And so it begins…
OK I figured I better start posting about our arrival before I forget it all. Coming to GE was far less complicated than leaving Oki….so my anxiety level should fall under normal range as I type this all out :o)
We arrived on the 17th (Mon.) at about 12noon. Because we were so last minute (which means no one was there to pick us up at the airport), we had to go through the procedure that most all new baby Army soldiers go through when they arrive in country. I hated it! If I didn’t have three kids and 10 bags, maybe I would have loved it….but um NO, it sucked! We waited for some Army dude to check EVERYONE’S forms before he led us to an empty hallway to dump our carts (yes we were the only people that had 3). Let me just give you a little history on the carts by the way, they are the self-braking kind…you know, the kind where you have to grasp the lever to make it roll and if you let it go, it brakes. Ok anyway, the airport uses those big a$$ things on the escalators. Forget the nasty look I got at the Wellington Green Mall for hiking my mini umbrella stroller on the escalator in FL…..I’m talking 100lb luggage carts (when empty) mobbing up on an escalator. So FINE, I am trusting this guy who has obviously done this more than once. He says, “roll it onto the steps and just LET GO”…..so we all did just that. In single formation (you know how the military likes that), carts started flying up the escalator. I think I watched about 5 go up before I felt ok with going. Push and brake I went and in seconds I was gliding upwards. HOWEVER…..nobody gave the class about what happens when your tires don’t catch coming off and you become a sandwich for your cart and the cart behind you. WTF!!?? Mine wouldn’t roll off the escalator and the front wheels just kept spinning. Meanwhile, the person’s cart behind me started to push me into it….again 100lbs each empty (did I mention neither were empty). I screamed when I felt my leg begin to crush and George came running (like my hero or something) to grab my cart….luckily, I only sustained a bruise (go figure) on my shin. But, I could have been killed right there. That happened within the first 30 minutes of being in Frankfurt….hee hee!
After we parked our carts, we headed to some weird room where they had wrestling playing and random people sleeping in chairs. They gave us a brief after about 30 minutes (I am dying at this point because we are all too grimy, starving, and TIRED to be waiting on some BS). We were then instructed to watch a video on sexual harassment (seriously??), then they took us downstairs with carts in hand to the bus loading area. (I saw a McD’s on the way and made the whole group stop….too bad). Our bus to K-Town left about 20 minutes later and I slept the whole way there. I was then awakened by some civilian guy asking us if we were the Isla’s…um Yeah! So we got off the bus to see 3 Soldiers from George’s unit there to pick us up. (Apparently the dude at the airport called and warned them we were coming so that there would be someone there…but, I later found out they had no idea we were coming). One was our Sponsor and the other two were there to help get our luggage. We then ventured to the Barbarossa Hof (hotel) to get a room. It oozed Germany….and it all came flooding back! See what I mean….
It was nice at first, they put us in two rooms though and the big kids had to stay alone. I wasn’t happy about that since the rooms did not connect and some other guy’s room was right there with us. So we asked to be moved as soon as a Family Suite came open. They did just that the next day and the room they gave us was NASTY!! I guess it was in the older part of the hotel and full of mold! (Who knew Germany had mold like that)….it was smelly and awful. I didn’t even feel safe in there. We left there as soon as one of the other hotels opened up. We are now temp residents of the See Hotel in Gelterswoog. The have Family Suite Apartments and it is much nicer. Just look at this view….
The lake always has some action going on (whether it be motorized boats, canoeing, swimming, fishing,etc). We decided to venture out one day and walk that trail that goes ALL AROUND the lake. It was so cool. The kids were happy to soak up all that surrounded them. And I finally got my cool, brisk breeze I was waiting for….here is our mini adventure:
How cute are they? I have a painting of the Black Forest that has couple walking on it that looks just like this…
And you know I cannot post anything about Germany without adding some yummy food pics. I had flashbacks of not only the brotchen (bread), jagerschnitzel (pork cutlet with mushroom sauce), and pommes frits (fries)….but I soon became re-familiarized with the little things, like the ketchup. First, I forgot you had to pay for extra ketchup here. That’s because the packets are HUGE!!! And yes, it is the Queen of the pommes….(this is a regular sized saucer by the way)
There is more to come….but I had to share some of the first couple days so I didn’t feel that far behind!! Love ya and wish you all were here….(I’m only a passport away, just sayin’)