Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Month in Germany

Hallo! It's hard to believe that one month ago we drove our weighed-down Volkswagon Golf from St Andrews, Scotland to Wuppertal, Germany. I don't think I imagined I would ever move countries 33 weeks pregnant, but to my surprise, it can be done!

For dinner on Thursday night in Dover, England, we stumbled upon a quaint pub serving tapas. It felt like we were back in Spain. After complimenting the chef, he bought us each a drink on the house: a beer for Garrick and a cranberry and soda for me. Our hotel room got upgraded to a suite with a sea view, and we truly relaxed. This was an unexpected blessing for us as I had expected the trip to be something to get through, not something I would enjoy.

The next morning we caught the 7:20am ferry to Calais, France. Our drive through France, Belgium, and Germany was pretty uneventful, although Garrick just received a speeding ticket in the mail from France. We arrived and quickly looked around our new flat and planned what we could do with the space before calling it a day. On Saturday, we took of first of four trips to the place we love and hate: Ikea.

And now we've been here over a month! "One day at a time" has been my mantra. This move has been like our move to Scotland on steroids. The language barrier being one reason, and another, the fact that Garrick has to do most of the work because I'm in my third trimester. But, I feel like our move to Scotland gave us the wisdom and skills to equip up for this move. This past Friday was the one month mark of our new life here. Most nights are spent enjoying a slow dinner, followed by a game of cribbage, and then a movie. This time as a couple before our first child arrives has been wonderful in so many ways.

Here are some highlights of month one:

- Our flat is now a home! My next post will be a photo tour. Garrick hopes to never again put together Ikea furniture.

- I've established care with a Frauenarzt and have had two great appointments. Eloise was breech but turned and we now await her arrival! We'll attend an information session at the birthing hospital this evening. 

- Garrick has continued working at the Theologisches Zentrum Wuppertal and developed a routine he enjoys.

- We've set up wifi, mobile phones, etc.

- Saturdays are usually spent exploring Wuppertal and surrounding cities. We've found a few great restaurants and walked around the Botanical Gardens near our house. We also took the train to Münster and found a lovely market and enjoyed the local brewery. 

- We've attended the Evangelical church below our flat and the first two songs were in English. My favourite line of one of the chorus' was "Jesus lives in my house."

- Friday night we had our first dinner guests.

- We've enjoyed getting to know Garrick's colleagues and enjoyed meals together and birthday celebrations.

- I've slowly found most of the items we needs for Eloise. It's been quite the challenge since most of my product knowledge is North American, but things are coming together.

- I've been working on my German and making slow, slow progress. 

- Garrick is playing baseball for the Wuppertal Stingrays and has his first double-header this Sunday.

To close, here are some iPhone photos of our recent happenings. I've not taken out my DSLR in a while, but I will soon!

Downtown Elberfeld (Wuppertal)

Sankt Laurentius Kirche (Wuppertal)

A rainy view from our kitchen window. 

Our hospital bag is packed!

The Luisenviertel (Wuppertal)

Garrick's birthday spent with new friends. They gave him lots of German food to try!

Bikes in Münster.

34 weeks! (I'm now 37.)


Pinkus Müller Brewery, Münster

Pinkus Müller Brewery, Münster

Bringing the Castle Sands to Germany.

First batch of chocolate chip cookies in our new home.