Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Munich

Before I get too far ahead of myself, I'm going to backtrack and post some photos from Munich, where we stayed from Friday through Monday.

With a little rest, our brains began working again and by Friday morning and we became luggage maneuvering experts. The use of many luggage lockers at train stations and checking in for our India flight the afternoon beforehand allowed us to cut our baggage-carrying in half. We felt rather brilliant, even though every other traveler around us had also figured out this secret.

Munich was good though we would have much rather been in Evan's grandparent's village. Frankly, the train to/from there would have wiped us out, I fear, so we will save that trip for another time soon. 

We spent Saturday at the zoo, Hellabrunn Tierpark, about 25 minutes from our hotel. It's a geo park and the kids got to see their elephant before they even arrived in India. Oakes also really enjoyed watching the monkeys - he decided that one particular monkey would've done very well on American Ninja Warrior. 







They also had a fantastic play area for the kids (and Biergarten for the parents!) and Evan took them here to explore while I finished my lunch and watched. 



Sunday was spent lounging and playing games in our hotel while figuring out how we would travel to the airport at 8am on a Monday with all our luggage. And with that problem solved, we took the train to the airport and back to check in and deposit our checked luggage. We also shopped around a bit and bought Evan a Bayern-Munich jersey since we haven't been able to find a Germany one for him here. 

Our Monday flight left Munich around noon so that morning was spent eating, packing, and traveling to the airport to gear up for this new beginning. 

How are the kids? We think they've adjusted to the time change pretty well, all things considered. They've also both made reference to "home" - as in, "when we get back to Asheville..." or "I want to see ___" (insert name of any grandparent). It's a little heartbreaking, but once we remind them that we will be in India for a while, they are okay with it and move on to their next thought. 



Monday, July 28, 2014

And... we're off.


"Are you ready? Not at all, but that's never stopped us before." 
- Parks & Rec finale

A few months ago when the Parks & Rec final aired, I felt that sentence encompassed this whole situation for us. So much for us to do: get travel documents, pack, pack again, rent a house, pack again, and say goodbyes to all of our family and friends.

And with everything to do, it luckily never gave us a chance to actually think too much about the end product: we are moving halfway around the globe. A 10.5 hour time difference. A quite noticeable temperature difference. An unimaginable cultural difference. 

We have had so many good times with our friends and family. I think this has truly been one of the craziest, most fun summers we've had in a very very long time. I've had the chance to run into friends I haven't seen in ages and I've had the chance to squeeze every last hug out of ones I see all the time. And our friends and families (especially!) have been incredibly accommodating and helpful throughout it all. I can't fathom how we can possibly repay these sort of favors, but we will figure it out somehow, someway. 

I'm not sure how much free time we'll encounter as we settle in to Delhi this week, but if we have it, I'll upload some photo-heavy posts of our adventures and our new home in India. Namaste!

Friday, July 25, 2014

landed

The flights went well and the kids did great on both of them. They were really too tired for the in-flight dinner and both fell asleep - for good around 9pm. We landed at around 3am, so that gave them 6 hours of solid sleep (minus a bit of turbulence) and Evan and I probably got about 3 hours each. 

This made for a tired crew trying to navigate the subway and the then the train to Fussen.  Between us we had 12 bags and they weighed over 300 pounds, easily. And a little girl who wanted to be held and a little boy who wanted to be a helper but couldn't quite figure out how to maneuver the suitcase on a cobblestone road. 

Our hotel in Fussen was really beautiful and I truly wish we could've stayed longer (they squeezed us in since we lost our reservations with our lack of visas earlier in the week and they only had room for us for one night). We ate in the main city center and all of us were asleep by 8. We were exhausted. 


Our hotel: Hotel Wiedemann.
That's our room on the tip top right of the peak (4th floor),
with the flowers hanging over the balcony.
View from our balcony of the Alps

Oakes kept calling it Big Ben


The lovely town of Fussen.

Oakes was intrigued by the statue and asked "Did it used to be a person?"  This was an unprompted hug for the little girl statue from him.
And this was Wren, copying him and cheesing it up.
The kids were hilarious this morning as they slept through a half hour of Evan and I having normal conversations, packing, and getting ready for the day. We had to wake them up and their sleeping positions were too good to pass up, especially with Wren's toe in Oakes' ear at one point.




Today we are in Munich. We took the noon train - it's a two hour ride - and our hotel is just a few blocks from the station. We became travel-smart (I think the sleep helped) and used the luggage lockers at the train station to hold about 3/4 of our luggage making our walk to the hotel manageable. 


All of these are ours.
Plus a few more bags that were on the top luggage rack. Plus two kids.
Today is Evan's birthday and with no more room in our luggage, he's gift-less. Sadness. But with the promise of some gifts and a nice celebratory dinner tonight, I think he's okay with it. Wren sang her baritone version of Happy Birthday to him multiple times today and Oakes did try to pick out a gaudy gold watch on the streets of downtown Munich today. So I think we can say Evan's already coming out ahead.