“I think it was the Forth of July.” - Chicago
Our last Saturday felt like a mid-summer day, reflecting that great song by Chicago in Hamburg. It was an absolutely beautiful out, and the perfect opportunity to have a BBQ and let the kids play at the city park (Stadtpark). We decided to bike there - 5 kids between 1 and 10 years old, and four adults, plus a portable grill, backpacks, cooler, and bags of food. We set up shop right next to the pond, and as soon as we got there, the kids went straight to the water and enjoyed cooling off. Rick and Rafal grilled chicken, kielbasa, and steaks, and we drank all day. Rick found some beach volleyball courts, struck up his best German conversation, and got a game of volleyball in. My sister and I, along with some of her friends, just hung out by the water, watching the kids having a great time. The park was full of people, music was playing everywhere, everyone was grilling and it really felt like the 4th of July. We ended the night biking home and stopping by to get some ice cream.
Sunday was a pure relaxation day. My sister’s father in law, who also lives in Hamburg, invited us to his apartment for lunch. We took the metro to his place and were greeted with an amazing food. Earlier that day, he went to a local Fish Market and got several types of fish that were served to us during the lunch. It was really nice of him, and were were very appreciative of everything that he did. After the fish feast, we decided to take a walk and hop on a ferry and enjoy a short cruise on the Elba river. Hamburg is sometimes called the “Venice of the North” by Europeans with all its waterways. It is the 2nd largest port city in Europe. The weather was once again perfect and everyone was really enjoying the summer breeze on the deck of the ferry. We rode for an hour and then headed back home. School starts tomorrow for my sisters kids, so we do our best to get into a routine and get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Monday morning, we took Leo and Mila to a little garden behind my sister’s place, so they could play outside and we were able to get a workout in. I have been slacking off for the least few days, eating heavier foods, drinking wine and simply neglecting my workout routine. It felt good to get this one in, and I know once we get out on own, I will get into my workout rhythm. It was the slowest day for us since our arrival in Hamburg, and frankly much needed for all. That afternoon, once the girls got back from school and Rafal returned from work, we drove to a local fruit farm and went strawberry picking. Leo and Mila had a blast filling their crates and consuming an unlimited amount of strawberries (you can eat as many as you want while you pick). It was a great family activity, and a perfect ending to our time in Hamburg. I am sure more of these activities will find their way into our year long journey.
In a few days, we’ll be taking a long train ride from Hamburg to Berlin and then to Warsaw. I can’t believe it has been a week since our arrival in Germany. We have been super busy and spending pretty much everyday outside. I really dislike goodbyes, however, my sister’s girls are getting their first communion in Poland next week, so we will all be together again. As they say, you can’t have it all, but this week kinda made me realize that being with the ones you love is all you really need : )