Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Everything in Paris is exactly like you think it is. It's all the positive and none of the negative. Instead of using too many words to try and explain all that Paris is, I've decided to just do a list. And include some pictures. Also, today marks the 126th anniversary of the opening of the Eiffel Tower to the public. These are cell phone pictures btw. Don't judge.

The first picture I took in Paris
Just kidding. It was this one from the night before. The traffic was unlike anything I've ever experienced. Insanity is all it was.
The List:

Eating dinner in a corner cafe
Eating crepes from a stand along the Seine
his money container says "to buy a Porsche" 
Lovers bridge
The peeking view of the Eiffel Tower from our 6th floor room
The subway
Music in the subway
looking at all the well dressed people in and on the metro

Starbucks in the rain

Our purple umbrella
the shops

fresh fruit

scarves everywhere
sparkling lights
loud Americans
quiet Parisians
eating at Chipotle

the willingness of Parisians to speak English
the Eiffel Tower

the Eiffel Tower's light show

10 years together

Champs Elysees

dusk on the top of the Arc de Triomphe

The Louvre

Our friendly cab driver
stairs and more stairs

Paris drugstores
fancy stores

walking and more walking
Parallel parking
live music at the Hard Rock Cafe

chilly nights
cloudy skies that turned blue

Moulin Rouge
the expensive dinner our first night

chocolate shops and soap shops

my first macaroon (a lemon one)

Notre Dame

 hanging out with David in the middle of somewhere we are sure was a big deal but had no idea what it was
I need to know why the chairs lean back so far. Do you know?

L'├ęglise de la Madeleine

the top of Montparnasse tower

The drive home

When we arrived home

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Is your friend/parent/sister/brother here and wanting to stay longer than 90 days? If so, there's a solution!

My sister came and loved it so much she wanted to stay. Because she is not my parent or mentally/physically disabled, we had to find a way around the military dependency clause.  Luckily, someone (thanks Rachel) told us about another option. The option of the au pair (nanny). 

We went down to our local Rathaus which happens to be in Weiden. If you live in Netzaberg, then you will probably go to Eschenbach. If you live in Vilseck, you'd go to Vilseck and so on... We asked the receptionist where we should go and they directed us to the right place. 

We waited for someone to come out and greet us, which he did. He didn't speak great English but it was enough to communicate. He told us we had to go talk to a different lady to establish residence. Thankfully the housing office had given me something I didn't know I needed. It was called an Application for Housing which also showed we had been approved for said housing at said address and listed us, as well as the kids on it. It was very easy to get same day. So this lady at the Rathaus looked up our address and basically told me our address didn't exist (it's not on Google maps yet). She finally accepted it. Then we went and sat down with another guy and filled out paperwork. 

We had to come back with a bunch of information which, if you have with you on the first try, might save you another trip.

We needed 

1) Her birth certificate
2) Her passport
3) Birth certificates for the kids
4) Passports for the kids
5) Proof of income for David (to show we can support her) 
6) Proof of insurance for Chelsi (she used Malwista and purchased one month) 
6) 125 Euros
7) Proof of address 

My hubs had to be there to vouch for her but if your husband is gone, then a POA would probably do although I don't know for sure. 

I wasn't there when they went back to pay and show all of that stuff but it must've gone okay because within a month or so, they sent her a fancy chipped ID card. 

Keep in mind, this option isn't for everyone. If you have a parent staying for let's say 180 days, this might not be worth the hassle. My friend had a baby and her mom was here for 5 months. Her mom took an overnight trip to London to get her passport stamped and then turned around and came right back. An overnight train would do the trick and so would a 19 Euro one way flight on RyanAir. 

Also, I am not affiliated with the Army and I'm not qualified to give super sound advice. This is just my personal experience. But I'm here to say, don't fret! It's nothing to be stressed about. We were down to the wire and were able to accomplish this rather quickly, in a small amount of time. Message me if you have any questions and I will try to help!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It used to be if we drove 30 mins from home we would end up in Prescott or Ash Fork if we went the other direction, but now that we live in Germany, we end up in yet another picturesque village with castles and churches and all of the colors I love.

This time it was a little town called Burglengenfeld. When we have driven through it before (always at night) it has reminded me of a resort town, or a destination place because it has a little bit of everything! There's a river, and an old town, and lots of boutiques and cute shops.

We accidently found this amazing park!

You can see the castle up on the hill 

An amazing zip line. I have a video I need to show. So fun! 
The skyyyyyyyy
A view from the bench. :-) 

We attempted the castle but I read somewhere on the interweb it's owned by a business and it is now an older folks home. We went into the gate anyway, and there was obviously something either about to happen, or it had already happened. There were wooden figures, and explanations of everything all in German. We definitely felt awkward so we quickly left but not before snapping a few pictures.

You can kind of see one of the wood figures I was talking about next to that booth. 

We headed downtown for apparently the best gelato ever! And it was good! I had mango. This is not my first eis of the season, it's my 2nd. But I liked it much better than my first.

Then we met up with these folks. And went to another park and went to eat and had fun! I love having friends in Germany!

Gasthof au am Kronen (The Restaurant we ate at)

The menu translation from German to English was terrible. It says, "All year round wild specialties from home woods freshly on the day ticket." 

The Rathaus or City Hall 

Soon after this picture, Ian fell right over. Then David did. It was hilarious. Then they had a contest to see who could stay on the longest. hahaha. 

I'm trying to be better about documenting our days. Chelsi appropriately called me a picture something. I can't remember what word she used. But what she was saying was, I take tons of pictures but do not often do anything with them. So they just sit. Unused and sad. So I am trying to be better! It's hard! I don't love it really. There's this fine line between being annoying and way too vague. And I like balance! ha. Anyway, we will see how long this lasts! Are any of you gonna come visit soon so we can take you here?