Monday, August 27, 2012

How does Youtube work?

Deep thoughts I have while eating pizza on the Ubahn
We have a YouTube channel that we mostly just abuse. We toss "dad videos" up (just like dad's where he would film events for far too long with random narrative and then proudly show the unedited version) whenever we have time. So the quality is....not so hot.

Somehow, one video has rated a favorite among all the others.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Day Without the Internet

Because of stupid reasons, the internet company needed to turn off our service yesterday to switch over the contract. I was mostly prepared, or as prepared as you could be to have a long day home alone without internet, like in the bad old days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Berlin: By Foot, By BVG, By Bike, By Car, By Boat, By Train, By Plane

I've talked so much about our adventures outside of the city lately (like new favorite Naples), I haven't been giving Berlin it's due.

One of the reasons it's one of the greatest cities in the world is transportation. Much of our problems with life in Seattle revolved around the mundane issues of how to get around. The city is surrounded by water as it is sandwiched between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington (among other bodies of water). Everyone has to funnel through certain areas, navigating the crisscrossing bridges. Gorgeous, but also capable of creating volcanic fury-inducing traffic jams.

And it's not like there is great - or even decent - public transit to rely on. A light rail system is being implemented, and we do have the laughable monorail from the world's fair, but buses are the main mode of public transport. They come in about 20 minute windows (if you're lucky), and are often crowded with the unwashed, the mentally ill, and the clinically dangerous (just check out The Stranger's frequent articles). We laugh (cuz if we didn't we'd cry) about our fancy neighborhood of Queen Anne having a higher crime than our "ghetto" kiez in Wedding.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Escape from Naples ~ Island of Procida

As excited as we were to be going to Naples and Pompeii, I was not pleased that our summer vacation would consist solely of hot & dusty sites. I love swimming and neither of these places were conducive for a dip. I've posted a bit about our successes (and failures) in this arena, but despite any setbacks - I really love a good swim. When I hear about expats in exotic lands with palm trees and turquoise water I have to fight the intense feelings of jealousy, no matter how awesome Berlin is.

So the whisper of islands off of Naples was intoxicating to me. I had heard of Capri (and it's epic tourist hordes), but the words Ischia and Procida were totally alien. At first we were leaning toward Ischia.
Ischia is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It lies at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, about 30 km from the city of Naples. It is the largest of the Phlegrean Islands. The Aragonese Castle was built on a rock near the island in 474 BC, by Hiero I of Syracuse.
Mmmm...sounded intriguing. Especially since the castle appears straight out of Game of Thrones.
The main industry is tourism, centering on thermal spas that cater mostly to European (especially German) and Asian tourists eager to enjoy the fruits of the island's natural volcanic activity, its thermal hot springs, and its volcanic mud. For many of the inhabitants on the Italian-speaking island, German and English are second languages. The  Aragonese Castle is owned by a hotel and thought the exterior is accessible, you cannot enter the castle. 
Hrm. That doesn't.

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008