Raise a glass…or five

This past weekend we had a really nice time with some local pals at our place. We invited a mix of natives and transplants, but most of the natives already had other plans (note to selves: a mid-December gathering requires 4+ weeks lead time).

We told everyone we need help drinking all that wine we brought back from the Chianti and Veneto regions of Italy, but that was just a clever ruse to bring some friends together. Thankfully, no one brought wine, and our stock was reduced by about half.

Nikolaus brought me a new lens for my E-PL2 and the f/1.7 aperture was fast enough to mostly not need a flash. I’m kind of fascinated by the moody depth-of-field side effect, and from the looks of it, lots of attendees were.

Well, we didn’t really reduce our bottle count…

didn't reduce our bottle count…but I’d call the housewarming party a success!

We’d been thinking about doing a housewarming party for months and keeping a careful list of needed supplies, menu options, potential invitees and RSVPers. We’d gotten our place cleaned up and ready to go for not only the night of the festivities, but also four overnight guest beds.

And then after Sarah dutifully collected all the food and drinks, our confirmed guest list dropped from around 20 down to 13 — all but 2 of them due to illness. I would like to take a moment to restate that we brought a few fine things back with us from Mexico, but swine flu was not one of them.

As such, we didn’t need to use about half of the rooms we’d prepared for party mingling. It made for close quarters at times — isn’t it odd how popular the kitchen is for congregating? — but you know what? That worked surprisingly well, considering our mix of

  • remote expat blogger peeps
  • local expat peeps
  • work peeps
  • new neighbor peeps

The mood was great the whole night, and coffee and french toast made this morning gentler on us. All our guests have our heartfelt thanks for the housewarming gifts, libations and tasty treats brought to share, and of course the great conversations over the course of the weekend.

P.S. — if you took some pictures and would like to share them, email them (or links to them) to us and I’ll post them here.

party, then feast

Just rolled back into town this afternoon after spending the evening with some friends in Munich to attend a party they threw. We met a bunch of new (to us) people in an around the Munich area and had a great time catching up with the ones we’d previously met. The hosts were kind enough to offer us the guest bedroom since we traveled the farthest of all the attendees. What a swell time.

And then, later today, we’re off to Tammy and Matthias’ place for a pre-Thanksgiving feast. I hope to take some pictures of the food. Stay tuned.

Grill Party

What better way to kick off the month than with a Grill Party?

Gracious hosts Kerstin and Christoph invited members of the team at the office — past and present — over to their house for a glorious night of eating, drinking, and general merriment. The basic format was the same as last year:

  • Bring your own grill fodder, and Christoph will grill it for you.
  • Bring something to share.
  • Kerstin and Christoph provide the drinks and the infrastructure, and if you’re extra lucky, a place to sleep and even a ride home the next morning.

We were extra lucky.

Sarah and I brought dessert*, and it was definitely a hit — the kind people break their diets for (sorry about that).