This blog is written as a way for me to express my feelings, thoughts and emotions as I go through life as a proud Air Force Wife!


December 22, 2011

Christmas in Europe

                   This is our first European Christmas and I kind of like it. I would like it more of course if our family was here. Holidays are always different when you dont have family around. Sure- this is not our first Christmas that we are not spending with family BUT the difference is the distance. There is something weird about being just so far from home. The feeling is weird I guess because it is that much harder to make it home for Christmas. If our family lived on the east coast it would be easier but alas out family is all the way in CA. That's is seriously far from here.

                       I do like it here because it is very festive and peaceful. It seems like the Christmas Spirit is just sweeter here. I love all the Christmas markets that you can go to. They are fully decorated and have all these cute little shops that you can just stroll along and have a nice family evening. They sell YUMMY Gluhwein that is warm sweet wine and Gluhbier that is warm cherry beer. It is only €2.5 and you give them a €2 deposit on the glass. You can choose to keep the glass or turn it back in for your deposit. They have different ones based on where you are and what the vendor has. hmmmm  I can see a gluhwein cup collection starting.  :-)

                When we did live near our family I remember the holiday struggle with who's house to go to first and when. Who would we spend Christmas with and who would do all the cooking and so forth. Back then it seemed like a stress just to have Christmas. I have told my husband many times since we have moved that I miss having so many options to choose from. The stress of having to choose where to go and when sounds mighty nice now.

It is true-- you don't know what you have until it's gone!!

       No matter where you are or who you are with this Holiday Season remember to take a moment and think of all those who are alone, less fortunate or in harms way. Even if your times are tough there is ALWAYS someone who is worse off than you are. Keep your head strong and a smile on. This is a time of year to appreciate everything you have and think about what is important to you. 

                         Many blessing to you and yours this Holiday Season!

November 10, 2011


Oh how having a teenager is fun!  I love the mood swings, the mystery and the chaos. I never know which kid I am going to get and how I should talk. The ups and downs of his moods are crazier than a roller coaster.

Of course I am currently the worst parent ever since I don't let him do whatever he wants. AND, OF COURSE- I am the only parent he knows that is SOOOO strict and has rules.

His big thing is that he wishes I didn't care so much. Why can't I be like the other parents and let him do what he wants.


Oh- if only life was that easy. I know I am not the only parent who has rules and heck yeah I care! I carried you in my womb and my world has revolved around you since that moment. Geeesh!!!  I am ready for these days to be done and in the past.

School is the best subject now. Why do homework???  Things that are simple turn into the hardest and most difficult challenges.

I wish we were closer to family so that we weren't the only ones trying to guide him. It's us against him he thinks. He doesn't even want to travel with us. SERIOUSLY- you don't want to go to Italy because that requires you spending time with us.

UGH!  Each day is a different battle. Each day it is a different winner.

October 5, 2011

I said I wouldn't get myself too busy.....

Well- Fall is definitely here. The tree's are changing and it is beautiful. The weather has been kind of crazy here since we got here. Our summer was really late to say the least. Still in the 70's but we didn't get that temp until Sept.

It has been a while since I have been on here :-( Bad blogger- I know. BUT I have been reading the comments and answering emails- at least trying in a timely manner. I have no real great excuse for not writing. It just seems that whenever I think I am going to have tons of time I sign myself up for things and get too busy. It is amazing how busy a person can be with no job.

I tell you- keeping up with all the schedules and appointments for my family alone is so time consuming. Plus, I have been volunteering with various organizations on base and adding to my madness.

I am truly enjoying myself here that's for sure! It is almost overwhelming though because you fell obligated to go see everything and that's just not possible without giving yourself tons of time to do it in. I feel like we are so close to so many things that I am being naughty if I don't explore everywhere. I try to pace myself but I do get anxious if it has been a few weeks and we haven't gone farther than 30 miles from our house.

This past week I found a great basket store that is 3 stories. I thought it was just going to be a small basket store but oh man was I wrong. The wonderful thing about that store is the wide variety of items they sell and GREAT prices. There are baskets in every shape and design but so much home decor and decorations to make your mind go crazy- I LOVE IT!! I told myself I need to visit there at least once a quarter. :-)

-----------> It is located in Dahn and called  (Korbwarenfabrik Hermann Frank). It is on the left right before you enter the village.

Another great store I found close to me is a German consignment store called TiTi's and is in Landstuhl.   Oh goodness me it was AWESOME! I love all the German knick knacks and do dads.

Well, I'm off to do my busy stuff. Will post soon about some great volunteering I did that I want to share about. Toodles for now!  

REMEMBER to get out and explore no matter where you are :-)

July 1, 2011

Help this 11year old reach his goal of thanking soldiers

This is a GREAT story on another way to help support the troops:

Rochester, NY, June 23, 2011 –

Stephen Goodman may seem like a typical 11-year old from Phoenix AZ, but Stephen has a goal that few adults, let alone 11-year olds, would undertake. Stephen wants to personally thank every United States soldier overseas, and working with Kodak, he’s already created 59,932 cards to prove that he’s serious.

So as part of an ongoing effort to support him, Kodak is launching a unique web page dedicated to his efforts.  By visiting supporters can read about this remarkable young person and his project, learn how to get involved, and view updates from Stephen himself.

Supporters of Stephen’s campaign can also log onto Kodak’s Facebook page and leave messages of encouragement which will be streamed onto his new site.

In 2010 Kodak first reached out to Stephen, who was inspired by his grandfather, a Vietnam veteran, and invited him to design his own card template using KODAK Personal Greeting Cards on the KODAK Picture Kiosk. In December of that year, the company donated 20,000 copies of the personally designed cards to Stephen to help him reach his goal. Since the original donation, Kodak printed 116,000 more cards and shipped them to him. Now, Kodak is giving people across the country the chance to show their patriotism and help Stephen directly.
“When we heard Stephen’s inspiring story, we wanted to help in any way we could,” says Rowan Lawson, Director of Worldwide Marketing, for Kodak’s Retail System Solutions Group, “Personalized greeting cards are a meaningful way to share messages of encouragement and thanks, and our Personal Greetings made it a natural fit for Kodak to support Stephen’s endeavor - it’s truly an honor to help him pursue his goal.”
From June 30 until July 9, customers can visit participating CVS/pharmacy and Bartell Drug stores to personalize and print Stephen’s original card design on the KODAK Picture Kiosk. A collection box will be stationed next to the kiosk where cards can be donated to Stephen and help him reach his goal of 180,000 cards.  As an added incentive, Facebook users who “Like” Stephen’s program by clicking “Like” on<, can sign up to receive a coupon from Kodak for a free Stephen Goodman KODAK Personal Greeting Card when they purchase one at a KODAK Picture Kiosk. This means each shopper using the coupon can donate one extra card to Stephen’s effort for free. The coupons can be redeemed beginning June 30 at participating CVS/pharmacy and Bartell stores. Customers can locate participating stores by visiting>go find stehen, entering their zip-code, then simply clicking “Find”.

“A lot of soldiers who served in Vietnam, like my grandpa, never got any support or thanks for their service,” says Stephen. “I wanted to make sure that every soldier serving our country today knows they are appreciated and never feels forgotten.”

For more information and to help Stephen reach his goal to thank all United States troops deployed overseas, visit

June 17, 2011

Good golly- where has time gone???

Geesh- you would think I didn't want to write on this blog anymore considering how long it has been since I have written!!

Well- that is not true.  Time has just gone by and I really have no excuse.

My hubs is in the states for the month and I am kind of jealous. He gets to go to so many stores and restaurants and he will understand what everyone is saying. He was able to spend time with family and go to places and understand what he was buying and seeing.

Don't get me wrong- I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT HERE!!  Would not try to PCS early and get back.  There are toooooo many other things here that are so much better than the states.

        I really like the recycling and how you bring your own bags to the stores. You don't get free    
             plastic or paper bags to waste.

        Most stores you pay a euro to use the shopping carts and then get it back when you return the
              cart. THUS- not a heap of carts all over the parking lots.

           The pastries are yummy to my tummy!!

          The history and beauty here is just amazing.

    And so on and so on---LOL

School is finally out and summer is here.  Or is it????  Where the heck is the summers I am used to. Sitting at the pool getting suntanned. Soaking up loads of Vitamin D and wearing super cute sandals. NOPE- not here yet. It is mid June and I am still wearing a sweater on most days. Goodness that seems like a crime.

Hope you all are soaking up some rays for those who can't yet!

May 9, 2011

So this is the life....

Well, I would be lying if I said I miss the states. It has been so wonderful here. So clear to me now why all my friends who had been stationed overseas before just talk and talk about it. I didn't really get what they were talking about but now it is obvious. 

It is FABULOUS here!!

So much to see and experience.  Yeah- the language barrier can make it rough sometimes. I did eat liver instead of steak but HEY  that's how we learn.  LOL

It amazes me when I talk to people and they haven's went and explored anywhere. Good golly- how can you not!! Maybe the language barrier scares them but I have not once not been able to speak with someone and get what I needed. The liver thing was my fault- I pointed to the food I wanted thinking I knew what it was. Everywhere I go the German's know English very well or they can find a coworker close by who will help.

I went on a USO tour with my family to learn how to use the train system and that was money well spent. We learned how to use the trains and we saw a great place. The USO has lots of great tours and ever changing. Some are pretty pricey but when you add up what it costs in gas to drive it is worth it. Plus sometimes after a long day of exploring I really don't want to drive home.

Overall, this place has so much history and beauty that I can see staying here as long as possible.I am getting used to the autobahn and learning to use the gas pedal more. Plus, trying to explore little villages here and there. They are all so quaint. You can just sit in an outside cafe for hours people watching and enjoying the weather.  I always hear birds chirping away outside my window and can relish in the peacefulness of the surrounding area.

If you have the chance to visit Europe I highly suggest it!

~~~~Auf Wiedersehen~~~ 
                              Good Bye

May 4, 2011

Entemanns Donut Day for the Salvation Army

I found out about Entenmanns National Donut Day. If you go onto facebook and "LIKE" it they are donating $1 for every like to the Salvation Army.

That is EASY money for the Salvation Army, plus you can win an Ipad.  Head over there

and check it out!! No harm done and no money out of your pocket, just a great and easy way to help out.  :-)

April 5, 2011

PCS tips and info for Ramstein AB, Germany

I  PCS'd to Ramstein  (Feb 2011) and kept notes along the way. I started taking notes when I was having a hard time finding out the basic information. This move was our 6th move and it was know where near like any move before. I am hoping this information will help you with a smooth transition. Please pass along this site to other friends who are moving and might need the info.
Remember to   "Bloom where you are planted".    It is up to you on what kind of experience you will have at each base you are stationed.

               Stop right now and go and apply for your passports!!  You need to make an appointment with   Public Affairs for the picture and with the passport office. You should be able to make your passport appointment an hour after your public affairs appointment. Public Affairs will print your picture and hand it to you to take to your passport apt. Make sure you have an original birth certificate that is the extended version. The state department will not accept the short version or informational birth certificate. It MUST be the authorized one or long form certificate. Passports can take 6-8 weeks if not longer. You must not delay in getting your passport. Get off the computer and make the appointments now- no joke.  :-)

            The active duty member can take the driving test before they leave the states so that they can drive once they arrive on station. This is HIGHLY recommended. You will be without a vehicle and will be relying on others if you do not pre take the test to get your license. below is listed where you can find he study materials and practice tests. It was so great for us to get here and hubby was able to rent a car the same day we arrived. Once we arrived he took his paperwork that showed he passed the test to the drivers test building and was given his license. Spouses can study for the test before arrival and take the test once they arrive. If you look at the study material and take the practice tests several times you will pass with no problems. You can get your international driving permit here in town. The cost is 15€ for 2 years. This allows you to drive outside Germany. You can also get one in the states before you arrive.

          --------->      Army USAREUR website for Europe driving information
         ---------->     Practice Tests and study guides

         Sign up on the AHRN ( automated housing referral network) website to start looking at off base housing. It will show you what is available in the local area and you can get an idea of the things you like or not. This is the website that the bases now use for you to look for housing. The homes on the site have been pre-inspected by housing and are approved for use by military families. Base housing is typically a pretty long wait since they have taken down stairwell housing and replaced it with town homes. There are 3 base housing areas that you can chose to be on- Ramstein, Vogelweh and Landstuhl. Unlike BAH you get paid in OHA your actual rent cost and not more. It is in your best interest to find a place closest to you allowance since you do not get to pocket the difference. The AHRN website has a link to the OHA rates.
         ---------->  AHRN
          Get an accordion file for you to organize your move paperwork. Also pick up some folders for you to keep papers separated. I had my folders marked- housing, school, TLF, misc and Household Goods.  People keep giving you paperwork and if you are not organized you will not get paid for something or you will be delayed.

           Have your sponsor sign you up for your Post Office box before you arrive! You can forward your mail to you but they will not hold it longer than 15 days prior to your arrival. There are 2 post offices on base one is for singles and one is for families. You will use this address your entire time stationed here. It is an APO address so you can send mail and only pay the US costs. Also, people will only pay the US costs when they mail something to you.  Also-- you can ship FREE APO to APO. So if your spouse is deployed and has an APO address then you can ship a box for free. Went today and asked the post office for verification.

          When traveling from the states to Ramstein most people might go through Baltimore airport. Use the USO rooms there! Many airports have USO rooms and they are there to help the military and their families transitioning and traveling. You can stop by and get free drinks and snacks amongst other things. Each person needs to have their ID card with them to enter the room.

         The international flights are wonderful. You get a full meal service on your flight so don't buy a bunch of food right before boarding. I saw several people buy tons of overpriced airport food only to board the plane and get free food on the plane. The meal was very good and unlimited drinks. We were served dinner and breakfast. You will be VERY jet lagged upon arrival! Try to stay up really late the night before your international flight. You are going to jump ahead a minimum of 6 hours. This will cause you to not be on any kind of normal schedule for a while. Our first day here I did a bad thing and took a nap in the middle of the day- DON"T DO THIS!! force yourself to stay up so you can more quickly change your sleep schedule. Go walk around the KMCC or something. It took me 2 weeks to get on a normal sleep cycle because I did not stay awake the first day.

        Bring a GPS preloaded with the Europe maps. This will be very helpful plus the GPS systems here seem very overpriced and the states has more of a variety. Once here you will want your GPS to do any exploring and to just find places in general.

        When you get here you are going to want to get cell phones right away. Don't make the mistake of getting ansy and signing a contract before you do some research. Ask people any input they have.  You can buy prepaid phones at the BX and 24 hour shoppette. They run around $20 and have 3 minutes of time on them. I went to Tmobile and bought my kids prepaid phones there and used my VAT forms. I paid $74 for 2 phones with 15€ on them PLUS a 2 year warranty on the phones. The BX has no money on them and has no warranty. When you buy things off base there is a mandatory 2 year warranty on all electronics. If you get into a contract just be aware they are 2 year contracts off base. Also- cell phones here are different. Whoever makes the call pays for the call. My kids have cell pines but if they run out of minutes I can still call them. Very convenient.

         Fax a copy of your orders to your cell phone provider and you get out of your contract hassle free  but you need to do this BEFORE you are near your contract end date. They will automatically renew your contract otherwise.

     If you sign up for internet service through T Mobile off base be aware that the contract is for 2 years!  If you plan on moving on base you will have to buy out of your contract. All villages are different in the kind of internet you get. It is not always fast internet. So be aware and ready for slow internet.

        The tax rate here is 19% for goods and 7% for food.  With the VAT ( value added tax) form you do not pay this. The VAT forms cost a few bucks but when you buy 10 at a time they are cheaper. They are $4 each unless you buy 6 or more and then they are $3 each after the 5th one. You use them in Germany at any store that you are spending MORE than 50€ at and that excepts the form. You can ask at the customer service area of the store if they except the form before shopping. Since they cost money you don't want to just use it for a 10€ purchase.

       Check out Ramstein Yardsales for people selling good stuff. You can buy autos, phones, transformers, furniture--ANYTHING on that website.

    Also check out Everything KMC. This is a great website to get info and ask questions.

      911 here equals 112. Use 112 to make emergency calls

     Gas is rationed here amongst other things. If you rent a car you can bring your rental receipt to the custom office to get your gas card. If your name is not on the car rental you can not get gas. Only the people with names on the rental agreement can get and use the card. Only the person who has there name on the gas card can get gas. I cannot get gas in my husbands car unless my name is on the ration card. Also, your ration card for the rental card will expire when your rental agreement is over. If you extend and keep your rental car longer you need a new ration card. NO EXCEPTIONS. we made this mistake and pumped gas and did not notice the ration card expired- we extended the rental car 1 day- we had to pay $105 for a small tank of gas. Not cool!!!!!!! Once you get your permanent vehicle your gas card is automatically refilled with your amount at the first of the month. The rental car gas card is a paper and your permanent vehicle is an actual card.Our car gets 400 liters a month and our truck gets 600 liters a moth. On your receipt it tells you ho much you have left. You can also add money to your card to use off base when traveling at Esso stations only.
        Here is more info on Rations-------> RATIONS

    You can get Euro out of the ATM's on base and off. Your bank might and probably will charge a fee for this. No way that I know of to get around this. I have been told that you get a better exchange rate when you use the banks off base.  Helpful information here------> LINK

    If you have USAA  and you plan on buying a car here they will not give you a new car auto loan. They do not give ANY oconus new car auto loans only personal loans. You must go to a local bank and get the loan through them for an auto loan. Also, typically your car insurance will go up dramatically here. You are required to have $9million---yes I said MILLION- dollars worth of coverage.

   If you are shipping a vehicle from the states to Germany be sure to call your insurance carrier and let them know. They will change the type of insurance you have and it is cheaper for the duration of the vehicles travels. Also, make sure to get rental insurance for your property. Through USAA we pay $20 a month for rental insurance. If your car is not paid off and you are still financing it here is some info on shipping your vehicle and the rules ------->  Shipping Financed Vehicles

       When and if you find a home off base you will need to sign up for the UTAP (utility assistance program). This is for everyone regardless of rank. This saves you 19% on your utility bill.  It costs $77 to sign up but well worth it. Utilities here are read once a year so save some of you utility money to make sure you are not short at the end of the year. You may be only paying 65€ a month for something and really it should have been 90€ a month. At the end of your yearly cycle they will collect ALL the money that is due or give you a refund of overpayment.

     If you are a spouse when you get here make sure you attend the Spouses Newcomers Briefing at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. It is every Monday from 0830-1430. You will be given LOTS of great info on what to expect here and just some good knowledge in general. The sooner you take is upon arrival the better.

      If SATO made your travel reservations you MUST call them before you leave to confirm you are traveling. They do not tell this to people and constantly there are problems with tickets because of this. We did not call and our plane was set to leave at 0630. When we arrived our tickets had not been paid for so we had to pay for them right there or miss the flight. Plus this altered our seats on all our planes. Also, our hotel wasn't paid for so we ended up paying for that as well. Of course those items are repaid on a travel voucher but it was a pain!! Something that you should not have to deal with.

   The items that are rationed here are coffee, hard liquor, gas and cigarettes. For gas you will get a ration card that is used only for getting gas and your receipt will tell you what you have left. For autos you get 400 liters a month and nothing rolls over. Every first of the month your number resets. Trucks get 600 liters. Coffee, hard liquor and cigarettes are on a paper card that you carry with you. It is ILLEGAL to allow ANYONE to use ANY of your rations.

  Before leaving the states get your haircut, by some new clothes and get all your records you can to bring with you. Upon arrival you do not want to try and find clothes or a hairstylist.  You will already be overwhelmed with other things. I got a copy of all our immunizations, school records and copies of our dental xrays to bring. This helped IMMENSELY.  Nothing gets here quick so if you don't bring it with you then you will probably be waiting a while for it.

The dreaded German language! Do not fear that you will not be ale to do anything  except for on base. You will miss out tremendously if you only shop on base. Through the military library you can sign up to use free language classes. They use Mango and Rosetta Stone. Very usefull and will help you with the basics. Locally there are a ton of language classes available to take- some are free and some aren't. 

Schools- Ramstein has K-12 schools. They have 57 busses for all the students. You do not need to preregister. When you arrive you can then register them.

Finally-- you do not need to bring your washer and dryer. Actually, the Air Force does not allow it. The base has American and German washers and dryers they loan to you. Some people did not bring any of their 110V appliances. I did and am thankful. We now live on base and can use both 110V and 220V. 

Since I am a visual person I thought I would show some visual aides--  :-)

This is a wall plug. You can plug your vacuum in easily in each room. Love it
OK- so I blew up my computer because I was unaware there was a switch on the back that is for changing the voltage. Can you guess where the switch is in this picture?  It is the red thing. Would NEVER have guessed that since it is NOT labeled. Anyway- make sure you switch it over before plugging in your desktop. You can use a pencil or something small and strong to flip it over.
These are the adapters for you to plug your American electronics in IF it can take up to 240Volts.
This electronic CAN take up to 240V so I just need an adapter. (pictured above) Look where it says input
This CANNOT go up to 240v so I have to use a transformer if I want to use this electronic.
This is my Keurig (must have item-my treat each day) that I have to plug into the transformer to use. There are different size transformers. This is one of the biggest at 1000Watts. The base gives you 2 to borrow while you are here. They only had the largest available when we got here. I do not leave it plugged in as it does get costly when you live off base with these.

   I hope this information has helped someone. I really believe that information is power and I am hoping that my recent move can help some others.  If you have any questions you can email me at  Do not send hate mail because I have this fabulous -DELETE-button that I use for haters. I am simply trying to help out and this was my experience. If you had a different experience then great- if you have more info I can add then shoot me an email.  :-)


March 21, 2011

The begining of our Germany adventure

Aaahhhh The beauty of Germany!  A picture does it no justice.

I took this picture as we were driving around looking for houses. Such beauty

Anyway- house hunting is interesting to say the least. It is almost as bad as black Friday shopping. LOTS of people and minimal houses available. Whoever gets their first is the winner of a place to live.

Kind of crazy but that's what happens when the base does construction and upgrades and loses over half the family units it had. I am glad they are upgrading and making new homes but it sure makes it that more of a tougher move overseas.

We used the "Automated Housing Referral Network" website that the housing office now uses. BUT if you just use that then it might take you seriously longer to get a house. We also used the Kaiserslautern American website and Ramstein yard sales. Both sites and additional units to look at. With so many people looking for housing you really have to be on the ball and have a plan. I would check the websites early in the morning and make calls to up my chances. Plus check the websites throughout the day to see if any newbies snuck there way in.

We were very fortunate to find a house near the base and very spacious. We LOVE our view and our close proximity to the base. My kids are able to take the bus to school and walk to the stop. We have wonderful neighbors below us that make it all that much better.

After living in TLF for 5 weeks we finally moved into our new home. It was an empty home with just borrowed furniture from the base but BABY STEPS. It was something.  :-)  So thankful the base even has loaner furniture no matter how crappy that hard as rocks bed was at least I didn't sleep on the floor.  :-)

No pooping on castle grounds-  geesh
 My first bakery visit was a YUMMY one
 A local church. So beautiful even in a foggy haze
 I have never seen a snowflake actually LOOK like a snowflake. LOL I know that sounds weird but I was amazed at how beautiful and artistic the snowflakes are here. This is on my daughters jacket

February 22, 2011

So this is Ramstein

Cannot believe we are finally here. It seems so unreal. Everyone tells you so many wonderful things about living in Europe and all that you will do and see. Now we are actually in Germany and it seems weird. We landed and were all tired after some serious lack of sleep.

You get on the plane at 9 at night and land during the morning at 10am and it only took 7 hours. We had dinner and breakfast and watched 3 movies. Plus napping in between since you can't really get comfortable on the plane to get real sleep.

We are off the plane and ready to conquer Europe!!

Oh wait- we have no car or home. First we need to check into the hotel and get a drivers license so we can actually drive to see everything. Hubby took his driving test before we left the states so thankfully he was able to get a rental car the first day here.

We were taken to our room and hubby left to run errands. The hotel seems weird because the appliances are in German and I have no idea if I can use the plugs. I look for the trusty hotel book that is left in ALL hotel rooms to give you information about the base, hotel and local area. NO BOOK!!!  You have got to be kidding me-- I am in a foreign country and this is the hotel that chooses NOT to use those handy dandy books. WOW  of all the places this is the one place where I really need that book.

So I call the front desk and no they really do not have those books plus she is unsure if our room has any American outlets. Guess I will wait till hubby gets back so he can tell me. The last thing I need is to blow up my laptop or something with the wrong voltage.

First task.......
Begin taking notes for future spouses who will be arriving here.

 So- I need to do laundry. YIKES!!  Hubby starts the washer and hopes he picks the right buttons. Over 2 hours later our laundry is done.  Not going to push those buttons again.

Found appliance manuals in kitchen drawer-- THANK GOODNESS. At least they left that

February 16, 2011

off to Ramstein

Man- when you take a flight at night and arrive in the morning it is WeIrD!!!

I was hoping to be tired so I could sleep on the plane but I wasn't tired enough.

It was a long day but finally we were on the plane and headed to our Germany destination. So much excitement brewing inside and anxiousness to see the sights.

We checked in at 3pm and our flight didn't leave until 9pm. That was a long wait in between at the airport. Luckily we took advantage of using the USO room available to all military and their dependents at Baltimore Airport. They had free snack, wifi, tv and assorted other things. It was a nice break from the regular airport area. My children and I showed our ID's and had our hand stamped. We then checked out the snacks and ordered from the nice volunteer gentleman behind the counter.  I think he has been volunteering there too long because he didn't seemed thrilled that we were using the service. I got the feeling that he preferred the actual military member to use the service but HEY we are a part of the military too.  That's ok- the kids and I ordered some snack and proceeded to relax and eat them. Hubby was in the line still waiting for us to return. :-)

Once we checked in we were glad to see that we were assigned seats.  So many people have different experiences and so I had heard so many different ways we might get seats. Luckily, we were seated behind one of the dividers so we had plenty of leg room and our own personal screen in front of us for the movies.

After getting settled and getting up in the air they fed us a tasty dinner. The kind that you used to get every time you flew in a plane. There was plenty of food and I was glad we didn't purchase food before boarding the plane. Although it was a late dinner it was great to have a full stomach to help with the drowsiness. They even gave us hot towels to wipe our hands before our meal. Very nice! Then we had 3 movies to watch and breakfast before we landed. They treated us great and the flight only could have been better if I had a window seat to lay my head.

At one point during the flight an Airman got up to use the restroom that was near us. Unfortunately for him the door didn't close as he thought. LOL  He started taking his pee and my son said  "um sir"  and he turned and realized we were all looking at him. IT WAS HILARIOUS!!!!!  We didn't see anything because his back was to us but his face was so funny. The shock was obvious. As he tried to close the door and stop his pee at the same time we worked hard to keep our laugh in. Poor guy .

As we arrived at Ramstein we picked up our belongings and noticed the floor wet. YIKES- the bathroom area on the other side of the divider was leaking through the floor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  NASTY  Glad we didn't have anything on the floor.

Day one in Germany is off to an interesting start

February 13, 2011

Moving is tiresome

Well, we made it out before the storm hit big!

We have been wanting some serious snow all winter and the day it decides to come is the day we leave.  What a day that was. As we are driving to the airport the blizzard conditions were starting. We didn't even think our flight would get out but it did. Out of Wichita we were one of only a few flights that actually left. We landed in Chicago not knowing if we were going to get out.

We were set to fly from Chicago to Baltimore but only if we could beat the storms. Fortunately we left Wichita at 6 am and were due to leave Chicago at 10 am. The storms were not supposed to hit Chicago until that afternoon. We had a chance!! I was surprised and bummed that the airports don't have free wifi. Luckily someone near me did not have a lock on their wifi and I was able to use it.  Hey-- I'm not a hacker so no harm done.  :-)
The sky was so beautiful above the storms that were brewing below.
Some of the planes in line.

We were so lucky to get out of Chicago. As we were on the runway there was 12 planes behind us in line. The last of the planes that were going to get out. We landed in Baltimore with no issues and had plans to stay the night.

With leaving so early in the morning I am very glad we did not have to fly out that same night to Germany.  We went to our hotel and enjoyed our evening and got plenty of rest. We knew the next day would be a long one.

Ah- departure day.  It is a weird feeling knowing that you will be leaving the country that you love so much. Not knowing when the next time you will be on American soil is kind of weird. I am so ready for a new adventure and new places to see.

This is our plane-- the biggest one I had ever been on. It seems to big to be in the air.

The distance we will be traveling.

WOW-- that's a loooooooong way!

January 25, 2011

The funny and odd stuff with a PCS

Well, we are in full gear of the lengthy process to move overseas. A good friend told me this move would be so different then all our other moves and boy was she ever right! So far our mishaps, odd and funny things have been:

---On our passport application we gave the wrong official birth certificate. Apparently there are 2 types of birth certificates and they need the long version. We were not informed of this. Turned in our passport application the first week of December. We leave in 6 days and 2 of us do not have passports.

---Our official orders have an added child that is not ours on the back side. LOL  I actually know the mother and think it is funny but odd.

---We drove to Dallas to ship our vehicle and were told that we would be reimbursed upon our return. Upon our return we were then informed that we would be reimbursed in Germany---OK??

---Our unaccompanied baggage was picked up but is going to arrive the same date as our regular household goods. Apparently-- we should have shipped it a month before we left, not a week. Did anyone tell us--NO

---Our movers for our main HHG shipment were scheduled to be at our house Mon, Tues and Wed. They came Mon to pack us and said "We will be back on Wednesday". OK- so why the heck did you schedule Tuesday. What a wasted day in the hotel- but OK  :-)

---The packers can't ship "certain" liquids. I can understand that. He was packing my kitchen and left the dish soap on the counter. I assumed my sponge that has dish soap in it would then remain as well. Which is good because I need it for cleaning. NOPE- apparently you can ship the soap if it is in a handle sponge but not in its original bottle??  OK unfortunately I caught that too late and it was already packed not to be found.

---I had a bottle of wine that was 90% empty on top of the fridge. Surely he wont pack that since it is liquid and nearly empty and they have 20 bottles of liquid that they have set aside that they wont pack. NOPE- I caught him rolling it in packing paper getting ready to put it in the box- SERIOUSLY??  LOL I informed him he could leave it out because I will definitely be finishing that.

-- My husband emailed the MPF 3 weeks ago wondering what other out-processing he needed to do. Yesterday, they sent him a LONG sheet that he needs to complete. LOL  It is mostly online now but since the time is short and close it was recommended he walk to all the destinations-- sure thing.  :-)

I am sure all the funnies will continue. Take each moment as it is and don't worry or stress about too much. If I did I would need MORE wine bottles. LOL

The adventure continues...............