farewell breakfast

Here’s where we had breakfast yesterday; we’re doing the same thing tomorrow morning early. Look how much Aaron and Rachel enjoyed the meal and the atmosphere! The staff at la casa de los hotcakes was great: we walked in 30 minutes before they closed and they still took very good care of us even after we hung around long afterwards. So, that’s what we’ve got planned for the farewell breakfast.

¡buenos dí­as de México!

Esperamos todavía al Malge y su novia Rachel, quien llegan mañana por la tarde, pero entretanto podéis ver mis fotos del tiempo hasta ahora.

Hemos nadado todos los días despues de llegar anteayer. Me quema el sol un poquito, pero (todavía) no es peligroso. Sarah tiene las pecas muy fuertes, pero no me permite sacar fotos de ella. Quizás mañana.

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ok, honestly, we’re not eating 100% of the time…

…but we could be.

This trip, apart from visiting our much-missed friends and family members, has so far included:

  • Smokestack BBQ (man, I love their beans)
  • The Corner restaurant (Scramblefuls and Potatofuls)
  • Susie’s grilled pork tenderloins with jalapeño jelly
  • Susie’s potatoes au gratin
  • an A&W chili dog or two and a nice cold rootbeer to boot
  • Wolferman’s English muffins (the world’s best, as far as I’m concerned)
  • Pineapple-Orange juice (love it — just can’t find it anywhere in Germany!)

And yet to come are:

And we’ve even paid a visit to Costco (thanks Brian!), from which we’ll be bringing home some America-only non-perishables for our pals Harald & Evy.

We’ve come to realize that Germans do very, very well with pork. But you better save the beef for NAFTA.

Ay-ay-ay; i.e., “ie” or “ei”?

It bugs me when English speakers get the German pronunciation of sounds made by the vowel combinations “ie” and “ei” wrong — especially those English speakers who have lots of interaction with Germans and by extension lots of opportunities to practice reading these sounds. My much more tolerant wife explained to me why this happens so often:

  1. Those sounds are not represented consistently in English (think “receive” versus “achieve”).
  2. Not everyone knows the simple rule English speakers can use to pronounce “ie” or “ei” correctly everytime.

I can’t do anything about #1, but I can help you with #2, so here goes:

The sound that the combination “ie” or “ei” will make is always the same of the English name of the 2nd letter.

Thus, the electronics conglomerate is pronounced “see-mens” and not “sigh-mens” and the intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era is prounounced “zyte-guy-st” and not “zeet geest”. Likewise, it really is “franken-styne” and not “franken-steen,” despite what Gene Wilder’s character proclaims.

late dinner with a great soundtrack

Walnut Romano Pasta Sauce

That’s a link to the sauce we just made and chowed down on. It’s a late dinner tonight, mostly because I took two, count ’em **two** 4-hour naps today. I’ve been run ragged by work, trying to get to and depart from the office during daylight hours and also clocking overtime from home. I think all of that has caught up with me, such that I just couldn’t stay awake today (though I woke up at 6:30 and went grocery shopping between 12:45 and 14:00).

So it’s a late dinner, and a mighty tasty one, augmented by grooves from KT Tunstall (http://www.kttunstall.com/).

Sarah discovered her at the gym on the muzak and then saw the video for “Suddenly I See” — which was weird, because usually MTV Germany and Viva play nothing but crap. She kind of reminds me of a good mix between Snorah Jones and Joan Osborne (whom I’ve grown to appreciate a lot more lately — thanks Phil and Malge!). What are the hipsters in the States saying about her, if anything?

half-moon lingers on

Tammy taught us a new posture on Friday, and I’m still feeling it in a couple tender areas. The whole class was based on strong postures, so that worked out for me and Sarah. I think in particular I did better than I otherwise would have due to all those years spent slalom waterskiing, where smoothly shifting weight from front foot to back at the right time makes the difference between a fancy roostertail and powerwashed set of sinus cavities.

After that we decided on beer and bowling as the best combination to further relax our minds and muscles. Though in my case, after gliding through the last half of the work week in an on-site training, I have to say I was pretty mellow by Friday evening anyway.

For dinner tonight we tried out a great new recipe, which Sarah promptly posted. It was great, but a word of caution — it’s so good that you’ll want to eat a lot of it, and that could very well make you sleepy. So don’t drive or operate any heavy machinery afterward.


So, the other night, we were channel surfing a little bit and on Viva or MTV a Shakira video came on. Out of the blue, I said “Well, at least she hasn’t plucked her eyebrows into oblivion.” After a short pause and stunned silence, I screamed, “Look what you’ve done to me!

Then tonight, after celebrating Sarah’s great test results at our favorite Kurdish restaurant, I commented on my new pants (thanks for sending those, Mom!) itching a little bit. She said “I guess you’re having some new-pants-itchews.”

I think it’s fair to say we need to spend some more time interacting with our local pals.

Speaking of being in each others’ heads, check out these pics of Narg and Carrie Jo. This one is my favorite:

click it for a big ol' image

Whew, we’re back

Wow, that was a long trip. We flew from Munich to Hamburg, spent three days there, flew from Hamburg to London, spent three days there, and took a train from London to Whitstable, where we … (can you guess?) also spent three days.

We are back safe and sound after a marathon travel day starting around 3am this morning. Pictures are posted here.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip and we managed to squeeze quite a bit of mileage out of our Euros, despite the lousy exchange rate against the Pound. Details on the places we visited and stayed are forthcoming in a new project we’re going to start working on. Stay tuned…