Usually I travel alone. It works out better for everyone this way. Yes, I do become a bit passive-aggressive when stuck with one person for too long (just ask my roommate). But, my best friend is getting married this year and as a last hurrah, we decided to take a 3-night cruise together.
I had never been on a cruise and wasn’t sure what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect to get seasick on the first day or have a shower so small that I couldn’t bend over to shave my legs. Not so good. I didn’t expect the pool to be filled with salt water. Amazing!
Drinks – the cost of drinks was one of my main concerns. I tend to drink…a lot. Especially on vacation. And maybe it is the New Yorker in me talking, but drinks were cheap. Cocktails were around $6.50 with an automatic gratuity they came to about $8.00 a piece. In New York, cocktails can easily be double that price! I was thrilled. Of course, cheap drinks did not stop me from wracking up over $100 in bar bills over the course of three days.
After our successful trip to Teufelsberg spy station, we still had enough daylight to travel to the Beelitz Hospital. Lars, a native German, his Russian girlfriend, and Andre, another Russian now residing in Tel Aviv, allowed me to tag along on another abandoned adventure.
Beelitz-Heilstätten is located very close to the train station. We were not sure how to get there, but we asked a local couple for help and they pointed us in the right direction. Through a path in the woods, we stumbled upon a building. My excitement set in. A creepy, possibly dangerous, abandoned hospital! What more could a girl ask for?!
In May of last year I took a two-week trip to Germany. My original plan was to stay in Berlin for just four days, but I fell in love so fast with the city that I ended up staying for double that time.
During that trip, I met two travelers from Tel Aviv, a couple—Yael and Andre—who I ended up spending most of my time with. One of their friends, Lars, was born in East Berlin before the wall came down. He offered to take us to an abandoned spy station or an abandoned hospital both of which were just outside of the city.
This winter, I have gotten a little…stuck. I moved to Queens, which is wonderful, but ever since I moved, I have not been interested in straying much outside of my neighborhood. It’s been a brutally cold few months and the spring does not feel like it will ever arrive. Over the winter, I didn’t have any interest in exploration of any kind. I preferred to get in my bed, watch a movie, and eat Nutella by the tablespoon.
Yes, I do buy my Nutella at Costco.
But last weekend, my Israeli friend, Yael, who I met in Berlin last year, was in town with her friend. I—reluctantly—changed out of my sweatpants into some real clothes (my jeans barely button thanks to my Nutella consumption) and did my best to be a decent tour guide.
Through pouring rain (but thankfully no snow) we explored a bit of Williamsburg; they both wanted to browse through the antiques and crafts at the Brooklyn Flea.
Brooklyn Flea Market
Shopping isn’t usually my thing, but perusing the knickknacks at the Flea is like digging through gold to find a diamond. I wanted everything. I wanted the vintage patterned plates in my kitchen cabinets, I wanted the colorful stuffed owl on my bed, I wanted a big beaded costume bracelet that I would wear only once before deeming it impractical.