Santiago

The last time we were in Santiago was in 2008. Pre-kids, if there ever was such a time… We didn’t really enjoy it. It is a big, dry, dust-bowl of a city, surrounded by monstrous mountains that can only be glimpsed through the smog or heat haze or whatever it is.

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The last 7 days have been quite the opposite. Santiago is still big and smoggy and noisy but our experiences were only positive!  This is despite crazy jet lag and two needy children.

I think it is actually because of the kids. They have forced us to slow down and not try and wring everything we can out of each day. It doesn’t matter if we repeat activities – we have been to the zoo twice! And we would never have even gone to the zoo or the fantastical “parque de la infancia” (childhood park) or eaten giant fairy floss or multiple ice creams or played in street fountains or had random strangers snapping photos of our kids.

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Yes travelling with kids means we can’t lazily sip coffee on the sidewalk or join the New Years Eve festivities or chug back the customary litre bottles of beer in seedy and not so seedy bars, but maybe real joy is found elsewhere.

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On The Road Again

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We are on the road again. Sadly not on bikes, but hopefully just as adventurous. We are travelling through southern Argentina and Chile in a region called the lakes district. It is a magical place on the edge of Patagonia with snow capped conical volcanoes, pristine lakes, racks of lamb slow-cooked over open fires that can be washed down with bottles of Malbec.

We plan to camp, hike and climb, speak oodles of Spanish and have a wonderful family holiday.

So far we have been in Santiago, Chile for about 24 hrs, and though everyone is struggling with devastating jet lag, we have still managed to see a few things…

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Berlin: Post Jet-lag Impressions

So we are still here chillin’ in Berlin – though I must say it has warmed up considerably since our last post – I think the mercury reading soared to lofty heights of 1 today.  I find myself much more interested in the 7 day forecast, constantly scanning my weather app for promises of sun.

A few things have changed in recent weeks, we are over jet-lag, the bikes came out of the boxes (justifying this sites url), and we are beginning to see what all the Berlin hype is about.

We have also had a stampede of visitors! Thanks to Stephen and Jess, Ben and Chloe, Cayci and Shayna and Jonny and Helen for dropping by and making our time here more memorable!!!

Sipping pomegranate at the turkish markets  - she drunk about 3 euros worth!

Sipping pomegranate juice at the turkish markets – she drunk about 3 euros worth!

She always wanted to be an owl!

She always wanted to be an owl!

Crocodile see-saw reminiscent of the 'Enormous Crocodile.'  Amaya loved having Stephen and Jess stay. She even suggested that Jess was also her mama!

Crocodile see-saw reminiscent of the ‘Enormous Crocodile.’ Amaya loved having Stephen and Jess stay. She even suggested that Jess was also her mama!

Amaya checking out the Ishtar Gates built by Nebuchadnezzar king of Ancient Babylon.

Amaya checking out the Ishtar Gates built by Nebuchadnezzar king of Ancient Babylon.

She conveniently loves pretzels!

She conveniently loves pretzels!

Cayci and Shayna (Mic's ex-students) happened to be in Berlin and dropped in for dinner.

Cayci and Shayna (Mic’s ex-students) happened to be in Berlin and dropped in for dinner.

Waltzing through the zoo - more on that in a later post.

Waltzing through the zoo – more on that in a later post.

I think this speaks for itself :)

I think this speaks for itself

Stomping in new snow in one of Amaya's favourite playgrounds - right next door to the fluffy duck cafe.

Stomping in new snow in one of Amaya’s favourite playgrounds – right next door to the fluffy duck cafe.

And here is the fluffy duck.

And here is the fluffy duck.

Jonny, Amaya and I went to a huge model train geeky display.  The coolest thing about it in Amaya's opinion (and in mine) was this mini chocolate factory.  The chocolate was made in front of you.  Amaya just had to put her hand into the red hole and wait for the chocolaty goodness to drop into her hand!!!

Jonny, Amaya and I went to a huge model train geeky display. The coolest thing about it in Amaya’s opinion (and in mine) was this mini chocolate factory. The chocolate was made in front of you. Amaya just had to put her hand into the red hole and wait for the chocolaty goodness to drop into her hand!!!

Yum!

Yum!

Fun with Helen (whom Amaya has renamed 'Honey') and Jonny.

Fun with Helen (whom Amaya has renamed ‘Honey’) and Jonny.

Out of the Frying Pan and into the Freezer

It is always difficult to tie off a life and begin another.  Packing up our little unit seemed like an endless task – our stuff somehow doubled with the new little addition to our family!  Then there is the long list of little jobs like canceling phones and electricity, redirecting mail etc etc boring boring!!!  Amongst the busyness we somehow managed to enjoy some of the Australian summer so by the time the 17th of January arrived we felt satisfied with our exposure to UV and ready to face whatever Berlin threw at us (or so we thought).

Moving is always stressful but having to account for everything we own and put it all in a box is even more difficult.

Moving is always stressful but having to account for everything we own and put it all in a box is even more difficult.

Shosh was super nervous about how Amaya would fly – 25 hours of flying time is a big ask for a toddler.  To combat this she had enough food to last a week, a bunch of new toys and many kilos of books.  As it turned out Amaya was a little legend – this was despite being delayed in Sydney because of 45 degree heat (hottest day ever!) and then again in London for the opposite reason.

Jet-lagged!

Jet-lagged!

Touching down in Berlin we were filled with a sense of excitement and expectation.  With a temperature difference of over 50 degrees celsius, devastating jet lag and a baby that wasn’t adjusting to the new time zone our excitement quickly transformed into a deep haze   of ‘WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?’

This was an unexpected feeling.  We had both focused so much on potential difficulty of the flight without really considering that life in a new city would pose challenges.  Shoshanna drew the analogy of birth (stick with me it does have some relevance) where she was so focused on the actual birth process that she wasn’t prepared for what came next, which, as it turns out, lasts a lot longer!

Amaya checking out the Graffiti in the park across from our unit.

Amaya checking out the graffiti in the park across from our unit.

So here we are in Berlin, slowly adjusting, buying warmer clothes, learning the language and getting increasingly more sleep.

One of the many cafes designed specifically to keep kids entertained while parents sip their lattes.

One of the many cafes designed specifically to keep kids entertained while parents sip their lattes.

The parks are so cool in Berlin - each one is unique and made from natural materials!  Temperature of -10 was not going to stop Amaya from getting on the swing!

The parks are so cool in Berlin – each one is unique and made from natural materials! Temperature of -10 was not going to stop Amaya from getting on the swing!

Riding a wooden fish.

Riding a wooden fish.

And the more alive we begin to feel the more we have started to appreciate our surrounds: cool playgrounds, kids being pulled along on sleds, bicycles everywhere, fun weekend markets, frozen ponds with people playing ice hockey and seriously awesome toboggan runs!

Today we met up with a lovely family.  Glen, Katja, Benjamin and Amy.  It was wonderful to connect, share a meal, and enjoy the winter wonderland.

Today we met up with a lovely family. Glen, Katja, Benjamin and Amy. It was wonderful to connect, share a meal, and enjoy the winter wonderland.

Amaya's first snow ball fight - she lost :)

Amaya’s first snow ball fight – she lost!

Great fun on toboggans a real novelty for us Aussies.

Great fun on toboggans – a real novelty for us Aussies (yes Shoshanna you are an Aussie!)

Amaya and her new friend Benjamin enjoying being pulled along on a sled - beats a pram any day!

Amaya and her new friend Benjamin enjoying being pulled along on a sled – beats a pram any day!