Monday, June 1, 2015

My week: May 31 ed.

Whew! May just blew by for me. There were a lot of things happening this month, with a work trip, several trips for fun, a holiday weekend trip to Budapest, and the departure of my good friend/colleague C. The month ended as such...

-I arrived home late on Monday night from Budapest. The next day, I felt rotten in the morning, experiencing flu-like symptoms. I nursed myself back to help with OTC meds and managed to make it through the workday but I felt quite awful.

-The next night, C came over to stay until her upcoming move on the weekend. We had a girls' night in with vegetarian food from a fave Heidelberg restaurant, followed by macarons (both items she thoughtfully brought), an epilator demo (and some wine because really, who comes up with such a dumb idea without wine?), and making handmade, non-toxic lotion bars from natural ingredients. We're weirdos and the strange chain of events suited us well ;)

-We saw the new Pitch Perfect movie. I'm not really a big fan of American comedies but we were just going to see our German actor/comedian crush, Flula Borg. The movie indeed was dumb with crude and base humor, but hey, there was Flula, so that counts for something.

-It was a whirlwind of goodbyes for C. We planned a farewell lunch with some people in our building, then a cake reception for everyone in our division. Our coworker S made another fantastic carrot cake and decorated it in an exciting way, surpassing even the awesome cake she made for my birthday last month. We also went out for dinner and drinks one evening for further celebrations with C. Phew! C has been my closest friend here in Germany and I'm sad to see her go, but she has an excellent new opportunity so I'm happy for her about that. We have already have plans for a road trip next year so it's "see you later" instead of "goodbye."

-After I drove C to the airport, I came home and took the train to Neustadt an der Weinstrasse to spend some time with my other friend C and his partner, K. They welcomed me with a delicious dinner of Spargel wrapped in savory pancakes and covered with Hollandaise sauce. It was excellent and I felt very spoiled to be eating the area's favorite spring dish prepared by awesome folks.

The next day, we visited Erpolzheim for the Kulinarische Wanderung um Obst, Spargel und Wein (Culinary Hike around Fruit, Asparagus, and Wine). It's in the Weinstrasse region and offers guests the opportunity to hike through the Spargel fields and fruit orchards to try various regional specialties. It was both a delicious and relaxing hike. We bought some fresh, local strawberries; they made me wonder why on earth I ever bother to buy the supermarket kind because the local ones are so much better.

Following the hike, C and K dropped me off at the train station, hugging me and sending me on my way with a cactus, a gift from C, who's a huge gardening fan. It was very sweet of him; I just hope that the cactus has a good life with me (Moo and my opposite of a green thumb, I'm looking at you).

-I had a bit of time at home, so I worked on the yard, during which I started another project that has been of interest to me: learning more about foraging wild foods. I had plenty of stinging nettle plants, which are a combination of something useful and something bothersome. Egads, is it ever unpleasant to get scratched by them! However, I have read that one can eat them, make tea from them, or even create tinctures from them. I weeded the yard and brought some inside to dry and use for tea. I'll have to give an update on how that one turns out.

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