From the category archives:

through the looking glass

It’s only January 4 and I’ve already checked an item off of my bucket list. Take that, 2017!

 

Hamilton did not disappoint despite all the hype. It’s everything it’s said to be and more. The book, lyrics and music by Lin-Manuel Miranda is a masterpiece and will withstand time to be one of the classics decades from now. When you have something like this to work with, especially the vividly drawn characters, whether it’s the original cast or whether it’s in New York matters a lot less.

It’s great theatre in all aspects: the entire cast, the ensemble, the stage/set/prop/costume design, the lighting, the orchestra, the choreography. There’s not a single lull throughout the show. Every number is engaging (and sometimes simply brilliant) as written, spectacular as choreographed, and breathtaking as performed.

It’s everything. 

It may also be the last musical I’ll ever see since Hamilton has in effect ruined all future musicals for me.

Here’s to Hamilton being, hopefully, the beginning of a new life for musical theatre.

 

 

 

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Kinder Surprises are the surprise I learned about the U.S.

 

Best find in Germany: Kinder Eggs (Kinder Surprises). I was indeed pleasantly surprised that the toy is a Lufthansa plane. And the pieces all fit together nicely. (Remember those horrible experiences with your sobbing, disappointed kid because the cheap toys broke or could not be put together even with Super Glue?) My son said, “Duh. That’s called German engineering!”

You can’t find these in the U.S. because the toys inside pose choking hazards. I just learned of the brouhaha of Kinder Eggs in the U.S. – Not only can you not find them in the stores, the U.S. Customs will confiscate them if they search your luggage and see them. Sometimes even a fine is imposed: My Google search turned up a 2012 story of $2500 fine per egg.

It’s overblown and ridiculous esp. considering how we refuse to even talk about stricter gun laws here in the U.S. The irony is killing me right now.

They say when you are from outside looking in, you learn new insights about yourself. Kinder Surprises. Yup.

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I spent 7 Euro for the privilege of going inside the Berliner Dom. Money so well spent.

 

So… This happened. I walked into the hotel and there’s this giant aquarium about 25 metre tall in the middle of of the lobby.

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Aqua Dom. I found this extremely amusing. Spent $15 Euro so I could get this pic.

 

A room with a view.

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What happens when a German, an Italian, a Dutch, an Asian Indian, an American and a Chinese walk into a traditional German cafe/bar/restaurant?

Have beers, lots of beers of course. Then make fun good-natured of each other’s country and other European countries that were not represented at the table.

#ProTip: For a greater does of fun, shout into the table “How about football?!” when with a European crowd and watch them ribbing each other.

When in Berlin. Muss man Bier und Schweineschnitzel haben.

When in Berlin. Muss man Bier und Schweineschnitzel haben.

We really enjoyed the food and atmosphere at Schwarzwaldstuben, a great, casual bar/restaurant specializing in Swabian food. Rothaus beers are really good. I don’t usually enjoy beer (gasp!) but I happily had 4? 5? I had Schweineschnitzel at almost every meal on this trip and none tasted as good as the gigantic one I had the luxury of polishing off on my own my first night in Berlin at Schwarzwaldstuben.

Of course, I paid the price of having Schweineschnitzel (basically fried porkchop) and beers at every meal for three days…

 

The Berliner Dom at night.

Berliner Dom & the moon

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Flying home from the Berlin airport was a very interesting experience. I marveled at it while at the gate area…

PSA: you’re to find out which gate your flight is departing from on a huge billboard while driving into TXL, ordered by departure time. Each gate has its own custom (2 windows) and there is always a long line. This is when status makes a huge difference. Once you pass custom, you’re in a tiny room with everybody. One pretzel stand. One tiny duty free shop that looks like it’s from the 70s. That’s it. No bathroom. I’m sitting here wondering what do we/they do when someone needs to go?!?!

When boarding came, a shuttle took us on a LONG tour of the airport and deposited us in the middle of the airfield, next to the runaway. My jaw dropped.

 

Thank you for the tour of the runway Air Berlin

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Help! Cuteness is everywhere.

December 29, 2013 through the looking glass

I had the privilege of flying on one of Eva Airlines’ Hello Kitty planes today.   Everywhere you turn on the plane, you see signs of Hello Kitty: from the pins on the flight attendants’ uniforms, their pink aprons, the pillow covers, to the air freshener in the lavatory.   I started chuckling as I […]

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Flying home. Musing.

December 28, 2013 random

On ASIANA plane less than 5 minutes I’ve Already noticed vast differences. First of all: Flight attendants’ smiles & willingness to help. 3 flight attendants offered to help me with lifting my carry-on to the overhead bin despite the fact that I’m bigger than all 3 of them combined! They’re also all very young, thin […]

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Welcome to Chicago!

July 19, 2013 a picture is worth a thousand words

My previous post was a fine example for #FirstWorldProblem. The kids and I survived. Of course. More than survived, we had a grand old time taking it easy playing really layback tourists in Chicago. The kids apparently inherited my love for hotels: we spent one morning inside the hotel watching the History Channel. My view now […]

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The ABCs of OBX

July 10, 2013 through the looking glass

A is for the ABC stores in NC. After having come here every year for 10+ years, I finally realized on this trip that 1) in NC, you could only purchase hard liquors from the ABC stores, 2) ABCs are not open on Sundays, 3) ABC is not a random acronym that many businesses have […]

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New York. New York.

June 10, 2013 a picture is worth a thousand words

The Husband and the boys are on a 4-day hiking trip along the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. I had been thinking about taking advantage of the empty house for a long time but did not make any decision until Bugginword gave me the “open arms all system go” welcome gesture and also I found a […]

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Happy 2013!!!!

January 1, 2013 through the looking glass

I’m sitting on the plane waiting for takeoff so I can go home to the 22-degree paradise. It figures that on the last day of my vacation the temperate finally got to Florida normal and I stopped throwing up. Hurray 2013! So as my husband and my youngest went off to see the Outback Bowl […]

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This is how we will end 2012.

December 31, 2012 through the looking glass

So the world didn’t end in 2012. Sorry Mayans. You have been wrongfully blamed for incorrect prophesy when in fact people simply misinterpreted your calendar system. But no worries, we will probably bring an end to ourselves soon with all the sinners and the sinful things we commit on a daily basis. In total honesty […]

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