Part 4 of my blog posts recapping the long road (literally!) to our new home in Germany. Like every post I write nowadays, these posts are mostly for my own memory/scrapbooking.
Even though we finally made it to Baltimore, the adventure to our new home was still in progress!
Tuesday, October 2
Our first day in Baltimore was a busy one! We had to clean out both cars, run to the bank, and go to the post office to mail ourselves yet another box of things that I overpacked.
I’ll share more about why we decided to ship my car privately to Germany in a future post, but for now, I’ll just describe the process. We had the option of having it transported from Iowa or delivering it to the Baltimore port ourselves. We opted for the latter to save money since we had to drive to Baltimore anyway (to take Andy’s truck to the military’s overseas vehicle processing center.) We had to drive onto the port, stop by the customs building to have all of my paperwork stamped, and then drive the car to the parking lot where it would sit until it was ready to be loaded on the cargo ship. It was pretty neat seeing the gigantic ships that will transport our vehicles and household goods overseas, but I would pay the $1,000 for door-to-door service in the future. (As I mentioned in my last post, we didn’t really save enough money transporting my car ourselves to make it worth it, IMO!)
Meanwhile, we shipped Andy’s truck through the military. I can’t really describe that process since only the servicemember was allowed at the VPC due to virus restrictions. I recall Andy mentioning it was less efficient and took longer at the VPC, even though there were fewer steps compared to shipping my car earlier in the morning.
We decided to take bets on whose vehicle would arrive in Germany first. My guess was my car because, well, the government isn’t the most efficient at things 😉 Also, because anyone who has ever seen me drive knows I can’t drive the truck in America, let alone on tiny European roads 😉
Friday night was spent hanging out at the hotel and eating Chili’s for dinner.
Saturday, October 3
Since our flight was on Sunday evening but we had to arrive in Baltimore on Friday (since the vehicle shipping places are closed on weekends,) we had an entire day with nothing to do. We would have loved to see Fort McHenry or some of the monuments in DC, but we had no car and didn’t want to use public transportation. Instead, we spend most of the day hanging out in the hotel room. So for lunch, we grabbed the stroller and walked to Chipotle up the road. That evening, we Ubered to a nearby mall for dinner and Andy to get a haircut.
While Andy got his hair cut, I spontaneously decided it would be a good time for Drew to have his first haircut. His hair was getting long and shaggy, and well, I didn’t want him to be mistaken for a girl! (He looks so much like Baby Bailey that I thought he looked feminine.) This proved to be a terrible idea! He screamed bloody murder, traumatizing the poor hairdresser and everyone in the salon. Eventually, the hairdresser gave up, leaving him with an uneven haircut that looks awfully like a mullet. Not exactly how I imagine my baby’s first haircut going!
Walking throughout the mall allowed us to test Drew’s Travelmate car seat attachment before the big trip through the airport. It works great on flat surfaces like inside airport terminals, but not so well outdoors (you don’t want to use it in place of a stroller!) And with that, we felt confident in our flight to Germany the next day!
This post wraps up the long road to Germany! If you’re reading these posts in order, the next event was our flight to Germany and a long bus ride to our new home in Grafenwöhr. The next post I’ll share, though, is about our experience in the mandatory 2-week strict quarantine in our new house in Germany.