Botanical garden favorites 1: Araucaria (Chilean pine)
Botanical garden favorites 2: Cotinus coggygria or Smoketree (in German: “wig bush”–Perueckenstrauch)
After a long evening (after midnight when all was said and done), we actually slept until after 8 am this morning–and when I came down to the kitchen, my mom had already put my last load of laundry in the dryer and started another one–very helpful. We packed a bit after breakfast, but since it was sunny and bright outside, Mark and I took a break for a couple of hours and went for a last walk through the botanical garden nearby, before I returned to the laundry piles and he to the various downloads we still needed to work with. Then, Maya and Wolfgang, two friends of Imke’s whom I’ve known since forever (1972?) who’d been on a trip the whole time we were here came by to say hi and to look at our photos. They stayed for about an hour and we ended up talking a lot about the problem of what to do with one’s pre-digital photos–paper prints, negatives, and slides. Imke’s impending move makes her think a lot about what she wants to keep, discard, etc.–but digitizing anything is not really on her radar, even though it it on ours, of course. When Maya and Wolfgang left at about 1:00 pm, Imke, Mark and I went to a nearby restaurant, the Parkhotel at the edge of the woods that are a 10 minute’s walk from my mom’s, to have a festive last lunch. I had pickled herring with cream sauce and pan-fried potatoes (a Northern German staple and delicious), my mother had pasta with chanterelles, a wonderfully meaty mushroom that is currently in season, and Mark had a very flavorful saltimbocca. Kai had an especially lazy teenage day and didn’t want to come–he even declined the offer to come to the ALDI with Imke and me to buy some more German gifts (I.e. German chocolate and candy) to take back home. But we managed without him, while he on his end successfully postponed the packing until after dinner! We did the remainder of our packing and other logistics (putting photos on my mom’s computer, printing boarding passes) after a short nap and had our last Classic Abendbrot with my mom. (Kai broke the rules a little bit by having “Schokokussbroetchen,” which are an untranslatable and very sweet summer-at-the-swimming-pool snack that I introduced him to). Not exactly an eventful day, but at least we got a little bit more in than just getting ready to leave.