Spending a Day in Washington, D.C.

August 17, 2016
Travel

Day in Washington, D.C. - lincoln memorial close up

Spending a day in Washington, D.C. is a great idea. Spending a day in Washington, D.C. in August (the first day, actually) can cause a traveler to have a second thought. But there I was with a day in Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital is full of fantastic options of things to see and do. There’s no shortage of great restaurants and shops. And while the city does have plenty of public transit options — from the subway to buses doing circuits of the most popular tourist attractions — the relatively flat landscape makes for fantastic walking. Yeah, a day in Washington, D.C. is full of fun.
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German Music: Singer-Songwriter Tim Bendzko

August 15, 2016
German Music, Learn German

tim bendzko
If you’re like me, pop music isn’t quite your thing. But every once in a while a pop song comes along that is just so infectious, so memorable. You can’t help but sing along as the tune gets stuck in your head on a seemingly never-ending loop. A few years ago, Tim Bendzko‘s “Nur noch kurz die Welt retten” earned this much coveted position: winning over a non-pop fan. Let’s get to know this German singer-songwriter better in this month’s German Music Feature.

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German Films: Film Director Uli Edel

August 8, 2016
German Films, Learn German

uli edel
German director Uli Edel has had success on both sides of the Atlantic. His English language projects have included films like Last Exit to Brooklyn with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Body of Evidence with Madonna as well as television miniseries like The Mists of Avalon. In German, his projects look similar: made for both the large and small screens. He was behind ZDF’s 2013 miniseries Das Adlon. Eine Familiensaga about the history of Berlin’s famous Hotel Adlon.

For this month’s German language film recommendations, the focus is on three of Uli Edel’s German films: Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo, Der Baader Meinhof Komplex and Zeiten ändern dich. All three films are big screen adaptions of books. Coincidence?
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Must See List: Giant’s Causeway

August 1, 2016
Travel

giant's causeway ireland

A church built on a rock surrounded by the sea and only easily accessible only at low tide. Prehistoric pile-dwellings on a lake in the Alps. A tea plantation not in India, China or elsewhere in Asia but the continental United States. So many of My Must See highlights are man-made.

But how incredible are the naturally occurring phenomenon that surround us? This month’s featured Must See is located in Ireland. Giant’s Causeway is a unique stone formation along the Irish coast made by volcanic eruptions. But what is amazing is that the formation is roughly 40,000 basalt columns. It might look like a pathway carefully crafted by human hands. But it’s not! It is just Nature doing its thing.
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#PrayForMunich

July 25, 2016
Travel

#prayformunich olympia-einkaufszentrum munich germany

Like many people, I spent Friday glued to the television. I was anxious for the up-to-the-very-second news of what was happening in Munich. Munich. I kept asking myself: How could this happen in Munich? But like so many things that seem to happen in the world, there’s no reasonable explanation. There is no logic.

Just shy of five years ago, I visited Munich for the first time. I’ve been back once since and I’ve been mentally planning the trip next year for far too long. So many people have had their heart stolen by the romance of Paris, New York, London. For me, it’s Munich. I could write ad nauseum about the city. And I’m sure some would argue that I already have.

They call it a “toy town,” a major city that feels like a village. Walkable, beautiful, and green. The locals are friendly, the food indescribably delicious. It’s a casual lifestyle that involves cake and coffee (or tea) in the afternoon with no worries of spoiling your appetite for dinner. With art and culture. And I won’t lie and say that I don’t secretly wonder what it would be like to wear a beautiful dirndl.

Last year, I had my first taste of Prinzregententorte at the Richart’s in the Olympia-Einkauszentrum. I’ve shopped at the Saturn electronics store across the street, next to the McDonald’s. I window-shopped for tea at Eilles and bought a car magazine for my husband’s friend in Galleria Kaufhof, both in Olympia-Einkauszentrum. I’m confused and heartbroken. But I’m also more determined than ever to return.

Sending love and warm, kind thoughts.

#PrayForMunich

Where to Stay & Eat in Pittsburgh in 36 Hours

July 20, 2016
Food, Travel

view from kimpton hotel monaco pittsburgh

It is amazing how much you can do in 36 hours when you try. My 4th of July weekend trip to Pittsburgh was packed. Last week, I covered everything I got to see and do — from the Warhol Museum to a ride on the Monongahela Incline. This time I wanted to share where I stayed — Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh — and some of the restaurants I visited. Because when you are traveling, having a nice hotel and decent food are pretty important!
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German Music: Die Fantastischen Vier

July 18, 2016
German Music, Learn German

Die Fantastischen Vier
German hip hop groups and rappers like K.I.Z. and Cro are currently gracing the top of the German language music charts. However, it was bands like Die Fantastischen Vier that paved the way. But one should not talk about the group in the past tense. These guys haven’t hung up their microphones just yet. The four member group have had big hits that are sure to catch your ear. And what better way to practice your German skills? Let’s get to know Die Fantastischen Vier better with this month’s German music feature.
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What to See in Pittsburgh in 36 Hours

July 13, 2016
Travel

pittsburgh skyline
A long weekend in the summer calls for a road trip! So that’s just what we did on Fourth of July weekend. We packed up and headed to Pittsburgh to spend, roughly, 36 hours. From Philadelphia, it is roughly a four or five hour drive across the state. We kissed the puppy goodbye, hit the road early and lucked out with relatively light traffic.

Pittsburgh is a relatively large city and the second largest in the state of Pennsylvania. The Steel City attracts a lot of attention these days and is definitely a trendy location. The city is considered extremely livable, has a foodie reputation, low crime and they’ve got winning sports teams. It’s just the right size for exploring on a brief stop over or a longer excursion. It’s also just the right size to see large portions on foot. But, there are a lot of hills and somethings are spread out so a car can offer much needed convenience.

Here’s a quick guide of what we did and what we say on our whirlwind trip! Yinz ready? (That’s Pittsburgh-ian for “you ready?”)
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German Films: Wolfgang Becker

July 11, 2016
German Films, Learn German

Wolfgang Becker
Some filmmakers have a certain rhythm to their work. Such filmmakers release a new film every few years. They are prolific. But other filmmakers, like German director Wolfgang Becker labor longer on each project. Since the writer-director released his first film (Schmetterling) in 1988, he’s since released only five other full-length movies including a documentary. But quality and quantity are not synonymous. Which is why Wolfgang Becker is this month’s featured filmmaker recommendation for German language learners.
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6 German Beer Breweries You Can Tour

July 6, 2016
Food, Travel

German beer steinkrug

There are plenty of things — you might call them stereotypes — that Germany are famous for. From precision engineered cars that race down highways with no speed limits, to pretzels the size of your head. The list is rather lengthy. But beer just might be the country’s most famous product. The ingredients in German beer are closely regulated by the Reinheitsgebot, which ensures high quality beer. And while Bavaria is arguably the center of the German brewery world, the rest of the country has more than a few brands to boast of.

Many of Germany’s beer breweries offer tours.  Regardless of whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just curious by nature, take note. These special tours often include guided walks through the production line, insight in to the brand and brewery, and even tastings! Previously, I highlighted Bavarian beer breweries that offer tours. Now here’s a follow up with German beer breweries around the rest of the country.
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