Thursday, November 5, 2009


So we have been here in Garmisch, Germany for 11 days-it seems longer than that even though several of those days were spent mostly just trying to stay awake. The first adjustment to conquer was definitely the time change. An 8 hour change from Utah time was significant. For instance, it is 9am as I write this but in Utah it is 1am. Try telling your body to be awake and stay awake for another 12 hours when it is used to being in deep REM...Ben was better at that than I was, but then again he had to be at work Monday morning after our Sunday arrival...and I have always needed more sleep than him. ;) Anyway, by now, we are in good shape. I have even gotten up before 8am the last few days and left the house with Ben for work-oops, does that sound braggy? (Any The Office fans out there?)

So now that we have adjusted our sleep schedules, we are still adjusting to not having our own place. The apartment we are in is a comforatable enough place for a one week vacation spot, but to live in....not so much. So we have resorted to sleeping on the futon which is more comfortable than the bed and cannot wait to have our first shipment of goods arrive with REAL pillows...they have these feather pillows here that you have to bunch and bunch just to get like a 1/2 inch of height out of them. I don't mean to complain, but I think I'm gonna need some serious chiropractic care if our own pillows don't arrive soon. ;)

Not having a car yet has been interesting. Our apartment is about a 20-30 minute walk to the base (where Ben works, computer/internet access, commissary/grocery, PX/shopping, library) so we have had to figure out other modes of transport b/c the walk is just a little too far for some of the back and forth our schedule has required. One of Ben's co-workers has lent us 2 bikes which are awesome, but in the rain/snow, we have learned to use the bus which is much more efficient. I still walk the dog during the day, giving us both exercise, as long as weather allows. Most rainy days it clears up by afternoon so that hasn't been a problem. There are tons of pedestrian only walkways even besides the shopping district in Garmisch, which is only 2 blocks from our apartment.

Storm and I have been having fun finding new places to walk. They have a walking/bike trail right by the river that reminds me of the Ogden River Parkway. It has little covered bridges that cross...very pretty, quiet and perfect for our walks. We may have arrived a little too late in the season to get any real hiking in before winter really sets in-especially with our limited clothing options at this point.

Yesterday and today we had appointments to start looking at long term housing. We looked at a very large house in Garmisch that is old, not at all updated and too big for our little family. So that won't work. We also saw an apartment very close to Ben's work that we liked. It is a ground floor and basement apartment with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, new wood/laminate floors and a fenced yard for the dog to roam in. The bedrooms are "snug" so we would have to make that work with our furniture but the living room space, kitchen, bathrooms and guest space are all great. The patio has a mountain view and there is plenty of light. There is a faint smell of smoke from the previous tenant, but we think that if the landlord takes out his curtains and we put our own up that might help with the smell. So far it is our best option. We are anxious to get into our own place but don't want to jump the gun, either.

Another adjustment has been not having internet in our apartment...I didn't anticipate that since most hotels, B&Bs, etc in the states have wireless. But, there is a cafe on base (where I am now) and a pub close to base that have free wireless so I am figuring out their hours and how best to lug our new (bigger) laptop around safely and efficiently. I guess I have been spoiled. :) But since we don't have a phone yet the internet is our best connection to friends and family in the states, so it is pretty important to work something out...and I think we have. The bus runs from 1 block from our apartment right to the gate of the garrison where the cafe is. So, if I load the laptop up in the backpack (that we had to buy when we got here b/c Ben's messenger bag wasn't cutting it) and hop a bus, I can sit and drink tea and enjoy my happy connections to home. :) Hopefully that will mean more frequent blogs.

Speaking of connections to home, we have German Cable TV in the apartment but the only english channels are MTV and CNN, so we are either learning all about world weather and politics or we are watching disturbing music videos or reality TV shows-so the TV is not often on...which is pretty typical since we didn't have Cable TV in Utah. It is helping me to learn some German, though...the commercials crack me up!

The last adjustment is the fact that we are eating dinner out everynight, which is fun but a lot of work finding good places to eat and then changing it up often enough. There are plenty of restaurants around and we have returned to some of our favorites a couple of times. There are a couple of good Italian places in Garmisch-and I had really good pizza for the first time since our Philly trip in July. The German cuisine has been like American cuisine in that if you are in a good restaurant, you may get some really good food, but if you are in a bar/cafe you may get great drinks and ok food. Ben is, of course, loving the beer, while I am learning to drink hot tea with dinner or Coke with no ice or tap water if we are in an American-friendly place. :) There is a McDonalds in town, and I hate to say we have been there a couple of times-but it is the only take out place we know of and sometimes we just want to sit home and watch a movie instead of enjoying the long lingering dinner experience that is common in Europe. Eventually we will be in our permanent housing and will be able to cook-also, we will have a car so we can buy more groceries to take home-now it is whatever we can carry, which isn't much.

Be sure to comment and ask questions-there are lots more things I want to blog about, but I am curious what kinds of questions you have that I can answer. I'm sure I am leaving out plenty of things.


Steve said...

Ahhhh the food! Those photos just made me so hungry :)

Remind Ben (if he's forgotten) about that restaurant in Kitzb├╝hel that had the nightly (if I remember correctly) "workers meal". It was really reasonably priced and sort of unique - whatever the chef felt like preparing for himself for the evening. I'd be sort of curious to see if there's something similar in your area.

Great update, look forward to more - take some pics of the places you're investigating if you have a chance :)

Rebecca said...

I'm enjoying living vicariously though you with just a hint of envy popping in now and then.

Here is a link Amber gave me for practicing speaking German - it is interactive...might help.

Hannah said...

Have you decided on a place to live yet? Can't wait to see more pictures...everything looks amazing! Thanks for posting it all.