Well here is the beginning of our blog. There are a few
things to remember, I am not the greatest writer and not wonderful at checking
for typos but I will do my best to give everyone an idea of what life is like
here in Germany. I have really been out of touch for the last two weeks since
it takes so long to have the internet/tv established at the apartment. That
should be done this week so more info to come.
August 2 – arrived to a wonderful hotel and jet lag. It took
about 4 days to feel like we weren’t sleep-walking. Owen really loved being
able to see the Koln Dom (cathedral) out of the hotel window. It is one of the
few things not leveled during WWII. The first week was crazy since we only had
10 days to have Andrew help with all the government paperwork. In the 10 days
we registered with the local government, went to immigration and received
permanent visas, bought a car (alas not the Mercedes but a Toyota), enrolled
Owen in a bilingual school, bought German IPhones and leased a great apartment.
August 13 – Andrew flew back to the US to begin training on
the 757. It will take 8 weeks and then he should be back here the first of
October. Owen and I continued to stay at the Pullman Hotel until I was able to
have beds delivered to the apartment and get a few basics for the kitchen. Owen and I would head out for the shopping of
the day and to pick up the “lego” of the day to build. City Center or as the
Germans say Zentrum is reminiscent of our cities in the 1960’s with all the
best shops and all the large department stores.
Kardstat is like a Macy’s but has 6 floors and each floor is gigantic.
It has everything from a restaurant to school supplies to a sewing department
and of course the high end designer boutiques. When we finally checked out at
the end of the week, Owen was very sad. He really became accustomed to the
morning routine of oatmeal in the hotel restaurant made just for him by the
chef and off to “explore the city”. Each morning Manuel from the Bell Staff
would come in to say hello and see what we needed for the day.
August 19th, Yahoo, we are in our new apartment.
If you want to google map it our address is Furst-Puckler 30, 50935 Koln
Germany. Just cut and paste the address as I typed it and check out the
satellite image. We overlook the most beautiful park that is as big as Central
Park. Also, we were lucky that the
apartment came with a kitchen (not the norm here) so it has been a week of
trying to find furniture. Unlike the US, furniture is not readily available
once you choose something. Most items take 6 to 12 weeks.
August 22 –Owen starts his new school. He has been a real
trooper and has already found new friends at his school. The first week went
great then the next week was tons of crying at drop off. How do you explain to
an almost 5 year old that this is our new home? I keep reminding him that he
has room in his heart for missing his old school and friends while still like
his new life. That will be an ongoing process and last week went much better.
They are moving him up to what they call Year One but it is our kindergarten.
What I have learned is the American children learn much sooner. It will be
similar to what he would have learned in preschool at home.
August 2- Sept 2 – We finally have two chairs and a dining
room table and chairs as well all the bedroom furniture. Our shipment from home
came this week and all of Owen’s toys. What a difference it has made. We are
settling into a nice routine. We bought bikes and spent this morning (sat)
riding bikes in the park and feeding the swans. You can hear them honk at night
from our terrace. The best parts here are really great French wine and brie at
a cheap price and amazing bakeries on every corner. The challenges have been of
course the language but I would say that more than half of the people speak
some English or are fluent. What I am really missing is the American news and
US Open Tennis. When the internet is installed we are going to have a SlingBox installed at my mother in laws
so we will get to see everything from home.
We have met several of the families from FedEx that are
moving here as well. Several girls to baby sit and in October another young boy
who is five as well.
Once the internet is up at the apartment I will post
pictures. We live by great playgrounds and his school is just about five
streets down the road.
Hope everyone is well and getting settled in with school.
Love to all