Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Goodbye, Apartment

It has been an eventful week and it's only Tuesday. Our movers came yesterday. They arrived at 10am and left at 5pm. Spending an entire day watching other people pack all of your things is weird. There were 5 guys and they came in and whipped out boxes, paper, and tape and immediately got to work. They told us to relax and take a seat so we did, until they had to pack our seat. Then we were relegated to tiny corners behind boxes. It was crazy seeing all of our things go from normal to packaged in just a few hours. These guys were so precise and thorough. I think all of our belongings will arrive in Germany unscathed (unless they fall into the ocean).

We are staying with some very generous friends this week. We will be leaving for Michigan/Minnesota on Monday. Tomorrow we will be taking his car to Atlanta to ship. I don't think we're really going to feel some true relaxation until we're passed out on a plane headed across the ocean. I thought I would feel a little less stressed when the move was over, but now my attention has just shifted to everything else, magnifying it all.

He passed his German driving test today so I know he's very excited about driving on the Autobahn. Guys are strange. I think he might be anticipating that more than sunsets in Venice, but I guess that's how it goes. Unfortunately I won't be able to take my test until we actually get to Germany. It's supposed to be difficult so I guess I'm glad he's gone first so he can let me know how I should prepare.

My mom and sister will be coming here one more time, so our goodbyes have been delayed for now. Mom will be here Thursday and then my sister will come this weekend. Sunday we'll be going to the flea market to try to sell some odds and ends (curling irons, lamps, etc.) that we don't want to have to convert in Germany.

I usually feel sad when I leave a place. Not so this time. I'm not only excited about Europe and all of the possibilities it brings; I'm also excited to finally move into our first place together. I put all of my things in storage over a year ago and moved into his apartment. I quickly began missing all of my "stuff." I guess I never thought about how important photos and books are until I didn't see them for a few months. It was a relief to see the movers taking it all out of storage and putting it in their truck. Already I can't wait to see all of our things again because I know wherever we are will feel like home once it's all in place.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Moving and Shaking

Yesterday the movers came to look at all of our items and come up with a plan of attack. We're excited because it's going to end up being a one-day move set for Sept. 26th. This is preferable to them packing everything one day and then waiting until the next day to actually put it all on a truck.

We'll be staying with gracious friends from the 26th until the 3rd, when he does his out-processing. After that we will drive straight to Atlanta and catch a plane to Michigan to see his Dad. We'll then fly from Michigan to Minnesota to see his Mom. After that it's back to Atlanta to spend a night at an airport hotel and then we fly from Atlanta to Dusseldorf on Oct. 11th.

We're in Panama City for a couple days while he completes some certification requirements. This is the first time I've accompanied him on a TDY and it's definitely different than just going somewhere and staying in a normal hotel. I've only been on two bases but they always feel so secluded to me. The great big plus about this one is that it's right on the ocean! I definitely wouldn't mind ending up back here in the Sunshine State if we ever have the opportunity.

The BEST thing about being in this neck of the woods on this particular weekend is that we are driving to Tallahassee on Saturday to watch the greatest team in the world take on Oklahoma!! Going to Florida State games tops my Favorite Things to Do list, and it's an activity I will desperately miss. I didn't think we'd be able to make it back to Tallahassee before we left so I was trying to come to terms with the thought of missing not only all of the games this season, but also the next three seasons. We just got our tickets and we're meeting great friends to tailgate. I can't imagine a better way to say goodbye to all of my Tallahassee friends!

Just for posterity, here is a photo of Greta right before she was shipped.

She should meet us in Germany no later than Oct. 28th. His car will follow about 2 weeks after that. Then I suppose we'll both be cruising down the autobahn!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Let's talk about the goodbyes. Of course this isn't a permanent move, but 3 years (at least) can feel like a long time, especially if someone close to you is ill or if there is a special baby in your life who will learn how to run, talk, and begin school before you see him again.

I bid farewell to my best friend, her husband and family, and their son this past weekend. It was very hard. I had a great time just hanging out with her, her son, and my husband on Saturday night but I spent a lot of the time thinking about how it was going to feel to leave them. I've spent a lot of time in that home and I found myself memorizing every picture that hung on the wall, every toy that was on the floor, and every expression she made when she laughed. We bid adieu emotionally and then halfway down the driveway I realized I'd left behind my expensive sunglasses. Rather than turning back, I texted her and asked her to drop them by the next day so at least I'd have time to collect myself before we did the whole thing all over again. I must say it was much better the second time. I guess I got my cry out.

I won't be saying goodbye to my family until 2 weeks from now. I'm glad they're making one more visit because I don't know if I could have handled all of those emotions in one weekend.

I received my official passport yesterday. It arrived in a little over 4 weeks, which apparently was a very fortunate waiting period because we've heard it usually takes much longer. My car was shipped today so I'll see her in Germany at the end of October. Tomorrow the movers are coming to assess what we have and how long it will take to pack. Things are really starting to happen. Results of the build-up are finally set-in-stone on our calendars and we will be en route on time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Real Countdown Begins!

I can safely say that I never imagined living in Germany. We are now less than one month away from boarding a plane and landing in another part of the world, far away from my tiny hometown in Florida. The weather forecast in Atlanta, GA on October 10 is currently predicted at 55º for the low. Geilenkirchen is at 33º. I just purchased a winter coat like none I've ever owned. This will be a big departure from wearing skirts, dresses, and flip-flops almost year-round.

Tomorrow we will be shipping my Volkswagen to the motherland. Our calendars are filled with packing days, moving days, cleaning days, and visiting days with our families. It's getting easier to imagine myself flying over the ocean and landing in Deutschland.

This time next month we should be feasting on wurst and sipping on the best beer we've ever had!