Postcards from Europe, #13

Berlin is one of the many places Mademoiselle has visited that I’ve never been to. She doesn’t seem to comprehend fully that it was once East Berlin and West Berlin, or what that was like.

I imagine she was very tired here, with it being the last stop of her Fall Break tour, but it sounds as if she gave it the old college try. But, there’s no place like “home,” n’est-ce pas?
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The last part [or best part, or best stop – I can’t read Mademoiselle’s handwriting] of Fall Break! Needless to say, we were exhausted when we arrived, but immediately got a bottle of wine with dinner to cure our aching feet after checking in. We visited the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial, Museum Island, and the Brandenburg Gate! (Where Kennedy and Reagan gave their speeches!) The last day we lounged in the park all day, saw the Reichstag (aka Capitol Building) and hung out in a pub to watch the Rugby World Cup until our train left. I’m so happy to have a good shower again!




Pizza and a Movie: Bridge of Spies

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Bacon
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Bridge of Spies

This movie is my favorite one of the year, so far. (My second favorite is The Gift.)

I was riveted to this story about the exchange of prisoners (spies), and all the actors – especially Tom Hanks, in the lead role as Jim Donovan – did a fantastic job. I love stories set during World War II and the Cold War. This one was set during the latter, in the late 1950s. It was an amazing, true story, and well told. I predict at least one Academy Award.

Two things in particular about it touched me on a personal level:

  1. My parents went to Milligan College with the reconnaissance pilot who was shot down in the film, Francis Gary Powers. He was a year ahead of my mom in school, but she knew him well and they had a biology class together. She says he was very smart and somewhat shy. Like her, he grew up in a coal mining town in southwest Virginia.
  2. My daughter, who is studying in France this fall, recently visited Berlin.

I’ve never been to Berlin–it was divided into East and West when I spent a year in France as a college student, and getting to West Berlin was just too difficult back then. Until I saw this film, I hadn’t realized when the Berlin Wall was constructed, or what that was like. (I thought it happened not long after the war.) As I watched the scenes in East Berlin, I wondered what the city of Berlin is like today, and what it feels like to live there, with its history.

There were some tense scenes, and some very scary ones, and I felt myself propelled back to that time as the story unfolded. The dialogue was great, too. If you see the movie, you’ll notice that one character repeats this line over and over: “Would it help?” I won’t tell you what he or she means, but trust me, it’s a good line.

Now for the pizza. My husband wanted artichoke hearts, which I always love. I picked bacon (why not), and we agreed on the sun-dried tomatoes. It was yummy, and just right.

After taking last Friday off due to Thanksgiving, it was nice to be back at the Corner Pizza together. The only problem was that we somehow forgot to take home our take-home box of the pizza we couldn’t eat. Oops. We left it on the table by mistake. Next time I’ll put it next to my purse, so when I reach for it, I’ll grab the box, too.

Maybe that would help.


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