Monday, May 14, 2012

our first few days....

I should have put this photo with the last post. This is a photo that Andy snapped with his iPad after we got on the plane where we look absolutely exhausted after dealing with all that dog drama. We were really happy to be on the plane though! And it was a decent flight - Andy could tell you more about the was a 747 I think? We got the very back two seats but I had a window and Andy had an aisle which was good for his leg/hip. No good movies and the food wasn't great. But they gave us little pillows and blankets and we both got a few hours of sleep. We left Baltimore at about 6:30pm Eastern time and got to Germany at about 2:30am Eastern time or about 8:30am local time since we are now 6 hours ahead of east coast US. 

Other than all the dog form craziness, flying on a military flight is nice - they took care of a lot of the security stuff for us - just a few lines to go through and checked our passports and it wasn't bad at all. We picked up our luggage and rescued Maggie - the vet just had to re-check all the paperwork (which was fine this time, thank goodness!) and check her mirco-chip (we were told that all pets have to have a micro-chip in Europe) and met up with Andy's new boss who was on our flight and the Red Cross-er that he is going to be replacing who was kind enough to pick us all up. 

The rest of the day was a blur - we had to get our ID cards, registered for everything on base, housing, check out our new housing, quick tour of the base, and then off to the PX and Commissary to pick up a few necessities. Since we did get lucky enough to be able to go right into our permanent housing instead of needing to stay in a hotel or anything, we were provided with some military loaner furniture that we can keep until ours arrives. We had to grab a few pillows and sheets from the PX though. We did have sheets, blankets, pots and pans, and all in an unaccompanied shipment that we timed to hopefully get here right around the time we got here....but we are still waiting for it! Should be any day. Until then we are being resourceful....trying not to buy too many things that I know are coming in those boxes in just a few days! We are making use of paper plates and trying to think of things to eat that don't require much prep or anything other than the fridge really!

We have found out where a few fast food places on base are (since we have limited cookware/utensils and I don't want to buy more stuff we have coming....instead we eat out?) - we have a Subway, Taco Bell, Burger King, Popeyes, a German kind of fast food truck, Doner Wraps and Sandwiches, (we did the chicken and it was really good), and a restaurant at the community club that we tried. We found our way into the downtown part of Baumholder after a few days - the base is inside the German town, but since we are walking around we haven't figured out how to navigate much of it yet. It looks really cute though and we hope to soon. The people are really nice and like the military since a lot of them hold jobs on post and most speak English and are helpful to people like us who don't have a clue about where we are!
I really will post more photos soon - we have been walking trying to get places and get things accomplished too much for me to drag along my camera....but here are a few of our housing. It looks kind of like a dorm to me, especially with the military loaner furniture. It's 2 bedrooms and has a lot of storage, though. The top photo is Andy and Maggie, our dog, is curled up in the left corner. I think that was Tuesday and she was worn out and so happy to be out of her crate. Our loaned bed and sheets and pillows I had to grab are the top right photo - thankfully we are not getting here when it is freezing cold otherwise I would have had to figure out a big blanket or something! Also you can't see the windows very well, but there is a huge window that I didn't really pay close attention to when we looked at the housing and then went to the PX a few hours later. We were running on only a few hours sleep and I remembered the window and knew I needed a curtain for the bedroom at least. I grabbed a set of curtains and one of those "no tools required" curtain rods" that seemed really long. I figured it would work. Definitely didn't. These are two windows put together to make one long window that needs like a 7ft+ curtain rod - the kind that you are always going to need tools for. So I just had rig the curtains up there - the windows are the cool European kind that swing open and I just tucked the curtains up top. We just can't open the windows in the bedroom if we want curtains right now....until I buy a curtain rod (but again, I am pretty sure I have the right type coming with my furniture, so I don't really want to buy one...) or figure something else out. 

And our kitchen is really nice! It is small but doesn't feel too bad when you are in it and has a lot of cupboards and drawers for storage - more than any of my other places I think. Andy did get a fancy coffee maker (so we can buy our rationed coffee!) and a neighbor who was moving out gave us some cleaning supplies and a toaster. We have a dishwasher (yay! at our last rental we didn't have one) and they just installed a European washer and dryer - which we are glad to have instead of having to run down to the basement to do our laundry. But you can't wash as much in European machines as in American and the dryer takes a lot longer to dyer - I'm thinking I'll be getting a little drying rack to help out - also there is 2 lint drawers (one that you empty every time and one that clean once a month) and a condenser that fills up with water that you have to empty after each drying. Anyways - just a lot more complicated. And our washer apparently doesn't like us - or likes to leak each time we try and use it even after we double check someone is coming out to fix it in a few days. Fun, fun. 

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