20 February 2008

Off on Urlaub...what shall we bring back?

Well, we are starting to get into the European tradition of taking vacations. It's been about a year since we last took a 4 day vacation and now we are off to take a two week one! This is actually the back half of our ticket here and therefore the last time we expect to be flying business class for a while (boo hoo). We are flying out of Duesseldorf to Orlando. Why out of Ddorf, you ask? Well, because we had expected to be in Duesseldorf by now. Why to Orlando, then? Because both my brothers had promised to meet us at Disneyworld with the children , the parents were supposed to be in Boca for the sun and we would have a wonderful family reunion.

The best-laid plans... My mother has been ill, and therefore won't be there. Both my brothers, for separate reasons, have decided that they cannot make it. Our family reunion has turned a little lonely. So we decided to extend the vacation a week, spend the expected time at DisneyWorld (absolute Heaven on Earth for Thing1) and then go to upstate NY to see the family for a few days. We will fly into White Plains airport, which will give us a chance to stop by Thing1's most-missed friend to play for an hour or so, give me a chance to say hello to good friends and to check out the new siding we put on the house after we had already rented it out and left, and the German a chance to run by Costco.

Of course, we expect to go with very empty suitcases and to buy clothing at the outlets in Orlando. The German plans on getting me an iPod, himself a MacBook (although he should look at the cheaper Sony, I think) and I have a zoom lens (back oredered before I left) waiting for me.

In addition, I have about 45 books waiting at my parent', which I will be packing up and sending in an M-bag to myself. I expect to also send, by post: brown sugar, chocolate chips, molasses, boxes of baking soda, vanilla extract, Nyquil and children's Motrin. I have acknowledged that I cannot send myself gefilte fish and will therefore simply eat it every day with hot white horseradish. I will do the same with Special K and Kashi (as we are getting close to running out of our supply here :-( ). I'll bring back a huge tub of Balmex and as many diapers and Costco wetwipes (non-alcohol, non-allergenic) as we can handle.

So, what else should I bring back/send to myself?


Rositta said...

Funny you should mention baking soda, that seemed to be one thing I couldn't find in Germany when I was there, what's up with that anyway. How can anyone keep a sweet smelling fridge without it? Sounds like you'll have a lovely holiday anyway...ciao

Diane Mandy said...

Enjoy your trip!!! I leave for the US on March 8 and can hardly wait. BTW I am hoping to get a chance to reply to your email tonight!

Kerstin Klein said...

Hi Gail, thanks for checking out my blog. I´m surprised at your shopping list.
Baking Soda in Germany is called (Kaiser) Natron. Usually you get it in larger supermarkets and in every pharmacy (drugstore).
Is the brown sugar you can buy in the States different? And the gefilte Fish you get at the kosher stores too. It isn´t cheap, but at least you can get it.

Kerstin Klein said...

and boy do i envy you traveling to the states for two weeks.

G in Berlin said...

I haven't found the gefilte fish and I need to look harder because I know that there are several stores here for kosher food. I just fear that all the fish will be sweetened and I like mine savory. I am thinking about making it but I haven't found a fish store yet to buy pounds and fillet and grind it for me, and then I need to decide what fish are equivalent to pike and whitefish. When I get back...
I have found baking soda, although my German teacher thought it didn't exist. I found it as Haus Natron but only in small packets, not in boxes. I like the actual large amount to 1. deodorize the fridge and 2. to use as a stain remover.
For the brown sugar, I have read that you can find real brown sugar in Asian Markets, but I haven't found one yet. Demerara sugar is actually raw sugar and not the same. I can sub white sugar for brown but only if I can add molasses, which is not available in Germany. Whew.

Lynda said...

LOL - isn't it funny the things we miss when we move away from our home country - the stuff we didn't give a second thought about. Have fun on your holiday - Disney land - I would love to go there!

Snooker said...

Hello G, and thanks for stopping by my blog. Welcome to Berlin!

I understand the need to have some of the comforts of home... Every time I hit the States I "self-import" at least one suitcase of goods. Can the Germans not come up with a high-fluoride toothpaste that tastes good?

I suggest that you visit Christina's website over at "An American Expat in Deutschland". She has a page that is made just for you!! http://www.amiexpat.com/2007/05/31/american-foodstuff-substitutes/
Don't waste suitcase space unless you absolutely HAVE to!

Or Hungry in Berlin http://www.hungryinberlin.com/ does a great job of talking about all of the foodstuffs you can find around town.

Another is Berlin Reified. http://reified.typepad.com/reified/

Oh by the way... you are in the land of Vicks (Wick), and I'm sure you can find the Nyquil equivalent, just ask the pharmacy for the Wick product that helps you sleep through the night... sorry, I can't remember the name right now.

Another thing, hit the KaDeWe 6th floor for any specialty items you might like (including your fish - you will be amazed!). The odds are that you will find what you need in a pinch. Of course it is more expensive, but sometimes it is simply worth it. I buy my vanilla there just because it is safer than transporting it home in my luggage.

Enjoy your trip back!

Miss Kim said...

HI g and thanks for stopping by my blog today! I'm also off to Canada in March for a short holiday and my list is basically the same as yours but without the baby stuff!

Barb Deane said...

I hope you're having a great time in the U.S. and enjoying the sunny weather. Be careful mailing yourself any OTC medicines - better to bring them in your suitcase because the customs agents will confiscate them if they open your package when it comes through the mail. Have had it happen. :) Have fun!