11 March 2008

I will fill in the space between posts later

but right now I am just luxuriating in having finally unpacked. 6 suitcases, three carry ons, two lap top bags, a purse, a double stroller, two toddlers and a husband through multiple flights and airports. There were a few times we thought that we had lost an item here and there, but we did all make it back to Berlin (although we left the suits and toiletries at the in-laws by accident).

Came back to a general transport strike here in Berlin and my class was cancelled yesterday, so I was able to finish the unpacking we started Sunday morning and do my 5th load of laundry. I am sorry that I didn't run about a little in the highly unusual sunshine, but I just wanted to get things done. Hopefully the sun was a harbinger of days to come.

Also came back to find that my landlord had taken care of some odds and ends we had requested, which was great. Unfortunately, while setting up the phone system to be slightly different (allow for caller ID) something happened which makes all my incoming and outgoing calls cut off somewhere around the 3 minute mark. This is especially frustrating when calling the US. I am hoping that can be fixed today. Also, the lack of curtains in the apartment, which was to be rectified in January, has become a serious problem: it is too bright in here! With the glare on the screen, I can't look at TV in the day and the kids are being awakened too early. I'll need to be following this up today as well!

For amusement's sake, this is a partial list of what we brought back from the States:

  • molasses
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • chocolate chips
  • brown sugar
  • corn meal
  • vanilla and lemon extract
  • ginger snaps
  • cream of tartar
  • ground pepper
  • swim diapers
  • camcorder
  • eagerly awaited, back ordered zoom lens for D70
  • 12 dresses for the girls from Costco (each no more than $8), 2 sweaters and 4 pajamas as well
  • wet wipes from Costco
  • Pampers from Costco
  • Diego sippy cups from Costco
  • 2 nanopods- 1 from Costco, 1 from Apple (with an inscription- thanks, hon!)
  • 12 T-shirts, 12 undershorts, 2 shorts, 3 shirts for the German from Costco
  • 2 shorts, 2 capris, 6 socks, 2 shirts, 2 sweaters from Costco for me
  • Advil, children's motrin, dental floss, tampons,toothbrushes, Desitin, neosporin, 1% hydrocortisone cream from Costco for all of us
  • 3 suits and a tie from the Hugo Boss outlet for the German
  • 2 shirts for me, 1 for the German from the Hilfiger outlet
  • backpack, sweatpants from Adidas outlet
  • Swimmies and a noodle from the KB outlet
  • Snow White costume, gloves and purse from Disney
  • Cinderella gloves and purse from Disney
  • Earrings for me from Disney ;-) (have to love the little Mickeys)
  • miscellaneous Disneyana, scrapping materials, pens, cups, t-shirts, gifts
  • extra suitcase from Walmart!
  • and Connect 4
  • 5 lbs of Decaf Dunkin Donut's coffee
  • 5 lbs Jamaica Blue coffee beans

You can see why we had trouble keeping track of things and why we hit the weight limit! Luckily, we went over with 5 suitcases, but mainly with all the suitcases inside each other and empty- ready to be filled!

This leaves out the 59 pounds of books that I send back by M-bag: I am looking forward to seeing them soon! And the car seat that we sent over to be a spare for the school bus. Whew. I hope to start downloading pictures tonight and start filling in posts this week, but it has been a little difficult with the jet lag: Thing 2 seems to want to get up and start playing around 2 am.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a successful shopping trip, I mean home leave.

Diane Mandy said...

You did well! I am headed for my first shopping venture back in the US this morning. I doubt I'm gonna be able to out spend you, but I'll try!

Helen said...

Welcome back! My, you were busy on the shopping front!

Snooker said...

Welcome back!
You've been busy, and spent a fortune! Eventually you will find substitutes for most of the cooking things, and then realize that you simply can't buy tampons from America forever... I went through that too.

We'll be doing our own style of "self-importing" beginning Saturday when we hit NYC. We'll be there for a few days, including St. Pat's of course. Any suggestions for a first-timer to the Big Apple?

Lynda said...

wow you did very well - all I got was 20 kg of pork products! LOL (see my last post to understand the joke) I want to ask about the 'tampons' from the US thing but it might be indelicate to the male community....because other than pork - that is what I asked my husband to bring back from Germany last weekend

G in Berlin said...

Hi Danie- after 10 people blew us off, we needed to find something o do between trips to various kingdoms!

Diane- To be fair, the 12 outfits I got for the girls cost, all together, less than Euro 80. Since 1 well-made outfit here in Berlin cost approx Euro70, I think we did well. The German says that the suits cost 1/3 what they do here and therefore that the savings paid for our trip (strangely enough they are made in Germany).

Hi Helen: Yes, got a few things done;-)

Hi Snooker: really, except for the camcorder, also about a third of the Euro cost , and the suits, everything else was very cheap (although the Disneyana was a tad overpriced). I mean, 68cents/lb for cornmeal? It was the weight, not the cost. With the kids and the class I haven't had time to go to/find an Asian markt for brown sugar, etc. I know I could make the vanilla myslef, but it's just as easy to bring it. Molasses is, I think, irreplaceable for gingerbread as I like it, although I should try Lynda's golden syrup suggestion. The tampons are a personal preference, I admit.

I'll try to get over to you for suggestions later, but the Met Opera is my top suggestion. It is the best in the world and magnifiecent even if you have never thought you would like opera. then a musical: Broadway is the best. The Met (Mus of Art) is one of the best in the world- perhaps the Louvre beats it, or the D'Orsay/Orangerie in the narrow Impressionist arena. Food: there are so many great places and the euro is so strong: Vong's at lunch is a great bargain, as are most lunches at famous/great places. I used to throw a pin at the Zagat's (w/in area and genre desired). I love Vietnamese and sushi: sushi is great and inexpensive compared to Berlin.Lincoln center at night (outside the Met Opera) is just gorgeous. Central Park must be starting to bloom now and it's a great daytime walk. It's a great walking city.

Lynda: I wish I could send you pig in exchange for fashion! Or even good felafel. My family eats no pork, so Germany is a symphony of inedible products for us., Luckily there are far more turkey/beef prodcts then there used to be (puten salami, 4 kinds, rind salami also, even, strangely Puten schinckel and Putenlachs, and our fave: putenwurst). i do miss my hot Italian turkey sausage from home and we ate some while we were there! So funny in re tampons: just personal preference for the type with a cradboard applicator rather than ob tampons.

G in Berlin said...

Oh, and the books: ordered over thelast 6 months from Amazon and waiting for me, as well as 40 or so of my mom's paperbacks;-)

Janet said...

You moved your whole family across the ocean?!! Suddenly driving to Florida doesn't seem so daunting. :)