In the meantime, I have been reading my 2 Germany books, Germany for Dummies that my Grandma and Grandpa gave us for Christmas and See It Germany. Brian told me that he doesn't want to plan any big trips any time soon but that doesn't mean that I can't plan small day trips (or weekend trips) within Southeastern Germany! There are a ton of cities to explore and hundreds of things to do - Stuttgart, Heidelburg, Gunzburg, Freibrug and Konstanz, just to name a few - with the Wilhelma Zoo, "Fairytale Paradise" recreational park, LegoLand, Europa Park, Sea Life aquarium to explore, in that order. Eventually we'll make it up to Berlin and over to Frankfort and even further up and over (pick your direction) to Poland, Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Switzerland or Belgium! There is so much to do here and so many places to travel it is completely overwhelming. Thank goodness we have a good 2 1/2 years to try to do it all.
Ooooo - I almost forgot a couple more details about living in Germany. We don't have garbage disposals. Nope, not a one. They give you little green buckets, called bio-buckets, that you are supposed to line with a little green bag, called a bio-bag, and throw all your bio -waste into. The bio-bags are then collected on Thursdays. We asked our neighbors about this and nobody ever uses their bio-buckets or bio-bags, everyone just throws the gunk into the trash. As of now, so are we. I feel kind of bad, like I am breaking the rules, but where does one keep the bio-bucket of rotting waste until Thursday? When we got the house the bucket was prominently displayed on the counter. Ick. Hopefully you don't think I'm killing the planet and I'll remind you that we recycle paper products (down to the tiniest scraps), plastic, aluminum and glass. We are recycling machines and in the course of 2 weeks (the trash collection is only twice a month), we have only 2 bags of trash. It really is amazing how much of the stuff we use is recyclable. Second, and how could I have forgotten to tell you this, the electrical outlets are different here. I don't know all the technical jargon but the voltage is 200 or 230 and in America our electronics and appliances are 110 and 120. Our house has both kinds of outlets, but not many. Each room has maybe two 110 outlets. In those outlets we can plug in any of the electronics we brought from home. They sell converters to be able to plug an American electronics into the 220 outlets - HOWEVER, you have to look at what you are plugging in and make sure that it says 100-240 or 110-230 volts (it is telling you that it can be plugged into an outlet that carried up to 230 or 240 volts) if you use the converter with an appliance or electronic that can not handle that high of a voltage you can say goodbye to that appliance or electronic because you just fried it (and potentially started a small fire) by plugging it in. Whew! Crazy isn't it? Not only do I have to deal with new surroundings, new language, new currency, I have to make sure that I don't inadvertently blow myself up by plugging my hairdryer into the wrong socket. ;)
At the request of Grandpa, I leave you with some pictures of Luke.