What is there to say about a completely hitchless return trip? We checked out of the hotel, took a train to Schiphol airport, checked our luggage and presented our negative Covid test results, grabbed some overpriced breakfast, and waited for our flight to leave around 10:30 am. We got to Minneapolis on time, waited for our connecting flight to Omaha (we could have gotten $ 700 each for giving up our seats, because it was full at 50 passengers and overbooked by 2!). Our friend and trusty cat-sitter Bob picked us up, and we got home tired but very happy with the trip and still had enough energy for unpacking, laundry, and grocery shopping. Although dinner was a pizza from Domino’s. We are glad to be back home.
This trip was different from the ones we’ve taken together, not completely, but by degrees–lots more time with family and friends in familiar places, retracing our steps and taking joy in being with people we love, and lots less exploring new sights and sites. But that was such a good goal to have, and we feel so lucky we got to do this despite the pandemic, thanks to the vaccine and the good precautions that are still being taken in Germany–but also the willingness of the Germans to let visitors come back. Now that the Delta variant is wreaking havoc and many things might again become impossible to do, it feels doubly important to have been able to reunite with our German friends this summer, in what now seems like a small window during which those things were possible this year.