excellent dinner; thanks Brian and Mikey

Our pals Brian and Mikey left us on Sunday after their jaunt around Europe with us and many new and interesting experiences with airlines and international travel.*

But we had a fantastic dinner today containing ingredients we wouldn’t have had if not for Brian and Mikey’s trip here: Speck and celery seed. They brought the celery seed with them, and it was essential for Susie’s Meatloaf. While we were in Innsbruck, Brian ponied up for a big ol’ hunk of Speck, which we incorporated into Susie’s German Potato Salad. It was a glorious meat-n-potatoes meal.

I encourage everyone to try it.

On a less joyous note, I have to go back to work tomorrow morning after a whopping 10-day vacation based mostly on comp time (with a little help from the Tag der deutschen Einheit today). Still got lots of time to burn though, and that’s not including our upcoming trip to Michigan in a couple weeks or Carolyn and Max’s Austrian Thanksgiving next month. Our best guesses: that cruise in December I’ve mentioned before from Italy to Portugal and back, or maybe a long weekend in Madrid with Rachel, or — what the heck? — both. My boss applied for a small payout of my overtime hours, but that got axed by the big wigs, so now I’ve got to find a way to use up three-quarters of those 200-some hours I’d saved up. The only crummy part: going on vacation all the time is expensive; going to work is free. I guess that’s why I actually get paid a little more when I’m on vacation than when I’m just working my usual hours. It’s nice that someone recognizes it’s not easy using up all this free time.