Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Things that I've Learned Part I

Things that I have learned about moving to Germany with young children in the winter.

If one is freezing cold, head to the bowling alley on Vogelweh but make sure to bring one's shorts and tanktop. I think the heater is broken. It was so hot in there that a soda fountain broke down and the liquid inside was unsafe to drink because it got too hot.

The HUGS playgroup on Lanstuhl is Tuesday mornings at 10:30-12:00 not Monday mornings. Just about everywhere, it's advertised as being on Mondays.

I should always set my timer in my car so that I don't go down to an icy snow covered car that I have to clean off of 20 minutes. Plus, it feels so good sitting down on warm leather seats vs. cold leather... brrrrrr.

I should have studied for my drivers license exam, passed the test and bought a car immediately upon arrival. I was nervous and wanted to get Sam into CDC before getting involved in the whole "getting settled process". It wasted precious time. I should have bucked up and gotten things done a lot quicker.

Bring swimsuits. Ramstein has a very very awesome indoor pool for kids of all ages. In fact, there is a playgroup that meets there on Wednesdays, which I'm going to try and visit tomorrow. I understand Azur off base is a great indoor pool as well. I'm really looking forward to visiting that one as it also has hot tub and sauna.

Buy snow boots or good quality snow foot protection for the entire family. It's pretty imperative to have good walking shoes for the weather. If there's no room in luggage bags, send them to your new mailing address so they are there for you upon arrival.

Hit the ground running when looking for a home. That is, go on the ahrn.com site (a .mil email address is required for site registration), Ramstein yard sales, Kaiserslautern American classifieds and look look look. This time of year, it's VERY difficult to find a good home in the Landstuhl area. We have found a good home, but it's not exactly what I'd like, so we are going to look some more when things open up more in the spring/summer. I've heard that during the spring and summer (major PCS season) it can be tricky because rentals get snatched up quickly, so if one sees something they better grab it because it will be scooped up at the next appointment.

We had a great sponsor. We were booked at a nice temporary lodging facility off base. Civilians will more than likely be placed off base for temporary lodging. If one has kids, be sure to get something in town. Not just near town. In town. Many times families are booked at a very posh hotel. Although it's very nice, it's a little bit of a hike to town. On a google map, it may not look like it but in snowy weather on a steep hill, it's a long way! When I couldn't drive and the snow started falling early, I was so thankful for being within walking distance of a supermarket, cafe, drugstore, etc.

These are just a few things that come to mind. I'm sure that I'll add things when I have a chance, or when more comes to mind! For now, that's all folks!

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