After an INSANE week of packing, working, running last minute errands, spending time with friends, cleaning out our house, driving to Baltimore, dropping our car off at the port, spending 12 hours in an airport, and 7 hours in an airplane over the Atlantic... WE HAVE MADE IT! No more countdowns, no more preparation... we live in Germany.
I still can't quite believe it.
Last week went pretty well. At one point we had all three moving companies in our house, and it was hectic trying to direct them all toward the right piles and making sure the right things were leaving with the proper trucks. The pups started to get a bit overwhelmed when the house started to empty out, but they found consolation when we ended up sleeping downstairs on an air mattress for our last few nights in the house. They got the special treat of climbing on the bed and curling up with us--usually a huge no no in our house since I can't stand dog hair in my sheets!
Some of our good friends were kind enough to rescue us from our air mattress hell (I was waking up at least once an hour and completely stiff with pain every morning--I'm getting too old for this shit) and we stayed at their house on Saturday and Sunday night. Saturday, a few of my amazingly wonderful friends hosted a beautiful going away/shower for us. The theme was our "Journey to Parenthood", and they had peeked at my Pinterest to get an idea for decorations! The house was decked out with banners and hearts made out of maps, the food was all based around the places that we have lived together over the years--apple pie for Washington, jambalaya for Louisiana, benne wafers for Charleston, Kaisespatzle for Germany, etc--and all of the colors were my front runners for the nursery, aqua, green and yellow. It was so, so fantastic and we had a wonderful evening with our closest Charleston friends.
Monday, we woke up early, loaded up the car and took care of all our last minute to-do's, then hit the road toward Baltimore around 9:30 am. We hit some DC traffic that delayed us about an hour, but we made it to our hotel around 7, then went out for a quick dinner. We went to a really yummy sushi place, Sushi Q for all you Baltimore folk, and I got called out for being pregnant by a stranger for the first time ever. Guess these babies are starting to make their presence known!
Tuesday was a very long day as we had to complete the intricate dance of dropping our car off at the port, picking up a rental car and reloading everything in the hotel back into the car, then getting to the airport, heading to a wonderful lunch with my very good blog (and real life now!) friend, Lynn and her adorable kids, dropping Colby and all of our stuff at the curb while I went back to drop the rental car off, shuttled back to the airport where we checked in... and then sat for 12 hours. We checked in at 3:45 and were supposed to take off a bit before 10 pm, but there were mechanical issues and the plane didn't even arrive until 9:45, so we finally took off at midnight.
Although we couldn't talk our way into the first class seats--even playing the pregnant card!--the check-in agent got us some good seats on the top level of the 747, and I had more legroom than I've ever had in a non-bulkhead seat. There was also a little shelf between my seat and the window where I could put drinks, books and other airplane paraphernalia and not feel squished against the wall. We both slept for most of the flight and landed around 1:30 pm on Wednesday Germany time. It took us a while to get our bags, and while Ellie seemed to endure the flight without too much trauma, Jack spent the flight trying to chew his way out of his airline crate. He even managed to bend some of the metal on the door with the force of his chewing. He must have been absolutely crazy with fear, poor little guy. He chipped one of his canines, so we'll need to get him into a vet soon to make sure his teeth are okay.
Our friends picked us up at the terminal and brought us over to our temporary living facilities. We're set up very nicely for the next few weeks until we can find a permanent housing solution. We've got two bedrooms, a nice bathroom, a washer and dryer, a very big (for Germany!) kitchen with a dining area and a living room. Colby spent today inprocessing and I slept in then got unpacked and did a little organizing. When Colby got home from work we went for a long walk with the pups to enjoy the beautiful weather.
We've still got a long road ahead of us--we have to find a car to buy, a house to rent, set up cell phone service and all of our utilities, figure out a local banking plan, have our household goods delivered, unpack... it's overwhelming, but I'm so excited to be here, and I'm just hoping things start to fall into place soon. Here we go!