Friday, August 29, 2008

Two weeks in...

Hi friends and family!! Just an update about my new adventure. In the hotel on post until my house is ready on September 20th. And a saweet house it is. Wait till
you see pictures. Of course, for 2000 Euros (3000 dollars) a month, it better be sweet! Thankfully it is paid for by my work.

The weather has been decent since I've been here. High 70s most of the day and even reaching 80 here and there. Finally have my classroom set up (a work in progress.... but a HUGE improvement). Spend most of my time when I'm not working with my new best friend John (very Italian) and another coworker, Marlene. I am the only one who has found housing of the three of us, so I'm pretty sure at least John will be staying with me for a while once I move in. He's a super cook, so I might not let him move out. Been drinking good German beer and eating lots. Jack is allowed to go EVERYWHERE with me (except school). I still can't get over it. Even shopping malls, nicer restaurants, the train... it's unbelievable how dog friendly everyone is. There is a dog park right by the hotel so we have been getting over there most days. So far, no bickering with other dogs. :)

I just have to tell you more about John. He's 48, but says he's 38 in "club years." Ha. He keeps me in stitches. Anyway, his mama is 90 yrs old and calls him at least 3 times a day. He's actually visiting her this weekend in Italy. He has invited us (me and Marlene) to go to Italy with him in October. I am really looking forward to that!

We go to Oktoberfest towards the end of September (I know, ironic. It's not even in October). I will have a camera solution by then for sure.

There are vineyards all around in the area where I work. There is a city center about 15 minutes away and the trains are very efficient. Lots of yummy food to eat, but somehow we keep ending up in Italian restaurants! My diet is not improving with meat and cheese and bread and beer everywhere I go.

Anyway, I have rambled enough. Would love to hear about your world. Keep in touch!!

Lots of love, Susie :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Getting my feet on the ground....I found a brand new house!

It has been a whirlwind since I landed in Stuttgart 8 days ago. I have met two teachers from my school who are single, new to DODDs (dept of defense dependents schools) and they are making my transition here so much easier. John is a fun guy who grew up in Italy and has taught for the past 10 years in Denver. Marlene is from D.C., and taught in Turkey on a Fullbright Scholarship last year. I am thrilled to have them as my new support system here in Germany!! Anyway, Jack is doing great. We are moving to the hotel on post today (they haven't had availability) to be closer to school. John will pick us (and all of my stuff up) around 11 am this morning and after making the move, we will work in our classrooms for several hours. With all of the running around with housing, taking driver's license tests, etc., we didn't get nearly enough time to work in our classrooms this week. My students don't start until 9/2, and for that I am grateful. I could not be ready for tomorrow which is the first day of school for everyone else.

Sooo... I found a fabulous house!! Typically finding housing here is a nightmare but I got really lucky and got the first house I looked at. I will post pics when I can take some (my camera is broken) but here are the basics:

4 bedrooms, all tile and marble, new construction, rooftop patio, balcony, heated floors, fireplace, garden, garage, furnished kitchen..... it's unbelievable. It is about a 20 minute drive from work (which by maui standards is really far away!), and 25 minutes from the city. The trains here are fabulous, so that will help with the distance issue.

I have to get packing (again) here in my hotel room. More to come soon. Sorry for not responding to emails individually, but everyone is asking the same questions and I have so much to do!! Love and miss you.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Arrived in Stuttart today!

jack and i made it to stuttgart in great shape. less eventful than trip to d.c. from maui. a nice man from my school picked us up at the airport.. i am soo glad i didn't have to find the hotel myself. i may still be looking for it now!! had my first german beer with dinner at a little diner by my hotel. pretty much everywhere lets you bring your dog in so that's nice. going to work monday a.m. apparently a preschool classroom closed at another elementary school so i hope to have most of what i need to get started... probably a little wishful thinking, but hopefully close to the truth. it was so good to see my family in va.. and my close friends. i will write more soon!!

guten tag!