Tuesday, November 1, 2016

We're Here!

We made it to Germany on Sunday afternoon after an eventful, yet thankfully uneventful day of travel.  Eventful parts: one of our 12 suitcases ripping as we loaded it to go to the airport (thankfully the packing tape held!), forgetting to return the rental car keys with the rental car, near loss of a laptop, and then manhandling 12 suitcases out of the airport.  Surprisingly uneventful: timely flights and happy children who traveled well, including one who even pulled his own bags!  The kids did better than expected and have adjusted to the time well so far.  It has helped that they each slept about 4 hours on the international flight and have been excited enough to stay awake most of the two days since arriving. Brandtley falls asleep any time he sits still for long, though, which makes any car ride quiet. :)

Speaking of quiet - the quiet laws here are legit. And awesome.  While I thought our home in Atlanta was pleasantly quiet for being in midtown, that was nothing compared to this. The Ruhezeit or Quiet Laws require that you be quiet and respectful of others from sundown until the morning, and also on Sundays & holidays.  I've heard this includes everything from mowing your lawn to running the dishwasher, though the level of enforcement depends on your neighbors.  Airplanes are also required to follow noise restrictions.  With the lack of central heating/air and ceiling fan, there is also no mechanical/electrical white noise either.  We slept with the window cracked last night and heard nothing.  (I was almost grateful for Matthew's snoring just for some ambient sound! I'm sure that won't last long...)

The windows themselves are really cool.  They seal completely. And unlike the typical windows in the States, don't raise/lower, but instead can either open or tilt, which provides safe ventilation without letting in rain.

The church that is visible through the windows is a Catholic church with bells.  It's lovely to hear them on the quarter hour throughout the day and reminds me of our college days. Since today is All Saint's Day, the bells performed a prolonged melody at 7am, though, which was not as appreciated, but prompted me out of bed to blog.  Somehow the kids slept through the bells and are still asleep at 8:48am now!

Here is a picture of our German bed at the vrbo we're temporarily staying at until we take possession of our apartment.  Notice there are 2 mattresses & 2 duvets on top. Each partner gets to choose their own comfort in mattress firmness & duvet warmth.  (This is what it looks like when the bed is made - each duvet is folded in half & you unfold to sleep).

I'll leave you with just a few more photos from our day yesterday, which we spent in Altstadt Bonn (the "old town" which is still the functional downtown) looking for glutenfrei food, purchasing a hairdryer, a temporary pre-paid cell phone (which I'm currently locked out of & need to translate the instructions to figure out how to unlock), skillets/pans, and muesli, followed by trick-or-treating.

We stumbled upon a band playing in front of the statue of Beethoven in Münsterplatz (one of the central squares in Bonn Altstadt).

We ate lunch outside at Cassius Garten, which is very gluten free friendly.  Allergens & dietary restrictions are clearly marked, and staff is knowledgeable about gluten-containing ingredients.  It's buffet style, but very fresh, tasty and healthy food.  Matthew compared it to a larger Whole Foods buffet.

Advent calendars in a department store.  
We've been told Germany is a magical Christmasland and the advent calendars we saw yesterday were beautiful.  This is only a small view of a large selection for sale.

The cool coffee maker at the place we're staying.

The exterior of the house we're staying in.  It's both floors on the left side of a two-family house. 



  1. Such an exciting time in your lives. I'm thrilled for all of you!!

  2. So thankful you made it safely and without to much hassle! It sounds like the luggage was a bit of a job - 12 bags wow -!! And so praising God that the boys did excellent!! Talk about quiet hours girl! Love that!! It's the little things! -and so glad you found a place to eat that's gluten free! Continuing to pray the Lord will give blessing upon blessing to you all and the language will come easier than expected! Miss and love you! Let me know when you get a phone that connects to Skype or FaceTime! :)

  3. What an adventure! I'm grateful to the All Saints' Day bells for waking you up so you could start this blog. Thanks for sharing these experiences! And thanks be to God for your uneventful safe travels and for the strong packing tape that held your bag together through three flights and untold numbers of tossing by baggage handlers!

  4. This will be a highlight of my day!! Thank you so much for starting this blog!

  5. Love hearing your story. Thanks so much for blogging!