The internet has been down here and Big R has been busy in Germany, so there is so much to tell!
The house above is our new home! Our apartment is the main level of the building, that is, the first level you see above with a balcony. It's located in a small town just 5km from the center of town and only about 7-8km from the Army post and Big R's office. Our new little town is the home to about 6,000 people, so it's a perfect size, yet it's a stone's throw away from everything that we could need. The Haupstrasse, or main street, is a mere 500-800m away, or a quick 10 minute walk from our new place.
This beautiful Haupstrasse includes several bakeries, a coffee shop, and a few butcher shops. Isn't it amazing how incredibly clean the streets are?! Oh, and we cannot forget that we have our very own town brewery.
It's a beauty, no? Apparently it's the last of five breweries that used to call this little town home. Big R has already had a beer or two in this sweet little joint, and I have no doubt they are the first of many. There is also an indoor pool or aquatic center in our town. Such a lovely thought that we'll be able to keep up our swimming while we're stationed in Germany. Also hoping to get little r in some lessons. All of this just a mere 10-15 minute walk from our apartment! The Germans are a bicycle-friendly bunch, so they put good money into making great and extensive bike trails. Accordingly to Big R, there is an amazing bike trail that follows the river into town toward the Army post. He can hop on his fancy new cruiser and be at the office in 25 minutes. (Yep, finally got a picture of these fine wheels.) Have no fear, in inclimate weather we can use the bus transit system, which stands in no comparison to any system we have here in the U.S.
So, a little more about the apartment... It's 130m2, or about 1,400 sq ft for us Americans. Three bedrooms, one full bath and a guest bath, a huge living room, and a dining room that finally warrants us investing in a table and chairs suitable only for grown-ups (which I suppose we finally need to admit that we are). We will have access our wrap-around porch from a couple different rooms including a huge window and access from the master bedroom.
The house sits at the edge of town, or as the German translation goes: the end of the world! A better translation is that we have a backyard that extends for an eternity and creates a haven for our pup and our crazy tiger cat. Can't say we'll be getting many complaints out of either of them.
We are still unsure how we managed this, and I am daily wishing Big R were here to pinch me because it all seems too good to be true. Housing was a bear and Big R did have to seek out a real estate agent, or immobilienmakler, to help make this a reality. The housing office was not pet-friendly and we're sorry, but our pets are like our kids, so they go where we go! Although the money came from our pockets, this amazing immobilienmakler was worth every penny.
Big R has the keys in hand and is officially moving in tomorrow. All this made easier because he is officially driving in Germany now. He barely squeaked by and passed the driver's test, so they gave him a license (Oh Lord help us all!), and he was reunited with his race car today. Our Saab apparently immensely enjoys going 120 mph on the autobahn!
Home sweet home awaits. Big R is borrowing some much-needed furniture items until our household goods arrive. And in true German form, the kitchen still needs to be installed. He was able to negotiate a kitchen into the rent (including a dishwasher - yeehaaa) with the only downside being he has to wait for the kitchen his landlord ordered to arrive and get it installed. Guess we'll be heavily using a microwave for 6 weeks! And no sink, hmmm... This is when life gets creative. Salads and sandwiches anyone?!
Each time I talked to Big R he seems more excited about this assignment. I just can't wait until little r and I get to join him. Thanks for joining us on this adventure. I do believe we are in for a wild and very enjoyable ride :)