Friday, we were invited to have breakfast at my cousin’s place. I wanted to try and spend as much time as possible with my godson while I was there (since I don’t get the chance very often and I still would like him to grow up knowing who I am, even though I can’t see him very often) and I am glad that I got to see him a few times. My cousin is really great with him and she’s been trying to show him photos of me and teach him my name.
I was a little bit afraid that he would be shy with me, after all, I hadn’t seen him since his baptism in December, but he wasn’t… which was just wonderful.
We had a yummy breakfast with fresh rolls and “tea wurst” (it’s so cute how everybody knows by now that this is my favorite spread and makes sure to have it when I come over for breakfast :)).
My cousin Nicki suggested later that we could make a “plaster cast” of Nina’s baby belly. She had done the same during her pregnancy and it’s a wonderful reminder of the pregnancy later on. So we did! It was a big mess, but fun! The result looked great.
In the afternoon, we went to see my great-aunt and had coffee and cake with her and in the evening we had dinner with my parents: gulasch, bread dumplings and red cabbage. Yum!
Did I mention that my trip home was all about eating (delicious things that I can’t have very often)?? :) Even if I tried to cook certain dishes here, it wouldn’t be the same.
Saturday morning, I went to the Wochenmarkt with my Mom again and did some shopping for my trip back (mostly goodies for the fridge/food pantry)… we had coffee at the little coffee shop and I stopped to see a friend for a cup of tea. Later in the afternoon, I had a long-overdue phone conversation with Ilka and then Ira came by for a little bit.
Alone time with my sister
My parents were invited to a birthday party in the evening, which gave me the opportunity to spend the evening/night at my sister’s place :) Just me and her! We had a yummy stir-fried zucchini dinner and I finally got the chance for a little photo-shooting of her baby-belly.
Then we hung out on the couch, watched TV (pretty much the first and only time when I was there – I was just too busy to watch any TV) and then snuggled up together in bed (just like in good old times :)).
The next morning, my Dad picked me up at 10 a.m., I had breakfast with my parents at home and then went to a reunion at my old Gymnasium (= highschool). It takes place every year and usually – when I am in Germany at the time – I go to see old school mates and teachers. However, usually not many people attend those reunions. It’s kind of sad. I understand that some people are not interested in seeing old school mates or are simply not around, but considering that it is an “open reunion” (for all alumnis) the turn out has been pretty meager.
In the afternoon, I started packing my bags already and then went to spend some time with my grandad and great-aunt to say goodbye again.
Later, I went out for a farewell dinner with my parents, Nina and Dirk and Marita and Jochen, some family friends. We went to my favorite Italian place, Alla Scala. I had pizza rolls with garlic butter (yum!), tomato soup and then shared a salad and pasta with my sister. It was delicious!
Time to say Goodbye
Monday morning, I had some coffee with my parents at 7 a.m. before they left for work. Shortly after that, we had to say goodbye again :(
I took a shower, stopped to say goodbye to my aunt and then went to my sister’s place for breakfast (because we didn’t have to leave for the airport before 10:30 a.m.).
My sister took me to the airport, I checked in and then we had to say goodbye as well. It was sad and Nina – of course – couldn’t suppress some tears, while I tried real hard to keep it together. After all, I’ll see her again in a couple of months. Something to look forward to.
The flight went smoothly. Even though we left about 45 minutes late, we arrived in LA 10 minutes early. The mysteries of flight schedules! I had an aisle seat again and an empty seat next to me. Yes! The food was ok, I slept for a while and watched a funny movie (“Love Vegas”).
Immigration was a breeze (You know, I love being able to use the “US citizens/residents”-lineÂ now and I love my last name which always provokes some kind of joke with the immigration officers). The realÂ challenge came behind the immigration check point: Where was my suitcase?
It was insane in the baggage claim area, because it looked like at least 3 or 4 planes had arrived at the same time. Airport employees had started taking suitcases off the belts, because there was just too much luggage and I finally found my suitcase sitting along the far wall. At least, I found it!
Going through customs took forever (there was a huge line as well!) and therefore I missed my connecting flight. Damn. I obviously miscalculated. 1,5 hours are NOT enough to go through Immigration/Customs and switch terminals. But I finally made it home at 9 p.m. andÂ was welcomed by a very happy husband :)
Wow, and now it almost feels like I have not been gone at all. So weird. This kind of “time travel”.