Saturday, May 28, 2016: Osnabrueck

A walk with the family

A fun carnivorous plant from Florida — in the botanical gardens

In the botanical gardens (blooming things)

In the botanical gardens (teenagers, this one an imported species)

Cornflower with guest

A “Dompfaff” (German red-breasted bullfinch) in Imke’s garden

Lots of people time today! We slept well and started the day by taking a walk with my sister and her husband (Judith and Michael), a stroll that ended with a trip to the corner bakery for fresh German rolls and fresh bread. Mark took a couple of photos before being told he couldn’t (industrial espionage in a bakery) and them we took our haul home and prepared a German breakfast for all of us and a close family friend, Uschi, who showed up around 9. It was sunny and warm enough for us to have a buffet of the classic cheeses, cold cuts, jams and spreads inside and just take our plates into the gardens to eat–a great way to start the day and visit with everyone. After breakfast, Mark, Kai, and I took the bus trip downtown (about 15 minutes) to run some errands including getting Kai’s smart phone fixed, getting data plans for both tablets and two of our phones for the coming month (all for under €100), and buying shampoo and conditioner ar our favorite drug store (for € 0.5!). We finally got back home around 2 pm, and had a couple extra hours with Uschi in the garden before she had to leave again, making plans for her next visit to the States, hopefully next year.  Then the rest of us, including even Kai, went for walk through a park, where we stopped to listen to live Dixieland band for a few minutes, and through the nearby botanical gardens, where Mark found a lot of photo ops for blooming flowers. When we got back home, Imke, Judith and Michael made a fabulous dinner with roast vegetables and a feta-based dip. The others had had strawberry cake earlier, mid-afternoon, but Mark and I had it as dessert!  It was still both light and fairly warm after dinner, so we stayed in the garden, with more photo ops for both critters and people. My mom is going to be moving to an apartment later this year, and she is excited for the move, but this is her last summer with a garden, and she is loving it that Mark is taking all these great photos. Later, around 9:30, old friends of Judith’s who grew up with us, Katja and Udo, came by, and we had a great time, still sitting outside, talking until almost midnight. It was especially fun to compare notes of our memories of our home town (the dangerous crossing across a highway we had to use to get to school, the year the ALDI first came to town as a source of super cheap candy, the couple that taught us all in the standard ball-room dancing lessons that all teens were taking at 15… My mom even her dance lesson story about her date not showing up to pick her up for the ball at the end–he had gotten sick and nobody had bothered to let her know!). We were very tired when we finally went to bed, but also proud of ourselves for lasting so long! Maybe we’ll manage without major jet lag this time!