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Archive for the ‘Berlin’ Category

December 19th, 2016

Berlin, Germany, Christmas Markets, Open Air Markets, Handcrafted Gifts, Tradition, Weihaachtsmarkt, Europe

I am remembering so well when last year I went to the opening of the Christmas Markets in Berlin, Germany.  It was Thanksgiving and visitors were a little apprehensive after the tragedy in Paris.  Berlin was well guarded.  It is a beautiful city and it transforms itself into a living Christmas.  There were about 60 markets around the city. Buildings, shops, restaurants were all decorated with real trees and thousands of lights.

And today, once again another tragedy happened. It was at the market called City Weihaachtsmarkt.  I remember telling my children that if someone wanted to do damage these Christmas markets would be perfect targets.  The first photo above is right across from where today’s tragedy occured.  And, the second one is of that particular market, as well. This West Berlin street called Tauentzienstrasse is very upscale; sort of like the the Fifth Ave of Berlin.  Our hotel was 2 blocks away.

Residents of Berlin were comfortable with the fact that so many refugees were being accepted.  They have had no problems with others that have assimilated the culture. But, they did say that if something did happen things would start change very quickly.  So, here we are.

Getting into the Christmas Spirit was easy in Berlin.  You could not help it!  Some of the Christmas Markets are bigger than others, and some are more family oriented.  The food was amazing.

All markets are laden with traditional food, drinks and crafts.

The tradition of these markets go back to the Middle Ages.  I would go back again because there is still so much that I did not see.  Discovering the world is a must.  It is getting much smaller and definitely more dangerous.  If you are traveling abroad you can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  This is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  It is a way of staying connected through these uncertain times.  If you enroll, they will send you travel alerts, weather surprises, uprisings in any particular country, so please visit

Until next time I remain. Merry Christmas!


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May 22nd, 2016

What’s Going On? Puttin’ On The Ritz, Event, 23rd Year Anniversary Celebration, Fun-Fundraising, Atlantic General Hospital, Meet Me at the “Speakeasy”, Berlin, Maryland, Maryland’s Eastern Shore


I could not believe it!! No rain! Can you imagine?  We have been so inundated with rain that I was not sure how this event was going to turn out.  But, as it happens, on Thursday, May 19th, the skies were clear, the moon and the stars were out and the location was mesmerizing.


It was going to be a celebration of the 23rd year anniversary of Atlantic General Hospital located at 9733 Healthway Dr., Berlin, MD 21811.  Tel. 410-641-1100.  Website?

We were meeting at the “Speakeasy”, where the event was taking place.  This is the farm of the Host and Hostess, Mr. & Mrs. Buddy Jenkins.  Atlantic General has been celebrating its anniversaries with an annual event.  Fun and Fundraising for the hospital.  This year’s theme was the Roaring 20’s and with 500 people of their supporters, family and friends in attendance it was certainly a memorable evening.




Most of the attendees wore 1920’s dress code…..long pearls, fringes…it was a time of excess.  Games and crafted cocktails.  You picked your own glass at the entrance and fill it to your hearts desires.  The tent was huge and it was very well appointed.  The center pieces were gorgeous, as well.  No detail was left out.



LA Catering from Liquid Assets located at 94th & Coastal Highway in Ocean City, Maryland did a spectacular job with their catering.  Besides their restaurant in Ocean City their catering side of it can work magic for any of your events, small or large.  As you can see they fed 500 and there was no shortage of food throughout the evening.  Tel. 410-524-7037  Website?

We are located on the eastern shore so seafood is regarded as a main staple at events.  Surrounding the Speakeasy there were stations where attendees could fill their plates and come back for more.


Oysters on the half shell, shrimp, smoke scallop salad, smoked salmon, crab claws!!


Softshells!!  My favorites!


Cheeses and Charcuterie!!


Lisa & Cindi checking it out!

Lisa & Cindi checking it out!

Seafood Paella.




Dessert!!  That sweet ending that completes a meal….Have you had the doughnuts made in house at Liquid Assets?  They are to die for.  At the event they gave them a little twist.  You could customize them.  They were warm, perfect to hold in one hand or on your plate and then the sweet condiments on top.



I took a look at the cakes….could they possibly be the cakes that have been the talk of the town?  Yes!!  I could not believe it.  I am going to learn more about the two guys that are from Brooklyn and call themselves the Brooklyn Baking Barons.  The cakes featured the other night were Honey Whiskey Cakes, accompanied by local strawberries.  They were so good that at the table we all went back for seconds.  They are the perfect size…guilt free shall we say?  They will be opening a store front in Berlin, I believe on or around Memorial Week-End.  Check them on Facebook.  From their website they ship nationwide.


Cannot wait to taste a new flavor….the Limoncello Cake with homemade Limoncello….Justin Noble, a friend of theirs said this new cake is out of this world.

It is that time of the year to fund raise at the Maryland and Delaware Beaches.  People have big hearts here.  Lucky to call it home!!

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March 29th, 2015

Historic Churches, Chapels, Architectural Wonders, It’s Sunday, A Day for Worship, 13 Churches on My Travels

Always look forward to visiting churches on my travels.  Not necessarily on a time when religious services are taking place.  I like them when they are totally quiet.  For me is a time for reflection; to pray for my family and friends.  I usually stop at churches of all denominations, even though I am Catholic.  I thank for our religious freedom.  Historic churches and chapels…I am in awe of their beauty and of their strength.

Here are some of my favorite churches and the list is getting longer.



St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a New York Landmark.  In 1785 there were only 200 Catholics and one priest in New York City.  The doors opened in 1879.  The newspapers hailed the New Cathedral as “the noblest temple ever raised in any land to the memory of Saint Patrick, and as the glory to Catholic America”.  When I have visited New York with my friend, Shelley, who is Jewish…she always makes a point to stop at St. Patrick’s.  So beautiful.


St. Paul’s Chapel was built in 1766.  It is the oldest public building in continuous use in Manhattan.  It survived the Great Fire of 1776 and the attacks on 9/11.  George Washington prayed here after his inauguration in 1789.  It is located at 209 Broadway, between Fulton St. and Vesey St.  Still standing against all odds, this church has been a place not only for spiritual healing but for physical refuge, as well.



I grew up in the Island of Puerto Rico.  When you see my posts from there is because that’s where my formative years took place.  Old San Juan is the Capital and it is over 500 years old.  La Catedral de San Juan is formally known as the San Juan Bautista Cathedral, named after the Puerto Rican Patron Saint, San Juan Bautista or Saint John the Baptist.  It is located on Cristo St. between Luna St. and San Francisco St.  It was built in 1540 and it is the second oldest cathedral in the Western Hemisphere.  The Cathedral contains the tomb of Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon.  And, the mummified remains of Roman Christian Martyr, Saint Pio.


Capilla del Cristo or Christ’s Chapel is located at the end of Calle del Cristo, which is also where the Cathedral is located.  The Chapel was built to commemorate a miracle.  Local lore has it that as a young man lost control of his horse and galloped down Calle del Cristo over the cliff at the end of the road, he prayed to a Catholic saint and his prayers were answered.


Parroquia San Francisco de Asis is located at San Francisco Street #301 in Old San Juan.  The Crypt – As in old colonial churches, the remains of Christians were buried in catacombs.  This can also be seen at the entrance of the Parish.  They are called catacombs similar to the Roman catacombs but they are crypts.  In the crypt are the remains of personalities of Puerto Rico.  They are considered of important historical heritage.


Iglesia Dulce Nombre de Jesus is located in the town plaza of Humacao.  This is where I grew up.  It is on the eastern side of the island.  I went to primary school at Academia San Jose which was across the street.  My family went to church here, my parents were married in this church, and I also made my First Communion there.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Originally, it was a single structure built in 1769.  A second church was built from 1825-1826.  The present church was built in 1868-1877.  It was designed by Don Evaristo de Churruca in the Gothic Revival style.  Further renovations have taken place since then.


Parroquia Nuestra Senora del Carmen is located at 33 Marina, in Punta Santiago near my hometown, Humacao.  Punta Santiago is a fishing village.  Nuestra Senora del Carmen is the patron saint of Fishermen.  The official Feast Day is July 16th.  I have fond memories of this church.  It is always kept in pristine condition.  My late husband, John, and I got married here.  We chose this church because it was on the beach and it really is pretty, small and cozy.  It was the second wedding….first one in Orlean, Virginia and then this one in 2 complete different years.  One was not enough!!



Saint Martin’s Historic Church and the importance of historic preservation.  For so many years it stood neglected, just waiting for those who would take over the mission of its restoration.  It is considered by many historians “to be the finest preserved, most significant piece of American history on the Lower Eastern Shore”.  It is an Architectural gem, built in 1756, and a museum located at 11413 Worcester Highway in Showell, Maryland.  For more info., please visit



St. Peter’s Church is located at 2nd & Market Streets in Historic Lewes, Delaware.  Lewes is the First Town in the First State.  Since 1680 this church has served this community.  The early settlers who were members of the Church of England formed its first congregation.  The graveyard which surrounds the Church has stones dating back to 1707.  Stop by while strolling Lewes.



The Baltimore Basilica’s is America’s First Cathedral.  I have a deep connection to Baltimore.  My late husband was from Baltimore and many years ago, I lived and worked in Baltimore.  Love the City.  The Basilica’s construction started in 1806.  George Weigel, the biographer for Pope John Paul II said “No other Catholic edifice in America can claim to have seen so much history inside its walls”.  At least 15 saints or potential saints have prayed in this Basilica.  The Crypt inside the Basilica holds the tombs of Archbishop John Carroll, the first Bishop of the United States of America, Archbishop Martin John Spalding, and James Cardinal Gibbons.



Philadelphia has 4 Catholic shrines:  St John Neumann, St. Katherine Drexel, Miraculous Medal and St. Rita of Cascia.  Philadelphia is considered a city where the foundations for our right to freedom and religion were laid.  The National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia is located at 1166 S. Broad St. and it was built in 1907.  I came to know it during my stay in Philadelphia the summer of 2013.



St. Michael’s Catholic Church is located at 71 Broad St. in Historic Charleston.  A National Historic Landmark.  Pewes are made of native cedar and remain the same as they have always been.  The altar is Victorian.  The chancel rail is made of wrought iron.  It dates to 1772.  George Washington worshipped at Governor’s Pew #43.  This church is gorgeous and the docent was so amazingly inspiring.


St. Philip’s Protestan Episcopal Church is located at 142 Church St. in Historic Charleston.  The original building was completed in 1724, destroyed by fire in 1835 and finished the rebuilding in 1838.  Porticos and columns remind visitors of Roman porticos.  This church is also a National Historic Landmark and has the tallest steeple in Historic Charleston.  The docent was so nice and proud of her church.

I am looking forward to this list getting longer.  These churches welcome us all.  Many of them are so simple.  Some are architectural wonders.  You don’t really have to look for them, some times they find you.

Another magical Sunday….but waiting for summer is what I am doing.

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June 25th, 2014

Fig Tree Studio, Berlin, Maryland, Art Lessons, Workshops, Children, July Art Classes, Worcester County Arts Council, Worcester County, Maryland


I think you will like this!!  Fig Tree Studio travels around the Eastern Shore providing 1-hour classes to day care and community centers.  Ages 10 months and up!!  Supplies are included, affordable art lessons; prices depend on how many kids end up participating in the art lesson.

10 students and under-$25

20 students and under-$35

30 students and under-$45

40 students and under-$55

50 students and under-$65

More than 50 students, please contact them for a price.

Fig Tree Studio’s schedule caters to the needs of the center, whether its a one session, weekly, or monthly class.

For detailed information and any questions you may have, please contact Erika Ritlling, 443-523-7656.  You shoud visit the website  On Facebook you may find it as Fig Tree Studio.


JULY ART CLASSES – Fig Tree Studio will be providing art classes at the Worcester County Arts Council located at 6 Jefferson Street in Berlin, Maryland, for the month of July.  Your kids will have a great opportunity to create during the summer.  All classes include supplies.  Sign up and show up!!  You may book a class by visiting the above mentioned website.

The following classes will begin the first day of July :

RHYME WITH ART – Ages 2-4.  Price $6.00.  4:00 p.m. until 4:45 p.m.

July 1 – It’s Raining It’s Pouring – These little artists will learn basic watercolor techniques by creating a scene from this famous nursery rhyme.

July 8 – Itsy Bitsy Spider – Little artists will construct a spider using construction paper and other materials.

July 15 – Down in the Meadow – Little artists will create a family of fish using tempera paint and other tools to create a texture pattern.

July 22 – Humpty Dumpty – The little artists will create their own Humpty Dumpty using contact paper and paint.

July 29 – Alphabet Song – Little artists will create their initials using stamps made from fruits and veggies.


ART AROUND THE WORLD – Ages 5-13.  Price $12. 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

July 1 – Creative Alphabet – Little artists will gain inspiration from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and create their own alphabet using inks and brushes.

July 9 – Circles in Art – The little artists will create a mandala using a variety of mediums.

July 16 – Mexican Masks – Little artists will use their imagination to travel to Mexico and create a collage inspired by the tradition of the Day of the Dead.

July 23 – Faces on the Pole – The little artists will create their own 3D pole inspired by North American totem poles.

July 30 – Light Your Way – Little artists will create their very own Chinese lanterns.

July is around the corner….have a great day!!

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April 30th, 2014

Berlin Eats! Blacksmith, Restaurant, Bar, Toby Gilbert, Chef, Review, Historic Berlin, Maryland, Worcester County…Grab a Bite!!

When some of us got together at the end of 2013 for a dinner at the Waystead Inn, in Berlin, Maryland, we had no doubt that Toby Gilbert was on his way.  On that evening some of Chef Toby’s offerings were:

Roasted Oyster Chowder…oyster cream, and roasted vegetables.


Roasted Duck…potato puree, jus reduction and herbs.


Winter Roots…carrot, sweet potato, purple potato, celery root, turnip, radish, beet, and herbs.


Venison Loin…rye risotto, berry sauce, chanterelle mushroom.


A sweet ending of “Apple Pie”…apple pate de fruit.


Spring 2014, Blacksmith opens in Historic Berlin, Maryland with Chef Toby Gilbert giving his customers food prepared in unexpectedly delicious ways.


Locals can walk or ride their bikes, but some of us that live further away do not mind the drive.  It was great to see Paul again and his date early on Sunday….from Lewes, Delaware.  So, you see, no big deal to drive, especially on a beautiful day.


Cindi and I arrived at 4 p.m.  As the time passed it started to get comfortably crowded for a Sunday evening.  You know what?  As I took a look at the customers on that particular evening it was so much fun to see a wide range of ages….families with children, young adults, and the matured crowd, as well.  The next thing I noticed was that everyone was having a good time.


Blacksmith is located at 104 Pitts Street, Berlin, MD 21811.  Tel. 410-973-2102.  On Facebook, find it as Blacksmith Berlin.

The sitting area is open with available sitting for about 70 customers.  The kitchen is open, as well.



Meet Toby….So, how did you get into cooking?  He said that he started cooking with his Mother.  Now, that was a sweet thing to say.  Giving credit to his mother was priceless!!  Then, cooking in different restaurants and with amazing chefs, traveling and much appreciated training.


Toby feels very much at ease talking to his customers.  He is particular about his food and presentation.  Very engaging, treating his customers like they are the only ones in the restaurant.

The menu changes constantly and on Soul Food Sunday you had a choice of small plates, salads and soups, large plates and sandwiches.  Some of the dishes passing by our table were Maryland style fried chicken, with Hanks duck fat hot sauce, Boneless short ribs with grits and pickled veggies….Cindi and I resisted those temptations and went for small plates instead.

We decided to share the Chicken Liver Pate, sealed with duck fat with homemade orange marmalade (Toby said they had so many oranges.), arugula and pumpernickle toast.  Delicious.



The Soup of the Day was a cauliflower and carrot cream soup with roasted beets and creme fraiche.  Just perfect for a chilly evening and the right amount of heat, as well.


Organic Arugula Salad with raw Blue Cheese, basil, vinaigrette, toasted almonds and red grapes.


Cold Smoked Oysters with beet mustard and carrot hot sauce.


Grilled Romaine lettuce leaves, Parmesan croutons and homemade Caesar dressing.


There were 3 desserts on the menu…tempting but we were satisfied…maybe next time.

Next time your destination becomes the Historic town of Berlin, Maryland….check Blacksmith!!

February 25th, 2014

America’s Coolest Small Town, Berlin, Maryland, WINNER!!, Congratulations! Save The Date, Paint Berlin 2014, Plein Air, September 18 – 20, 2014, Worcester County Arts Council, #mdcoolesttown


The results are in and officially, Berlin, Maryland is the Coolest Small Town in U.S.  That celebration will be all year long.  Congratulations Berlin!  This was Budget Travel’s 9th Annual contest.  Berlin is open year-round with many shops, restaurants, and art galleries.  It is the perfect town to stroll.  The merchants are so welcoming and very unique shops are all over Historic Berlin.

Berlin was Numero 1…..the rest of the towns were:

2 – Cazenovia, NY

3 – Buckhannon, WV

4 – Travelers Rest, SC

5 – Mathews, VA

6 – Nevada City, CA

7 – Rockport, TX

8 – Estes Park, CO

9 – Galena, IL

10 -Elkin, NC


SAVE THE DATE!!  Paint Berlin 2014, Plein Air, is coming on September 18 – 20, 2014.  Artist registration begins on May 1st.  Only 50 artists will be able to network, exhibit, sell their artwork, as well as compete for cash prizes.

Paint Berlin 2014, is open to experienced and novice painters.  There will be a “Wet Paint” Sale & Exhibit on Saturday, September 20th.

The Worcester County Arts Council is the sponsor for Paint Berlin 2014.  It was established in 1977.  It is located at 6 Jefferson Street in Historic Berlin.

Their Co-Op Gallery features local artists and their work.  Great to visit since you can get to see the artists up close and personal.  The Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. It is also open some Saturdays.

Please visit for information on everything relating to the arts in Worcester County.  You may call them at 410-641-0809.

In April – Call for Artists – Earth – Through The Artist’s Eye:  The Worcester County Arts Council invites all interested artists to participate in a juried art show to be exhibited during the month of April at their Gallery.  The exhibition is open to all artists, professional or amateur with work in all media.   The work must be delivered to the Arts Council’s Gallery between March 24 – 28 to be accepted.  Please check the above website or call for more info.

Have a good one!!

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February 15th, 2014

Theatre, Art, Entertainment, “Two Wrongs”, Brown Box Theatre Project, Ocean City Center for the Arts, 2/14-2/17, A Shout to Director Kyler Taustin, Ocean City, Maryland, Small Plates, Skye Bar, Galaxy 66 in OC, An Evening in Ocean City


A Black Box Theater or experimental theater contains a simple, unadorned performance space.  It is new in theater; just a large room with black walls and a flat floor.  It uses limited sets, simple lighting effects, and a cozy focus on the story, writing, and performances.  The venues are considered by many where more “pure” theatre can be enjoyed and explored.


All of the above is true, except that on Friday, February 14th, when Brown Box Theatre Project opened its 2014 Season, the venue was the modern and beautiful Ocean City Center for the Arts, located at 502 94th St. in Ocean City, Maryland.  This is the home of the Art League of Ocean City.  Website?


John, Susan, Shelley and I were looking forward to seeing once again its Director, Kyler Taustin, who founded Brown Box Theatre Project in 2009.  Congratulations to him and his actors and staff for a beautiful evening.  The audience was thrilled and you could see it and feel it, as well.


Brown Box Theatre Project is a non-profit theatre collaborative dedicated to bringing live theatre to schools and communities that ordinarily lack easy access to the performing arts.  Previous performances have been A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Nina Variations, Romeo & Juliet, and a Feeble Mind.  Not only does Kyle bring threatre to Ocean City, Maryland, but he is also bringing it to the Delaware Beaches.  He will be back in September.  Please check out their website by visiting  On Facebook as Brown Box Theatre Project, as well.

“Two Wrongs” was written by Scott Caan of Hawaii Five-O.  It is a contemporary comedy and presents the story of Shelly, played by Chelsea Schmidt, and Terry played by Alex Marz, a pair of neurotics whose love lives become entangled due to the unethical meddling of their therapist, Julian, played by Brooks Reeves.  It has a sharp dialogue, humor, love and deception.  It was an hour long without intermission and the audience, laughed, clapped, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

It will be playing at the Ocean City Center for the Arts through February 17th.  For tickets, please visit

The Ocean Center for the Arts is offering a wide range of classes and events, including, pottery classes, pasta and pottery, painting, drawing, photography, kids classes, workshops and a few that caught my attention were:  Cookies and Canvas, and Brushes and Bubbly.  To know more, please visit, or call 410-524-9433.

A stop at the Skye Bar located at Galaxy 66 in Ocean City for some small plates.  The Galaxy 66 is located at 66th St. in Ocean City. Website?


On the table…

Tenderloin tips…Italian marinade with truffle parmesan cheese fries.  Tender and delicious “fries”.


Seared Rare Tuna with fresh Wasabi.


Tempura Chicken Bites…they were tempura battered and tossed in a choice of sweet chili sauce, hot sauce, or curry mustard sauce….all of them were served.  I really like them; crispy and well seasoned.


Have a Good One!!

December 24th, 2013

Shopping! Sea-La-Vie, Historic Berlin, Maryland, Home Accessories, Gifts…Shop Small Town U.S.A., Worcester County


For those of you who are still doing those last minute shopping….New shop opened just recently in Historic Berlin, Maryland.  Sea-La-Vie is owned by two sisters.  It is located on 11 Artisans Way, Berlin, MD 21811.  Tel. 443-513-4768.


The building is as cute as it can be.  Sea-La-Vie offers home accessories, gifts, and much more.  Pick up some local art, a hostess gift, a birthday present.  Or, something that might catch your fancy.



Children’s present…and don’t forget your pet.


Historic Berlin has plenty of charm.  It is a great town to visit any time of the year.  This town is surging in the Small Town poll, so stay tuned because Budget Travel’s “Americas Coolest Small Town 2014” will be announced in mid February.


In the meantime stop by Sea-La-Vie.


Merry Christmas!! Talk to you later.


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