Tuesday, August 16, 2016

That time of year, again...

School starts are stretched over the next 3 weeks, with the first one starting today at the Frankfurt International School. This is the first time we have all 4 kids in 4 different schools. Thank goodness my wall calendar has arrived so I can keep track of where each one is around Germany and the world.

First day of 10th grade

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Two+ weeks in

Yup, still walking a lot.  But now we're mixing in a little more UBahn. I'm still racking an average of 15K steps a day.

More things are checked off. Internet is in the house, the children are happy. UAB arrived on Monday and we realized we have no hangers (none in the welcome kit either), but are so happy to have our awesome new pillows and familiar fuzzy blankets. The process is moving on our car purchase, we should hopefully get our HHE this coming week, as well as hear whether Nicholas will attend the base school.

Wednesday we successfully got our Consulate badges and submitted everything to get new Dip passports.

Thursday Jonathon and I made our way to his new school for a day long orientation, along with several other newcomers.  It certainly helps for that first time to go with others who are all varied in their knowledge of what we're doing and how transportation works.

Thursday Rebecca also began dogsitting a couple dogs on the compound. Each day she takes them for multiple walks and spends her overnights there as well.

Friday Jonathon made his own way to his school for an additional half day of orientation, and the girls and I returned to the Zeil to do some shopping. Props to C&A for being a pretty nice store, Katherine got a rain jacket for 40 Euro.

Ian wants me to buy one of these:

aka a Dirndl
Today Ian and I and the girls checked out the mall at Nordwestzentrum.  A nice enough place that is indoors yet feels outdoors because of the glass ceilings. And when the ceilings are opened up, people smoke everywhere "inside." Still no luck finding rain boots, but we scored a granny cart and two small fans (for the girls' rooms) from the Rewe there, and a bug zapper racket from the tech store.

This evening Ian and I trekked to a biergarten to meet up with the rest of his team. The Consulate is different, there's little cohesion within the building - just about everyone has their own office, hallways are vast and empty, much of the population is regional - so it's good for his team to get together for social time.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Figuring out the new place

It's no secret that living in Europe means walking and more walking.  It's awesome.  Probably not as awesome once winter hits, but right now in summery August, pretty awesome. We walk to the grocery store.

We walk around the fun downtown area.

We walk around the fests.  This weekend there were 3 or 4 fests going on.  We went to MainFest on Saturday.

And MedievalFest on Sunday.

Blueberry Mead.

We're figuring out the U Bahn (11Euros for a day pass for up to 5 people, great deal) and the buses, but mostly we walk and walk. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Made it

We don't have internet at the house so we're at the Fieldhouse on the compound using the WiFi that intermittently works. And by intermittently, I mean that sometimes the WiFi comes on. And when it does, it seems that rarely does more than Gmail and Facebook work.  I'd really like to order some stuff from Amazon.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Getting in our steps

Ian is out this week doing what we lovingly call "Crash Bang."  It has some official title but "Crash Bang" is way cooler.  He learned how to strap on tourniquets, crash cars, avoid getting shot... you know, the important stuff when traveling around the world to all the fun spots.
So that left the rest of us without a car, which means we've been doing a lot of walking.  And walking = steps.  Lots of steps. My legs and feet hurt. And the sweat, so much sweat, I better be oozing out so many toxins... 
10 July-13,591 Ian and Jonathon went off to their respective camps, and we wandered the neighborhood and over to the Marine Corps Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. 
11 July-10,477 We went to Roosevelt Island on Monday, you saw that. 
12 July-16,260 Tuesday we went to Georgetown to walk around M Street and along the Potomac. Gotta love the hiking trails all over, especially the ones by the canal.

You know it...
When everyone is moving and you try to catch 'em all.
Nicholas should probably wear pants.

Katherine joined us for dinner at Il Radicchio.  There has been a lot of Pokemon Go hunting as well.  Nicholas goes out several times a day to get in his distance to hatch new ones, and to capture ones popping up in parks and... yeah, I'm even boring myself, sorry. But he's having fun and off the laptop, so it's all good.

13 July-13,982  Wednesday we walked to Ballston to meet up with Katherine, see a movie, walk the hockey summer camp, and get some cooler exercise in at Kettler Iceplex.  We ate at Chipotle.  I. Don't. Like. Mexican. Food.

14 July-11,821 Today Becca and I walked through Rosslyn, across the Key Bridge, through Georgetown, and to the Kennedy Center.

Bright red after an hour walk in 99F. Awesome.
The show was great. I find one of the best parts is reading the Playbill to see where they all came from, the tiny glance into the stories behind the actors. The stage for this traveling show is pretty awesome, with bits of "glass" (clear gel bits) showering down with the chandelier crash, pyrotechnics and all. At one point I recall thinking "fire on stage, that's pretty bold."  Since our "Christine" played by Julia Udine didn't finish our show after Act II Scene 6, and it appeared that one of the fire bursts may have caught her, fire may not be a good thing on stage. Her understudy stepped in and we didn't see Udine at curtain call, so... here's hoping that she is fine.
Remember how I said that everyone is either in the DC area or coming through the DC area? A friend of ours from our time in the Philippines posted a photo of her family at today's matinee. It's been 13 years since I've seen her, and her daughter and my boys were in PreK together at AmeriKids. Ian will be meeting with her husband next week during consultations. Yeah, small world but especially small in the DC Metro area.
Ian returns tomorrow, it'll be nice to have him back! I've made no plans for the weekend, so here's hoping he has some ideas!
So I was thinking about the movies we've seen on this vacation. "Free State of Jones" was pretty good. Based on a true story, I want to read a book on it to get more of the real background. "Finding Dory" was very cute, yet as much as I wanted to love it, it did feel a bit of a "Finding Nemo" repeat. "Secret Life of Pets" I really wanted to like, and it too was cute, but... eh.  I'm looking forward to "Storks" and of course "Star Trek: Beyond," "Rogue One," and "Miss Peregrine." I might even see "Nerve" and "Bad Moms."
Books I've read this year have varied between a lot of YA and some longer novels. If you enjoy SciFi, I recommend the Red Rising trilogy by Brown, and don't recommend Seveneves by Stephenson. If you like dystopian future with vampire... things... I recommend The Passage trilogy by Cronin. I do not recommend The Maltese Falcon, sorry classic noir fans. Now I'm on to The Man in the High Castle by Dick, and since I've seen the first season (thank you Amazon!) I'm glad to get into the details and backgrounds. 
It's really time for a non-fiction book and I think the Hamilton biography by Chernow fits the bill.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Park Hike

Today we ventured over to Teddy Roosevelt Island. I'm sure there's an official name for it, but really it's just an island in the Potomac River with walking paths.

Wednesday, to Georgetown?

Very few Pokes to be had. One gym taken over.

Green is nice.  So nice.  It smells nice and looks nice and if it wasn't so sticky would feel nice too.