August 22, 2008

The Apartment

I thought I might give a little online tour of our apartment and the area that we live in. Not too sure if anyone will make it out to see us this year, but this is the exciting life that you get to look forward to if you ever find yourself in Germany :)

So, here is the apartments that we live in and the street that they stand on. I thought at first we were driving into a college dorm area when I first arrived, but this is just the style. Half expected someone in a toga costume, or a "Tennis Pros and Hoes" costume to come out the front door, but (sadly) college is over and that didn't happen. Hey, who knows, maybe these crazy Germans are down for some themed parties! 80s anyone??

(and for those of you who know what I am talking about, does it not remind you of the Brothel?!?!)

The apartments are in a nice enough area and are fairly close to the city. The ice rink is only 13 minutes away by train (yes, exactly 13 minutes, I timed it yesterday). Downtown is only 25 min. And there is a grocery store two stops down the line and a small mall about 5 more stops further into town. Thought at first that we might be living a bit too outside the main part of the city, but the more we are here, the more I think we live perfect distance between the city center and the outskirts.

We live on the third floor, look for the two top windows on the building. No neighbors to the side, just a common indoor drying room for clothes. No, not what you're thinking, no electric dryers in there, just clothes lines and a good breeze.

At first glance into the apartment (the walls are not green and I have no idea why they photographed like that) I couldn't help but think that we would literally be living on top of each other. But once you walk in, rooms just start popping out of nowhere!

The first stop in our palatial mansion is the bathroom, or as they all call it here, the toilet (sick, that word just conjures up bad images in my mind). I guess in times of 'emergencies' its nice that the bathroom is the first thing you see when walking in...note to self, always pee with the door securely closed.

Move to the right into our living room, the room with the only TV and internet connection, so we hardly ever leave this space. I like our red shaggy rugs throughout the place, they make it funky and cozy at the same time. There is lots of storage everywhere, too, but its not like we have much to put in the drawers.

The living room feeds into our spare bedroom, which is huge for a spare bedroom. Look at all the space our visitors could have (wink wink...come visit!).

But, there is a catch, you must share this room with our state-of-the-art clothes dryer...and my husband's undies drying on the line. Sorry hon!

Back out to the hall, up a bit and to the left is our kitchen. Not a lot of counter space (or a microwave, dammit) but its just right for the two of us.
By the kitchen is our dinning/storage room, which has more chairs than people that we could ever fit in the apartment. At least we have lots of windows everywhere. We hardly have to turn on the lights during the daytime and we can always get a good breeze blowing through.

And finally, in the back of place, is our bedroom. Big, comfy king bed. Two large standing wardrobes. And plenty of room to spare. What more could we ask for!

Oh, and one more neat thing. The Germans love their gardens and they are very meticulous about keeping them well maintained. We are on the third floor, so we don't have the luxury of having a garden just yet (thinking about starting a little indoor herb garden...but I don't have the best record of keeping plants alive, lol).
At least we get to enjoy the view of the landscaping 3 floors down. Love that they have gnomes in them!

August 19, 2008

The First Impressions...

So, almost one week here in Germany. And I thought that this time would never come. After last year, with us getting jerked around for the most of the first half of the season, it seemed like nothing good or exciting would come our way. I couldn't have been more wrong!!
As it turns out, the team he ended up on won the championship, we got married during the team celebration in Las Vegas (sober, mind you!), and my husband's deal with the DEL league here was the perfect cherry-on-top finish to a crazy, crazy season! Some blessings really do take longer to get here, but holy cow, they are hard to wait for!

So, we are on our new adventure, playing, and loving in GERMANY! I hadn't been to Germany before, and although all my backpacking friends who traveled across this country loved every bit of the beer drinking, lederhosen culture, I didn't really know what to expect. Living in Europe is not too foreign to me (I lived in Greece last summer), and at the same time it is all foreign to me (but all in a fun way)!

**Taking the metro is so easy, but inconvenient in my mind; I am so used to tootin' around town in my little Jetta. We do have a car, but a damn standard, and I don't feel that comfortable yet driving in the city. I mean, really, who in the US drives a stick??
**The grocery store has everything we need, but we stand out as North Americans when we load up the cart every time and everyone else in the store has 2 or 3 items.
**Still have YET to have a good German beer, something that NEEDS be remedied oh so soon, haha. Mixed drinks in bars are priced out the wazoo, so there goes my vodka and soda fix. I think I will live, though. It turns out that decent bottles of wine (I'm talking $10-15 bottles in the US) are only € 2 in the grocery stores! Sweet...
**Skinny "euro" jeans and roomy tunics have me blending in pretty good, but I am missing sandals and boot-leg jeans, something unheard of here, lol. Who am I kidding, I still feel like I am sticking out like a sore worries though, kinda like it.
**Our apartment has so much more space than I expected, and the furniture is nice and new, although it feels like I am living in an IKEA. Still waiting for Sven to jump out of the cupboard to serve me some meatballs!
**German is hard, lol. Lots of "ichs" sticking in the back of my throat
**Oh, and CNN, BBC, and most of the shows on MTV (God help me, "I love New York" is still running here) are in English and therefore have become my favorite channels.

No, but what do I really have to complain about?? Nothing of any importance. The people seem really nice here, especially the other players and their wives and girlfriends (thank goodness!). The team is off to a great start, 3-0 baby, shocking most everyone in the league. And I am here with the hubby, who I can't complain about too much, lol. I am surrounded by green landscapes and manicured gardens everywhere I turn. It is really beautiful, although locals might say that the town is more 'industrial' than countryside. I found some hiking trails around our place and the scenery was breathtaking for me. No wonder the Grimm Brothers decided to write their tales here.
Life is good in Germany, and I intend to keep it that way!