I arrived in Germany at 7:00am Saturday morning (midnight central time) where Steve picked me up and drove me home. We came home to drop off my bags and so I could see the new place that up til now, I had only seen in pictures. It's larger than I had imagined and SO cute! I love our view out the living room window. I love the floors - wood in living/dining - carpet in the bedrooms and a nice NEUTRAL tile in the kitchen. If you've seen the tile in our house in Plano, you know this was a welcome change of pace. We will definitely be getting new floors when we get back.
Steve had a pretty serious agenda for us when I arrived - since he has been living in a 100% empty and about 80% dark house for the last two weeks. I guess another part of the renting culture in Europe, in addition to installing your own kitchen, is installing your own light fixtures. There was the occasional lightbulb hanging naked from the ceiling but other than that, no light. Poor Steve. He has also had cars on the brain since even before he got here - so our first stop was Pentagon Auto Sales in Heidelberg where we did a little browsing. Then we went to Bauhaus which is sort of like a smaller version of Home Depot - we bought a couple of light fixtures for the entry hall.
We stopped for a little lunch in the Altstadt (or Old Town) and had quite the parking trauma. We were driving down this particular street because we saw cars parked along it - got to the end without finding an empty spot - only to find ourselves dead-ending at a pedestrian mall type place - a street CLEARLY for pedestrians only. There's a car behind us (apparently he didn't know what he was doing either) so we just sat there, wondering what in the world we were supposed to do! This nice older lady stopped us and told us to just drive slowly through the people and turn around - Okay! We didn't have any better ideas so that's wat we did.
We headed back towards home, stopped in Heppenheim for some more shopping. We went to the Media Mkt where we bought all things electrical - hair dryer, printer, toaster, coffee maker, etc, etc. Then a couple of other stops for other small essentials and to get an idea what to expect at places called Toom or Praktiker. Yes, I'm missing Super Target right about now. But that's okay - open mind.
We came home and I tried to make myself halfway presentable for us to go to dinner. What I haven't mentioned is that at this point, I have been up for about 28 hours. I thought I was dying. The bags under my eyes were hideous! But Steve swore that it was for the best and I would be glad that I stayed up. So I did - we went to Heppenheim where they were in the last couple of days of a week-long wine festival. We ate brats and drank wine and met some people around our age. Their English was MUCH better than our German - although I have to give Steve credit - he can manage a pretty decent conversation in German these days.
Then FINALLY - I got to go home and get some sleep.
I woke up Sunday feeling like a new person - at least at first. We made breakfast and relaxed a little bit. Then we were off for more shopping. Since nothing local is open on Sundays, we took that opportunity to drive to the post in Mainz. We did some looking - just to see what our options were. We bought a bike for me - random purchase - don't laugh - I WILL use it. It was a really good deal and I knew I wanted one. Can't have Steve biking off into the hills without me. Ha! We also bought a desk chair for me (no desk yet) and a trash can for the kitchen. On our way home the rental car started having issues - a couple of lights popped on on the dash and we were losing acceleration. Luckily it didn't die on us and we were close to Frankfurt where we could take it back in. So we swapped our silver Audi station wagon for a black one and we were back in business.
We went back to the Heppenheim wine festival for dinner - since it was the last night and we just wanted something quick - we knew we could get a good brat there. :)
I was still feeling the time difference and was pretty tired - but feeling 100 times better than I did Saturday.
Monday was my first day to work here. I took advantage of the opportunity to catch up on my sleep since I don't start working til 12:30. Since I don't have a desk yet, I sat out on our balcony - where there is at least a table (and my new desk chair). It was a gorgeous day - a little chilly in the morning but still pleasant. The weather was so weird - sunny and warm - then cooler and raining a bit - then back to sunny and warm - then back to rainy. Nothing too thrilling but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first official day of telecommuting. The best part - I didn't go home angry after sitting on Central Expressway for an hour!