Holiday destinations that require a plane ticket were out of the question cos we didn't feel comfortable about spending so much money before the big move. We didn't want to drive too far either cos Gabriel is not a big fan of his car seat.
That's how we decided on Berlin because we were there 2 years ago and we loved the affordable Japanese and Chinese cuisine. It is also (only) about a 6-hour drive from Stuttgart, so that was a distance that I was willing to try out with my 2 kids.
What we didn't expect was the massive heatwave when we arrived. Temperatures soared to almost 40 degrees and the 3 boys were melting. Imagine my shock and horror when I found out that the hotel was not air-conditioned! Apparently most hotels in Berlin are not air-conditioned because summer is generally pretty mild here and the weather rarely becomes unbearably hot.
|Sammy's disgruntled expression says it all|
|Gabe napped quite often on the go|
The 2 first days were seriously pretty tough. The kids were going crazy with the heat. Our hotel room felt like a sauna. It seriously felt cooler outside our hotel than indoors. We managed to get a change of room on the 3rd night and it made such a huge difference when our room was not South-facing but rather North-facing. The weather cooled off on the 3rd day too so we all managed a better night's rest.
We didn't have an itinerary for our holiday since we did visit Berlin when Sammy was 11 months old. That's so funny. Both Sammy and Gabriel were exactly the same age during their maiden visit to Berlin!
This being our first holiday as a family of 4, we decided to take it easy and decide spontaneously what we wanted to do on a daily basis. And oh boy! Having 2 kids on tow meant that we were very limited with our options of what we can do with them! With Sammy, he would stay in the stroller for hours on end, such that we could go on 3-hour long walking tours to explore Berlin.
|Eating ice-cream helped with the heat|
|Gabe was happy with his ice-cream cone|
However, now that Sammy is an active almost 3-year old, it was simply impossible to make him stay within a 3-metre radius of us wherever we went. Gabriel is not walking yet, so he was pretty much happy to stay in his stroller as long as he could see something. However, 2 kids still meant that they took turns to cry / whine / get upset and everything else in between.
And out of their regular routine and home, everything was an adventure for them. Our hotel room was a playground for both of them such that they would be so exhausted on the way home but after their shower, they would be bright awake again and it was always a struggle to get them to sleep.
That said, on some days we would get up for breakfast and head back to the hotel room for a nap before getting up again around 2pm for lunch! The kids were more well-behaved when they had a proper nap at the hotel and we were ever-so-grateful for that extra shut eye.
|The good times..|
|And the bad...|
|And some moments just make you go awww....|
Oh one thing I would truly recommend for families with young kids - order home-delivery sushi when the kids are in bed! I didn't even think about that, until I went to the restaurant and while waiting for my order, the waitress kindly informed me about their home delivery service after I told her that my hubby was driving around in the car cos the kids had fallen asleep.
|Sammy dressed by his Dad.|
|1 baby so many different looks|
I could nibble this guy right off his photos!
|Look ma! I wanna read your Bible!|
Where to go for great Asian food:
SUPERB SUPERB home-delivery sushi for VERY reasonable prices: Sake Sushi bar
Great Japanese warm meals with yakitori sticks, Gyudon for example: Kuchi
Best Dim Sum in Berlin: Aroma Restaurant
Recommendations to order:
- Rice rolls with giant shrimps
- Char siew pao (buns stuffed with barbecued pork meat)
- Fried beehoon (Singaporean style). It was superb with a hint of wok hei
- Har Kao
- Wan Ton Soup was superb
I'll blog about what we did in Berlin in greater detail soon....