Friday, September 14, 2012

WEBMU 2012 - Berlin - WHEW!

Photo credit: Cliff

Whew! That was a whirlwind WEBMU! 

The Hauptstadt welcomed a fantastic group of expat bloggers to explore, eat, drink and enjoy the general merriment. It really was loads of fun. Thanks to everyone for coming and making it such a great experience.

It was another WEBMU which took my voice away. After an entire weekend of what seems like non-stop talking, I almost always lose my voice, and this year was no different.

We put together four days of events and pretty much filled every waking moment for folks who were able to pick and choose what they wanted to attend. As always there was excellent food to be had. We feasted at Dolores, The Bird, Due Forni, Frida Kahlo and no Berlin experience would be complete without at least one Currywurst.

Stasi Museum
Since so many of the folks are seasoned Berlin tourists, it was decided to concentrate on two Kieze in east Berlin, namely Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg. We toured the Stasi Museum, and checked out two of Berlin's bunkers with Berliner Unterwelten

Paul Sullivan of Slow Travel Berlin led us through a Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood discussing everything from its humble beginnings as a brewery/beer garden, to the unique architecture and lifestyle of the Kiez most popular with young couples wishing to push a pram. After a fantastic lunch - which was thoughtfully planned to coincide with a HUGE rainshower - we continued on to the Karl-Marx-Allee. There we learned about the grand plans of the GDR to build a monumental boulevard lined by "wedding cake" style buildings designed to hold the "working man" and his family in style. The tours were great and I heartily recommend his services to anyone wishing to discover the hidden sides of Berlin at a slow and easy pace.

Photo credit: Cliff
However for me, the coolest part of any WEBMU experience is getting to know those bloggers I read throughout the year. There are a group of folks who come back time after time, and I have to say that I look forward to WEBMU mostly to see them again.

The Regensbloggers, are the core of the event itself. Even though every city has its own organisers, it couldn't be done without them. Thanks again you two. Ian of Letters Home never ceases to crack me up after he has a few drinks down his gullet. I thought I was going to bust a gut when I looked down the table and saw Heidelbergerin with this HUGE grin on her face and a drink in each hand.

Photo credit: Cliff
No WEBMU would be complete without our resident smart ass, PapaScott. The Honourable Husband of Deutschland über Elvis fame not only came, ate, drank and took in Berlin with the rest of us... he also took me for a ride in his BIG ASS CAR! The Geek Mädel stayed with me and Deputy No at Chez Snooker, and was an absolute dream of a roomie... well, except for the cold she so nicely shared. But we won't hold that against her (I blame her boss). Der Mann and Resident on Earth aka Resident EVIL slipped in and out of the group delightfully.  

My "co-hostess-with-the-mostest" (sorry, I had to steal it) from No Apathy Allowed was ever present, ever helpful and got soooo many bonus points for saving seats over the weekend. I hear rumors that she's considering a move to Wiesbaden (or wherever) for the next WEBMU because helping to organise two events just isn't enough.

Stasi Museum
Buttonhole camera

The newbies were a lot of fun. I really enjoyed getting to know the year's cutest bride, Sarah Stäbler. I actually had to drag Deputy No out of a bar one night because they were having so much fun chatting. This was the first WEBMU for Der Irische Berliner, although I've previously had the distinct pleasure of knocking back a few with our own home town funny man. Dixie of Top Floor Corner IS every bit as sweet as Mausi told me she would be. Speaking of whom... Christina darlin, you were missed. Next year, OK?

I love's me some stairs!
Must say that Steven of Doin’ Time on the Donau showed himself to be a great sport. In a cute little Irish Pub I managed to make an absolute fool of myself. About 3.5 minutes after a fresh Coke was set before him, I somehow dumped the entire thing into his lap. He completely took it in stride, and I applaud (and thank) him for that. Good-naturedly he commented that he had another pair of jeans at the hotel and that it would be no big deal. Well, we all know that it sucks to be travelling and have something like that happen. Steven, it was fun to meet you finally... and may I say that it was a pleasure to encounter a true gentleman. I'm still looking forward to that dance mix list you promised. 

All in all it was a great weekend from which I have needed the better part of a week to recover. It seems that I barely pulled my camera out the entire time, which is simply not like me. But thankfully Regensblogger Cliff was busy with his cool-ass camera and flash!

How about some of the other bloggers' thoughts on the event?
Sarah: WEBMU & My Trip to the Embassy
No Apathy Allowed: Berlin WEBMU 2012: The Report
Steven Glassman: Another Weekend in Berlin

Until next year!!
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The Honourable Husband said...

It's only a big-ass car when you try to park it.

Slurpy kiss to you, my dear.

Frau Dietz said...

It sounds like it was a brilliant weekend, I'm gutted to have missed it! And slightly nervous about what Wiesbaden has to live up to :S

Anonymous said...

My favourite part was going out to dinner and drinking, unless you count meeting the Irish Berliner and Sarah and Steven and hanging out with all the regulars and going on those tours of the Stasi Museum, the nuke bunker, the neighbourhoods and last but not least the Sunday at Mauerpark and Bearpit Karaoke. They were my favourite too. This makes no sense, but then again, my brain cells are still recovering.

Anonymous said...

What fun and what fabulous hosts. I'm sorry I missed it.

Spudnik said...

Kudos on the fantastic organizational skills. Truly a great weekend, and like you said, great to meet everyone. Looking forward to the next meet up!

stevenglassman said...

I had a great time meeting you (and everyone else), and I put up that mix for you last night. :D

I need to do my own recap post, but I doubt strongly that I'll have anything to say that hasn't already been said.