My special friends: Summer 2019 is on the docket! My wife and I, still counting as newlyweds I think, are headed for the Continent for a two-week honeymoon – much delayed and much anticipated. It’s a different experience for me to have responsibility outside of myself, but this time I get to bring my favorite person – my wife – with me for my return journey to a few places. That’s not to mention the two new places we’ll explore together!
Our journey this summer will take us to Amsterdam (my second-favorite city!) for a short stay, followed by a long train ride down the Rhine River (one of my most favorite train rides to date). On that day, we’ll make a four-hour stop in Braubach and at Marksburg Castle (we hope this works out) before we hop back on the train to head south into Switzerland. We’ll have several nights in Bern before hopping an airplane to Berlin, the World’s Greatest City.
The tough thing about Berlin is that I’ve certainly dug myself a personal hole out of which I can’t realistically hope to climb. See, I’ve been talking about Berlin to my wife for the last two+ years, and there’s no way it can meet the hype, I fear. Oh well. I’ll always love it, even if she doesn’t love it quite as much (or at all). She doesn’t love the idea of currywurst, for starters. She’s also not huge on döner. But there are so many options for amazing food in Berlin that the street food won’t have to grab her like it grabs me.
Anyways, I have digressed from the schedule. On the early morning after the third night in Berlin, we’ve got a super-early train ride to Hamburg to catch a plane to Santorini, Greece. Long story about why we’re doing that. Actually, the short of it is that there aren’t any helpful flights (read: arrive before 11pm) into Santorini emanating from Berlin on that day, so we picked a different departure city.
Despite my obvious devotion and repeated love ballads to Berlin in particular, I can’t honestly say that spot is what I’m most excited to share with my wife. I’m thrilled about the whole thing: the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – the chocolate and the canals in that city, too – the train ride past dozens of castles as we follow the Rhine toward its source… her first castle visit and first visit to a small German town… the days in Bern and the mountains nearby… and Santorini in a cave house overlooking the Aegean Sea… All of it! And it’s all going to be very different from my prior excursions. We may not even stay in one hostel! Shock and awe! Whatever we’re in for, I’m game for it, and I know it will create for us a shared memory we will both look back on for the rest of our days.
We’re just shy of 60 days from takeoff, and it’s mostly what I’m thinking about when I’m not thinking about teaching.