air berlin

One of the wonderful things about living in Europe is how easily we can travel from one amazing city to another. So far, we’ve done most of our traveling with the Deutsche Bahn or major, national airlines. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the budget carriers (who hasn’t) and was worried that the usual difficulties and annoyances would be expounded tenfold with a baby. Then I found a really good deal on tickets to Barcelona…on airberlin.

And when the choice is between doing something amazing and staying home its hard to say “nein.”

I was a little worried leading up to the flight. Jon assured me that airberlin, being German, would be ordentlich. He was right. In some ways airberlin was no worse than any other airline and in some ways it was a little better.

Case in point: the baby kit

baby kit

The flight attendant handed us this along with the seat belt adapter for lap babies (Since S is two months shy of 2 years, we were able to take her along without buying her a seat) with a very pleasant, “Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.” Inside there was a diaper,  six pack of wipes, and a little rattle. Why an airline would willfully give anyone a noise-making device is beyond me, but it bought us some time after the novelty of the plane wore off. There was another toy for S on the way out: a beach ball.

Two weeks later and she still loves that beach ball.

According to the website, each destination has its own themed toy. We didn’t get one on the way home – maybe because they knew we were homebound? I was a little  bummed, because I was really curious about what it might be. In general, the way home wasn’t as pleasant. We were tired.  We got snapped at a little by the crew, but I try not to take it personally. We were going back to Germany after all – pleasant service is not really their forte – and it was still nicer than many other flights mit kind. 

Traveling without the eye-rolling and the tight-lipped smiles, the looks that say, “if she so much as lets one hair out of place” is really a dream. And you know what? The flights we were able to board without the looks and sneers, when the other passengers lefts us alone and the flight attendants greeted us like everyone else? Those were the easy flights. Flying with airberlin was easy.

and maybe the beach ball didn’t hurt.

**It should go without saying (this is just a little, tiny blog), but this post was absolutely NOT sponsored in any way. We were just relieved to have a pleasant flight on a budget. **



After many weekends of sheepishly browsing through booths, I did it. I spoke up, ask a price, and (thankfully) didn’t have to haggle.

I’d been eyeing the street sign and assorted neon letters booth for a while, so when I saw  Heinrich, I jumped. I knew he had to be mine. Before my husband was my husband, he studied for a semester at the Humboldt, and lived on Adalbertstraße. Berlin seemed so huge to me, so unlike anywhere I’d ever been before, that on my visits I would just zone out and let him lead me around, but for some reason, Heinrich-Heine-Straße always stuck out in my mind and I knew that when we were on the bus that stop meant we were close to his apartment.

And now I am the very happy owner of this Straßenschild or as S calls it “Mama ABCs.”


Shoshana’s Storybooks: Der Blaue Autobus

Once a week, I’ll feature a book from my daughter’s growing collection of German children’s storybooks. I’ll try my best to only write about books originally written in German.

reading is better when you do it upside down

Der Blaue Autobus (The Blue Bus) is written by the amazing author/illustrator combo behind our favorite book, Henriette Bimmelbahn (Henriette the Little Train with a Warning Bell*), James Krüss and Lisl Strich. Why then isn’t this post about Henriette “heißt die nette, alte kleine Bimmelbahn?” Because in one of my poorer packing decisions, I left that one at home. We’re going to be in Germany; we don’t need to bring German books! We’ll buy German books! Plus, at the time Shoshana was able to get though an entire day without reading it.

Turns out I’m not.

Still, unable to make myself buy a book we already own (even if it is 10,000 miles away), I turned to another lovable tale of public transportation. In this story, the blue bus must navigate the city streets while a stubborn little poodle named Ottokar does his best to stop it in its tracks. My favorite thing about this book – and others by Krüss and Lisl – is the illustrations, and of course, I love how Der Blaue Autobus, as well as Henriette Bimmelbahn and (another one I almost forgot) Die Ganz Besondere Strassenbahn, teach kids about public transportation. We don’t have a car, although we did have a hybrid in California, and I’m much, much happier that way for all of the obvious health and environmental reasons. Plus, Shosh LOVES smiling and waving at everyone in the Bahn, and we go to the playground more often than we did when we had to drive there.

please don't judge me based on those throw pillows - we rented the apartment furnished

*sounds better in German, no? Far more exact than I expected translation care of my (almost) professor husband.