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So, we took another little trip down to the Black Forest and it happened to fall on my birthday. We woke up on the 1st and I had the most terrible cold! It was such a bummer, but I didn't let it ruin things. We drove down that day and the drive was beautiful! It was raining and misty and the mountains looked all mysterious and everything was so green. We stayed in Triberg and that little town is so cute! It was beautiful and we had a great view from our hotel. That afternoon I was so sick, so we stayed in the hotel and relaxed and we ordered room service and it was really good! Adam took Bella swimming in the pool, so they still had fun.
We spent the week down in Garmisch-Partenkirchen for part of Adam's block leave before deployment. We got down there on Monday night and it was dark, so we just grabbed dinner at the hotel and hung out in our awesome junior suite! Yes, we got the royal treatment! Adam spoiled us girls the whole week! Our suite even had a balcony with a mountain view. It was a dream come true!
On Tuesday, it was raining and we were so bummed, but then we heard about a hike through a gorge that we could do and it was the perfect rainy day adventure. The gorge was dripping wet anyway, so in the rain it was even better! It was amazing! We had never seen anything like it! That night we went out to eat at a very German establishment. There were men in lederhosen everywhere, and one even passed out at a table from drinking too much. We ordered way too much food, (which is still sitting in the refrigerator at the hotel), and the host even came and had shots with us. We had a great time and stuffed ourselves silly!
On Wednesday, we went up to the Zugspitze because it was a beautiful clear day. We rode the train up and down, which Bella thoroughly enjoyed and we rode a cable car to the very top. We even had lunch up there, on top of the tallest mountain in Germany! I must say it was the best coffee and bratwurst I've had thus far! We only wish we brought our skis to get down the mountain that way! It was so beautiful and we could see three countries from the top. What a view!
On Thursday, we went to see the Linderhof Palace. It is the most extravagant place you will ever see! Gold and silver covering the walls, porcelain candle holders everywhere, a room with mirrors that go on forever . . . the place was amazing! And the king loved his birds, so there were two lifesize peacocks to announce when he was home to put out front. We thought that was fitting!!!!!!!! The drive was nice going through all the small towns too. We went back to the hotel and hung out for a couple hours until it was time for our Thanksgiving dinner. We went down to a banquet room and had a table just for us. Adam even got us a bottle of wine, which we polished off before we left! The buffet was surprisingly good and Bella loved the pumpkin pie. We ate and drank for over two ours and had a great time. It was a great way to spend Thanksgiving if we couldn't have been with family.
Friday, we took the day to see the Neuschwanstein Castle. We rode in a horse and carriage both ways and Bella got to see her princess castle! It was beautiful! So lavish and intricate and amazing. We could hardly take it all in. We had a light lunch in one of the unfinished floors of the castle and it was surreal. That was a gorgeous drive too. We saw other castles along the way and got lots of great pictures. It's amazing how much history is alive in this country! We went back to the hotel and took Bella swimming, as we did every afternoon at some point and she had a blast. She could touch in the toddler end, so she thought that was great. We then went out to an amazing Italian place in town. We ate everything we ordered and got desert and it was so good! Again, the host gave us a shot . . . we started to wonder if that was common here. It was a really nice dinner and we felt really content.
We got up this morning and had breakfast as usual in the hotel before packing up to go home. We headed out to do a drive thru of Munich on our way up to Nuernberg. We stopped at the Christmas Market there and had some Gluehwein. It was amazing to be a part of something that has been going on for hundreds of years! We made our way home and we're glad to be back here, if only for a couple of days!
We had a 4 day weekend this last weekend and we made the best of it! On Friday, we went shopping and did some exploring of some German stores. We then had dinner at one of Adam's bosses house, so it was nice to meet some more people. On Saturday we spent the entire day, a good 12 hours or so, at Adam's hockey tournament. It was actually a lot of fun. He played well, and the team ended up getting 2nd place when all was said and done. The next morning we set off for Oberheimbach to a small little hotel in the middle of wine country and many castles. We toured one castle, Burg Soonek and saw so many more I couldn't even count when we were through. We had an amazing dinner, and desert, and the wine was good too of course! The room was perfect and we had our own bathroom and shower! Breakfast was simple and very German the next morning and then we spent the day doing some tourist shopping. We met a very nice lady at one shop who kept tempting us to try different kinds of brandy. I swear we had done 10 shots by the time we were through! It was really fun though and I think I am a fan of brandy now! We got home and spent the rest of the Monday afternoon relaxing. It was a very rejuvinating weekend and we were so thankful to have the opportunity to do something like that and it was only about a half an hour away from our front door.
So, this week we stayed really busy. Monday we were able to take a look at the available place for us to live. It's small, on the second floor, and right off of the main road, which are all bad things. I also have chosen to see them all as good things. Being small and having wood floors means easy cleaning. Being on second floor, well at least it's not the third as far as stairs go, and we'll still steal heat from the floor beneath us! And being right off a main road, well, we're right around the corner from the commissary and up the hill from the PX so everything will be convenient, which is great for when Adam is gone. After viewing it on Monday, we went back on Tuesday with the inspector to sign the paperwork. It took forever, but it's good to know they are covering themselves, as well as us should anything happen. We received our unaccompanied baggage on Wednesday, so Bella had her pack-n-play, and Adam and I rocked the air mattress for our first night in the new place. Thursday we spent most of the day waiting for the movers to arrive, but once they did, we got going! Adam had to light a fire under their butts to get them moving, but they were gone by 5 after arriving after 2, so not bad. We got everything, and so far only minor damages have been found. We did some general rearranging and I got Bella's room up and running by that night. Friday, I spent 5.5 hours unpacking as much as possible. Of course Adam was gone most of the day dealing with things to get ready to leave for training the next day. So, we got up early on Saturday, and I dropped him off to go do some more fun field time to get ready for this deployment. I spent all day Saturday unpacking and organizing some more and almost everything is done. We just need more storage and book shelves to finish the rest of the boxes. Otherwise, I am a rock star and it's all done! I'm making lists all day, to go get the things you inevitably need when you get into a new place. We don't even have pam to make eggs!!! So, Bella and I are hanging out on this lovely Sunday, playing with play-doh and coloring up a storm so we can go to the store later and get stocked up on a few things. So for now, we are in the new place, we're getting oragnized, and things are good! More later! Tschus!
Hallo! Wie geht es Ihnen?
We arrived a week ago last Friday and our flight was uneventful, which was good. We had a heck of a time getting down to baggage claim at the airport with a stroller and baggage cart-they don't have elevators going there, so we had to go down in a different area, explain the situation at an information booth and then they let us through a 'secret door' to get our bags. An army guy was waiting for us, which was nice and we got hooked up with our sponsor and were on our way after Adam did some paperwork.
We got in the hotel and did some more paperwork to get our IDs to work at this post and all we wanted to do was sleep! The first couple days were pretty rough with the time change and culture shock, but once we got Bella settled into a good sleep schedule, both Adam have started doing better too. We've really enjoyed exploring downtown Wiesbaden and visiting the cafe's and restaurants. It's amazing to walk around with all the history and with Wiesbaden being like the financial capitol of Germany, it's pretty amazing. The locals have all been really nice and helpful and they respond well to us when we show and interest and try to speak their language-which Adam butchers ever time, but at least he's trying!-and I'm trying to pull German out of my memory banks after taking two years in high school. It's been really fun trying to expand ourselves in that respect and be open to another culture.
We both passed our driving tests and are licensed drivers in Germany. Once we get our official driver's cards, we can go back and make then international so we can drive ourselves to other countries too. Everything is coming together and we have our freedom back because we got my car on Wednesday afternoon. It's been an adventure navigating the language and the roads simultaneously, so watch out when we come back! We'll be crazy european drivers!
We should hear from housing next week about a place to live, but for now, our two attached rooms at the hotel have been fine. We are waiting to do a lot of things until we get moved in somewhere, so for now it's fun to just explore and get acquainted with our new home. There are lots of thing to do with Bella and I'm excited to get back into school in October. Adam will be leaving for pre-deployment training in a week or two, so we really hope to be in a place by then.
So, the second week has been a little more mellow. We went to more festivals and went to a bazar on post and saw some great things. We bought like 9 bottles of wine. Some for gifts, and others for ourselves. We really just got to see a lot of amazing things that are out there, so now we can go looking for them on our own and get better prices! Adam did get me some great tile and wood hot plates that go nicely with our kitchen theme.
Adam spent the week doing more in-processing and paperwork. We've been getting a little farther with housing, so it looks like we will have something in our third week here. It's not ideal, but we are in Europe so we can't complain! We've met some more people and we are making regulars out of ourselves down at a bakery nearby. They love Bella there, and give her free chocolate chip rolls when we visit. I think they like us because we try to speak their language, even if we get it wrong. We are just really trying to enjoy our time before Adam has to go to 'real' work and then get deployed. We will definitely have more news when we hear from housing!