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A Weekend in Berlin: Part Two

Now for the second half of our weekend in Berlin! Be sure to start with the first post if you missed it (;

Like I said before, we really enjoyed our weekend in Berlin, as short as our three days seemed to be. It was such a unique city and we didn’t experience anything else like it during our whole four months in Western Europe. I don’t think it felt like a settle-down-and-spend-years-here kind of place, but we’d return in a heartbeat to soak up just a little more of this fascinating city!

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A Weekend in Berlin: Part One

A weekend in Berlin is hardly long enough to see everything, but we really enjoyed our three day visit and filled it to the brim with sightseeing. True to our travel style, we walked miles across the city, cramming in multiple museums and seeking out lots of delicious and unique foods.

Berlin is a fascinating city with a unique culture all its own. The mash up of history and modern life keeps the city vibrant and fresh. We felt like we got a good feel for both the old and new, and we could appreciate how the past several decades have shaped the Berlin of today.

Here’s a look at our first full day in the city:

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Crystal Palace Restaurant: Tamnag Thai

Tyler and I were just musing the other day that most of our previous vacations have been total foodcations. We’d follow our stomachs (or all the best online recommendations) and plan our whole trip around the top dining options. This year, we’ve been letting other attractions lead the way, but we still keep an eye out for good eats. When we were staying in south London last month, we were within walking distance from Crystal Palace, a neighborhood with plenty of delicious local spots. We checked them out on a walking tour trip to the grocery store and settled on Tamnag Thai when we felt the thai craving. We weren’t disappointed.

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London’s East End: Brick Lane Market and Columbia Road Flower Market

London's East End: Brick Lane Market and Columbia Road Market

A look at our afternoon exploring Brick Lane Market and Columbia Road Flower Market

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One of our very first days in London was a Sunday, the perfect day for markets in the East End. We didn’t know yet that this would be one of our favorite places in the city, but it was an exciting introduction nonetheless. The East End was already immortalized in our minds by its association with Jack the Ripper, but there is a much deeper history here that has helped foster the growth of many sub-cultures of London.

And of course, what better way to taste and see the sub-cultures of a place than to actually taste their culinary offerings and peruse the open-air shops? We first hit up the Brick Lane Market for loads of ethnic food carts and piles (literally. piles.) of vintage clothing at street vendors lined down the street and around the corners. Next, we walked the several blocks over to Columbia Road to enjoy a different kind of “sights and smells”– a flower market! Although we didn’t make any floral purchases there, we were awed by the crowds of people packed into the market, all haggling for their favorite plants.

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Sleep/Eat/Shop: Road Trip from Seattle to Detroit

So here’s our second half of the trip! If you want to see the first half– Anchorage to Seattle– check it out here!

No one can deny the beauty of the mountains as you come down through Alaska, the Yukon, and British Columbia. However, as the blanket of terrain smoothed out and the mountains were pushed down to hills and then plains, we began to remember the love we had for the Midwest and corn fields and grasslands. We say it all the time, but it’s true– we leave a piece of our hearts every place we’ve lived.

But for now.. across to Detroit!

missoula cityline

Missoula, Montana

sleep– this hotel is exactly what you’d picture for montana– a huge wooden lodge// we see this place every time we drive through and haven’t stayed but admire it from afar// i did some research for you all and it turns out this hotel is as fun inside as out! hot tubs and trees. need i say more.

eat– this locally famous ice cream shop is located at the edge of a neighborhood and looks like the classic small town hang-out// make sure you get here early or budget plenty of time because the line can be long// the prices are reasonable and the flavors varied (my suggestion? the mexican chocolate)

shop- again, we were in power-through-driving-mode, and we literally couldn’t fit another thing in our car or mini trailer, so we didn’t shop here// but if we were to do any purchasing, i’d recommend Montana as the right place to scrounge for the perfect antique and vintage home decor

traverse city

Traverse City, Michigan

sleep– we didn’t stay in a place with four walls in this city, so i did my research to pick the perfect spot to recommend// if we ever return i will certainly be booking a stay for ourselves in this charming b&b// this stone cottage is the quintessential old small town home that we love to ogle when driving through new cities

eat– this place is a classic and my college roommate (a michigander) even had their pies as her wedding dessert// we would recommend sticking to their pies though.. from pot pie to apple pie their baked goods are top notch, but the sandwiches and soups are slightly missing the mark in our opinion// we also were delighted to find they had gluten-free pies that we could purchase as a gift for gluten-sensitive family members

shop– this shop has a little bit of everything from home decor to clothing// it’s in a newly renovated warehouse-turned-shopping-district near downtown, a mix of industrial and earthy// reminiscent of anthropologie, the shop offers eclectic wares with little gifts perfect for anyone// and there are both a coffee shop and flower shop right next door to enhance the experience 🙂

detroit cityline

Detroit, Michigan

sleep– this hotel is the place to stay for a great view of downtown// it’s just undergone a $30M (!!) renovation, so it’s swanky and up-to-date// unfortunately, that means that there are occasionally long lines and slow service, but if you avoid staying during a big event in the city, we think you’ll be just fine// there is restaurant on the top floor if you are the type to stay in, but as always we recommend heading out for more local flavor

eat– this place comes highly recommended to us and we’re passing the advice on to you// we will be trying it ourselves tomorrow when we finally end our cross-country move in detroit// everything we’ve heard and read about this restaurant makes it sound right up our alley.. i knoooow tyler will be getting the mac and cheese and i am already being tempted by the brussel sprouts

shop– this is the shop for all the ladies out there looking for a custom designed handbag// it may be founded and owned by one of our own #fulldisclosure but i have done the daily wear test on multiple products and can guarantee them myself// plus this is a business that gives back to its community in a big way so you can feel extra confident about your investment// if you’re lucky enough to be in town the one weekend of the month that the storefront is open, check out the brick-and-mortar of this largely online business// otherwise, find your perfect handbag on the site linked above

image missoula/traverse city/detroit

We doubt that many of you will be taking our exact road trip anytime soon, but next time you’re driving anywhere between Anchorage and Detroit, we hope you’ll check some of these places out! Let us know if you do, and if there are any places you think we missed be sure to comment on those as well!