After a 9.5 hour flight, we finally arrived in Frankfurt, Germany. We left Denver at 5:40pm on a Wednesday and arrived at 11:40am on a Thursday. The Frankfurt Airport is HUGE! It is the 3rd largest Airport in Europe and 11th overall just behind Hong Kong and Dallas. There was walking, more walking, passport check, escalator, escalator and more walking before finally finding baggage claim. Luckily all signs are in German and English but let me tell you that is a test of your mental fortitude. Get off plane after 9.5 hrs with minimal sleep and maneuver your way around a massive airport. Just to make things interesting lets add a 2 year old who thinks he is in charge, one misplaced gate checked stroller and GO!
We were very blessed in that Gavin’s new co-workers met us at the Airport after baggage claim. They helped us maneuver our way to the rental cars (more walking and elevators) and helped us find the parking garage where the vehicle would be (again more walking and surprisingly not close to the rental car area). They also helped us manage all of our luggage. They even helped us find the hotel, get us lunch and help us settle in. We are forever grateful and cannot express how thankful we are for this kind gesture. It made a HUGE difference on our first day.
The next struggle for us has been the time change. They say it takes 1 day for every hour difference in time. There is an 8 hour time difference between Colorado and Germany so it is supposed to take us 8 days to adjust. 8 days. Let that sink in for a minute while I cuddle my screaming toddler. 8 days!
(Toddler tantrum time)
We have been through 2 nights here so far and they look like this: fall asleep at 5:30-6 pm as unable to keep eyes open any longer, wake up wide awake at midnight, stay awake until 2-3 am and then fall back asleep until 10am-noonish. I should add wake up starving at midnight because you fell asleep before dinner and have no food options open. Poor hubby has dealt with hangry pregnant wife on very little sleep. We have learned our lesson. Today we ventured to the grocery store for midnight dinner options and are attempting a more strict sleep schedule to attempt to slowly change our internal clocks. Fingers crossed!
(American bread vs European Toaster)
Finding a Home
As mentioned above we got in Thursday afternoon and then the very next day we were scheduled to meet with our “relocation assistant” to help find us a house. There’s nothing better to cure jet lag hangover then making a huge decision about where to live. It really couldn’t be avoided though as we have to find a place before all of our stuff gets here. We met with a lovely woman named Stephanie who was able to show us around our new town and show us several properties. The housing market in Wiesbaden is rough (right now). Rents are high and options are limited. Fortunately we were able to find 2 homes that we really liked. The process of renting a home here is rather interesting. After you decide you would like to rent a home, you must fill out a tenant form. Basically a form that says who you are, what do you do for a living, how much money do you make and where do you bank. You then submit this form to the landlord and they get to just hold on to the form until they decide if they want you as renters or not. They can say yes right away or they can wait and see who else might come along. I feel like we are trying to find a date on Match.com . We submitted our paperwork on Friday and now we wait. I hope they like us!
The first few days have been chaos but overall I think things are going well. We have been able to order food (most people speak English), the kiddo has only had a couple meltdowns (he is 2! Its going to happen), we attempted to drive the car somewhere (but didn’t succeed and came home and walked it. Haha!), we have managed to get on the right train (and back!) and we’ve been to the grocery store.
(O loves the train!)
All in all, not too bad. I look forward to the days when everything comes easy, but that’s not what we signed up for now is it. Our first few steps into European waters have been shaky but I think we are finding our way. Stay tuned for more Littleboy Shenanigans!
(Watching ducks in Wiesbaden)