McClarKinnon Adventures — Justin’s Bday Weekend

Hope everyone is healthy and staying as mentally sound as they can. We wanted to share a quick snapshot of our weekend.

We spent Justin’s birthday walking around Berlin and eating food. It was pretty on-brand for us, even if it wasn’t during COVID-19 times. Quick plug — Justin is organizing a birthday fundraiser for one of the nonprofits he works with, Adolescent Health Working Group. If you’re in a position to give, we greatly appreciate it.

We started the day by walking to a bakery about 20 minutes from our flat. It is a family-owned bakery that has been in its location since 1906. We had a doughnut that it is famous for — an egg custard-filled donut with brandy mixed in. Not quite our jam but an excellent sugary start to the day. The line went down the block when we left.

This was followed by a momentous achievement — we took public transit for the first time in two months! We were glad to see that everyone was complying to health rules; everyone was wearing a mask.

The train took us to the far end of Tiergarten, a 520-acre public park. The park was beautifully green and the weather was perfect! We meandered through the park and enjoyed the sunny day.

We passed by Brandenburg Gate,(which was pretty quiet), browsed a large English language bookstore, and then headed to the Mitte neighborhood for our favorite Currywurst.

Currywurst is a German fast food dish of a Bratwurst cut into bite-sized chunks, often served with fries, seasoned with curry ketchup, and topped with curry powder. Tessa was disappointed not to have any.

We ran a few errands in the area and got a few dumplings from our favorite Chinese food restaurant before heading home to relax. We video chatted with some family members and then picked up tacos from our favorite taco stand and ordered lumpia and curry from a favorite restaurant. We also grabbed a to-go beer from a neighbor beer bar and Justin unlocked a Berlin achievement by open-container-drinking for the first time. Dessert was Kalter Hund (translates to Cold Dog or Hedgehog Slice) cake and espresso-cookie-dough ice cream.

On Sunday, after a lovely morning Zoom catch-up with friends from the Bay Area, Justin countered all of that food by going on an 11-mile run. It was his longest run in three years! He ran by an empty East Side Gallery (an outside art gallery made of pieces of the Berlin Wall and one of the more hectic tourist spots in Berlin) and along the Spree River.

All in all, it was a great low-key birthday. Thank you for the sweet birthday wishes and helping us celebrate. We especially enjoyed video messages from our nieces and nephews, friends who got in their TARDIS, and an old blast from the past who was about to power-wash his deck.

Love you all!

These are the adventures of Paige, Justin, and Tessa as we live and travel abroad.