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Oh Vacation, how are you always too short?

I'm back from Germany, and as usual I totally wasn't ready to go back to work... getting home at 11:30pm on Sunday may have had something to do with that, of course. But it was a fantastic week, and worth every minute of semi-drowsy driving on dark highways ;-)

Mum had found a really good deal on a Lufthansa flight back in April when we planned the whole trip, and let me tell you, fifty extra dollars bought the flying experience from heaven. The United flight to O'Hare had me in their Economy Plus section, which may not be worth whatever they charge extra for it, but when you get it without knowing about it, the extra legroom was wonderful, even for a short flight (up, drinks, down). I didn't have to run through the entire airport to get to the next plane because for once the next gate was in the same terminal, and while I had a lot of time between flights, it was a terminal with actual food, and places to sit. I think they build special terminals for the expensive airlines... anyways.

I never end up sleeping much on airplanes, so mostly I watched movies for six hours and then napped before landing - I had two seats to myself, so there was actual room to spread out a bit. Saw "State of Play," which was better than expected, but still not as good as the John Simm version :-P Also watched "The Soloist" and "Ice Age 3" on the flight back, which were much more entertaining, even if I did miss Simon Pegg in "Ice Age" until they showed his name in the credits. I meant to look that up...

We visited grandma for a few days, and went shopping in town. Yes, I came back with clothes. They were a birthday present, and I love them. In fact, I'm wearing them right now :-) It was nice to see grandma again, and just as nice to have some fabulous German/Italian ice cream... yeah, we had ice cream for dinner. It was awesome.

The rest of the week was mostly spent with horses and cats, and one day in town with mum for more shopping. I came back with a whole lot of wool, mostly sock yarn (it costs half of what it does here, I couldn't help it), but also yarn for a jacket thingy for mum. I really need to learn how to knit sweaters now... at least there's no deadline for this one. And she's also getting socks, so I can get those done first. Yes, I may be avoiding sweaters... not sure why, but I am. Maybe the first one can be an OWL project to make me get it done. Nothing like the pressure of competition.

The cats were uncharacteristically happy to see me, to the point where they spent the entire week talking to and screaming at me whenever the chance presented itself. I don't know what I did, because I definitely didn't feed them all the time or anything, but apparently they were rather pouty after I left. You know, because nobody ever talks to them or pets them or plays with them when I'm not there. Poor abused animals. I'm also still finding cat hairs in everything I took with me - we couldn't adopt shorthair cats, could we? No, we had to rescue the fluffiest ones available, the Sealpoint Ragdoll and the freaky Persian mix with the squirrel tail. I also got no knitting done because the cats took up most of my attention whenever I sat down for five minutes. At least they're cute :-)

The horses were also doing pretty well, especially Malaki, who's sort of being ridden again despite the deteriorating lung, and who seems to enjoy it way more than you'd think of the lazy little pony. (The lazy little pony's back is as high as my eyeballs, just FYI. I forgot just how big he is.) Dante wasn't doing very well, so we took the chance of having two people around and took him to the vet, where he had a complete mental breakdown or something. He's the sweetest horse at the barn, and it takes effort to get him to move, but take him to the vet and he turns into a wild stallion who has to protect his herd or something. Freak. He settled down after a good talking to, and the three dead horses (including one just out of emergency surgery) that day probably didn't help his nerves, but it's aggravating when he just won't stand still for two seconds. Of course, afterwards he walked straight back into the trailer as if to say "please just get me out of here." Likewise, Dante. Likewise. We love you, we really do, but good grief. Turns out he has COPD, which at least is pretty easily treatable - no mystery illness this time around.

Friday night I got an early birthday present - we went to a mystery dinner in an actual little castle (think Versailles, but smaller) with mum, my aunt and my cousin. It was a really fun evening, based loosely on Edgar Wallace stories, about murder and intrigue (and pudding) in a Scottish castle. The food was incredible, I got my first (and definitely last) taste of absinthe, and "close your eyes and think of Scotland" has to be my new favorite "get over it" line ever. I'm usually not a fan of fancy dinners, but when there's entertainment, I can deal with it quite easily. And it's fun to pretend like you're actually invited to some Scottish lord's birthday dinner when all of the actors are really entertaining. The main actress had the most incredible deep smoky voice, and the butler in a kilt was hilariously snarky. Definitely worth it :-)

And then the long flight back - 7.5 hours to get to Germany, 9 hours back... stupid jetstream. At least I could sleep for a little while, and the food was decent. Even if I had to sit in Chicago for four hours again... why is immigration always efficient when you don't need it to be? Oh, and another first: I officially have gone through the fingerprinting thing so many times that I no longer have to do it all again - I did the first set and the computer went "oh, you again. Just keep going." It was awesome :-)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Mmm... absinthe. I've heard its horrible, but I still need to try it. Marilyn Manson apparently has his own legal brand here in the States now. "Mansinthe." Sounds fun, but I still want to try to real Euro stuff.
Oct. 19th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
Yeah... it was pretty awful. Think licorice cough syrup with a shot of Everclear. Definitely a taste I don't need to repeat, ever.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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