Playing catch up…

Well you not me! I thought I’d give you an idea of what I’ve been up to these past few days and why I fear there could be some AWOL shenanigans again over the next couple of weeks! Sorry in advance!

So I’ve been fitting into the American housewife role well now we’re in our new apartment…well until today – I’ll come to that later! We’re now officially Costco members – this is a BIG thing in America, it would seem everyone goes there to buy their toilet paper (or bath tissue as it’s called over here!) so we now have about 40 rolls in the spare closet (I know it’s a travesty and clothes should be in there!!) along with massive amounts of chicken, steak, coffee pods for the coffee machine and cans of soda. Yep bulk buying has arrived in the Cook-Richter household, something my dad will be very proud of!

I’ve also joined the gym…this now means I am in PAIN!!! So I need to make this clear – back in the day I used to go to the gym nearly everyday and do double spinning classes, then when I moved to Hull I worked out with my friend who was a personal trainer but after that it sort of dwindled away, meaning I haven’t done any exercise for a couple of years at least. So when I had a personal training session the trainer nearly killed me…literally. I had to stop the session because I felt light-headed!! Fail. Since then I’ve been to a spinning class (and ended up saddle sore!) a body works class (which means I ache all over!!) and a kickbox cardio class this morning – I’ll report back on the effects of that one another day!

And in some breaking news…the tables are complete!! Yay! I’ve spent hours out on the balcony staining them with tea (yep the stuff you usually enjoy with a good biscuit to dunk in – in the words of Peter Kay Hob Nob’s are the best for this!!) and then a vinegar/steel wool solution (which means the house now smells of vinegar that’s seeping from the tables no matter how many scented candles I burn!!) followed by some waxing and here is the finished product…I know you’ve all been dying to see it…

I know...WOWZERS!!

I know…WOWZERS!!

I know the boy did blummin good!! I am one impressed girlfriend! I’ve even told him he’s allowed to build other things now too! Never again will I doubt his woodwork skills! I would say maybe he should switch careers but I’m thinking he should stick with the cakes!!!

I’ve also been sorting out my resume (American for CV!) – yep sadly this living the dream of being a lady of leisure can’t last forever! After studying various websites on how a CV and resume differ I’ve managed to bob one together in the hope of bagging some sort of work experience and possible even a job! The German wants me out working – I don’t think he likes the fact I’m at home all day whilst he’s hard at work. Fair point! I’ll keep you updated on the progress!

And here’s where it starts to go wrong…so I’m doing my usual housewife duties and I notice the washer is leaving dirty marks on the white clothes so I report the issues to the service guys and book for them to come round to have a look. I stayed in all afternoon yesterday (despite having things to do!) but they never showed up. So today I get on with the washing duties, strip the bed and get the sheets in the washer. Thankfully they came out without any marks so I bobbed them in the tumble dryer but when I went to turn it on the blummin knob came off in my hand!! ARGH!!! Epic fail. So now I have sheets hanging from doors to try and get them dry whilst I wait for the people to come and fix it – I’m just hoping the sheets are dry before we go to bed…if not that is one serious housewife failure!!

Oh and in some even better news there’s a container update – it’s FINALLY arriving on SUNDAY!!!! YAY!! You do not know how much the thought of loads of brown cardboard boxes and bits of furniture being dumped in the apartment excites me!! I’ve now definitely had enough of drinking wine from a huge glass (although this is kind of not a bad thing!!), only having 4 knives and forks and not having my little home comforts that I waved goodbye to back in the middle of January! Yep it’s been that long! The container’s actually been in Miami for about 3 weeks now – that’s a 12 hour drive away in a truck but for some reason it’s taken them 3 weeks to get it to Atlanta! Go figure.

And finally…the first visitors to the new abode are turning up tomorrow – my brother and sister-in-law! The big bro had his sights on a cheap holiday before we got the official yes you’re moving to America – in fact the day I mentioned the idea of moving here tey were already looking into places to visit and the cost of flights. I kid you not! Anyway this could mean some AWOL activity although I’m sure it will give me plenty to write about and bore you with – that’s if we don’t rip each other’s heads off during the 2 weeks he’s here! We are brother and sister after all!!

A Mountain made of Stone…

Now this I know isn’t uncommon at all – in fact all mountains are made of stone, that is a no brainer! However this one is called…wait for it…it’s a good one…yep you guessed it…Stone Mountain! Yep it was a warm, kind of sunny spring day here in Atlanta so me and the German decided to go and be tourists and check it out!

Now I didn’t really do my research before we went (I think the German did – that’s his thing, I just go along for the ride and the fun stuff!) so I literally thought it was a mountain with some famous faces in it – we’ll come to that in a bit! So I was kind of shocked/surprised when we got there and it was like a mini theme park! Yep think Alton Towers but on a much smaller scale! When I say much smaller scale I mean much smaller but still it wasn’t what I was expecting! So we parked up and headed off to buy some tickets!

We decided to become Mountain Members – anticipating the many other visits we’ll probably have over the next year with friends and family coming to visit! This means we can have an unlimited amount of trips during the next year and check out the rides/games/3D movies etc as many times as we like! Result!

Now here’s the history lesson…Stone Mountain looks a little bit like this…

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Yep like I said a massive mountain made of stone with some famous faces in it! Now this is the picture on all the adverts for Stone Mountain…so you can’t tell there’s other stuff to go with it! Aaannyway back to the mountain! So the famous faces are Stonewall Jackson (aptly named there!!) Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davies – three Confederate leaders of the Civil War. In 1916 the United Daughters of the Confederate was given 12 years to complete a civil war memorial in the stone but sadly they didn’t manage it and it was officially completed in 1972 after the initial carver bailed out (then went on to begin Mount Rushmore – bit cheeky if you ask me!) a second sculptor gave up in 1928 and work stopped for 30 years before starting again in 1964 and being completed by Roy Faulkner in 1972. Right history lesson over – back to the fun stuff!

So we got our Mountain Member cards, stocked up on some food (another theme I see entering this blog, our love for stuffing our faces and filling our bellies!) and headed up the mountain! Now it’s 825 feet from the ground to the top of the mountain, you can either take the trail and walk up or take a cable car…guess which option we went for…yep you guessed it the cable car!! Lazy bums! In our defence our Mountain Membership means we can go on it as many times as we like and it was kind of warm…and we got to see views like this on the way up…(I also feel like I’m trying to justify why we used it when it’s really because we are in fact lazy bums!!)

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Yep it was a loooong way up but worth it when you got to the top and could see the whole of Atlanta…

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Those tiny, tiny skyscrapers in the background are actually the huge ones in Downtown Atlanta! It was an amazing sight and worth the trip up just for that! Once you get to the top you can learn how the mountain came to be (I think we’ve had enough history lessons for one blog!) see some amazing sights like the one above, sit on the mountain and chill out, grab some snacks (popcorn was on offer and despite my recent new addiction to it thanks to the basketball I declined – shocking I know!!) and if you really wanted you could have a picnic! Definitely worth a trip up there!

Now we were lazy getting to the top and we could have been just as lazy to get back down and go back in the cable car but we decided to walk (that one shocked you didn’t it!) – walking downhill is much easier than walking uphill – plus I had flip-flops on – not the best shoe selection for some hiking (I refer back to the lack of research!) So we started on down the mountain and it wasn’t too bad, not too steep and easy to walk down, then we got to a VERY steep part with a handrail that was much-needed and eventually made it down to the bottom! There were some scary moments when I could have done with a hand from the German but he just carried on and turned around to see where I was when it was too late! Typical!

After our mountain descent we took one of the trails back to the main park – now the mountain is more than 5 miles wide and there is a little touristy train you can take all the way around it but we weren’t going that far so took the trail into the woods and out the other side – it was definitely a pretty walk and I’m sure in summer it’s even prettier…

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So we made it back to the park and decided to explore some of the other stuff you can get up to! There’s a climbing area that looked kind of cool – if you’ve ever been to Go Ape it was kind of like that – swinging from tree to tree and climbing up nets etc. Now the German really wanted to go on it and I was up for it too BUT when we got to the start my lack of research came into play again – you could only go on it in fully covered shoes. Damn you flip-flops. The German was not impressed. Next time for that one…

Instead we did a bit of this…

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Good old-fashioned crazy golf! And can I say it wasn’t just the usual, kind of boring, easy course…oh no no! There were some fancy pants holes let me tell you! And I think I’ve inherited my Dad’s fancy pants golfing skills too – I did pretty well! Yeah, yeah, yeah I know it’s only crazy golf but hey let me have some credit – I never play the sport!

So aside from the crazy golf and many different trails you can take around the mountain (oh yeah I forgot to mention some people were running up and down that beast…running!! Nutters!!) there’s also a 3D movie theatre, a duck boat that takes you into the river, various different shops and restaurants and in the summer there’s a laser light show in the evening that is supposed to be pretty good – we’ll definitely be heading back to sample that beast! And of course before we left we stocked up on some Taffy for the journey home…always thinking of our stomachs! Definitely a good trip out and somewhere we’ll be going back to – even if it’s just to let the German go on the climbing course!!

Oh and sorry for the delay in writing this one…I blame Mother Cook back in England who sent this little bounty over to the states…

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What? A girl needs her fix of Closer, Mini Eggs and Percy Pigs!! And I’ll admit it – there was another bag of Percy Pigs but that beast got cracked into as soon as the package was opened and soon disappeared! Ma Cook is a legend!!!

Oh and there are developments on the table building front too – they’re nearly done!! I’ll save that story though for another blog – I think you’ve had enough for today plus I need to give you a tease to keep reading!!

Exploring: Piedmont Park, Atlanta

Literally. So spring sprung in Atlanta over the weekend much to the jealousy of my friends back in Europe! There was blue skies, plenty of wall to wall sunshine and temperatures hitting 75 degrees! Or if you live in Europe we’re talking 24/25 degrees!!! Amazing I know! This weather is what we call summer in England…and we only get that for about 2 weeks every year! We’ll get a couple of days here and there when people will rush home, get their shorts on and get out in the garden to try to get that all important tan…but will probably end up getting burnt!

Aaannnyway – we decided we should make the most of the gorgeous weather and take a break from building tables for our new home – even though it’s not like in England where you literally have to make the most of it because it will be gone until next year in a couple of days! So we donned our summer clothes and decided to take a walk in the park – Piedmont Park to be precise! It looks a little bit like this…

Beaut!

Beaut!

Now this park reminds me of Central Park in New York – funny that because it was actually re-designed by the same people who created Central Park back in the early 20th century! Bit like a history lesson this – stick with me…you never know you might learn something! So it’s a massive area – 189 acres to be precise and like New York’s Central Park it sits in the middle of the city between Midtown and Virginia Highlands. That means you get great pictures like the one above with the skyscrapers in the background!

Now the trip didn’t start off too well – it took us ages to park up! There’s a multi-storey car park on-site (yep the only place you would find a multi-storey car park at an actual park is in America!!) but it seems people aren’t that great at parking in the states! There was loads of spaces just a storey up on the second level but it took us awhile to get there!! We eventually parked up and headed out into the sunshine – bliss!

We set off exploring and began trying to sniff out some food! Yep our stomachs were rumbling and calling out for some nosh! Now in English parks there’s usually some sort of cafe type place where you can get a little snack…this doesn’t seem to be true in America! Tip: if you’re heading to Piedmont Park either eat before you go or take a picnic! We weren’t prepared! A picnic would have been a brilliant idea but we only thought about this as we were walking through the park watching everybody else tucking into theirs! Eventually we stumbled upon a couple of places near to one of the entrances! We ended up in here…

Yes I am a child...I took the picture purely for the name! And blog purposes of course!

Yes I am a child…I took the picture purely for the name! And blog purposes of course!

Yep a place called Willy’s! Had to be done! It did however serve some amazing burritos – we went for the BBQ pork version and it was heaven!! The nachos looked good too along with the pitchers of margaritas! I would definitely recommend a trip there!!

So with our bellies full we ventured back into the park to carry on the exploring and attempt to work off a little bit of that burrito! Now we could really focus on the park and not our rumbling stomachs! Piedmont Park isn’t just a huge piece of grass in the middle of the city…oh no no! It has a swimming pool that’s open in the summer months I guess – it was closed when we went despite the scorching temperatures! A lake where you can go fishing, trails all around the park to go walking, running, biking and inline skating, numerous different picnic areas, sports facilities including tennis courts, soccer (yep when I say this I actually mean football!) pitches, beach volleyball courts and several different fitness classes you can sign up to! Definitely something for everyone!

That though was all too much for us in the hot climate! Instead we strolled around the park, watched people throwing footballs, having picnics, playing games and generally chilling out – exactly what a park is made for! We also stumbled upon the doggy park – yep an area especially for our canine friends! There’s a park for big dogs and a separate area for smaller dogs! Now I’m not a dog person as anyone who knows me will know (in my defence I was pinned up by a big dog when I was about 7 years old – his face was literally barking face to face with mine with his paws above my shoulders on the wall – yep slightly scary and enough to put you off for life – much to the German’s annoyance – the boy wants a dog!) but even I thought it was a nice idea! The dogs all played together happily and made friends with each other – I didn’t hear one bark or growl from any of them! I still wouldn’t like to be in the actual doggy enclosure with them though!

At the moment the grass is kind of scorched in the park which ruins it a little bit but I’m thinking it will turn green pretty soon with the warm weather we’re having over here making the park look even prettier than it did on Saturday! It’s definitely somewhere we’ll be heading back to – next time we’ll prepare though and take a picnic!

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Tonight it’s time for more basketball action – this time we’re watching the Atlanta Hawks take on the Dallas Mavericks! Basketball seems to be our favourite American sport so far! (And is kind of easy for me to understand!!) Now the Hawks seem to be doing pretty well this season – they won last time we went so hopefully we’ll be their lucky charm again tonight! And yes, there probably will be another popcorn scenario!

Home Sweet Home!

So first of all sorry for the lack of blog posts – I’m blaming it on a lack of internet! We haven’t got it sorted in the new place yet (Yep we’re in there – that’s the theme of the post so read on!) and I’m hoping this works through the joy of a 4G personal hotspot with the iPad…we shall  see on that one!

So as I said we’re finally in the new apartment! It took a week, LOTS of building and a few trips from the old place to get everything here but we did it! It’s amazing how much stuff you can amass over a few weeks (6 to be precise!) in a new country that you came to with only 6 suitcases…we definitely had much more than 6 suitcases when we moved in here!

But we’re here and LOVING it! Although we’re still missing our home comforts from England in that container – that’s another story – again keep reading!! The apartment is beautiful and in gorgeous surroundings! I think we’re getting old because instead of being in the centre of everywhere with things within walking distance like we were in Leeds we’re now living on a little suburban road, in an apartment complex that is surrounded by trees and next to the Chatahoochee River (I know amazing name!!) – here’s the view from our balcony…

Yep it's sunny! Sorry guys back home - it's 20 degrees here!!

Yep it’s sunny! Sorry guys back home – it’s 20 degrees here!!

 

Now don’t get me wrong the peace and quiet is amazing! It’s so relaxing being able to look out to the trees and not having anyone looking in (yep I don’t like people looking into my house – the German however used to love leaving the blinds up in our Leeds flat and got annoyed when I put them down!!) and the complex is chilled out – you can walk by the river, hire a canoe and of course there’s a swimming pool and a gym – that’s just standard living out here! I can’t wait for summer to come around to chill out by that pool and get a tan!!

So the German spent the weekend and every night since building his tables! Did I mention he wanted to do this? Yeah? No? I can’t remember so we’ll tell you again! So instead of buying a coffee table and end tables in the living room the German decided he was going to build them himself. Now it’s not that I don’t trust him or think he can do the job BUT he’s a pen pusher who sits at a computer all day and has soft, soft skin on his hands that in my dad’s words ‘haven’t seen a proper days work in their life!’ so I was kind of worried about how they would turn out as was the rest of our friends and family including Toby’s brother Stefan who pulled a face and laughed when he told him! Aaaanyway after spending more than 2 hours in Home Depot on a Sunday morning here’s what’s happened so far in pictures…

The German being a proper man and buying wood!

The German being a proper man and buying wood!

Yep we bought a LOT of wood!

Yep we bought a LOT of wood!

Man at work...

Man at work…

Looking good!

Looking good!

 

And so far they’ve ended up like this…

Wowzers!!

Wowzers!!

 

I know the German’s done good! Now it’s not finished yet – for a start it needs staining – I think that will be my job but I’ll report back when it’s done and show you the finished product! I know you’re all dying to see it!!

Now I would show you some pictures of said new flat but (and here’s the container story already mentioned!! I know you were wondering/dying to know what it was all about!) the container hasn’t arrived yet – booooo! In some good news though it’s in the same country now and in Miami to be precise and in even better news we got an email to say it had been released by customs yesterday – a lot earlier than we thought! Wooooo! However, it now takes up to 5 days to get to the shipping people’s distribution centre then they’ll be able to give us a time frame as to when it can make it up here – we’re hoping it will be here next week! YAY!!

Right I think that’s enough for you for today! I’m going to be a journo geek and wait for the new Pope to head out onto that balcony – yep even here in the states the journo in me still wants to watch the same picture for hours until something actually happens!! But the TV is playing up and keeps pixilating – this doesn’t impress me because knowing my luck I’ll miss the moment when the new Pope is unveiled because of a lack of signal…great.

 

 

Slam dunk da funk!

Nope I’m not talking that classic song by 5ive that we all loved when we were at school (well depending on your age of course!!)…I’m talking one of the biggest sports in America – Basketball!

Yep as part of our initiation into American life we figured we should head on down to the Philips Arena to watch the Atlanta Hawks. So the German did the boy thing and got some tickets and off we went to see the Atlanta Hawks take on the Philadelphia 76ers!

Now my only knowledge of basketball is the words ‘slam dunk’ and ‘shoot some hoops’ – generally picked up from American sitcoms and films and names such as Harlem Globetrotters, LA Lakers and New York Knicks – again picked up from American sitcoms and films along with those baseball caps that seem to be worn by all the cool kids – obviously not me! The German had a big job on his hands teaching me the rules of the game but it was a task he was willing to take on!

So we got to the Arena and walked down here…

It's all in the picture...

It’s all in the picture…

Yep a treasure trove of many, many, many different eateries and drinks places to stock you up before heading to your seat for the game including burgers, pretzels, pizza, more burgers, tacos, nachos, fried chicken, more burgers, and this…

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Bottomless, yes bottomless popcorn!! The tub was massive but we were allowed to fill it up as many times as we wanted – result! However after purchasing it I realised it was butter/salted popcorn – not my first choice but I was willing to give it a go! We also went on the hunt for beer – something the German found rather difficult! Now I’m not the biggest beer drinker so I’m happy to go for Bud/Miller/whatever flavour beer in the light version but the German – hell no he won’t touch the stuff! It appears it’s a big thing over here though and finding so-called ‘normal’ beer was proving difficult! We went to about 4 different food stalls before he finally found the beer he wanted – phew! Anyway off we trotted to find our seats loaded up with popcorn and beer!! The game was on!

As we got there a school choir was just starting to sing the national anthem – now as much as I love the American anthem and children, I now feel quite harsh saying they weren’t actually that good. (Yep I’m going to hell – they’re children after all!) Aaaaanyway – that ended, the cheerleaders came on and we were ready for game time…

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So the first quarter started. The German informed me that there are four quarters (obviously!) each lasting for 12 minutes. So I’m thinking well this is gonna be over quickly – surely not. And I was right – there are Time Outs, bits of entertainment in between each quarter, half time entertainment, little games, kiss cams, dance offs – you name it they have it in a basketball game! And it’s all fun! We had music that included Atlanta‘s very own Usher, Ceelo Green, LMFAO and organ versions of Rhianna (yep she really is everywhere!!) and the White Strips while the game was in play! It all felt very American (obviously Rachel – you’re in America!!) I suppose what I mean is it’s what you expect to happen at a basketball match – I suppose exactly what you see on the TV/in the movies etc!

Just shooting some hoops...

Just shooting some hoops…

So the actual game is really quick when it’s in play – the Hawks were losing to begin with but soon turned it around – The German told me that’s the beauty of basketball – the game can change really quickly! I learnt that a team has to shoot within 24 seconds of getting hold of the ball (there’s an amazing organ countdown that goes with this!!) they’re only allowed to be in the square around the net for 3 seconds at a time and if they shoot outside of the big semi-circle they get 3 points instead of 2! I was learning well!

So they game went on…the Hawks were kicking ass but sadly I missed some of the hoops/goals/points scored (I’m not too sure of the technical terms!!) because I was engrossed in this…

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Yep it would appear I had become slightly addicted to the buttery/salty popcorn taste sensation and was ploughing my way through the huge tub! I couldn’t stop shovelling it into my mouth – and yes I’ll admit it there were some popcorn spillage mishaps but I like to think everyone has these when eating popcorn yes? No? Just me? Ok we’ll forget I said that!!

So they game went on, the Kiss Cam came on – it panned around the audience and picked couples who had to kiss when they were on camera – the majority did but a couple avoided the situation! The Hawks carried on slam dunking and racking up the points and yes I carried on with the popcorn until this happened…

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Yep we demolished the whole thing!! I would like to point out though that we didn’t take advantage of the bottomless aspect of the tub and we only had the one! Makes it slightly better, yes? Alright we’re just fatties!!

Now all this happened before half time – yep we polished off the popcorn even before the half time entertainment! We watched the last 2 quarters in a popcorn induced haze – a lovely haze may I add but a haze all the same!! The Hawks were going for it and were well ahead going into the final quarter and at the end of the game it was victory to the Hawks!!! Final score Atlanta Hawks 107 : Philadelphia 76ers 96! Woooo! I like to think we were a good luck charm – we’ll see how long that lasts!!

Oh I forgot to mention this was one of my welcome to America presents from the German (Yep as mentioned before he’s definitely a keeper!!) along with where we went last night…

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The Masquerade. A small venue where bands play kind of intimate gigs – last night we saw these lovely people…

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Gaslight Anthem!! Now last time we saw this band we were at Leeds Festival – a massive venue! So to see them in such a small space and be so close to them was fab!!! Oh and they had many different English football scarves on stage with them and of course the guitarist wore his trademark St Pauli waistcoat – both the English and German bases ticked for us!! Wooo! Amazing gig – Loved it!

Hit the road Rach…Part 2!

So as we all know (I put it out there in my last blog post!) I had my driving test yesterday. Now I’ve been driving for the last 12 years after passing my test in England at the tender age of 17 so taking another test felt a little bit like going back in time! But the German told me a Georgia Drivers Licence was needed firstly to make the car insurance cheaper but also because you can only drive on a UK licence for a year!

So at 1:30pm yesterday (after waiting all morning for Ikea to come and pick up some unwanted furniture – they came just in time!!) I headed on down to here…

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Yep the Georgia Department of Driver Services ready for my 1:40pm test. Now this place is NEVER empty…there are always massive queues and like the aforementioned Big V interview, it involves getting a number and waiting for your name to be called to the window. I was under the impression that having an appointment booked would mean it would take place on time…how wrong was I?

So for the second time I filled in the application form (which included my height, eye colour and weight?!?! Weight – why the hell you need that on a driver’s licence I have no idea – who needs to know that?!! Needless to say I *may* have knocked off a couple of pounds!!) and headed off to find a seat which was VERY difficult. It was the busiest I had ever seen it – and it was my fourth trip there after going there with the German twice!

I sat and waited, and waited, and waited and when it got to 2:30pm I was kind of worried I might have missed my slot by not speaking up so I bobbed up to a window (and probably had a hundred angry eyes burning into the back of my head thinking ‘what the hell is she doing – she better not get served before me – she should wait her turn blah blah blah!) and quickly asked the lady – sadly there was no quick fix – I had to wait for my number and one employee said the current wait time was 2 hours. Great. On the plus side at least my phone was now working (After complaining to Orange again they miraculously got the unlocking code to me within 24 hours!) so I could pass some time on the delights of Facebook, whatsapp and the BBC news app (yep the journo is still in there!)

Then after about an hour (I beat the person I was sitting next to who go there before me and was still sitting there when I went up to the window!! I’m sure he secretly hated me!!) it was my turn – I had my photo taken again and signed my name badly again on the computer screen! It wasn’t great. Anyway I was told to pull the car up to the curb (very American I know!!) and wait for the examiner. So I did.

Now having already taken a test in England many moons ago I was feeling kind of confident – I can drive and I have been for years! It was the parking I was worried about especially in my SUV! I was all set for the test in the hire car that had a camera on the back but mine doesn’t so I was slightly worried! Oh and not forgetting the steering wheel is on the wrong side to what I’m used to!

But the examiner came and off we went, after I’d showed him I could work the indicators, brake and horn, into another part of the car park! Yep no actual roads involved yet! I had to do an emergency stop…tick! Then reverse in a straight line…tick! And then parallel park…this was the tricky one but…tick! Then I reversed into a parking spot…tick! And then we went out on the road for all of 5 minutes. We got back to the car park and that was it…test done and I passed!! Yay!

Now what’s that I hear you say? Your test lasted only 10 minutes? Yep that’s right – 10 minutes and I could legally drive on the road. Now this wasn’t a special test because I’d been driving for 12 years already – that was the test 16/17 year olds take before they’re allowed on the road! There’s no half an hour around the roads of a certain town, no 3 point turn, no hill starts and because cars are all automatic over here there’s none of that clutch control nonsense! Just a 10 minute test, 5 of which is taken in a car park! There’s no wonder people out here seem to struggle on the road!! I’ve already said to the German if we ever have an accident (touch wood we never do – go one touch some wood!!!) it won’t be our fault!! In fact the teenager who took her test before me came back into the car park and seriously mounted the curb when she pulled around the corner but she still passed…there’s no hope!!

So that’s it – I’m now officially a Georgia driver!! Another thing to tick off the list!

Bob the Builder…

Well actually it was more like Toby the Builder and his (not so great/helpful) workmate Rachel! So that was our weekend…literally nothing else happened. I’m sure I can make it into some sort of blog post for you lovely people…well I’ll give it a go! I’ll warn you it might not be one of my finest pieces of work but here goes…

So yep I went AWOL again (in my defence I did warn you about this!!) and it was all because of the new apartment – wooooo! So we picked up the keys on Friday (amazing!!) had a little look inside – beaut! Apart from the fact they changed the flooring in the bedroom – in the model apartment it has carpet (lovely!) but apparently now they’re putting hardwood flooring throughout the whole flat (not so lovely!) now we have to buy rugs to have slight bit of softness under our feet – something we might have to wait for after all the furniture we bought!!

Aaaanyway…so Friday night was full of yet another trip to Ikea, Home Depot and Bed, Bath and Beyond before an early morning on Saturday in preparation for the delivery men – yep 2 deliveries in one day – both scheduled between 9am and 1pm, one was Ikea (loads of boxes for us to build into something that resembled bedroom furniture!!) and another from Ashley’s – a sofa, loveseat (yep that’s what they affectionately call a chair/sofa that isn’t as small as a chair but isn’t as big as a sofa, actually it’s a small sofa but hey we’ll go with the loveseat name!) and accent chair so we had something to sit on.

So we got there at 8am, built some shoe racks and waited for the deliveries and guess what…yep they both turned up at once! Typical! So we had about 5 delivery men running in and out of the house, dumping boxes, sofas and chairs – at least it was all delivered before 10am though!! Phew!!

Then the building began…here are some shots of the workman in action…complete with his new manly drill and hammer…

Toby the Builder...

Toby the Builder…

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Over the weekend we (I say we but really it was the German!!) built 2 beds, 4 bedside tables, 1 set of drawers, 4 shoe racks and 3 lamps! Now I wasn’t just standing about watching him (well on Sunday I did a little bit more of that – I had a cold all weekend and felt shocking…after 3 now…1, 2, 3….awwwwww!!!) I gave the drawers in our bedroom a little makeover – yes they were brand new so technically didn’t need a makeover but I made them look prettier! I was out on the balcony in the freezing cold (with said cold may I add – we just happened to pick the coldest weekend since we’ve been here to move!!) painting the drawer fronts white…

DIY SOS eat your heart out!!

DIY SOS eat your heart out!!

Don’t I look like a professional!! I think I am anything but! Anyway they turned out nice…

Beaut!!

Beaut!!

So there you have it – that’s what we did this weekend! Oh and we had a dining table delivered on Sunday but only 3 chairs made it – one got smashed in the van, and of the 3 that did 2 are a bit dodgy along with a corner of the table! Safe to say they might just be replacing it all!! Exciting times! And it’s not over yet – I’ve got another trip to Ikea on my hands this morning – I’ll be glad to see the back of that place! Ha!

But for now I’ll leave you with this little gem – yep the Bradford Batman’s made it all the way to Atlanta – it’s like being back at home…

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See I told you it wouldn’t be that exciting – I promise to make the next one a little livelier – I’ve got my driving test tomorrow…