Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Wiesbaden Army Lodge

Here's the Army Lodge in all it's glory.  This is where we've been staying for the past 2 weeks.  We have no complaints at all.  The staff is overly friendly and always willing to help (they even have free printing and copying for the 1000 copies of your orders that you need).  When we walk Emma to go outside we always get stopped by the staff and they ask what kind of dog she is and her name.  I keep telling myself it's because she's so adorable and it has nothing to do with a staff policy.  The major plus is that the lodge has AC because temperatures have been in the 90's these past few weeks.  Other perks are that a shuttle bus runs to and from post in order to make for a smooth in-processing week two smooth in-processing weeks while we wait for our car to arrive.  The commissary, PX, 24 hour shoppette/Class six, chapel, Pizza Hut, and entertainment center are within walking distance too.  What more could you ask for?

I had to take a full front photo because the landscaping is superb, right?  Can't you see this drawn up on a blue print somewhere?  

They even have a complementary espresso machine in the lobby.  

And these outdoor seating areas are to die for.  Do you think I can make this table?  If only we didn't store the power tools.

Here is our room.  We were lucky to receive a suite.  I'm not sure if it was because we had the dog or if there were just no rooms left to give us.  

It comes with a mini kitchen.  We've made a lot of farfalla on that range.


We spend a lot of time watching the amazing TV shows and movie selection by AFN (I just finished watching Waiting to Exhale...I love me some Whitney).  Most of our nights we watch Emma destroy  play with her toys while drinking wine out of coffee mugs.  I think this elephant was the one who gave her the side eye.

This was all my arms could carry on my first walk to the commissary.  Of course the main things we needed were dog food and detergent.  It was a nice 15 minute bicep workout.  

All in all we're doing okay here (I mean the conditions are soooo rough).  When we arrived after our Paris trip  on Monday, Sam had a trial that Thursday, so we didn't start in-processing until the following Monday.  I was able to watch him in trial for the first time.  It was actually really informative and intense (I was biting my cheeks most of the time).  If you haven't seen one you should go, now.  It was eye opening to see someone's life on the line.  I mean we were sitting there all excited to be in a new country, while someone may or may not go to jail that night.   Among giving me a sense of realization on what actually happens in a court room, I also got to see how long and arduous trials are (especially when there's a 3 hour voir dire and you're at the judge's mercy for what time you'll go home that night).

So, we've only technically been here for one full week in the 'in-processing' game, and we're still waiting to hear if our off-post housing request will get approved.  We really want to live in the city and get the real experience of living in Germany. So cross your fingers for us!



Thursday, July 25, 2013

From the USA to Germany to Paris all in 48 hours!

We made it to Germany!  We had an uneventful 6 hour drive from C-bus to Baltimore to catch our flight, and we slept through most of our overnight flight to Germany.

Here's a picture of us with Emma before the flight

And here is a picture of Emma in her crate.  We were happy to find out that the plane had a temperature controlled cargo area for pets, so we could enjoy the flight without worrying about her.

In the weeks after Sam came home from deployment he had been talking about some sort of surprise that he was planning for me.  I've been trying to figure out when this surprise would happen, since we had so much to do before we moved.  I thought maybe on our trips to visit family, and since it didn't happen I had begun to think he had not actually planned anything.  But instead he surprised me 30 mins out of our flight landing in Germany.  He handed me a piece of paper and said "here's your surprise"!  It was a train ticket to Paris!  I assumed we were just going the following weekend because we were supposed to in-process as soon as we got to Wiesbaden.  But Sam told me to look again, and it was dated for the following day until July 15th!  Craziness!  It was funny because the night before we left for our flight I had mentioned how sad it was that now he would have to go to work and our fun time together would be ending.  The best part was that he planned every single thing from the travel to get there, to the kennel that Emma would stay at in a foreign country that we barely knew, to the apartment we would stay in for 5 nights!  This was heaven, because I had been overwhelmed just with ending my fellowship, moving out of our house, planning visits with family, and every other little thing on our to-do list.  So, yes, I am the luckiest girl on Earth to have married such an amazing hubs!  This was the second best surprise of my life (of course, the first being our engagement).

Here's Sam enjoying a much needed beer after all of our travel and finding the kennel for Emma.

We took a stroll after dinner to see our new city.  We knew we belonged here when we saw this sign

We stayed in a hotel in Wiesbaden overnight, and the next morning we woke up at 5AM to hike down to the train station.  We didn't have a clue where we were going or what any of the street signs meant.  We quickly learned our one phrase that would save us in this foreign country "Sprechen sie English"?  We made it to the train station and got on our first train.  We had to navigate a few more stops before we were on the ICE train.  This train can reach speeds up to 226 mph!  It was awesome!  And the German countryside was beautiful.  The next stop would be Paris!  Here are some pics of our awesome time in Paris!

 This is where we stayed.  The bed came out of he wall!  Look at the cool table and chairs; can I keep them?  What about the light fixture, please? Aggie you would have loved all 300 square feet of this place!

 We stayed a block away from Moulin Rouge

 First stop:  Tour de Eiffel

 We went to Notre Dame and just so happen to be there for noon mass.  It was pretty cool to go to mass there...even if it was in French.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was the bridge at Pont des Arts.  Here lovers put a lock on the bridge and throw away the keys.

Sam wanted me to point out to everyone that the boat was called Don Juan (Joo-waan).  Only a few of you will get this reference.

 Next, we walked to the Louvre.  It was amazing and we could have stayed in there for weeks.  We had fun viewing all of the paintings and learning a lot of history.


 Mona Lisa and her smile

The code of hammurabi

Outside of the Louvre is the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries.  I'd like to say that we made-out in the garden along with all of the other french lovers, but you know how we are with PDA.

We stayed near Montmarte.  Which has an impressive Basilica called Sacre-Coeur.  It is the highest point in Paris, which means lots of stairs to climb! But the view was totally worth it and what do you know, we also were there in time for mass (two masses in one week on vaca; we're on a role even if we had to make up our own homily in our head).  

We also took a train out of the city to the Palace of Versailles.  Getting lost in the gardens was my favorite part.

 The hall of mirrors!!

The gardens were breathtaking

We were lucky because they only run the fountains on the weekends!

Do you think I can make this in my garden?

I'll leave you with a video of the fountain show choreographed to music.  I could watch this for hours, enjoy!



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