Innately, I am not the most adventurous person when it comes to travel. I look at the world with wonder and curiousity, but I'm also pretty content wherever you plop me. That means Greg is usually the impetus behind any big trips we take. This Spring, we had the chance to go to Europe to visit my sister and her husband in Berlin...
It was amazing. Extremely affordable and the most unique mashup of influences you could imagine - Turkish, punk, soviet, and the weight of a somber 20th century history. We experienced these things in all kinds of weird and reflective ways over our stay there. Two of my favorite things we did in Berlin: A PM soak in the pools at LiquidRom, where you can float in a warm water cave while a dj plays trancey techno music that is piped through underwater speakers (!) andexploring my sister's neighborhood of Kruezberg, going out to little bars and restaurants and for walks along the river.
After Berlin Greg and I hopped a train to Bamberg, a very old Bavarian town on the River Regnitz. We didn't hear English at all on this leg of our trip and stayed in an Inn above a historic restaurant and brewery. We did lots of hiking in the hills around the city, drank Smokebeer (so named because its malt is exposed to the smoke of burning beech logs), and boldly tried any iteration of meat that was set down before us.
We spent the end of our trip in Munich - a sunny, clean, fashionable city. I think every picture we took there was in a beer garden. A beer garden in the park, at a Monestary in the woods, in an old building downtown. It's perfectly normal to order an entire roasted chicken for yourself in one of these establishments. My favorite things we ate were a super vinegary potato salad and huge salted soft pretzels you wore around your wrist like a bracelet while carrying your tray of beer and meats to an open picnic table. Our best little discovery in Munich was a teeny wine bar across the street from where we were staying. The stylish, understated owner of Vintage-Selection took care of everyone in the joint by himself, fluttering from table to table attentively describing, prescribing, and pouring his carefully curated German wines. We each ended up with a delicious German Red, which I think came to something like $5.00 a glass. Did you know they make wine in Germany??
Back in California, our chilly, foggy San Francisco Summer is in full swing. Today I made a trip to see Susan in all her gardening glory at Gamble Gardens in Palo Alto (where it is MUCH warmer). She showed me all over and the one thing I came away most excited about was woodies and foliage plants I want to grow at home or in the studio garden. Susan feels like she's my plant pusha, which she kind of is.
On the topic of woodies and foliage - The ultimate resource book on woody plants for cut flower use is supposed to be Woody Cut Stems for Growers and Florists by John Dole and Lane Greer. It is out of print, so physical books go for upwards of $200 right now but it looks like you can buy it on a kindle for $40. These are honestly the components of a designers work that REALLY set you apart from other things people are doing. So they're a good investment!
We got another great CSA box this week so I'm gonna pack up and head home to make dinner. Hope you have fun plans for the Fourth of July!