Archive for June, 2010

We bid some bittersweet goodbyes to the city of light last week (including a sublime afternoon of macarons in the Parc Montsouris) and then boarded a train of great vitesse to London, where we’re visiting some family. We’re currently in Wales, and then we’re heading to Ireland. With any luck, Josie could take her first steps in the land of her ancestors…

Our blogging capabilities will be limited for the next few weeks so stay tuned for updates on an even more infrequent basis. Merci !


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We went to Berlin last week to visit our good friend Stephanie and her husband Toffi and their two adorable daughters, Marie and Greta.

Josephine was thrilled to be able to roam all over their gigantic apartment in Prenzlauer Berg and to play with all of Marie and Greta’s awesome German toys (they have a slide in their living room!).  Berlin, in general, seemed really kid-friendly (sooo different from Paris) and we were surprised to see sandboxes and toys for children in numerous cafes, even cafes in high-traffic areas like on Museuminsel (museum island) down near the river Spree.

Josephine also got to know their dog, Oko. When we first arrived, she was scared of Oko and she started crying if he even looked at her. It was odd for us because we had never seen her afraid of something before (she doesn’t even really have stranger anxiety, unless she’s really tired and cranky).  Yet, she really warmed up to him, and she began pointing at him and saying “Daaah” (for dog).  Tadhg and I have since been having heated debates as to whether or not this counts as her first word.  We’d love for any gentle readers out there to intervene with their opinions.  Tadhg thinks that this instance does stand as the first time that Josephine has intentionally used a word with regularity.  I think that the word “hi” could be her first word, since she has been able to wave and say “hi” when someone enters the room for weeks.  However, she does not say “hi” consistently every time.  And, though she does pretty consistently call out dogs on the street (and there are a lot of them here), she has also been known to point at pigeons and ducks and call them “daaah”s as well, so maybe we’re still waiting for the first definitive word.  What do you think? How do you know when your kid has said their first word? Is it just something you make up when she asks you ten years later?

We were also happy to take a break from French cuisine and sample some German fare.  Stephanie had baked a loaf of delicious walnut bread before we arrived. The following night, Toffi made some crispy swineschnitzel and Stephanie prepared some asparagus (apparently the Germans go gaga for asparagus) and pommes de terre which we washed down with a nice Riesling. Oh, and she made the most amazing rhubarb crumble for dessert… I am not normally a rhubarb fan but I was scraping up crumbs from the baking dish before retiring it to the kitchen sink to soak. For TD, though, the cullinary highlight was sampling Berlin’s best currywurst (according to Toffi and Gerhard Schroeder), which just happened to be located at a stand down the street, under the UBahn.

On our last day, we wandered into a great street market in Stephanie’s neighborhood, where we listened to some music, sampled some sizzling bratwurst wrapped in bacon, and oogled all of the meat and cheese vendors, and the piles of peonies:

Given our ardent love of the GDR classic film “Go Trabi, Go” (and it’s totally awesome soundtrack), we made a point to check out the recently opened DDR Museum, which indulges in a good bit of “ostalgie” (nostalgia for East Germany).  The high point was, obviously, getting to slip behind the wheel of an actual Trabant, which Josie found pretty exciting.

Merci again to Stephanie, Toffi, Marie and Greta for having us  and letting us be Berliners for a few days !

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