Arriving back in Germany after an 8-hour flight, I knew that breakfast would be the focus of my 2-hour layover but I didn’t know that it would be such a joy. Not because of the standard-issue liverwurst and dark bread, the fruit salad and plain yogurt, (although I enjoy all of those,) but rather the extensive selection of morning-appropriate beverages in the Munich lounge. The fancy coffee machine that makes any kind of espresso/cappuccino/latte, complete with appropriately sized glassware and spoons for each. The tomato juice stand, whose accoutrement includes salt, pepper, hot sauce, worchestershire sauce, and limes. The iced tray of beers, including not one but two non-alcoholic selections. The shelf of regional liqueurs and assorted booze. And just as you’re thinking, “Oh, a Campari on ice would be so refreshing right now, but I don’t think I can get away with it unless it’s after 5:00pm or I’m over 70, whichever comes first,” you spy this week’s special. Nestled into a large silver bowl packed with ice are palm-sized bottles of Italy’s Favorite Non-Alcoholic Aperitif: Crodino, and although the name is somewhat unappealing, the taste of Crodino, on ice with a twist of orange, is perfect: bracingly bitter, lightly sweet, and wonderfully cold. It does what the third round of airplane bathroom tooth-brushing doesn’t: it wakes your mouth up and reminds the rest of you that there are things to look forward to beyond sleeping.

…amended to add: don’t have a second Crodino. It’s just not the same.

I had a conversation on the phone this morning with my daughter, which makes me wonder if I’ve been away too long. 6 nights in New York without the kids seemed like a logical, if painful, plan, but I’m pretty sure that when I left little Frida had just turned 2, and now she’s answering the phone by herself and asking me to please keep it down because baby Max is still sleeping. Wha? Next she’ll be helping me put on my shoes and encouraging best behavior when we are in public. Oh, wait, she already does that: “Mama wear hat? Yes, good. Don’t take it off! It’s cold!”

I cannot wait to see my family. Plane to Hamburg is boarding, I’m off!

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