So my husband and I are living in Europe for our second tour. It’s pretty rare to get to come over here at all to begin with what, with all the cuts they are doing in the military but being able to come over here TWICE? Yeah, that’s pretty damn awesome!
We came over here the first time a little over 8 months after we were married. December of 2005. I remember a lot of stress and work it took to get the house in order to move. Mike had owned the house prior to our marriage with his ex wife and when THEY bought it, it was a fixer-upper. He bought it with good intentions of taking the house that used to be a rental (aka: outdated, beat to shit house) and fix it up slowly over time. However other things distracted him from doing that and in the end it only took about 15,000 to fix it up allowing him to sell the house and make a helluva profit. While the renovations were going on for the house we moved into a hotel with our animals in tow and stayed there until we arranged our flight to Germany. We touched down at Frankfurt AM on December 23rd and staggered off our flight all jetlagged and woozy. We were appointed a sponsor that helped us with our lodging and such who met us at the airport, as well as Mike’s new boss. I barely remember pushing my small handtruck full of animal crates (One dog, three cats) through the airport as Mike and our sponsor handled the luggage. One thing I had taken on board the plane with me was the top tier of our wedding cake. Intent on keeping the tradition of eating the cake on our one year anniversary for luck I snuck it in my carry on for the long, unrefrigerated flight from Seattle to Germany. When we arrived at the airport Mike’s boss asked if she could help carry anything. I handed her my bag with the cake inside which she promptly dropped onto the floor. In the long trip the cake had been squished in the bag it was in and I’m sure it looked horrid but it was our wedding cake! Mike’s boss just looked at it like “Oh.. eww”. As time went on Mike really developed a dislike for that woman. Funny thing is, when it was our time to return to the states they held a little farewell brunch for Mike and I reminded her of the wedding cake snafu. We still held our tradition on our one year wedding anniversary but the cake was unrecogizable and tasted pretty terrible. I’m proud though that I stuck to it, splatted on the floor of Frankfurt AM and all!
As we settled in to our temporary lodging in Leimen, Germany I was full on intent on living life out there to the fullest. I wanted to see, do and experience everything! The first few days we were there some people from Mike’s work invited us on an outing to France. A DAY trip to France?! HELL YES! I told Mike to let them know we’d be happy to! Mike however, pooped out and as much as I begged him to go I ended up spending the day with complete strangers (nice ones though) visiting a small town called Alsace. It was fun, but I wished Mike would have joined us. Even now I hope we can go back there someday together so we can say we did it.
We rented a house in a little village about an hour from where both Mike and I worked and about 40 minutes from any American facilities. So once we both had worked a full week we didn’t feel like making a long trip anywhere and opted to stay at home. There were quite a few months were we would opt to stay home instead of exploring where we lived.
I got a job on post as a Veterinary technician in Mannheim and became quick friends with the receptionist there named Lindsay. We both were new at working amongst the military so it was nice to not be the only ‘newbie’ there. Our boss, a Captain was pretty nice and showed me what I needed to do, she was happy I had experience and so I was given quite a bit of responsiblity right off the bat. She kept warning us though, that working the vet clinic was her THIRD priority so we would be dealing with a lot of annoyed people at times. Along with her veterinary work she also was responsible for the well being of the Military Working dogs (1st priority), the food inspection in all the commissaries, eating establishments and shoppettes (2nd priority) THEN the Vet clinic for the public. Things were pretty unstable there for a while (I hated telling people no) that is, until I met Larry.