We are just starting our third day here, and it seems a little surreal that all of this is happening. Our flight here was long. Approximately nine hours. But both boys did amazing. I mean truly better than I think either of us could have hoped. We had very little sleep, but I'll take good behavior over everything else.
We were greeted by three guys from the new unit, who helped us get out of the airport with all of our luggage and set us on the right path. We immediately went to start the inprocessing, followed by a quick stop at the (very small) commissary to grab a couple essentials, then to the hotel to check in. M was then whisked back to post to sign into his new unit, and we all came back and took extremely long naps. My mom greeted us at the hotel, and has been staying with us while we get our feet on the ground. The kids are loving grandma time, and we are loving having family here with us!
Things are a little overwhelming right now, but we are loving every minute of it. I need to seriously start learning some German, because while everybody here also speaks English, I feel like a jerk for not knowing more. We are without a vehicle, but the new unit has been MORE than helpful in picking us up, getting us to where we need to be, offering assistance, checking in and essentially, just being amazing. We really could not have asked for a more welcoming group of people, and with the demands that will be coming with M's new job, it's clear that the rest of us will be well taken care of -- family is important to this unit, a nice change from our previous assignment.
After a day of rest and trying to force ourselves onto a new scheduled, we headed into downtown Stuttgart our first full day here. Since we have no vehicle for the time being, the train is our only mode of transportation (aside from our feet!) so we braved the system, managed to NOT get lost, and headed into town. We spent a good part of the afternoon just walking around, exploring, finding some amazing places, getting sun, drinking beer (BEER GARDENS EVERYWHERE), eating amazing food and in general, soaking in our new environment. I have to give my mom & my husband credit, because they are not afraid to explore and are more than willing to take some chances. It's nice having them a long because I tend to be a little more reserved, but immersing ourselves fully into this culture is the only way we will get the most out of it, so from day one we decided that is what we are going to do. Lucas already knows his first German word and I have a feeling that kid will pick up the language quicker than the rest of us will!
All in all, while overwhelming and exhausting, this has been a great adventure so far. We are so excited to see and do new things, and are eager to get out and explore as much as possible. Having a vehicle here will make things that much easier, but it's the train system for us for now until we can do more outside the city. I cannot wait to share things with y'all. Also, please ignore the glaring (hopefully not a crack) dirt on my camera. Obviously I need to get my lens cleaned. Should be interesting finding a place.