Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Last Wednesday

Our Wednesday morning was spent taking the cats to the vet clinic to get their travel clearance and health certificate.  It didn't take long and everything went smoothly so all in all it wasn't so bad. The cats hated being in their kennels and taken around so they voiced their opinions to us, a lot.   The base that has the vet clinic is also the same one where I used to work and I needed to stop by the office.  I had gotten a call saying that something had come in with my name on it from corporate offices stateside and could I come and get it.  Turns out it was completely work related and could have been handled the day they got it, but they didn't know that.  I just thought it was a bit funny.

After all the running around David tried to get some more out processing done while I chilled back in our room. By that evening I was getting a bit of cabin fever but couldn't decide what I wanted to do.  In the end we rented movies and hung out in the room some more.  The movie we watched was the Joss Whedon adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing".  It was fantastic!! Joss Whedon brought a spin to the story that only he can bring and it was hilarious and just wonderful.  Dave even enjoyed it, but that's not surprising given he tends to love everything Whedon does.

The day was kind of boring when all things were said and done but I guess I can expect more of the same for quite a while. We'll be stuck in temp housing when we get to Vegas and will probably be another smallish room that make people want to go crazy.  I think the anticipation is killing me too and I just want this all over with.    In the end, I'm sure I'll find someway to enjoy living in Las Vegas, at least I hope so.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Last Tuesday In Germany

So I'm sitting here in our temporary housing on base with nothing to do while the hubs runs around doing his final out-processing appointments.  I figured that I would update my blog and talk a little bit about my last week here in Germany.  But first, I'll quickly sum up what's been going on up to now.  Last week was the big hurdle for us: the move.  The movers came on Tuesday and packed up our unaccompanied baggage (household goods and clothes that get expedited rather than going on the slow boat).  We thought the other movers were coming on Wednesday but they did not show up until Thursday. At any rate, they got the house packed and on the truck that same day.  Friday and Saturday were spent cleaning and taking trash to the local dumping facility.  Sunday was the day our hired cleaners came out to clean the entire house before our landlady came that afternoon.  She showed up and everything was fine so we got all out of the house without any issues.  Whew!  Still with me?

Ok, so now on to my last week here in Germany.

Yesterday was Tuesday and we had a few things going on.  I was put on some antibiotics a little over a week ago and on Sunday I noticed red splotches on the tops of my thighs.  I thought it had just been from cleaning or something but they hadn't gone away by Monday after I'd taken antihistamines and used cortisone cream.  As a result, I made an appointment for Tuesday morning to be seen by my doctor.  It was the last thing I wanted to do but with a history of penicillin allergies in my family I didn't want to chance anything the week before we leave.  As it turns out, it wasn't an allergy but could have been triggered by any number of factors and I was sent away with a prescription of cortisone cream and good wishes for my PCS.  So that was a waste of my morning but I suppose it gave me peace of mind.  After that I had another doctor's appointment with a local German dermatologist.   Spent almost an hour in the waiting room to be seen for literally less than 5 minutes.  Again, another colossal waste of my time.  However, since I was in town I had the opportunity to return some things we'd bought for the house that we ended up not needing. 

I went back on base and got David so that we could go take some stuff to the recycling center that we still had in the rental car.  Normally we can't take stuff on base because that's for people in base housing only.  But, since we have PCS orders, we're allowed to use the facility at least once which was very helpful.

Since our morning and early afternoon yesterday was spent running errands it made it all the nicer when we got to sit in our room and relax.  David actually took a nap while I watched Ellen on AFN .  I don't know why, but it's so nice to watch TV again.  For the 4 years we've been over here we didn't have cable or AFN.  We had our TV to watch movies and play games on but it was never connected to a receiver.  When we get to Vegas and have cable we're not going to know what to do with ourselves.

We topped off the night by making cheddar brats, baked potatoes, and broccoli for dinner while we watched some of our favorite TV shows.  All in all it was a pretty good and fairly productive day.  I do want to continue on posting every day of my last week here in Germany.  I'll try to include a few pictures, too. 
Our spiffy temp housing quarters.

So as you can see, nothing fancy about our digs, but it works. It's nice to be in a place that has a kitchen, even as limited as it is, so that we can not have to go out to eat every night. 

That's about all for now, I suppose. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mad Cash, Yo!!

So I decided to go through our little coin bank to get rid of our all our Euro coin that we won't need once we leave.  It actually netted us quite a bit of money.  In full rolls we got $22 in American coins (dimes, nickels, and pennies) and then €35 in Euro coins.  We are just a few coins away from get €75 between the 1 and 2 euro pieces.  So if we get over €100 that will turn in to about $135-ish.  Not bad!  What's funny about having 2 full rolls of pennies is that no one over here takes them, everything gets rounded up or down to the next nickel.  It costs more than the pennies are worth to ship them over here so how we ended up with that many pennies baffles me.  We aren't turning in our quarters (which probably would have netted us another $20 or more) because we're going to need them to utilize the laundromats on base while we're displaced and have no appliances of our own.

In other news, I've packed up most of my Hard Rock glasses to send to my mom.  I ran out of packing tape for the second box so I need more of that before I can continue. I don't trust the movers to pack them well enough to avoid being broken.  I'd rather pack them myself and know that it got done right than leave it up to a bunch of guys who don't care about the time I've spent collecting them.  My collections is pretty impressive though.  Not all of them are martini glasses like I started out collecting (some of the locations just didn't carry them) so I have a few random types of glasses.  I am kind of bummed that I didn't complete my Germany collection and get the one from the Hamburg location.  I have Berlin, Munich, and Cologne but I won't have Hamburg. Somehow I managed to get 2 glasses from Rome, a hurricane and a martini, which is weird.  Oh and I have 1 pilsner glass from Dublin.  So my collection is more hodge podge than I would have liked, but the hubs says it has personality.  Considering I have 14 glasses from my travels, it's not too bad. :)

Other than that, the movers are coming next week which should be a big relief for the both of us when it's done and over with.  I'll try to keep anyone who is following and interested updated on our plans and if anything major changes.  TTYL!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Move Is . . . Going

We will be out of Germany in less than 3 weeks.  Our car was dropped off for shipping today and the movers will be coming next week to haul away our stuff.  By the 18th everything will be packed up and gone and by the 21st we should be out of our house completely.  It makes me so sad to think we'll be leaving this amazing place; it's been and absolutely fantastic 4 years and I am so glad I got to have this experience.   I find myself jealous of the people I worked with at Service Credit Union that are here on their own and not because of the military.  Some moved specifically for the job, some found it while they were here doing other things.  I envy them though that they still have this ahead of them and there is no ending in sight. 

Las Vegas is going to be a new adventure and I am slowly beginning to look forward to it.  It will be nice to have all the conveniences of the States again. Not to mention the proximity to family and friends.  Our traveling days are not over, just put on hold for a bit.  The hubs and I were talking that we do need to see more of our own country so we may spend a few trips doing just that. Exploring our own backyard and seeing what there is out there.  I know I am looking forward to planning another trip to NYC and to Seattle. Especially Seattle since I want to go to a Mariners game.  Guess we could go to L.A. for that, but that's not any fun :).

Anyway, that's what's on my mind right now, just thought I'd share.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rome 2013 - The Last European Getaway . . . For Now

We spent a weekend in Rome with a friend of ours who is stationed in Italy.  He wanted to get together before we left so we decided to congregate in Rome.  Needless to say, it was Amazing.  And yes, the capital A in amazing is necessary. 

Outside the Colosseum

It was a hot weekend, not surprising given that it's Rome in September, but it was absolutely gorgeous.  We got to spend some time at the Colosseum and Palatine Hill and then visited the Vatican. Much gelato was consumed to keep our temperatures down.  It's almost a requirement, really, for the proper enjoyment of the city.

Hamming it up in line at the Vatican

The food, of course, was fantastic and so was the wine.  The even better part was the company.  The hubs and I aren't used to traveling with another person in our party so it was really nice to have someone else to hang out with while we were tooling around the city.

I'm in ruins! Ah ha ha ha

Alaska had a great time as well.  He missed our last trip to Rome so it was a great opportunity for him to see another country as well.  That makes about 5 countries he's been to, I believe.  Not too shabby at all if you ask me.

All in all, it was an absolutely fantastic weekend and I couldn't have wished for a better trip for our last hoorah while we're over here.  We leave in 3 weeks and it seems so surreal that I won't be able to plan a quick getaway to another country anymore.  Being over here has made me so grateful for the opportunities and the adventures we've had.  This is, by no means, our last European trip however.  There is one in the works for a girls trip to London, my mom, possibly my aunt, and hopefully my little sister.  Maybe we can even convince my older sister to come! Whatever it is though, it will be fantastic! and I will take the opportunity to visit Bath (for the Jane Austen house) and Stonehenge (because I still haven't seen it).  And you better believe, if I get the chance, I'm going to Highclere Castle to visit the set of Downton Abbey.  I'm nerd girl squeeing over here . . . it's pretty pathetic. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Random Pictures

Before our last trip to Rome, the hubs dumped all the pictures from our assorted memory cards and put them on my computer. Here are a few I found and really loved.
This was our first weekend in Germany.  We took the train to go exploring.

Our first trip to Cologne and the amazing Chocolate Museum.

Those two up above were from my first trip to Paris.  It was also my parents first trip over here to see us.  My mom and I were so giddy to be in Paris that we could hardly stand it.

Brandenberg Gate in Berlin

Ok, so this one is another one from Paris.  It was when I decided to spend my 30th birthday there and our friends Mark and Megan came over from England to celebrate with us.  It was an amazing weekend and I'm so glad I could share it with them.

I know I'm behind on my travel posts since I haven't put up Copenhagen or Rome yet.  Hopefully one day soon I'll get to it.   But for now, enjoy! :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lovely Dinner Post

Tagliatelle with Prosciutto and Orange
Italian comfort in a bowl. Can't get better than this.

This is one of our favorite quick pasta recipes.  We had something similar the first time we went to Rome and it's amazing.  The orange really lightens up the recipe but it still tastes extremely decadent.  I highly suggest you try it one night for dinner.  You'll thank me, I promise.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Few Pics From Oslo

 Just a quick post about part of our recent trip.

We spent 4 days in Oslo last month and it was absolutely beautiful.  I was expecting colder, damp weather and what we got literally burned my face.  It was sunny and beautiful.   

Part of the fortress
 The food was OK, not really spectacular in my book.  TGIFridays were every where! We didn't eat at one, though.  I stuck to mostly steaks and chicken when I could find it as I'm not a huge seafood person. The hubs was mostly the same except one night he had reindeer which he said was pretty good.

City Hall and most of the city as seen from the Fjord
One of the weird statues in Viegeland Park

Alaska at the city fortress manning the guns. Tally Ho chaps!
 The people were really friendly and it was an awesome atmosphere.  Our hotel was next to some phenomenal museums and restaurants so that made for some nice touristy days. Everything was very expensive though so we made sure to load up on breakfast at the hotel since it was included in our room price.  Sometimes I really am my father's daughter :)
On top of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump
 We spent a lot of time wandering the city and admiring all the architecture and art.  There were beautiful statues everywhere! And, a big plus for me, most of the bookshops had a huge English section.  Most people in Norway speak English fluently and so they have a great selection in their book stores.  I did notice, however, that the English books were actually from England and generally not America. I bought a few books that were by UK authors and I didn't see a whole lot of American books unless they were a huge International series like 50 Shades of Gray and the like.

 We finished off the trip with a ferry ride to Copenhagen.  It was an overnight trip that was basically a mini cruise.  It had several shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities.  The hubs was beside himself with joy at the whole prospect.

The hubs watching us pull out of Oslo Fjord
Our trip was amazing and I'd love to go back if I could afford to - meaning I'd have to be making Norwegian Krone or a crap load more USD!

Friday, June 21, 2013

This Makes Me Want To Go Back To Rome

For the art, and the food, and the culture.  Not for the perfectly sculpted butts.  Although, those are nice too.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Been A Long Time

Ok, so I've been unexcusably lax in my blog here and I apologize.  But, I do have some great pictures to show for the trip we took with my parents.
My dad chasing a pigeon for me.  All hail the Might Pigeon Wrangler!

Having a spot of lunch at the Chateau Versailles

Stupid Swans!

 Ok, so I have a story about those swans up there.  Were at the Grand Canal at the Chateau Versailles and after lunch we were having a small stroll and taking pictures. I was trying to decide if I wanted to rent one of the boats and go out when I saw these swans making a heart with their heads.  No joke, it was a perfect heart.  I got so excited I tried to snap several pictures but as soon as I did they started to move.  This was the best picture of them I got.

The Chateau looking up from the canal.

Alaska trying to blend in.
One of the funnest things we did was rent a go cart and drive around the grounds of Versailles.  It's on a predetermined track and if you deviate the whole thing stops and tells you get into reverse and go back the way you came.  The hubs was our navigator and he was kind of lousy at it (took us off the track twice) but we had a lot of fun anyway. 

The best pigeon and Alaska picture I could manage.

My wonderful parents!
We ended the trip by spending the night in Frankfurt.  I got to see part of the city I'd never seen before and we had a good time.  The hotel I picked was really weird but they didn't axe murder us in our sleep so that was a plus.

Our next trip we're going to hit Oslo and Copenhagen and I'm really looking forward to that one.  I can't wait to post pictures of me and a viking ship.  Rawr.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Alaska Gnome and His Great Adventures

For those of you not aware, my sister gave me the official Travelocity Roaming Gnome last year.  His name is Alaska Gnome. I was tasked with taking him places and posing him in pictures. So far, he's been to England twice and several places in Germany.  He will be going to Switzerland and Paris next month as well.  He really does get around!

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany - Looking out our hotel room.

We're hoping to go to Denmark and Norway this summer as well so he'll be able to get those countries under his belt, too.  Before we leave Germany I'd like to at least visit Amsterdam if not spend the weekend there. 

London, England - Again, looking out our hotel room at Big Ben.
Some days he is kind of a pain to carry around but I swear we are taking a back pack with us to Paris this time!  When we were in London my shoulders ached from having to keep switching the side my purse was on and it got so heavy; even small souvenirs start to add up. 

The sis had a great idea of getting bumper stickers and covering him with them, but I kind of like the idea of doing it with stamps. They're smaller and once I get back to the States I can get some Mod Podge and stick 'em right on.  I still have some peeps that can send me some stamps from Jolly Old England and then I'll just have to make sure and buy extra stamps when I travel from  now on.  Oh, and you better believe he's getting his picture at Hard Rock! :-)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Frankfurt Follies

So I ran across this picture this weekend when I finally plugged in the SD card from my camera.  This particular picture was taken at a Starbucks in Frankfurt. We'd stopped in to get something warm to drink because we'd been wandering around the Christmas market most of the afternoon.  We decided to have fun with the camera and the hubs is always giving me a hard time about how there are never any pictures of me.  So there, here's a picture of me.  And also evidence that he may want to eat my face.  Ew.

Some days I'm not so sure about his motives . . . 

Monday, February 25, 2013

And The Oscar Goes To . . .

Just to start off, this is not going to be a cliched review of last nights penultimate award ceremony.  What it is going to be is an admission that as much as I love being here in Europe, I wish I were back in the States to watch the Oscars with my Mom.  You see, since I was in college, my mom and I have done our own Joan and Melissa Rivers routine while watching the various awards shows.  We critique the outfits, obviously, but we also look at the speeches and all the other nonsense that goes all with it all.  Ok mostly it's the clothes, who am I kidding.

Take this hot mess for example (the woman on the right). . . . why on this earth would you wear this hideous outfit to the Oscars when you were nominated?  Sure, if you are just going to be there, not an actor, director, writer or crew member, by all means make your own fashion statement.  But no, this woman was nominated and won!  As a result she had to go up on stage looking a fright.  My mother would have slapped me for going to something as prestigious as the Oscars wearing this failed ensemble.  I can only hope she thought she wasn't going to win.

Anyway, when I get back to the States I will gladly go back to my superficial and stereotypical review of Hollywood's elite.  It's ever so much fun! :)