Back on this side of the pond

Here’s a post to bring everything up to date so I can start being more timely!

We departed Germany the last week of March and spent a few weeks house hunting in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. It was stressful, but we eventually found just the right place. Big Ds sister Becky came to spend a quick day exploring with us:

me & Becky
me & Becky at the White House

And then after just 11 days in America we were off to Toronto, Canada for six weeks while D attended some training. We were in a (not so great) suburb and our less than ideal location plus the ridiculous temperatures (snow, in April!?) made me cranky. We took a day trip to Niagara Falls, and at the end of that day…I booked a ticket to St. Petersburg, Florida to visit my sister and to thaw out!

Because seriously. Which of the following would you prefer??
Chill D and Horeshoe Falls

St Petersburg

Fletch and I drove from Toronto to Alexandria in early May.

Yesterday's sunrise over Lake Ontario.
Sunrise over Lake Ontario

I spent a few days at my friend Jenny’s while I got organized and then finally: Moving Day!

Just for us! Well, we paid for it. But I think we are all set for Monday's move.

Moving Day
It was nerve-racking to see someone standing on everything we own!

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I worked really hard for a solid week and suddenly I was unpacked, settled in, and ready to explore our new neighborhood:

Old Town Consignment Shop

The Majestic

Exploring our neighborhood

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Captain's Row

And a few weeks later: Big D was back from his training, the final touches were added to our new place, and we hosted a little Housewarming Party.

Kerry, me, Becky

Big D and his sisters

Smooch!

Housewarming flowers.

Evie, me, and Tambour

We’ve already had a lot of fun and we have a long list of things we are excited to see, so stay tuned!

Watching the movers...

Final Europe post (for now)

I learned a lot of things in our three years in Germany. Please enjoy some handy tips I picked up along the way.

American Arms
Make the most of your accommodations – no matter how bad they stink, someone has had it worse than you.

Jen's olive pengins
A party just isn’t a party without Jen’s olive penguins.

poor Deaner!
Or until Deaner is on fire.

Angie & me
Make sure your BFF visits at least every six months.

what's better than one dotted bag? Two!
If one Riesenthel bag is good, two must be better!

snoozing in the GA line
Nap whenever you can. You’ll need the energy later.

which way to the castle??
Download your GPS updates or things could get confusing.

a house full of friends makes me happy!
Host parties, even if your apartment is tiny.

meanwhile, vandals broke into our bus
Don’t tempt thieves: keep your GPS and iPod out of sight.

snowball fight!
Play in the snow.

Lee got creative w/ Pretzels
Be creative.

cheers!
Treat yourself like a Princess.

concentrating!
Pay close attention.

Gary and his breadstick plea for help
Ask for help.

Don't they look a little like Lady and the Tramp? Big D and @slyarch sharing a special moment :)
Share.

renaissance night
There are plenty of costume opportunities.

Deobrah & me
Plenty.

Big D, Brian & YMW
You might even see someone wearing a cape!

Yay! Ice Tony is here!!
Never pass up a visit from Eis Tony (he has booze in that truck!)

collar: popped!
Pop your collar.

Eric: the big winner
Cheat (but someone else will win anyway.)

The biggest kids to sit on his lap
You’re never too old to sit on Santa’s lap.

late night? Or early morning?
Late night laughs are the best.

uh oh...
Sing.

Wiesbaden Wine Fest
You can never have too much fest food (or wine!)

Fragile!
There is no such thing as too much pottery.

Moose vs. Mousse
There is a difference between a moose and some mousse.

Zum Wohl!
It’s always the right time for some sekt.

Smile for the camera:
Opa!

Team Virginia-Straße

Karin, Heather, Dana, Chasity & me

Greg, me & Dana

me & Heather

Virginia Straße Ladies plus one

Dinner at The Gallery Restaurant

Gary, Big D, Jen, me & Angie on the Rialto

Venice self portrait

looking good!

me, Jen, Kirsten & Fabiana

Sarah, Barbara & me

Big D and the ladies

Saturday shopping

It’s not home anymore, but we have fantastic memories and close friends regardless of geography. My heart is bursting thanks to all of you!

Home

The survival tip I’ve come to live by: don’t dwell on the good-byes, anticipate the hellos.

I shoulda done this a long time ago…

Big D and I are just back from The Trip of A Lifetime, during which I spent plenty of time daydreaming, making lists in my head and planning general ridiculousness. One of those ideas was to start blogging about our adventures in Europe (and beyond.)

Can I really catch up on more than two years of travels? I have trekked outside of Germany at least once a month since we moved here in March 2010.

Here’s the plan: I will write about ongoing hijinks while simultaneously looking back at the fun we’ve had. So that’s two timelines. It’ll be like that movie Momento, only totally different.

Stay tuned!