Sunday, July 19, 2009

Barbeque and holiday photos

We arose later this morning. When Steph and Felix returned home last night from their birthday party we sat up sharing a bottle of wine and some of those Swiss pralines we had gotten in Bern. So by the time we were all out of bed this morning it was about 11:00 am. Felix has made scrambled eggs and bacon (speck) for breakfast and we follow it with smoked salmon and horseradish cream on fresh rolls. Orange juice and fresh coffee finish it off and we are all happy to take our time.

I make the Banana Mango Salsa and Steph makes a Dessert with Biscotti, Quark, Cream, and fresh Red Currants to take with us later.
This afternoon we have been invited with Steph and Felix to visit Tanja and Deitmar in Stuttgart for a Hawaiian afternoon and to see their holiday photos of their recent three week honeymoon in Hawaii. We were met at the door with leis and either a Mai Tai or a Pina Colada - Tanja had even gone to the trouble of making Michael a non-alcoholic Pina Colada!

We met Kathi again (who had Thai with us on Thursday), her husband Josef and their daughter Josefine - who made us miss Izabella enormously - and Tina and Lars as well as catching up with Tanja and Deitmar. Everyone is very friendly and it is not long before Josefine is happy to come to us for cuddles and plays. At eight months old she is an absolute delight. I can't remember the last time that a baby playing horsey on my foot was so much fun - and every time I stopped she would grip my leg with her little ones and jump up and down.

Then serving a fruit and cream dessert and fresh fruit flans, we settle down to view the video that Deitmar and Tanja made. Deitmar has done a wonderful job of editing together footage taken during their stay showing the resorts, canyons, beaches and volcanoes as well as them frolicking in the water, on a catarmaran or watching Bottlenose Dolphins at play and amazing sunrises and sunsets. And Tanja has managed to process enough photos to have a really nicely sized photo book printed that supports the video. Added to this were some extra photos taken underwater when they went snorkelling showing turtles (Leatherbacks I think) and lots of fish - not as pretty as the ones on the Great Barrier Reef, but still pretty stunning.

They had a great three weeks and it shows in their pics for sure. They are keen to tell us all about the trip and the make it all sound ever so inviting.

After our virtual trip to the Pacific, Deitmar (and later Lars) disappear to cook the barbeque. There are vegetables, chicken, turkey, steaks and sausages and these are complemented with a range of salads. Great German Potato Salad, tossed salad, Italian Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil salad, Mediterranean noodle salad, plus my Banana Salsa, and two herb butters to spread on dense ciabatta breads. It was truly delicious. All washed down with a wine local to the village where Josef and Kati live.

So we talk about exchange students and home hosting and all our collective travels. Between them, the group gave us some great tips for places to see on our travels. And when all the others have left for home and there is only Deitmar, Tanja, Steph, Felix, Michael and I, Tanja makes another round of Pina Coladas for the road. Obviously Michael is driving home!

Minor bit of excitement as we leave - out in the street there is an ambulance, emergency doctor car and police car. Quite a few of the locals are out watching for action, although we don't see any while we are leaving - we suspect it is a heart attack or a domestic - there is certainly no sign of a crash.

So we are just finalising the condensation of all our gear into one smaller suitcase (leaving the other one with the unnecessary things for the moment here with Steph and Felix) and re-packing the car. All ready for the second half of our adventure!

So a very BIG thank you to our new found friends here in South Germany - and yes guys, we will be back at the end of the year and we promise to visit!

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