So I think we last left our readers as we were hanging out in Berlin, still suffering from some fairly poor weather. Thankfully, that at least got better while we were in Germany - it hardly rained at all! We, however, were a bit "done" with being tourists. On our first day we walked to the Brandenburg Gate, went to the Checkpoint Charlie museum, and wandered past remnants of The Wall. After that, however, Hank and I decided that a break was deserved and desperately needed. We'd spent over 2 weeks at that point looking at art & old buildings, traipsing through cobbled streets trying to figure out where we were and how to get where we wanted to go. Generally we were exhausted!
So, we took some time off and just sat around for a day, followed by a very leisurely day at the delightful Berlin Zoo. (I got no end of amusement in trying to pronounce the animal names as they were written in German... Das Hippos!!) I'm always quite partial to polar bears and otters. Hank's favorite was the primate building, specifically the squirrel monkeys that were running around generally looking crazy and ridiculously cute at the same time. One of them even had a teeny baby clinging to her back, and was still jumping from branch to pole to other branch as crazily as the rest of 'em.
After Berlin, we managed a quick final visit in London, where the always-delightful Amy gave us a place to stay for a few nights. We had a great pub night with friends, whom I think had sort of started to get used to us not being around. (I have a feeling they enjoyed the peace & quiet of the office, as well as giving Hank's replacement a chance to dig through the piles of mobile phones to actually discover whether there's actually a desk beneath them all!)
We've been home about 6 days as of today, and we both feel good to be back. Home is comfortable (if still a bit messy), the cats seem like they're back to their old (read: incredibly lazy & loud) selves. It's a bit of a shock to walk outside the front door and not be surrounded by the billions of people, busses and cabs whizzing past. It's peaceful, comfortable, and definitely shockingly quiet (by London standards, that is). We've seen a few groups of friends here and there - Molly came over the day we moved into the house to make sure we had things to eat - she brought some essential groceries...and ribs!! Home feels more like home when there's pork to be bbq'd (ok, maybe Hank doesn't share that opinion, but whatever).