This is the last post about my trip to Germany, I promise. You’re probably so over hearing me swoon over my niece and nephew and the family talk and how much I miss them and how precious our time was, and blegh. Still, I need to get this post out to make my recap complete. This will be long, so be prepared, but to make it easier on you, they’re going to be a lot of photos as well. Photos always help.
So like I said, the last week in Germany was all about spending time with my family.
I didn’t make any plans with anybody for the last week, because I didn’t want to feel like I was hurrying from one appointment to the next (even though I would have loved to see some more people that I didn’t get to see for that reason).
I knew I needed to feel like I really had a week “off”. Visiting back home never feels like a vacation vacation, if you know what I mean. And I needed some time to just relax.
On Saturday , I spent the morning with my parents, running the usual errands and then preparing all kinds of yummy goodness for a BBQ with relatives from my Mom’s family. They came over at around 6 p.m. and since the weather was really nice and warm, we were able to sit outside until midnight. We had Bauchfleisch (pork belly), sausages, steaks and grilled vegetables, baked potatoes with sour cream, salad and baguette with garlic butter.
It was such a nice evening!
Sunday was a beautiful day as well and I hung out with my sister and the kids in my parents’ backyard. My parents bought a ” Strandkorb ” (beach chair) last year and it was perfect weather to hang out and watch Greta play in her sandbox and use the slide. Tom slept on my lab the whole time.
In the afternoon, we went walking downtown and had some ice-cream.
Later that evening, my family met up at our favorite local Italian Restaurant to belatedly celebrate my great-aunt’s 88th birthday. It was a lovely evening with great conversations and delicious food.
On Monday , my parents had a day off (due to Pentecost Monday) and we all decided to go for a bike ride. My Dad took me over to Nina’s place in the morning, so I could ride her bike (I obviously don’t have a bike in Germany anymore). Nina rode Dirk’s bike and Dirk had borrowed a bike from his Dad. The kids were put in a bike trailer. They could sit next to each other and enjoy the view. Awesome!
We then rode the bikes back to my parents’ place to pick them up and then started our bike tour. We rode for about 1,5 hours and then took a break at a monastery with an attached “Biergarten”.
We had some yummy food and refreshments and enjoyed the beautiful, beautiful day.
From Tuesday through Friday, we did very, very mundane things. Things we would do if I lived back in Germany, close to my family.
My Mom, my sister and I went shoe-shopping for Greta. My sister, my aunt and I went to the ESPRIT outlet to do some shopping for ourselves. (It’s one of the places that I always like to visit when I am there :) you can always find such good deals. I bought a jacket, capri pants, a zipped hoodie and a blouse.)
My Mom cooked me a lot of very authentic German meals, like – “Dicke Bohnen” (fava beans) with bacon and string bean soup. Yum.
I got to spend some one-on-one time with Greta, when my sister had to take Tom to the pediatrician one morning, and it was just great to have her to myself for a little while. We cuddled on the couch and listened to one of her audio books.
I spent more time with my great-aunt, which really was important to me, and I spend a lot of time with my sister, who tried to convince me to cancel my flight and “just stay” by making me delicious latte macchiatos and feeding me Toffifees :)
On Saturday morning, I picked up Nina, Greta and Tom at 8:30 a.m. and we drove to the “Kastanienhof “, where we had breakfast with my parents, my aunt and some other family friends. It’s a breakfast buffet and they have all kinds of yummy breakfast items… croissants, waffles, müsli , fresh rolls, bread, yogurt,… – you name it.
My Dad and me
When we got home, my sister and I ran some more errands downtown and then we drove over to my great-aunt’s place one last time to spend some more time with her before I had to say goodbye.
In the evening, my parents, my aunt, Nina, Dirk, and Tom went to the Italian restaurant for our traditional farewell dinner.
We had espresso at my parents place and watched the end of the Grand Prix Song Contest.
On Sunday , we got up at 7:30 a.m., had breakfast with my Dad (who had to leave for a tennis match) and at 9:15 a.m. my sister came over with the kids and they and my Mom took me to the airport.
It was surreal almost to part with them after what felt like such a long time (compared to previous visits). My Mom kept saying how it feels so normal to have me around (ha, she wouldn’t dare say anything else, I guess ;)).
So, this sums it up… my wonderful visit in Germany with my family back in May. More photos are here (if you’re a friend on Flickr).
I can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks, since I got back.