Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our First Castle!

As promised, here are pictures from the Farley adventure to a castle. The castle is only about 10 minutes away from base and they have lights on it in the evening and you can see it on the hill all lit up from the Autobahn we take home. I would try to take pictures of it but I know my camera would fail miserably. Anyway, this castle (or what's left of it) has been around since about the 13th century when it was commissioned by the Pope because he thought that there needed to be more reinforcements in this part of Germany. In the 16th Century it was in the hands of the Sickingen family and one of the rooms you can view is where the last person of that family to hold the castle died. They have a bust and his coat of arms in the room. I hope I have most of my history right, it's been a while since we've been there and I'm too lazy to look it up on the internet right now :-) At any rate they've been doing renovations for the last hundred years or so and are still finding rooms and compartments to this day.
This was in the courtyard outside the main entrance to the castle. It has the family coat of arms and their name on the placques in the rock.
Another view of the courtyard outside. This day we didn't actually get to go in because it cost about 2 euro per person and being silly new comers to the area we had no euro on us, and they didn't take Visa.

This is the restaurant they have set up outside the castle. Inside it kind of has the feel of a ski lodge because it's decorated in light colored wood, has a fire place and has antlers on the wall. The only thing that would be out of place at the ski lodge is the 2 replicas of a German suit of armor. My pictures of them didn't turn out quite right, which is why they aren't posted. So when we inevitably go back, even if it's just to the restaurant, I'll get better pictures. They have really good food, too. We've eaten there twice and have learned that the specials of the day seem to be better than what's a staple on the menu. But overall great food, beer and atmosphere.Like it did for most of the month of November, it was raining when we visited the castle. While it made walking around a little uncomfortable it made the colors really pop out on the pictures. My camera apparently does best when it's over cast.
This is a picture of the town of Landstuhl from the castle. This town is pretty cute and it's not that far away at all from base. It takes us less than 5 minutes to get there. We haven't done a whole lot of exploring yet in town but we did got to a Christmas market there and that was fun. They shut down the whole street for the market and there were food booths, crafts, clothes and hot wine. Very festive. I had my camera with me the day we went to the market but it was raining harder than it was at the castle (which in all reality was just a drizzle) so I didn't want to risk it getting ruined.
That's the highlights of our first castle. We hope to go on many more adventures, a little farther from home too :) The USO has some great tours and we're going to try and hit up one at the end of the month. It's to a medieval town called Bernkastel-Kues and the tour includes a traditional German meal and a tour and tasting at a local winery. The region of Germany we're in is apparently very well known for it's wine and this town has several exellent wineries around. I'm really looking forward to it because Germans make excellent sweet white wines, some of the best around.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Missing People This Christmas . . . and my biased recommendation of Skype.

So I realized that I haven't done any real personal posting for a while so I decided to do a post on some of the people that I missed over the Holiday season. And to also sing my praises about Skype and how it's kept me in touch with my family. I don't know what I'd do without it!
This is my pretty wife Beth. I don't have any pictures of my other wife on this new computer but I will get them up I promise!! (I have not forgotten about you Kristyne, all my pictures of you are just on my other computer.) Anyway, this is Beth and she is my bestest good friend and I miss her terribly. Every time I see anything to do with "Pride and Prejudice" or Food Network I think of her. She lived on base too and we used to hang out all the time and got to be really close during a long stretch when both of our husbands were working graveyard shifts and we hardly got to see them. We spent so much time together, and it happened to coincide with her actual wedding anniversary, that she said that we should just be married to each other and we have been ever since. We are coming upon our 2 year anniversary now and I couldn't have found a better friend. Our other wife Kristyne is the sweetie of the bunch. She's a little more soft spoken than either me or Beth but she is just like us in other aspects. Get us all together and within minutes our sides hurt from laughing and crying and having a great time. I miss them both so much.
This is my pretty wife and her husband Jason. I kinda miss him to because he was like a brother that would pick on me constantly. It was pretty fun.
Mark and Megan!!! Out of all our Mtn Home friends we've known them the longest. I met Mark right after Dave and I started dating. In fact, Dave asked Mark to join us for lunch and a movie one weekend (it was our 3rd date, I think) so he could get Mark's opinion on me. :) Megan was deployed at the time and I didn't meet her for a couple of months, and when I did she couldn't talk because she had laryngitis. Mark checked up on me when David was deployed (which was awesome) and the last couple of years we made a ritual of going to Utah to the haunted houses in October. It was fun to have the annual Lyon-Farley Halloween weekend, we had some great times. They are currently in England, which sucks because they were supposed to be in Germany with us. Oh well. We miss them though and plan on visiting them as soon as possible.
This is Dustin and Tara. They're proably going to kill me for posting this picture but this is the only one I could find of them on this computer. Tara looks gorgeous as always but Dustin appears to be non too impressed with whatever chocolate he is consuming. This was from our trip to New York for their wedding and we were at an amazing restaurant called Max Brenner. Chocolate galore!! When you walk in there is a vat of molten chocolate in front of you and you want to be like Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and stick your hand in. Anyway, I digress. I've known Dustin only slight less time than I've known Mark and Megan and Tara danced into our lives about a year later. We've been so lucky to have them as friends because they are amazing, fun people that make me laugh and be happy. They are in Japan right now and we miss them terribly too. Hopefully we'll all be able to get together for a reunion and just spend a week together just like the old days.
See that's the thing about being married to the military that I never realized would be so hard. You form these attachments to friends and then are thrown in different directions from each other not knowing when you'll see each other again. But the silver lining in this is that these friendships are usually for life. I can't imagine not ever talking to any of these people ever again.

Now on to family and the wonders of Skype!
This is my mommy. I miss her alot. She hates her picture being taken, but I snuck one in while she wasn't looking :). I usually talk to her every day even though she's at work. When I was back home we would talk on the phone, usually at least twice, and text throughout the day. I was wondering how we were going to keep that up because we've become extremely close over the last few years. So, she downloaded Skype and we chat every day! It's not the same as being able to text her whenever I want but it still keeps us in contact. Since she's at work she doesn't have the video capability and she doesn't have a microphone, but that's ok, we'll sit there and chat when she's got a free minute and then we do the video thing on the weekends. Skype really is a god send for people who have family far far away.
This is my little sister and my nephew. She's got Skype too which is so awesome. When we initially got our orders I was so bummed about not being able to see Owen grow up and that he wouldn't remember who I was when I would come to visit. Again, Skype is a God send because I talk to them at least every weekend and he's getting so good at giving me high fives and he's even started blowing me kisses. ♥ The video calls really help because instead of hearing just my voice he can see me and know who I am. Annie called me on Christmas morning and I got to see him running around like a wild man for a little while. Mind you, since he's only a year and a half he has no real concept of Christmas yet so it was just his normal self. It was pretty stinking funny.
And this is my Daddy. He's not big on words but I love the fact that he makes time to call me as often as he can. Usually we only talk for 10 or 15 minutes but there are the rare occasions we find something to talk about for half an hour. It's great :) Mom says even when he doesn't get a chance to to talk to me he's always asking how I am. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Apparently he's making plans to come out and visit us at least once a year while we're stationed here, twice if he can manage. He really wants to go on a motorcycle ride over here and I think that's awesome. I want to do everything I can to help him out with that.
Another cute picture of Owen - the kid is just too damn cute for words and I miss him immensely. He's growing up so stinking fast I can't believe it. The little booger will be taller than me in no time!
There are many other people from Mtn Home that I miss like Hutch (FIESTA BOWL!!), Matt, Kati, The Roberts and most of our group from the lab. I'm sorry I didn't have pictures but I miss you all so much. And of course I miss other members of my family it just seems like there's never enough room for this stuff.
Coming Soon: The Farley's adventure to a castle.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In Germany - New Update Finally!!

Sorry it's been so long since my last update, we had alot going on in the last few weeks. But I'll kind of give you a breakdown of everything that's gone on.

We arrived on schedule in Germany on the 27th and got thru customs just fine. Our sponsor met us and took us to get checked into our room, take us by the commissary to get some food and then to drop by the lab so David could meet some people, namely the Chief. After all that was done we finally got to back to our room and try not to fall asleep. David for some reason fell asleep on the plane ride over so was a little more energetic than me and decided to walk around base. I was not having any of it so I watched TV and tried not to fall asleep. I've never experienced anything like the jet lag I had. I felt drugged and completely out of it. Finally when he got back I told him I had to go lay down. I told him to wake me up in an hour and a half or else I wasn't going to get to sleep that night and get on a proper schedule. After some sleep and a hot shower I felt somewhat human and we walked down to the commissary to grab some stuff for dinner. The rest of the following weeks included looking for houses and preparing to take our driver's test to get our licenses to drive. David had 30 days off to house hunt but we ended up finding one about two weeks in.

When we got the house I finally was able to tell my friend Beth to send the cats over to us!! Yay! She and Krsityne were so great . . . they got all their paperwork done and got up at 4 am to take their furry butts to the shipping facility. I love those girls! ♥ So I got to the place where I think I'm supposed to be picking up the cats and find I have no clue where I'm supposed to be. I go into 2 different offices before I find the one where I'm supposed to be at to pick up the cat's documents (vet paperwork and what not). Then I go upstairs to pay for said paper work and they only take cash - big surprise I have no euro on me. So I have to go find an ATM. I get that accomplished and then head back to pay for the paperwork and - I assume - pick up the cats. Nein!! I have to go to a different location and go to the veterinarian so they can do an exam of my kids. That cost me about $160 bucks. Then I have to go thru customs (which is in another damn building!!) and get the furballs cleared thru them. Ok fine. Then I have to go back to the Animal Lounge, show them my paper work and then pay another $90 for boarding them . . . for 3 hours. Holy Mother of Pearl if I had known it was going to take me 4 hours and cost me over $300 I would have taken some downers to help make the trip easier. But the end result was worth it, I got my cats and they've adapted quite well and are not having any lingering issues from their trip.

We got into the house and got all of our household goods and furniture so we're starting to slowly unpack. Germans (and Europeans in general) do not believe in closets and we haven't gotten the temp ones from base yet so I have really no place to put our stuff, so the unpacking is going really slow. Other than that things are going pretty well. David is on swings so I'm at the house all by myself most of the night. It doesn't bother me too bad, but I'm certainly glad I have the cats to keep me company. ☻

Well in a nutshell that's all that's happened since we landed in Deutschland. I can't believe we've already been here over a month. Only 35 more months left!! Sheesh. Now all we're waiting on is David to get his passport so we can start our traveling and then there will be so much more to write!!