Still in the US.

I’ve been back in the US for a week and a half now, with one more week to go before I head back to Deutschland.  I’ve been making the most of my time, visiting with as many friends and family members as possible.  In the first four days of my visit, I refilled the gas tank of the rental car twice from criss-crossing the lower three counties of Florida.  I had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s place, and there were lots of dinners and brunches over my birthday weekend.

The rental car isn’t too bad on gas consumption.  Since I was going to be in Florida, and away from the cold and damp of Germany, I opted to go topless for my choice of rental car:

rentalcar

…however, Florida is doing a pretty good job of making me want to leave again.  I worked a week in the Florida office to stretch out my trip a little bit, and my commute to and from the office each day looked pretty much like the photo below.  Lots of stopping, with an average top speed on I-95 of about thirty miles an hour.

traffic

Once I get into the office, though, things get better.  I missed the sense of humor of my Florida co-workers though.  It’s a really fun group.  Here’s a small example… this is the hot-n-cold water dispenser in the office.  In case it’s not clear, the little post-its say “Health” and “Mana.”

healthmana

Speaking of things that I missed, there were tater tots.   Oh, such tater tots.  Despite the very wide variety of potato offerings in Germany, I haven’t ever seen tater tots there.  Whenever I try to explain tots to a German, they always get this blank expression, and the always suggest rosti, croquettes, and making my own… it’s just not the same, though, and my culinary to-do list for this trip included proper tots.  These little beauties are from a joint in South Florida called Charm City Burger.

tots

Getting back to my birthday, I decided that I wanted to start my new year on the ocean, so I snagged a hotel room on Ft. Lauderdale beach.  This is the view I woke up to on Sunday morning:

beachview

When I get back to Germany, it will probably be snowing.  Oh well, at least the Christmas Markets are open now.