We have officially been here one week, and so far I am loving living in Germany! I am definitely still in the honeymoon stage of moving, and it honestly just feels like I’m on vacation. We are staying in a temporary living apartment (TLA), which feels like a super sweet AirBnb. It’s new, the windows are huge, the kitchen is amazing, and it is basically straight from an Ikea catalog. Plus, there’s an amazing rooftop patio.
We got here on Friday morning, and after settling in, we took the dogs on a nice long walk to explore. We are currently in Kaiserslautern, which is the big city in this area. Whenever I went backpacking or traveling abroad with my friends, we would stay in hostels in the heart of the city, so this really solidified the feeling of just being on vacation. We can walk to the mall and grocery stores and tons of cute restaurants! I love it.
Friday night, Timmer’s sponsor (which is essentially like a peer buddy/peer mentor in the corporate world – someone you can ask your questions to and who helps you get acclimated to your new work environment) and his wife and baby came over to drop off a welcome bag of groceries, dog food (amazing), and dinner. It was our first introduction to schnitzel salads <3 and Timmer and I topped it off with a toast on the rooftop while looking for houses.
On Saturday, Dan (Timmer’s sponsor) took us to a cookout with a bunch of people Timmer will be working with at the hospital. It was so fun to meet other Americans and to quickly have some girl time! I got the inside scoop on lash places, nail places, massages, etc., in Kaiserslautern – very important stuff. Afterwards, Dan took us to the BX (our first time on the Ramstein Air Force Base) and we got German cell phone numbers and a bank account! Yes, real adult things, but still feeling like I’m on vacation.
Sunday – on our Friday explorations, we found a Catholic church five minutes away from our TLA, so we decided to check it out on Sunday. It was all in German!!! Truthfully had no idea what was going on, but we still tried to sing along to the hymns (lol). The biggest takeaway from that experience was that the kneelers on the pews are literally planks of wood, without padding, and really hurt to kneel, so bring a scarf or cardigan that you can put under your knees. Also there is no air conditioning in the church – which is the complete opposite of what I’m used to. Usually I am freezing during mass.
After church, we decided to explore and see what restaurants, if any, were open on Sundays. I had been warned many times that everything shuts down on Sundays, but luckily in Kaiserslautern, so many cute restaurants are open! We quickly decided that our permanent home in Germany needs to be walkable to restaurants (and bonus points if they are open on Sundays).
Monday was in-processing for Timmer on the base. We were told spouses were invited, so I tagged along to have a second set of ears to hear about housing, finances, and other fun adult things. It was interesting, and I’m glad I went, but I decided that was the last day of in-processing for me. Later in the evening, we went to look at our first house on our house search! More on that in a different post.
Tuesday through Thursday I experienced life as a stay at home dog mom, and wowww I really am living my best life. 😂 I’m sure it will get old soon, but this week was pretty sweet. I’d wake up, drink coffee, take the kids on a long walk, do the drivers course and test (took forever), did some research, some blogging, some German lessons, workout/yoga, eat lunch on the roof…yeah no complaints here!! We looked at a second house on Tuesday, and found an awesome Italian restaurant in Ramstein, within walking distance of that house.
I’m not going to bore you with a play by play of the past week, but just wanted to give a quick update about living in Germany so far – I’m still drinking rosé, it still feels like a vacation, Timmer is still in-processing, the dogs are good and are enjoying the balcony and really enjoying having a stay at home dog mom, and I am loving life! I posted about the things we have learned about living in Germany so far, and next week I plan on posting about flying with our dogs abroad and about international house hunting. This weekend we are going on our first day trip to Trier, Germany! Trier is one of Germany’s oldest cities and has a lot of preserved Roman structures. So stay tuned for a post on that trip. And make sure to follow our foodstagram!