Friday, January 27, 2017

Its for real been a year?!...

I was just coming on to write about Germany thus far and realized its been a year...A YEAR...since my last post. WHAT IS THAT. Talk about time flying. Ive had the idea of maybe writing a blog in the back of my head for a  year now. Wow.

So my goal is to kickstart this again for a few reasons...
1) my whole point in starting this blog was to promote a fit and healthy lifestyle while pregnant/with kids so I will start making more of those posts.
2) to support and supplement my personal training business
3) to update loved ones and friends on our time here in Germany and force myself to write it all down for memory's sake!

So here goes, month 1 in Germany!

As many know we are so effing lucky because we are here with family and friends. While we were searching for a job position in this city, Donovan's brother, Reno (we also visited them in Bahrain when I was pregnant), called and said he got a job in Wiesbaden. What?! Then our best friends Abhinav and Arushi (we were engaged in India, where we were for their wedding) left for their 3 year stint in Wiesbaden, where we already knew they were going because we had always hoped to PCS together.

So not only do we have our buddies here but our kids get to grow up in Europe with some of  their cousins for a few years. Its crazy!

When we arrived here we went straight to Reno and Paola's house, which is in a town called Hochheim, about 20 minutes outside of Wiesbaden. We stayed there through Christmas and New Years, about 1.5 weeks, which was so great for so many reasons...the kids had their cousins and their cousins' toys there, we had family to welcome us, we were able to get over jet lag comfortably, it was basically like we were home and we needed it those first couple weeks. Now we are at our hotel right in downtown Wiesbaden, and dont let the word "hotel" fool you - our "room" is a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment with 20 foot ceilings and a full kitchen, dining room and living room. We could seriously just live here (if we didnt have two kids and in reality want a bigger space overall...).

So in sum we've been spending this last month sleeping, readjusting, drinking too much beer with our friends and family (adults), eating out all the time, playing non-stop with our cousins (kids), walking to bars and restaurants and grocery stores, getting our drivers licenses (Donovan has his, I'm studying), putting on and taking off lots of winter layers, eating out a LOT, getting the swing of things at work (Donovan), and house hunting.

Did I mention the eating out and drinking beer? That part is definitely taking a toll! The last 2 weeks or so we've been taking advantage of having a kitchen and cooking our meals and getting back into a typical eating routine and right away the scale has shown a difference. Its insane how many calories you can consume when you eat out too often!

We also went in our first trip to Paris. We met my mom and stepdad there, who were on a ski trip in France, for the weekend. They then came back to Wiesbaden for a couple days. We took the train to Paris and the kids did so awesome traveling. 

I hope to make a separate post about this trip... I hope... 😬

And talking about traveling is reminding me how awesome of a city chick Camila is becoming. When we walk to the grocery store she walks the entire way, helps me shop, and walks all the way home. I've got the stroller with J in it and grocery bags hanging and she's such a trooper. And when we take the bus she is such a good listener and hops on and off at the right times and sits next to strangers while I run up to pay the bus driver and hang out with Joaquín parked in the handicap area 😂 We are so proud of her. 

I feel like last week is the first week it started to feel normal. We are starting to get a daily routine down, the kids and I are starting to branch out and meet other people in the area, I am grocery shopping and Joaquín actually took a normal nap today (I think Camila is officially done napping...😐) and the kids might go to bed before 11 tonight. Victory.

We've been looking at houses - we've seen about 10-12 so far, I think? And we found one! It fits almost everything we were looking for.

So going in to house hunting, Camila and all her sass would say she wanted a yellow house. Every house we pulled up to, "Is it yellow?" and I would tell her "No baby but if the house we get isnt yellow (because more than likely it wouldn't be) we can decorate your new room with lots of yellow, ok?"

Guess what? The house is yellow! Total coincidence but we think it was a sign  😆
It's in a suburb of Wiesbaden called Schierstein. Its about a ten minute drive into downtown (where our hotel is and where our friends Abu and Arushi, or Abushi as we call them, are) and about a 20 minute drive to Donovan's work and to Hochheim (where Reno and Paola are).
Its an old barn that was converted into a house. In the courtyard, there is our house, another 2 houses in front which were the original homes of the families, and another white house with a huge tower thats actually a chimney, which was apparently the bakery. So all of them have been renovated into homes that share the courtyard. Its also directly on the Rhein River, and there is a festival every summer right in front of our house on the river so that will be fun. Their are tons of restaurants, bars, and stores all in walking distance, a preschool next door and a huge playground next door to that. And Wiesbaden has a few nice indoor pools that will be within a 10-15 minute drive. It's also huge- like 2700 square feet. 😱 So that will take some getting used to! We've got 4 bedrooms on the 2nd floor plus a separate guest space and full bathroom on the 3rd floor. So bring it on, guests!!! 


We are supposed to move in on February 6th. We are very excited to settle in and get back in to a routine!

So some more about our experience in general thus far:
~ Lots of FaceTime with Family is great but it's still hard being so far from everyone. We chat with our parents and siblings pretty regularly. We have scheduled chocolate milk hang out with geemom and geepop and every Friday we FaceTime with Aunt Nadya. Of course it's not the same but we can't wait to visit in August. We will go to the beach on the East Coast, go to Donovan's best friends wedding, and meet our niece who is due in May. It will be so much fun to have another cousin!
~ The food is great. We don't always eat German food, but theres a lot of options which is great and everything is so much fresher here. German food is mainly meat and potatoes (potatoes with everything omg) but you can always order a side salad or a side of veggies.
~ Almost everyone speaks English. Its nice but also slightly embarrassing because we are so privileged that it makes me feel bad. As Americans we can travel to almost any country and find people who speak English. I want to learn more German - next on the agenda!
~ The washing machines are tiny.
~ It doesn't matter if its raining, snowing, or cold AF - people still walk everywhere and spend time outside. I love that but seriously hate the cold.
~ Everything is more narrow. Cars, streets, parking lots, hallways, strollers, bike trailers, EVERYTHING is more narrow. And it makes so much sense. Why are we so much about bigger is better?
~ Drip coffee is hard to find. Everything is espresso. And if you want coffee black, its just an Americano, which is espresso with water added.
~ German houses typically do not have closets. Anywhere. Its just a room with walls and you buy wardrobes.
~ Everything is so walkable and public transportation is great. Almost every little neighborhood has a grocery store or market, butcher, bakery and shops within walking distance.

That's it for now! I'll be back! 😂