides." (Exclusive video coming soon!!) It was great! Sunday, we awoke to snow on the cars. So cool! We made the trek back to Liege, which took us about 6 hours and had time to unwind before the start of another week! We had SO MUCH FUN in Berlin. Definitely on the top of our list as far as cities go so far! Steph was an amazing hostess...and such a blessing in our lonely holiday slump :) We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving as well!