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Berlin with Ann

by Tara

We were hot and tired when we finished packing our bicycles into the trunk of our new car. Back inside, we enjoyed glasses of cold water, and chatted with our friend Tony's aunt, uncle, and cousin who had stopped by to see us off. Before everyone left, Ann (the aunt), surprised us by saying she'd like to take us out for currywurst!

But first, we took the requisite self-timed family shot…

Us & Some of Ba Noi's Family

…then we headed out for dinner. We thought we were going somewhere in the neighborhood, but Ann whisked us away to the train station, and then into the center of Berlin!

She treated us to two rounds of currywurst (we were starving)…

Tara & Ann & Currywurst

…and then showed us around for a bit.

Ann as Tour Guide

On the train again, we got off in east Berlin at Potsdamer Platz.

Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz

From there we walked to the Sony Center. What cool architecture! There is a giant dome, which is supposed to be reminiscent of Mount Fuji, above the courtyard.

Sony Center Sony Center Sony Center

While I snapped photos, Ann offered to buy us ice cream, too! Thank you Ann!

Ann at Sony Center

Before heading back, we made a few stops. First, the electronics store to buy a cassette adapter for our stereo. Now we can listen to our iPods in the car, a requirement for any good road trip. Second, we stopped by a flower shop. Ba noi's birthday is in a couple of days, so to say "happy birthday and thank you for having us", we bought her an orchid, her favorite flower.

Orchid for Ba Noi

When we returned to Ba Noi's house and presented her with her gift, she was tickled. We even managed to elicit one of my new favorite things: her wide smile complete with hands flapping excitedly amidst a burst of endearing girlish giggles.

Ba Noi & Tara

Happy birthday, Ba Noi!