What a week! We moved to Germany and jane had a birthday! Traveling here was quite the ordeal. Let me just say that I am SO grateful I was able to be with jeff for it. I don't know what I would've done if I was alone! Holy cow. This post is literally just for journal purposes and for the few people who were wondering how the whole "getting to Germany" process went for us :)
Jane and I started by flying from Utah to Baltimore- a 4 and half hour flight. That went pretty well! Jane has always been a wonderful traveler, and I've instilled in her a love for airplane. Mostly because it's the only time she knows I will give her candy :) I brought a TON of stuff to entertain her but these two squishy finger puppets that I got for like 25 cents entertained her almost the entire 4 hour flight. She calls them her "little friends" :)
We met up with jeff in Baltimore where we had to go wait in line with our seven bags and car seat to make sure we had our spots on our plane. When we got finished it was 9 and we were told our plane was to board at 2:30 am. We luckily stumbled upon a Chipolte and Jamba Juice and got BOTH as our last, delicious meal in America. Then it was time to wait....and wait.....and wait....and sleep (kind of) in the airport. It was finally 2:30 and they announced that we wouldn't be boarding until 5:30. Awesome. Sleepover in the airport!
We finally got on the plane and the flight went well. It was so long and I was so squished. The worst part of this whole thing for ME was my ribs, and the stabbing pains I was constantly having from sitting too much. I barely slept on the plane because it was nearly impossible to get comfortable. But holy cow it was nice to have jeff there to help. When we landed, we had to sit on the plane for like an hour before we got off because of a medical emergency. And then we finally got off and had to wait in a long line for half an hour in a REALLY hot tunnel so that we could show our passports.
We got done with that, collected our bags, and moved them to another place so that we could go sit in a big room and do some more....sitting, and waiting :) eventually they told us we were getting on a bus to a hotel that night and would get on another bus tomorrow to take us to Grafenwoehr. I have to mention one tender mercy; we ran into this family in the airport with two little kids, going to the same place as us :) they recognized the big "Y" on Jeff's shirt and we found out they will be in our ward. It was nice to be able to see and talk to the mom, who is probably a few years older than me, during the various parts of this trip. We had a lot in common and it was so nice to talk to someone who "gets" nearly every aspect of my current situation :)
We got to the hotel after more waiting and sitting. I didn't have high expectations to be honest, but it was such a cute hotel with lots of European character- something I've already come to adore! We had our first German eating out experience that night- except for the waiter spoke English, just like almost everyone else here. I've been astounded at how much English is still around here. I was not expecting that at all. Apparently people just really like America or something... Jeff was in heaven with his oh so familiar European everything. I tried coleslaw at dinner because jeff said "it's different here" he was right. It tasted better here than I'd ever had, but still not delicious. I ordered something that I couldn't quite tell you what it was. But I was starving, and it was some sort of meat, so I enjoyed it :)
We stayed in the hotel and slept for about half the night, and then tried to entertain jane for the 4 hours she was awake. This jet lag business is no joke. We got up and ate breakfast. Germans like to eat baked goods and cold cut meats, cheese, and vegetables for breakfast. So strange. I have to say I'd prefer eggs and bacon :)
Our bus was supposed to pick us up at the hotel at 8, but didn't get there til 9:30. It was really nice outside though so I didn't mind at all being outside sitting, and waiting. The fresh air was something I'd been missing through all this traveling! We figured he bus ride would be somewhere between half and hour to three hours tops. So you can imagine our surprise when the guy announced it would be a SIX hour drive! Jeff and I just looked at each other and laughed and both resolved to just make the best of it. We were happy to see so much Beautiful German scenery. Lots of trees and rolling hills, lots of vineyards and flowers and Jane's favorite: windmills :) the bus stopped for lunch at McDonald's, probably my least favorite restaurant ever, but also the only American restaurant that is everywhere in Germany. Pretty much the only fast food option that I've seen so far. The bus ride was painful for me (pregnancy!!) but it was good too. I didn't feel the desire to complain throughout all of this because I was just SO grateful to be on this adventure with jeff!
We got to Grafenwoehr and our sponsor met us there. We had to go into a room to do some more processing stuff, and the last portion of sitting, and waiting! Yahoo! While we were doing that, our sponsor packed our stuff in his car and afterwards drove us to our hotel.
Our hotel is TINY. No kitchen, no fridge, no microwave. Mostly just a bed, and a shower. But we will be spending most of our time either outside or succumbing to jet lag so I'm not too worried. The biggest thing I'm concerned about is eating healthy! Our bodies all need it really bad right now and it's hard to do when you have no fridge or kitchen. We will make due though, and pray we can find a permanent place to live very soon!
I love it here. Jeff and I are so giddy about being able to do this together. I mean how fun is it to move to a new country with your best friend? I also feel shockingly cut off from America and everyone there. The security of having friends and family close by came to a shocking halt and wasn't something I had anticipated being so intense!
Ok so now that I finished this long, probably suuuuuper boring, post- I can now start documenting all of our adventures :) we are excited and feel blessed to have this opportunity.