Friday, September 3, 2010

Adios and Verwelkomen!

August 31st was out last day of living in the United States for the next 4 years.  We never thought we actually get to move to another base out of Albuquerque.  September 1st we woke up at 5 am to get ready to fly out.  Our friend Brian came and picked up our luggage to help us get it all to the airport.  5 suitcases, 1 duffel bag, 3 backpacks, a stroller, a carseat and a pack n play is what we will be living with for about the next month and a half. 
Our rainbow of luggage
We arrived at the airport around 6 and the boys and I waited on the curb while Brandon returned the rental car.  Cody visited with his mom during that time and during the check in process.  Each of our suitcases was about 55 pounds, but with United and flying on orders, each of us was allowed 3 bags up to 70 pounds.  (We called ahead of time to make sure of this) The man at the counter said it was only 1 bag so we thought we'd have to pay for the extra, but we ended up not having to.

Brandon and I had breakfast burritos (sans chile) and Cody had a muffin and of course chocolate milk.  Once we got on the plane it was pretty easy.  It was nice having Brice in his own seat, the last 3 times we flew I just held him.  All of the boys were on one side of the plane and I was across the aisle.  I don't think anyone slept on that flight.

Once we landed in DC we had 3:40 until our next flight.  We chased Brice up and down the terminal a few times which was fine because he makes people laugh and he was going to be sitting for the next 7 hours. 

Luckily we were sitting in economy plus seating for the flight to Amsterdam.  You wouldn't think 5 more inches in front of you would make a difference but it did.  We have these thin fleece sleeping bags too so I was totally covered in blanket and so warm.  I think we all slept about an hour at first and then watched movies and ate dinner.  Brice and I watched Mary Poppins, and then I watched Iron Man 2.  Dinner was pretty amazing for airline food.  Salad with sesame ginger dressing, rice, and curry chicken.  I had an oatmeal chewie for dessert but Brandon gave me half of his brownie :) 

Cody slept for a couple more hours but I don't think Brice did.  He just wanted to run around everywhere.  For breakfast they gave us yogurt and banana bread. 

Once we landed we loaded up 2 luggage carts with our luggage and went through 'customs'.  That consisted of getting our passports stamped (before we got the luggage) and walking through the 'nothing to declare' door.  Pretty simple.  The girl that picked us up was waiting for us so we took the shuttle bus to the long term parking lot and loaded everything into a van. 

After fropping off everything at the bed and breakfast  we went out to Brandon's work and got a tour.  It's a really small place surrounded by woods and the flightline is right next door.  We were able to see an F-16 come down the taxi way that was close enough to throw something at.  We came back to the room about 1:30 and took for about 4 hours.  I really wanted to shower before that but I'm glad I didn't because I probably would have slept much longer.  My eyes were burning pretty bad from lack of sleep, I'm glad I wore my glasses. 

We woke up and took showers, finally got Cody awake, and walked into the center of town to get dinner.  This was about 8 pm.  We just got pizza and brought it back.  On the way back to our room we met the other American family that is staying here.  They have a 4 year old and a 7 months old.  They have been staying here for a month and move into their house on the 16th of this month.  We learned a lot from them as far as how to get licenses for driving and taking the test, plus how getting our money works and everything.  She said the Dutch take their time doing things and if something doesn't happen they just say it will happen tomorrow.  Or if you make an appointment and they don't show up it's no big deal. 

Brice fell asleep as we were walking back, but the rest of us stayed up until 11 and went to bed.  Brice woke up at 3 in the morning and didn't go back to sleep until at least 4.  I don't really know what time it was, but it seemed like forever.  I had to walk to the main house to get milk for him. (see the post on the B&B)  We woke up at 9:30 to get our first official day started.  (see the next post)

My very first impressions of being here were not that great, but I think that was because of a lack of sleep.  After talking with the couple we met I feel better, but we just have to accept that the pace is slower and things are difficult because there is really no base support from anyone.  We are guests here and the base that does support us is an hour and half away and don't really do much for us.  Once we are more settled and actually in a house for real I think it will be much better. 

We are trying desperately to learn the language, which is pretyy difficult but we have our dictionary to help us!  People are very nice here to and will try to understand you if they don't speak English, but most of them do. 

I'm going to take a break from this to upload some pictures, then I will post about the place we're calling home at the moment, and about todays events!

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