Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Arizona beauty

A glimpse into Arizona flowering Cactus. This is from my parents back garden, it's a huge Cactus with three blooms on it. Last year they had around 150 blooms. The Cactus is a night bloomer and only blooms once and the bloom dies. I was lucky to catch this bloom before it closed this morning. It's already starting to close, this picture shows it about half way. Really a beautiful sight for such a prickly plant.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It happened again!!

Oh luggage why didn't you want to come to America with me? Why is it okay that this happens again, they tried to tell me my connection in Amsterdam was too Two and half hours...Really get a new excuse people! The thought of wearing my 70 plus year old Mothers PJ's or better yet her shinny sweatsuit tomorrow is enough to make me head to a 24 hour Walmart! I hope it's not lost forever......!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Steiff and Vanilla Ice

Yesterday was a day of "bonuses". While I'm in the States I'm doing a four day layover in Dallas to visit a very old friend. I wanted to bring her daughters a gift from Germany so what better than a Steiff stuffed animal. They are very famous and made in Germany, I think they are known world wide. So the store I went to buy them has a huge selection, the bonus was yesterday was a "special day". Mr Steiff was there signing the animals you purchased, I was told in fact this is very rare and special. Being in the right place at the right time is good. He was very nice and spoke okay English. We had a funny conversation about Utah and Mormons.

My second "bonus" of the day was I went again to get my eyebrows and lip "treaded" , yes the tears flowed all on their own. But the girl must of misunderstood me when I told her just lip and eyes cause next thing you know she was doing my face and chin and I was like hold up Frau. Apparently I had a beard or maybe it was a goatee, I think I would have noticed a beard. Yeah the lighting in my house is bad, I went several months past due for my hair dying, not noticing the gray but a beard NO way that would sneak by!

It was a "bonus" until I got home and noticed she totally "Vanilla Iced" one of my brows! I think she knew exactly what she was doing, giving my a free face thread so I would be so happy not to have a beard and not notice a missing gap in my left brow!!

Needless to say it was a pretty exciting day and my husband says my eyebrow is barely noticeable, but I swear I heard him humming "ice, ice baby" as he walked away.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Making my list....

This guy is number one on my list of items to bring back from the USA. I think we have adapted pretty good to the lack of foods and choices we have here in Germany. The problem is I am a creature of habit, okay some might call it picky, whatever. Peanut Butter is extremely hard to find and if you do it is in a baby food size jar and cost a fortune. So I will be filling my suitcase full of Jif and 49 other items I seem to desperately need!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On Saturday I am flying to Arizona for my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary party. I am arriving a week before the party in hopes of getting over jetlag before all my sisters and family arrive. Their Anniversary was April 4, Fifty years and five girls. I don't know how they did it.
This picture was taken when they came to visit us in October, it was the first time they were my houseguests. I have always lived in the same state as they reside. It was great to have them 24/7 ,we got a lot of humor out of their little bickering and routines. The other day Katelyn said to Craig and I, you to sound like Mum Mum and Pop Pop. I laughed and said no we don't but actually it was the best compliment. 50 years is not easy! They are amazing in my book and I love them so.

I am like a kid in the candy store with excitement to see all my sisters and family.
Though I am going alone, I will miss Craig and Katelyn and Sophie of coarse so much. But selfishly I am looking forward to relaxing and visiting, eating, drinking, shopping and working on getting my mental psyche back to my old self for my return to Germany.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On Easter, we rode our bikes to Burger Park. Burger Park is huge, possibly the size of Central Park. It has several lakes and restaurants, surrounded by bikes paths, walking and horse trail. It is also home to the "Nudity" beach, which was maxed out in bare Asses on Easter! The day was a beautiful 70 degrees; I was comfortable in a light sweater with a tank under. Not exactly swimsuit or birthday suit kind of day!

Taking a rest

Our view

Sophie discovered some ducks

Sophie jumped in and decided to swim with her duck friends

Sophie swimming back to land covered in pond scum! But happy!

PS-Sorry for any misspelled words my spell checker is stuck on German!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Day 8:
WOW we have been here a week today, it has been a long week and a boring week for Kate and I. Not much exploring and too much hanging out but also too hot to do more than that if you think about it. Relaxing day organized papers in bedroom and made sense of the house. Big mistake I was not aware the grocery stores are not open on Sunday should of stocked up for the weekend. We are down to no food and nothing for dinner, into the city center we go.

Craig took us to a Italian restaurant where we sat outside and people watched it was really fun even for a slow night there was lots to be seen. Food was good, beer was even better, I’m taking to the beer like it is water!

Day 9:
Waited for repairmen and while waiting I Mr. Clean the kitchen. It was so gross but now the dirt found will be our dirt. Started whipping down rest a house baseboards etc. but had to stop it was so hot and humid today I was dripping. Finally at 2:30 we left for the store to stock up all that we could carry, five bags and two trips later the refrigerator is happily full again. Katelyn and I played cards again and I made a nice stir-fry for dinner ended the night watching Big Love. Big find of the day black and white cookies at the grocery store bakery! Sweet! Can't find the basic of things but we found Black and Whites like in NYC...cracks me up!

Day 10:
Landlord came over last night and with is broken English said someone would be here today or tomorrow to fix the electrical and re- key the locks. But of coarse no time is ever given and here we will wait.

That is the end of my documenting our first days here in Germany. I think this is when my Free Cell addiction started and I didn't care about anything else. Finally got the Internet and phone a month after we arrived here and all was good. I started my blog in November, again I wish I started it sooner. So much happen in the beginning I truly thought we were being "punked".

Monday, April 13, 2009

Early days continue Days 6 & 7

Day 6:
Too many German Beers not feeling so hot! Had a nice dinner with Craig’s American Co Workers at the old fishing village got home late and did not sleep well last night, having a rough morning! Katelyn and I are hoping no repairman come today we need to go to the city today to return banking papers. So glad it is Friday and the weekend is here.

Went into the city today flower/veggie market going on Katelyn was not really into shopping there so we went into a few clothing stores. With the Euro/Dollar so bad hate to buy just to buy want to save money for trips and household needs but it’s hard to switch gears from the American way of thinking or should I say shopping. Went grocery shopping on way home, made Gnocchi and fruit with wine than we watched a movie nice night to a rough start in Germany.

Day 7:

Big day for the West we are heading out to Ikea for lots of necessitates. Craig got up and was full of energy and washed the windows inside and out, they look so good! So hot and humid today almost unbearable really.

We took our bus then tram then another bus then another tram and then once again another bus out to Ikea I was so hot and sticky we were all hungry and decided to eat lunch there first. Tragedy of the day Craig had 5 euros on him and I did not bring my purse (big mistake) they only take EC card, which we do not have yet, and cash! Well five Euros won’t buy squat in Germany so after 2 hours we turn around and head back!!!!!!!!! I thought I was going to cry!

We decided to stop at the city center and have lunch, Craig got some cash and Subway lunch and an ice cream cone later we were hanging out at the step of city building people watching and cooling off. Home bound we decided for dinner we would try this Mexican restaurant we see from the tram tonight. Went home and putzs around for a while before heading out for dinner. Dinner was good but service in Germany is very slow and very poor but the food was good, definitely a return restaurant. It seems like so far our days are spent trying to figure out the food. I hate to admit I'm not the most adventurous there. Trying to make eating more like we are used to is very difficult. I'm sure we will adapt as time goes on.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Days 4 & 5

Day 4:
Rough morning could not wake up, electrical problems continue. Woke up to the refrigerator not working and upstairs lights still out. Gardeners are back again today, electricians are supposed to show up sometime today! It is amazing how much you relay on telephone, Internet and television. Kate and I are at a loss without all of the above. We have been playing Demon until we can’t see straight. Took Sophie for a walk to the Comet and I bought laundry soap, big day!! Our washer is built in to the kitchen and it is very little holds a small load. The dryer is even more interesting you empty the water from it, of coarse I have no idea how to run them because all the dials are in German! Electricians finally came and yes they knew very little English if any. Basically my life is communicating via charades and I’m not good at that game. Laundry all day and three trips to the Comet store which is a mini mini grocery store. Refrigerator is working but they must come back for lights! Another day of being trapped home!

Day 5:
Have to meet Sabine at bank for appointment with Banker to get EC card, Doing the commuting all by myself today, kind of nervous plus leaving Kate home with workers and no way of communicating with each other, very nerve racking! I hope to find a store that sells a Blow Dryer today this bad hair has got to stop! Made it to the bank with some confusion, the banker knew little English, which means none that was helpful thank goodness for Sabine.

There was a flower and vegetable market going on in the square today didn’t stop to shop wanted to get home to Kate but it was so quaint everything you imagine Europe Street Markets are about. Can’t wait to get our bikes so Kate and I can explore instead of playing Demon all day. Sabine said there is a hold up with immigration due to us not having our resident card. So mad that GMAC was not on top of that hello they had to know that was required. So our airfreight sits out at the airport I hope they keep it indoors out of the rain.

Today summer returned as Sabine would say! So nice not really humid at all. Can’t wait to try out my new hair dryer I hope this is the last bad hair day I write about, for some reason I don’t think it is! We are meeting Craig and his co worker Mike for dinner in town. Big day for us first night out to dinner since our return.
We are mostly looking forward to getting out since we have been trapped at home with workers since Tuesday. Still no electricity in upstairs beds and baths thought the electricians would return today but no one yet. The repairman is here to re-key the doors sine the old tenant packed the keys and can’t find them! And guess what he does not speak English I’m so screwed I need to learn basic German NOW! Yay he is coming back Monday so another day trapped at home because they never tell you the time just the day!!! Gardener is done OMG the yard I mean garden looks so good. Must try and salvage hair for our outing with the boys!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day three

The day of many tragedies!! Craig thinks none of our day was tragic by his terms but that doesn’t count because he was safely tucked away in his container at work, while we attempted living in Germany without knowing German!

Tragedy One my blow dryer blew up, even with the adapter, thus beginning day one with scary frizzy hair! We decided we should probably go to the grocery store so with our recycled bags in hand we were off. Katelyn as my guide, because she had gone the night before for our delicious frozen pizza. We headed down to the bus stop a nine-minute trip to the store via bus! Easy really unless your fourteen year old decides it would be faster to take a different bus on opposite side of street that also goes to the store! So why I believed a girl that only had Jellybeans in her belly the day she went to the store most likely delirious, but what else could I do she was my ticket to food. An hour later and shear panic we got off the bus at the Mercedes Plant not the grocery store! That would be Tragedy TWO a big one in my book! Keep in mind we do not have a cell phone oh and we do not know German! I nice homeless beggar wanted us to share my money with him after I did my best German NO he stood there and stared at us we are calling that Tragedy Three. We then got back on the same bus that took us on this wild ride, why you ask too get back where we started from and start all over…. Sounds logical Katelyn idea!

We finally made it to Aldi’s the grocery store; Craig has not shut up about. They carried nothing that vaguely looked familiar so we decided to walk down to the Extra store they had gone to the night before. We are calling Aldi’s not buying any food Tragedy Four because of everything we went through to get there and it was a bust! Spent an hour in Extra trying to make sense of German food and walking every aisle. With two full bags in tow and a bus ride ahead we were feeling pretty good about our shopping trip. Until Craig came home and looked in the frig and said I thought you went shopping today! I made spaghetti for dinner I certainly hope it was ground beef and not Zebra cause I couldn’t read the label to save my life! First dinner in new place not bad, not Prego though!

Gardeners show up today to clean up the yard, Klaus and some other guy, again Klaus said he spoke a little English I think a little is the English he spoke! Craig got by a whole month without speaking German we barely made it a day without issue of language barriers. Katelyn said we had Five Tragedies today I think either playing Charades with the gardener or my frizzy hair is a tye for fifth place. Was in bed by 8:30!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day Two and the tragedy counting...

Katelyn and I were on our own to get out to the house with nothing but directions in our pocket. After eating breakfast we decided to head to the city center to get a coffee and check out Tpunk (German T-Mobile store) for cell phones. A quick walk in the cold rain we made our way to Starbucks. No matter where you are chain stores always feel like home, I could have stayed there all day. Stayed there a while until we were all jacked up on lattes; the T-Punk store was next. The lady at the T-Punk store said she spoke English but I think she was lying because there was, ”Oh how should I say it,” not much English coming from her mouth. Basically you have to give an arm and a leg to get a cell phone so we left empty handed, only after she wanted to check our purses because we beeped when we walked in whatever that means! Discovered why we were beeping, apparently Katelyn’s jeans had a tag still in it that made her set' off the security alarm upon entering and leaving stores. Stupidly we went to one more store because we are shoppers and couldn’t leave the city center empty handed. After setting off the beeper when entering, shear panic set in, “How are we getting out of here without getting arrested?” We were looking guilty even though we were not and we bolted out the front door to freedom and promptly returned to the hotel to cut the tag out of her jeans. Tragedy One!

To recover from that trip we hung out and watched German MTV and the Home Shopping Network quite entertaining! We decided to make the big journey to the house, venturing out like two nervous nellies! We conquered the tram and the bus no problem!! Made it to the house, with no heat and food sat there wondering now what!! Even though it was July it was very cold and rainy in Germany, which is shocking coming from 100-degree summer in Utah. We hung out and watched more German TV and napped most the day, lying on our awful rental couch, huddled under a blanket.

We ate jellybeans from my purse left over from airport lounge and drank water. Craig came home probably thinking he would walk in to the smell of a home cooked meal!! I think he was a little disappointed we didn’t venture to the store but we were too nervous to mess with the luck of a successful trip on the open road. Hunger was Tragedy Two for the day! Tragedy Three would be Katelyn’s straightener not working even with the adaptor. It was fried.

Our relocation lady, Sabine and the old tenant, and the owners Lawyer came for inspection. Which was really uncomfortable, you have to walk around and point out all the damaged or questionable things about the house. The old tenant was very defensive, but if we don’t have the damage documented then when we leave we are responsible for repair. Afterwards Craig and Katelyn went to the store and our first German meal was on its way, “Frozen Pizza”. When you’re as hungry as we were it never tasted so good. I could have eaten the cardboard that night.

Sophie was also finally delivered to us, she was so happy and looked really good. She gave us lots of hugs and kisses, then needed to sniff the whole house.

Our first night in the house was hard getting used to new sounds, but we were so tired it didn’t matter, we all slept pretty good.

Stuffering from Jet Lag...napping by all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How our address became Germany

July 20,2008 we moved to Bremen Germany via Salt Lake City, Utah. My husbands job brought us here for a 2 year assignment. Crossing my fingers and toes it's two years, or however long it takes to build an airplane. Lets hope German efficiency plays well. We left our home, family and friends behind and started this adventure. It's been an opportunity of a life time, we know that, afforded us travel at our finger tips, all things amazing and different from Utah. Change is good I keep telling myself and we will return soon. It's hard to tell yourself that and a 15 year old girl that misses her friends and family dearly. I know we will all look back some day and realize this experience was amazing,but right now I would do anything to wake up and see the mountains outside my window.
Today I did some spring cleaning on my computer, condensing and getting rid of old files. I hope all my hard work results in a faster computer. During my cleaning I came upon a file from our first ten days in Germany. I had wanted to start a blog and wish I did sooner, I just didn't know how to start one. So many things happen to us the first several months that were unbelievable and truly entertaining. I wish I could remember half and perhaps some day I will. I thought I'd share our first days with you.

Day 1

Landed this morning in Frankfurt Airport with a slight delay, we were on our way to our new “Adventure”! Arrived to the Domical Best Western Apartments it was very nice accommodations, spacious for a European hotel. We freshened up, and then Craig wanted us to see the house. Or at least ride the tram and bus out to house to give us a sense time and direction. We were so tired on the way back I thought we would fall asleep and miss our stop. Craig kept nodding off entertaining the guy sitting across from him, I think he was afraid Craig would end up in his lap. Needless to say we took a quick nap. Afterwards Craig and I and Sabine our relocation lady picked us up to do the final walk through of the house. Katelyn would not wake up and stayed asleep until 1:30 am. All in all the first day was not so bad, Katelyn had a few crying moments and we were tired beyond belief.

I think back to that day and I remember having so many emotions. Tired to the point of pain, sadness that ached, relief we had made it and no more packing. I remember feeling so exhausted and scared of what was ahead.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sophie new ride

Sophie is one of those dogs that loves going bye bye in the car. She loves to stick her head out the window, with the cool breeze in her hair. I think she really misses having a car and going places. She used to go on bike rides and sit in Katelyn's basket, that has since broken and the replacement one can't hold her.

But things have changed, we bought a "Croozer" that attaches to Craig's bike. We bought it to haul groceries and drinks back from the grocery store. Sophie pretty much after a while decides she needs to feel the wind in her face again. She hoped in and joined us to return bottles and get groceries. She was so happy I swear she was smiling. She got lots of attention from people passing by and we saw a few dogs walking that looked a little jealous!

We have a ton of parks here that we ride to and now she can join us and feel the wind in her face once again.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Recommendations needed

In two weeks I am heading back to the States for my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary party. I' am so excited to see family, eat good food and do some shopping. It is really hard to find English books here and I want to stock up to get me through the summer. I'm so out of the loop on what is new and must reads. The last two books I read were The Water for Elephants and The Shack. I'm up for any thing, so ladies any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Blooming Beauties....

I have been waiting for this day since we moved in...finally they are blooming. My yard I mean garden ( that's what they call yards) is filled with Rhododendron bushes. These are the first blooms, I think the rest will pop soon, hopefully in time for Easter. Bremen is cover with these beautiful bushes, they even have a Rhododendron Park. I guess I know what I will be doing this weekend, a bike ride and picnic in the park. More pictures to follow! Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I love all the different Taxi's London as to choose from...not that I would choose a Taxi based on color but if I did it would be the preppy pink and green one. We were told by a Taxi driver there are 40,000 Taxi's in London, that is some stiff competition. Luckily it rains enough there to keep them in business. It really is smart advertising Katelyn and I spent a lot of site seeing spotting cool Taxi's. It's a part of London that gives the city flare.