Whew…

I don’t know that I’ve ever spent so much un-interrupted time holed up in coffee shops, or drank such budget-breaking amounts of coffee in exchange for enduring focus and precious Wi-Fi access. But one setback after another, and countless unwelcome surprises later, here I am. Spending my last days in Berlin staring at page after page of layout, text, and pictures that blur together creating a seemingly endless line of sight of just one thing: more work.

So to celebrate what we (my CTR team) and I have accomplished thus far, and to break from the madness before getting back to all that’s left to do, here is a recap of the most exciting parts of my past week!

Craft beer fixes everything. So the Sour, Wild & Weird Beer Fest could not have come at a better time.

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I spent a few carefree hours with my flat-mates hanging out in an alleyway, listening to hipster music streaming from a tiny shiny trailer, tasting an assortment of 26 craft beers, including: Freigeist Bierkultur / 2cabecas – Eau de Janeiro Mango Gose, Siren / B. Nektar – Uncle Zester Sour Citrus Braggot, and my favorite, Schoppe Brau – Black Sour Whisky Cherry Ale.

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The second most exciting part of my week was when I happened upon a vegan ice cream shop. Having just missed the tram back to the flat after an eventful game of German Clue (which I won), we were wondering aimlessly to fill the half-hour waiting time before the next tram arrived. When this happened:

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Which cause us to then be so absorbed in our delightful find that we missed the next tram.

And lastly, my two main sources of joy and sanity this week were remembering that no matter where you are or how exhausting the circumstances, you can always come back to the basics: eating healthy home-cooked food and running. While the gym is my typical home-base, and weights are my go-to weapon-of-choice, when there is nothing else, there is always running. The simple act of breathing in and breathing out, pounding out steps along the pavement, knowing the only thing you have to focus on in that moment is the rhythmic motion running – it is so grounding. No thinking, no planning, no tediously-detailed tasks.

And while I love trying out new recipes, and enjoy the process of cooking food, there is no shame in basic repetition. While I have been lucky enough to experience a myriad of tasty vegan food from local eateries, I have also saved valuable amounts of time, money, and calories by simultaneously sticking to some staple groceries: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, squash, and tofu. Takes two minutes to chop and ten to bake. Easy peasy.

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