Some random thoughts that weren't big and sturdy enough for a journal entry. Remember when games gave you manuals and the end pages had space for notes?
My one regret is not taking a shot at Hanneman when I had the chance.
Tea Time is good actually
I ended up really liking taking people to tea. It's a nice break from the intensity of the story, and it's fun to see how different characters act. Though I never ended up taking him myself, Dedue is just pissed all tea time because you're wasting his time.
My favorite tea companion is Felix, because it's very fun to fluster him. He also won't look you in the eyes, which is the kind of detail that endears me to him.
Worst tea date is Sylvain, because though he looks really attentive he doesn't have anything to say to you.
There's something so strange, too, about having this little space to entertain people, with cookies and tea and sparkles, in this whole world of death and destruction. The context made it comforting. I still took Dimitri to tea as soon as I could interact with him.
Leaving the Monastery
On my last free day before the final battle, I ran around giving everyone gifts. You're supposed to give gifts to boost people's motivation (and to make them like you), and more motivation = more skills, but I pretty much accrued gifts the whole game without giving them out. Only at the very end did I feel like giving gifts, when I wouldn't be able to cash in the motivation for skills, purely as thanks for fighting for me.
My final action was to plant 5 white flower seeds in the greenhouse, as a gift to myself, to make the monastery feel a little more real. Of course Byleth would return to harvest a bundle of baby's breath.