Thursday, March 24, 2011

Under the Erlangen Sun

Spring has hit Erlangen....well, it is on its way.

After hearing about the 80-85 degree weather back home for the past week or two we were excited to reach 60' F today. It was nice to be able walk around town in a light jacket. I was so inspired by the signs of warm weather to come that I decided to pull out my phone and document the exciting changes.

The first sign of warmer weather is the opening of all of the ice cream and gelato shops around town. Although it is a little early in the day to be open, it is packed at night.

It is also the time of year that all of the restaurants and cafe in the area set up their outdoor seating. I love walking down our street when everyone is outside dining. The smell of Italian and Franconian food being served is incredible. This also reminds me of how much fun it will be this summer when it is light until 10pm and everyone is outside.

Even though the trees are still bare, the flowers are starting to bloom and people are starting to relax in the park again.

Other signs of spring are the pretty displays in some of my favorite shops.

Check out all of the bunnies

Finally, as the weather gets warmer the market seems to grow. Fresh spring fruits and vegetables as far as the eye can see.

The snow was a lot of fun but it is so nice to feel it getting a little warmer each week. Happy Spring!

Monday, March 14, 2011

We are rollin'

This weekend we traveled to Feuchtwangen, a small Franconian town right off the Romantic Road, to celebrate our friend Barb's birthday. We drove the short hour down to Feuchtwangen on Saturday and quickly dropped our things off at the Gasthof and began exploring the area. It was wonderfully German and we all had a great time relaxing in this beautiful town.

This brings me to my next fun piece of news. We have a car! I had mentioned in previous posts that friends of ours moved back to the States last weekend. Among other things we decided to go in with another couple and purchase their car. We could not pass up the great deal and we were excited to not have to continue renting. This also means that we will be able to travel to some of the larger food stores and stock up for the week, instead of only being able to purchase what I can carry on my bike.

Our new car

This upcoming weekend we are traveling to Chiemsee with our German teacher. We hope to be able to ski one last time before spring hits.
We have been warned that we will only be able to speak German all weekend. This will be interesting.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We Were Almost Stars...Kinda

I was hoping to be able to announce some very exciting news on this blog but unfortunately it looks like this opportunity may have passed us by.

About a month ago I recieved a comment on this blog from a House Hunters International producer looking for couples that had recently moved abroad. Being a huge HGTV fan I was sure that this was some type of scam and that they would soon be asking me to send them a large check in the mail. After doing research online it looked like the producer had a legitimate connection to the network. Long story short after several emails and phone calls to London and New York we were asked to create a 5 to 8 minute video taking them through our house and talking about our transition overseas. During this entire process we were told that although they really liked us, we might not be chosen since we had not actually bought the home that we were living in. They have done one other rental story in the past but usually make it a rule to only feature people that had purchased a home. I was hoping to be chosen mainly because I had watched several episodes of House Hunters International before moving to Germany to try to prepare myself for some of the flats that we might be shown. I wanted to be on the other side sharing what we had learned about the differences of looking for a home in Germany vs. our home search in N.C.

The actual shooting process is pretty extensive. The network stated that they would bring in a moving company in the morning, move out everything in our place, tape the empty flat, and then move everything back that night. Yikes! We would then team up with our transition company to look at two other empty flats as well as our own as we discuss some of the ups and downs of flat hunting here in Germany. The entire process takes 5 to 6 days. They were also going to fly us back to the US to tape our life in Charlotte. I began to get excited about the possibility of gathering up our friends and going out to a great Charlotte restaurant where we could recreate our goodbye dinner. Truth be told I was also thinking about the Walmart run that I could make while I was there. Extra boxes of Bisquick and US syrup here we come.

Unfortunately, we got the call about a week ago that they had recieved such a large number of responses from people that had purchased homes overseas that they decided not to go with a rental. They did however, add that if a spot opened up, they would give us a call. Even though we did not get picked in the end I really enjoyed the application process. We also now have a little video talking about our transition and showing off our flat.

I found this whole process interesting and thought I might share it with other HGTV fans out there.