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often when I travel I just want to stay inside my hotel room because I love hotels

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.




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


A room with a view.




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



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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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 by the pool on the 40th floor… #nofilter #sky #clouds #Chicago #hotels

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View from the rooftop. #Chicago #lake #sky #skyline

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Night swim. #swimmingpool #swimming

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As I lay on the lounge chair watching the kids frolicking in the pool on the top of the hotel under the moon and surrounded by city lights, I had to admit, with embarrassment, that I could no longer complain.


I am going to be staying at yet another hotel tonight. BlogHer 2013 is here in Chicago. I hope to see some of you in 3D. Be warned: I am hashtag awkward.


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July 17, 2013

in random

My co-worker once told me that my family should have a reality TV show because ridiculous things happen to us all the time. Actually, I admit: what he really meant was that we are a family of ridiculous inclination and we make ridiculous decisions and do ridiculous things.

“Hilarity ensued.”

I should have a plaque of these words hanging in our family room.

We are putting new floors in for the house this week. We did not realize that we had to completely vacate the first floor before the workers could start.

No problem. We all got a rude awakening early Tuesday morning. We moved everything (except the large pieces of furniture) off the floor, the china cabinet, the buffet table, the wine cabinet, bookcases and shelves in a record time of 3 hours. I was tearfully grateful to have a teenage son that morning.

Then I was told that starting today, we had to vacate the house because of the sanding and the staining.



I really do.

I love them so much that when I am on a business trip I often miss the chance to explore the city fully because I spend most of the time enjoying the hotel, that I used to bid on Priceline for $50 or less a night to stay in hotels, sometimes within 5 minutes drive from my house, just because.


I have fond childhood memories of my mom hiding me in the laundry cart or under the service cart to sneak me into the hotels that she worked at when she could not find somebody to watch me. Hotels to me at that time were fantastical places where super wealthy people stayed when they were not at home. I did not know the concept of vacation back then – I don’t remember my parents ever taking any “vacation”, and my family certainly had never taken trips together to faraway places for fun. The guests at the hotels always looked so grand and happy. Some frequent guests even brought me candy, and sometimes even chocolate truffles [worth their weight in gold to a child]! The ladies dressed beautifully and spoke in soft voices, and plus, they smelled nice, like flowers.

Hotels were where you were taken care of, where your towels and sheets smelled like sunshine, your bed was big and soft and bounced when you jumped on it. My mother was an expert bed maker (she kind of had to): she made beds with perfect “hotel corners”, and they looked like rectangular boxes with sheets pulled so tight that you could see the sharp angles at the foot of the bed.

Compared to the regular cramped apartments in Taipei, hotels seemed like palaces with modern amenities. The bathroom itself was a wonder – a toilet that worked perfectly, tiles with no dirt or moldy spots in between, and a bathtub so big and CLEAN that you could soak your entire body in.


and the most wondrous thing of them all:


To this day my favorite thing about staying in a hotel is to sleep in a cool room with a soft comforter pulled over my face.


Thus began our adventure in three different hotels on three consecutive nights.

Renaissance/Marriott tonight.

Tomorrow onto Starwood.

On Friday, we are checking into an IHG hotel.

Collect all three!

I guess my co-worker was onto something.

“Hilarity ensued…”

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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 […]


The Instagram Diary

August 9, 2012 through the looking glass

There you go… Oversharing on the road. p.s. Will continue until I get home and start the long winding road of unpacking and adjusting to time zone and crying myself to sleep because I don’t want to go back to work…   [instapress tag=”oversharingontheroad” piccount=”24″ size=”90″ effect=”fancybox” title=”1″ paging=”1″]