A visit

“You’re moving to Germany?! Have you ever been there?! Do you speak German?!”

Yes. For 48 hours! And, no. Ich spreche kein deutsch.

“48 hours?!” you say? Yes! And here’s the story!

In February, my mother-in-law, Beth, agreed to come for 4 days while Brian and I flew to Europe to see the school and city where we were considering moving our family. I cannot tell you how grateful I was to go sans kiddos. It was tiring enough! Hah.

The first thing I have been dying to tell you–fly Lufthansa. It was amazing. They served us dinner, a small breakfast, glasses of wine (or scotch, if that’s your thing. Or beer, if that’s your thing… Or… you get the picture) and hot towels for our faces as we attempted to get some shut-eye in the sky. They were kind, orderly, and I will fly with them whenever I get the chance. Also, you can watch the live stream video during take-off and landing from the camera placed on the belly of the plane. So. Cool. Also, if you look like me and are flying to Germany, expect people to talk to you in German. I look German… because I am. (And no, I don’t speak German.)

Life in the skies

When we arrived, Mary (the head of ISC) graciously picked us up at the airport. We drove directly to visit the school because the way to beat jet lag is to say no no no! to sleep when you arrive. We drove through the outskirts of Hamburg and I spent a moment in awe of the fact that any place is still just a place. It sounds silly to say, but there are cars, roads, construction, schools and thankfully, the cars drive on the right side of the road. But, yes… It is also different… and much older.

Rathouse1

We arrived and entered the school. Here’s the entryway to the school, complete with coffee (what a wonderful, welcome sight when we arrived!):

Entryway

It was a beautiful school! Built brand new and very fun to tour. Here are a few more photos:

CafeteriaGymSchool Playground

The cafeteria, gym (they teach parkour!), and the playground.

Mary gave us a tour, and regrettably, I didn’t get a photo of my future office… Because, well, that would’ve been kind of weird. But, I’ll be honest: I’m excited not to be in a cubicle, even if I won’t be able to see Boston from 18 floors up!

After visiting the school, I was very grateful to go to lunch. We had great conversation over lunch with Mary and we got to see some beautiful views from a castle in Hamburg. THIS. All of this:

Brian

Believe it or not, the weekend just went on and on–in a good way! We went out to drinks with a few other people from the school. We drove through the city of Hamburg, looking at neighborhoods that we could possibly live in–and yes, comparing how close all of them were to Aldi. Guys. They have Aldi. It’s the land of Aldi. It’s Aldi’s home place. You should see Brian’s laughter over my excitement on this front. Oh, and the sushi. Swoon.

Sushi

Oh, but then we had to fly home. We woke early in the morning and drove the airport and I felt terrible. Brian lovingly convinced me to get a 15 minute massage from a man who began my massage and said in a German accent, “VAT HAS HAPPENED?!” and “How do you Live like DIS!?” Thankfully, that man in the airport made me headache free for the first time that day, and I felt like a flight over the ocean might be a bit bearable. Thanks, Brian, for encouraging me. (Oh how I wish I was not the nausea-ridden flyer that I am… especially with this new life.)

I remember the first night we (finally) settled into our hotel bed and I turned to Brian and said, “Are we really going to move to Germany? I could definitely live here.” 3 months later, I can say, “Yes. We’re moving to Germany. And I’m excited to live there!”

Hamburg downtown

The plans

Everyone has been SO very patient! Thanks for not posting on our walls and sending the same question to our emails over and over and over again: “What are you going to do next year?!”

As a reward for your patience, I won’t kill you with suspense. If you were to come over for dinner, our son George would tell you very confidently, “I’m moving to Germany! And when I go to Germany, I’m going to wear a backpack and go to school!”

RathouseGo ahead. Take a deep breath. I know. Right?!

Brian is finishing his masters program in School Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. On May 25, he will walk across the stage with both kiddos in hand! And yes, you’ll need to stay tuned to see how that goes… I’m praying for two cooperative children, buuuut…

While job searching this year, Brian interviewed with Mary, also a graduate of the School Leadership program, who is head of a new school in Hamburg, Germany called International School Campus. They are just finishing their first year, and will be growing a lot over the next few years. After much conversation, a quick two-day visit, and a job offer for both of us, we decided that this was an opportunity we could not pass up. And yes… the a-maz-ing coffee the whole time we were there definitely helped. (Especially with the jet lag.)

Coffee.jpg

I will be the Deputy Business Manager and Brian will be the Director of Advancement and Admissions. Our kids will be immersed in a German-speaking preschool run by the same parent company.  They will most certainly be scheming together in German within six months. We’re sure of it!

hamburg-2255755Our new fair city!

We are hoping to live in the suburbs of Hamburg, close to school. According to those who know, it takes less than a week to see an apartment, shake a hand, write a check, and move in. So, while our research is fun, we won’t know where we’re going to live until we arrive. (If you’re looking for an idea, here is an example of what we like.)

But first? Brian will walk across that stage! And then? They will come and pack (FOR US!) all of our things and put them on a cargo container to be shipped across the ocean. For the record, I almost said yes to our German adventure just for the company that comes to pack us up and move us.

It will take about 6 weeks for our container to sail to Germany, and we will be visiting our family during that time! Midwest, Florida, and New York: we can’t wait to come out and see you! Oh, and why not throw in a vacation in Spain for four nights on the way over? Twist my arm.

It’s been a big year. I’m grateful it’s coming to a close and ecstatic about all that awaits us. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!

I can’t wait to share more details with you! I’ll most certainly do a post on our two day visit in February and keep you posted as we settle in this summer. If you have an itch for more, feel free to visit my About page!

Tschüss!