Exploring: The Dogwood Festival, Atlanta

OK so these blog posts seem to be starting with the same thing everytime…a big fat SORRY! Once again I appear to have neglected this little beaut and not posted for, well ages. I am one bad blog owner. I would come up with a load of excuses (believe me I can!) but I think you’ve had enough of those! Basically I am just pants and I would appreciate it greatly if you could forgive me? What’s that…I’m forgiven? Yay!!

Right now that’s over, and I’m forgiven (thanks again for that one!!) let’s get on with this post! So festival season has started in Atlanta! There seems to be one kicking off somewhere in the city every weekend, sometimes there’s more than one – that makes it kind of difficult to choose which to go to but hey the world would be boring without choice! Anyway last weekend we hit the Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park.

Now this of course is our first year in Atlanta so we didn’t really know what to expect but off we trotted on the Marta to the park to check it out! Now I’ve told you all about Piedmont Park before so we knew what we were getting there but we didn’t know that it would be completely taken over with little stalls…it kind of looked like this…

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Yep it was a pretty beautiful festival to visit! So the festival is named after a tree, ironically that’s a dogwood tree! See what they did there?! The trees are in full bloom in spring (here in Atlanta the leaves are already on the trees because of the high temperatures!) so the festival is technically celebrating springtime and predominantly art. Hundreds of artists had set up shop on the little stalls selling their wares, some of which I would have happily had on my walls but some I would have happily left on the stalls too!

So we wandered around the art stalls, checked out some of the companies who were plugging their products (including the radio stations which took me back to the times I did the exact same thing back in England!) and then came across the street food…yep this blog always has something food related in every post, you should know that by now! Now American street food is AMAZING!! There was literally everything you could imagine…pizza, burgers, fries, gyros, burritos, fried jalapenos, something called blooming onions which was basically an onion opened out and deep-fried in batter with some sort of cheesy dip (Yep it looked blummin tasty but sadly we didn’t try one – definitely next time!) but I settled for this…

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A mahoosive turkey leg! The German said I was eating man food but I didn’t care…it was blummin good! He did have to help me out to finish it though – there was a lot of meat on that bird! The German opted for something different…he shortlisted a few delicacies but being German he was drawn to this one…

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Yes the German was reunited with his favourite food – sausage!! Technically it was a polish one but the boy did reassure me they have the same thing in the land of the Deutschers, they just call it a krakauer instead! He was a happy bunny!

So after we’d stuffed our faces we carried on wandering around the festival – with a beer and margarita in hand of course – and came across this…I thought it was pretty random in the middle of an art festival…

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That my little blog friends is the Disc Dog Southern Nationals. Yep a competition for dogs involving a frisbee. Basically dogs went into the ring with their trainers and had to catch a frisbee! Now I’m sure there was some sort of skill involved in this but as I’m not a dog lover I didn’t really see it and I definitely didn’t see the connection with an art festival! And with the name Southern Nationals I’m thinking this is some sort of international competition – I’m sure we don’t have anything like this in the UK! It was kind of fun to watch though!

There was also a fairground and a couple of stages where people whacked up their camping chairs and settled down for a night of country music…

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Now as we’re not very big country music fans we decided to leave this to the experts and skipped out of the park and into a local bar…where we ended up staying until the wee small hours…partly because we were enjoying the drinkies (remember to always drink sensibly peeps!) but also because the German told me that Will Ferrell of Anchorman fame had been drinking in the same bar just the other week whilst filming Anchorman 2! Now being a journalist I am a HUGE Anchorman fan and as they’re still filming I was kind of hoping Ron Burgandy himself would stroll through the door but sadly I was left disappointed! Maybe next time…

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What a load of pollen!!

Literally.

So first of all it’s been a fair few days since my last post – for this I apologise. I won’t lie – I’m gonna come up with an excuse – my brother and sister-in-law were here so I was spending time with them, but they went home on Saturday and the German left for Chicago at the same time so now I have no excuse. I’m home alone! It is kind of weird going from a full house to nobody!

Right back to the blog post! So this one is all about pollen. Yep the stuff is everywhere in Atlanta right now and when I say everywhere I mean EVERYWHERE! We’re stuck in some sort of pollen haze/hell and it shows no sign of letting up!! ARGH!!

It would appear it’s currently pollen season. Now the German had heard about this and told me exactly what was happening as soon as my car starting turning a yellow colour! At first I thought it was kind of cool…now I’m thinking differently!

So this all started about 2 weeks ago, you first noticed it on the cars…

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OK so the picture doesn’t really do it much justice but you get the idea!! Yellow EVERYWHERE! Now I’m sure living in a place that is surrounded by trees doesn’t help but still…

So the car I could deal with – I’ll just get it washed once the pollen has stopped falling (which the German led me to believe lasted for a few weeks – more on that later!) but it was getting worse! Last week I went to Stone Mountain (You can check out what that is in my previous post about it!) and it was a very hot day. The pollen count was so high you could actually see it in the air, my ankles and calves turned yellow from my flip-flops flicking the pollen onto them. At points I felt like I was eating it. It was definitely not enjoyable! I felt disgusting and had a shower once I got home! Ewwww! It fell onto my bag which also turned yellow and like an idiot I wore a white top – yep that had a yellow tinge too!

Outside the house the ground is yellow. You can see footprints where we’ve walked in and out, the handrail is a lovely shade of dusty yellow and the steps have pollen in every crack…

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Anything you leave outside gets covered! The German’s precious bike is on the balcony (he actually does love the bike!!) and instead of being black it is a beautiful pollen shade. I’m sure he won’t be impressed when he gets back!! We have a table and a couple of chairs on there – they were brown but they now have a yellow tinge! And my black hurricane lamp…I’ll let you guess what comes next…

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Yep you guessed it – a nice shade of pollen yellow! I had the bedroom windows open the other day and despite them having screens over them to stop the bugs getting in the pollen managed to break through! It was all over the bedside tables, dresser and drawers. I was not impressed!

Now when it comes to cleaning this horrible stuff up it’s no easy job! You can dust it with one of those catch the dust duster things (if any of that made sense!) but it still manages to gather in big lumps of yellow in the corners. And within an hour of you dusting it away it’s back!! I was working on the laptop on the balcony last week and cleaned it before I started – you could see the pollen dropping onto it as I typed! By the time I’d finished there were two patches at the front where my wrists had been and the rest was – yep you guessed it – a shade of dusty yellow pollen!!

Now when I say the pollen count is high it is unbelievably high! The lovely people on Fox 5 News Atlanta give you a daily update on said pollen count – last Thursday it reached more than 8000!!!!! I think this could have been the highest on record! Now thankfully yesterday it rained which has brought it down massively – today it is just 1509! Phew! The yellow stuff is still there though!

Now speaking of the rain – when it rains it washes the pollen away! Yay! My car is slightly cleaner, the pathways are cleaner and the pollen count is reduced. Result! But it leaves behind the most disgusting looking puddles…check this beast out…

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See…vile!!

Now as I mentioned earlier the German reckoned this would last for a couple of weeks, a month tops were his words. Sadly I checked out a blog the other day and they reckoned it sticks around until July 15th!!! July 15th?! Do they really think I can deal with this until July 15th?! That’s 4 months! 16 weeks of yellow stuff everywhere! 16 weeks of constant cleaning! 16 weeks of fighting my way through yellow dust and turning into a big pollen mess when I go out! This I am not looking forward to at all! There’s only one thing left to say…at least I don’t suffer from hay fever!!

 

Take me out to the ball game…

So Sunday came around in Atlanta and it was a beautiful day once more…it meant one thing for us – a trip to this fine place…

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Yep we had a date at Turner Field!! Now you may remember I mentioned this in my last post about the Final Four but I didn’t elaborate any further. That my dear blog friends is because the date at Turner Field deserves a blog post of its own and here it blummin well is!

Now here in Atlanta a date at Turner Field can only mean one thing…BASEBALL! Yep we were going to our first ball game at the ball park (getting down with the local lingo there! It basically means baseball game at the baseball ground – I’m sure you realised this and I’m just being condescending now so I’ll shut up!) to see the Atlanta Braves and we were all excited!! Bit of history for you (as you know it always features at some point!!) the Braves have played at Turner Field since 1997. The stadium is actually the Olympic Stadium used when Atlanta hosted the Olympics back in 1996. Us Brits don’t like to talk about that one – we only brought home 1 gold medal – we’ve definitely improved since then though!

Right back to the blog – so we donned our shorts, picked up our Atlanta Braves hats and the Braves foam finger I bought the German for Christmas to prepare him for his stateside adventure, jumped in the car and headed down to Turner Field…this was the outcome…

Mingling in with the locals there...

Mingling in with the locals there…

Now this was our first ever baseball match and we didn’t really know much about it but we were braced for a lesson from my big bro who has some experience of the ball park – he also knows everything about just about every sport going – the man has a brain like a sponge!! So back in England we have a game called rounders which I used to play at school. If you ask me baseball runs kind of along the same lines – there’s four bases, you have to hit a ball and make it all the way around. If someone catches the ball you’re out and if the person on the base catches the ball before you get there, once again you’re out. Now all this is the same in baseball but there’s some more confusing things too. Brace yourself – there’s a lesson incoming…

So the game is played between two teams of 9 players with the aim of scoring runs by hitting a thrown ball and getting around all four bases arranged at the corner of a 90 foot diamond. There’s 9 innings, in each inning both teams take to the field, once 3 players are out their innings is over and they switch. The person batting gets three strikes to hit the ball, if they don’t hit it within 3 strikes they’re out. (hence the term 3 strikes and you’re out!) They can also hit a home run which means hitting the ball between two posts and a certain distance away from the pitch – if they do that they can just walk around the four bases without having to be worried about getting out by the person on the base catching the ball before they get there. Obviously the team with the most runs at the end wins. Following? Make sense? Either way I think that’s just about how it works – sorry to my American friends if there are any discrepancies and for boring you with some you more than likely already know!

Right so back to the game! The Braves were taking on the Chicago Cubs – their third game against them in 3 days…yep baseball players work hard!! So we headed into the ball park where the excitement was building – it was helped by this little band…

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Yes that is the mascot joining in there! Next up was the club shop where my brother planned to spend a fortune…and he did! Picture evidence of that will follow! Here we bought the customary Atlanta Braves Tomahawks ready for the tomahawk chop to appear in the game…however that wasn’t all they were used for as you can imagine…

Donk!

Donk!

Yes it would appear hours of fun can be had with them…even for us adults!! After that we headed to our seats to check out our view for the afternoon…

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Not bad if you ask me! And then the game began but not before the National Anthem of course! Now after visiting a fair few basketball matches I was sort of expecting more excitement but baseball is more chilled out and perfect for a Sunday afternoon! It’s more laid back and runs at a slower pace – I’m not gonna lie – my eyes weren’t on the game 100 per cent of the time but hey who’s are at a baseball game!

So the first innings got underway and the Cubs managed to get a run…sad times for us Braves fans! Then the next couple of innings were pretty boring with both teams not managing to get any runs…but then the excitement began! By the fifth inning the Braves had their first run! Yay! The Tomahawks were out and we were celebrating! But that was just the start…the next innings saw the Braves pick up 3 runs! Yep 3!! Woooo! The Tomahawks were going mad by then!! This was getting more interesting! So now the Braves were firmly in the lead going into the seventh innings but neither team was successful when it came to runs – boooo! The Cubs then went into bat for their 8th innings – no runs. The German decided to quickly nip off to the toilet as you do and missed the most exciting part of the game – something he now regrets! The Braves went into bat and it was Dan Uggla’s (I know amazing name!) turn and he only went and hit a home run!!!! Wooooooooo!! The German was gutted he missed that beast! So final score 5-1 to the Braves! Yay! I think we were once again a good luck charm although having said that the Braves are on form so far this season – I think they’ve only lost one game! GO BRAVES!!!

So that is obviously the most important part of the game but there are some added extras to tell you about that are just as good! So first of all there’s the snacks! Now you know EVERY blog from me involves food somewhere (Yep I’m a piggy!!) As usual there was a mahoosive array of food to choose from – hot dogs, chilli dogs, nachos, burgers, pizza, chips, chicken tenders the list goes on! Anyway I went for nachos (I’d spotted these beasts from afar and they looked amazing – a  mountain of chips, cheesy goo, some sort of meat I think and the usual sour cream and guacamole but sadly the German didn’t buy the ones I’d spotted and I got the simple chips with nacho cheese sauce! They were good though so we’ll let him off!) and the German went for a Philly cheese steak sandwich – now that was blummin good and of course there’s photo evidence of this…

Mmmmmmm!!

Mmmmmmm!!

Then there’s the part where you have a sing-a-long – this comes in the seventh inning! First there’s God Bless America which is sung by a special guest of the day, then there’s the song which is sung at every baseball ground in the states at the same point in every match – Take Me Out To The Ball Game. This one I LOVED! I’ve tried to find you an example of the classic but the ones I’ve found aren’t very good! Sadly I wasn’t clever enough to record it so you’ll have to make do with this instead…sorry about that but you get the idea! And finally there’s the ‘Thank God I’m a Braves Fan’ song which includes a line about the Chattahoochee – yep the river we live on! During the last 2 songs the words are up on the big screen so there’s no reason to not join in – it’s kind of like a mass karaoke session! Everyone loves it though!!

So our initiation into American life has moved along a little bit more with a baseball game! We’ll definitely be heading back to Turner Field again although I think I preferred basketball to baseball but I still enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next one! Especially the Tomahawk chop part!!

Oh and I nearly forgot – the picture evidence of my brother after he spent his dollars in the club shop – as you can see my sister-in-law is not very impressed with his idiot ways…

One word...Goofball!

One word…Goofball!

Final Four Madness!

It’s been a massive weekend in Atlanta – the Final Four came to town! Now my American friends will know exactly what I’m talking about but this might take some explaining to my English/German/and other nationality buddies so here goes…

So this is all about the NCAA or as it’s more affectionately known College Basketball. Yep not the NBA or a league below it or something, this is college (or university as we like to call it in the UK) students who have battled it out with the hundreds of other colleges across the country to make it into the Final Four teams.

Now back in the UK when I was at university in Cardiff I went to a Swansea University v Cardiff University rugby match. We left Cardiff on a bus to Swansea and started drinking before the bus had even left the city. The stadium wasn’t even full (and nowhere near the size of the stadium here!) and to be honest the drinking sort of took over the watching of the actual game! (I think it was my most drunk experience during my three years at university!) What I’m getting at here is that in the UK university sport is only watched by the students at university at that time who are more interested in the drinking aspect than the actual sport.

Over here though it’s a different matter altogether and it’s one that is unbelievable to a little Brit like me! So like the title suggests there’s 4 college basketball teams battling for the winners crown – this year it’s Michigan, Louisville, Syracuse and Wichita State. This means thousands, and I mean thousands, of basketball fans have descended on the city to see which college is victorious.

Now this doesn’t just mean a few basketball games watched by a handful of people – nope – these games took place here…

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The Georgia Dome which has a capacity of more than 71 thousand! Yep 71 thousand college basketball fans packed into that stadium for each match!! That is something UK universities can only dream of!! It also meant vendors lined the streets of Downtown Atlanta selling t-shirts, caps and other merchandise for each of the college teams with fans lining the streets in their respective colours, donning face paint and fake tattoos of their College mascot – I couldn’t quite get my head around the sheer size of the event for a sport that’s played between college teams! The only thing I can compare it to is a cup final back in England down at Wembley – something that happens once a year between some of the UK’s top teams! It was just amazing!!

So as well as the three basketball games – one of which is still to be played tonight and in case you’re wondering the final will see Michigan take on Louisville – this made me kind of sad – I was rooting for Wichita State just because I liked the name!! There was loads of other events all taking place across the weekend – including 3 massive concerts in the Centennial Olympic Park – one of which we headed down to.

On Saturday the sun was a shining (as it does most days here in Atlanta – in fact I’m currently writing this whilst sitting on my balcony in my shorts and a vest – and this is only spring!! Sorry British friends!!) so along with my bro and sister-in-law we (myself and the German of course!) headed down to the park. It was packed but everyone was happy and there was a fab atmosphere! So throughout the day there were different acts taking to the stage including Ludacris, Flo Rida and headliners Muse!! Yep our fellow countrymen were coming to town and we were going to see them…and wait for it…it was all for FREE! Yep free entry for a free gig that was only in town because of college basketball!! Once again this sport amazed me – I’ll say it again it would never happen for university sport in the UK! (I know I’m sounding like a broken record!)

So we got there just before Ludacris was about to take to the stage and it took us AGES to get a beer…bad times. Yep that was the first thing we did once we entered the park – priorities and all that! It would appear Ludacris was the most popular act of the day though and the crowd calmed down and broke up once he’d left the stage! Next up was Flo Rida followed by a break in proceedings for the basketball game – that didn’t bother us though – we had beer and of course there were snacks (when does a blog post not feature food?!) we tried corn dogs and funnel cake (which resulted in me getting sugar all over my trousers!!) and soaked up the sun before the big act…

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Now before Muse came on we shimmied on down closer to the front of the stage – we wanted a good view!! Myself and the German have seen them before at Leeds Festival but it was my brother’s first time and he was one excited man…

Yep an idiot who'd had a few beers by this point...

Yep an idiot who’d had a few beers by this point…

The fellow countrymen took to the stage and they did not disappoint!! We had an amazing time and once again I’ll tell you it was all for free because of college basketball!! Have you realised yet that I can’t believe all this is because of college basketball – not the National Basketball League but students at college! Unbelievable! Oh here’s a pic of Muse in full swing…

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And the gigs didn’t end there – yesterday Sting took to the stage – yep Sting!! Again it was all for free! We didn’t go though because we had a date at Turner Field – I’ll tell you about that one later!

So all in all it was a fab day and something I’m glad we took part in! This Final Four event won’t come back to Atlanta for a fair few years so we were lucky to be a part of it! And the size and scale of it for college basketball just blew me away! Amazing!!

Exploring: The Georgia Aquarium, GA

Yep just like that famous song that Sebastian sings in The Little Mermaid – that I had to teach the German because he’s never seen the film or heard the song – we went for a trip under the sea!

So after working the visitors hard at the weekend and making them unpack all our stuff (click here to find out more!) we thought we’d let them finally discover what Atlanta has to offer so on Easter Monday we jumped on the Marta and took them for their first glimpse of Downtown Atlanta.

After walking through the Centennial Olympic Park we had lunch at Legal Seafoods before ironically heading to the Georgia Aquarium – yep we technically ate the little fishes before going to check them out – kind of evil I know! Now both myself and the German haven’t been here so it was a new experience for all of us. So we got our tickets and had the obligatory tourist picture taken (which the German refused to smile in!) and headed inside.

Now here’s the history lesson that usually comes with a blog post that involves some exploring! So the Georgia Aquarium is the biggest aquarium in the world – yep you heard right in the world – and I was one excited lady to go and check out all the little and big creatures!! So there’s around 120,000 animals to look at made up from 500 different species all housed in 8.5 million gallons and marine and fresh water…yep there was a LOT for us to see and a lot of stats there for you! So we headed inside and saw these little beauts…

Welcome along!

So the aquarium is split into different sections, unsurprisingly we decided to start at one end and make our way to the other, that way we wouldn’t miss anything! So the first things we saw were some stingrays which you could touch if you really wanted to but as those of you who know me will guess that’s something I didn’t do!

I wasn’t getting any closer!

We trotted along and spotted lots of pretty fish, ugly fish and scary fish including piranha which the German wanted to see attacking and eating each other or other fish but sadly for him this didn’t happen! Phew!! We went into the tropical area and tried to spot Nemo but he was hiding away and we didn’t see him. Sad times. We did however predict the new sequel to Finding Nemo and solved it by Finding Dory…

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We saw jellyfish, electric eels, crabs, sea otters – that can I say were very cute indeed – but not as cute as these little things…

Too cute!

Yep despite not being a big animal lover I actually wanted to take one of these babies home! They’re gorgeous!! It was also feeding time in the penguin enclosure but some were picky little eaters and only wanted certain fish!! It seems animals also have picky eating habits just like some of us humans!

Now sadly we couldn’t see a dolphin show because they were fully booked but we did come across these beauts that the German decided were his favourite species in the aquarium…the Beluga whales…

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He spent quite awhile watching them – they were memorizing, they stuck their heads out of the water and then gracefully swam around their tank, coming up close to the window and then moving away! They were fascinating! We also spotted this shall we say not so beautiful creature…

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Who the German also found in the gift shop…

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We went through a massive tunnel with a moving walkway (yep they’re always pretty damn cool!) to check out the aquarium’s biggest tank which housed, amongst other little and slightly bigger fishes these beasts…just a few mahoosive sharks!!

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So after venturing through all the different areas and checking out the frogs at the end – some of them took some spotting – they’re good at hiding – we’d made it around the aquarium! It took us a good few hours but was definitely worth the visit! Our favourites were the Beluga whales, the penguins and the sea otters I think! The boys seemed to like the whales and the girls the penguins and sea otters – all very stereotypical! I would definitely recommend a trip here if you’re ever in the area! It was fab for four fully grown adults so I’m sure it’s even more exciting for children! I say fully grown adults but I’ll leave you with this little beaut that might suggest something different for at least 2 of them…

I think we blend in quite well...

I think we blend in quite well…

Back it up like a Tonka truck!

Yep it was just like that well-known song (or maybe not so well-known song if you don’t work in radio) by J-Lo here on Sunday – our container finally arrived and in a Tonka truck that backed up towards the apartment! You couldn’t make it up! And before we go any further I’ll let those who don’t know what the hell I’m on about check this out…You need to listen up until about 47 seconds in for that famous line!

Aaaanyway – back to Sunday! So here’s the evidence of our stuff – that I waved goodbye to back in January – finally arriving at our new apartment…

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And yes that’s the German watching the Tonka truck after having to go out in his car to find the stricken delivery drivers who had got lost on our apartment complex…I kid you not!

So it arrived and I have never, ever, ever been so excited to see so many brown cardboard boxes in my life! To be precise there was 52 items to be delivered and unpacked – something that would probably strike the fear of God in some people but I actually couldn’t wait! No longer would we have to suffer with 4 plates, 4 knives and forks and 2 glasses, no longer would I have to drink wine from a mug or wash cups and cutlery before every meal – a mahoosive supply of cutlery, plates, glasses, mugs and everything else you might need for your kitchen was arriving at my house – last seen in Leeds all those months ago!!

Now as you know the brother and sister-in-law arrived on Friday – if you ask me just in time! Yep they weren’t getting away with sitting on the sofa and watching the German and I unpack – oh no no! And to sweeten them up (and celebrate Easter!) I plied them with this…

Yum Yum!

Yum Yum!

An Easter basket full of treats! Now this had quite a big dint in it by the time the container arrived at 2pm but I’m thinking the sugar rush helped them along! They were put straight to work…in the kitchen! After being packed in newspaper EVERYTHING had to be washed and I mean everything! And there was a lot of stuff!! But they did a grand job and I reckon reduced the unpacking time by a few hours easily! Mahoosive big up to them!!

So while they were beavering away in the kitchen the German and I unpacked the rest of the stuff. Now I do have a confession to make…picture the scene…52 cardboard boxes arrive with things in you haven’t seen for months…now when I say it was like Christmas it really was! Every 2 minutes either myself of the German would shout ‘Look!’ or ‘I forgot about this!’ or ‘Yay it’s finally here!’ as we re-discovered what was in the boxes! I therefore, was a little slack on the picture taking front for the blog…the Tonka truck was the only one I took! Therefore you might have to use your imagination a little bit further on in this post! I know – I’m useless! You’d think I’d have this blog lark sussed by now…it would appear not. I’ll hang my head in shame.

So we unpacked cabinets, drawers, LOTS of kitchen stuff, books, DVD’s, a stereo (that thankfully works over here despite their stupid low voltage electricity!) pictures, a bike and loads, loads more things!! It took us about 6 hours but the house is now finally looking like a home…

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Yep we have pictures on the walls, cabinets and placemats in the dining room…

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And somewhere to sit on the balcony and watch the world go by! The spare room has a book-case and drawers and no longer looks empty but my closet (sorry wardrobe for those of you in England!) still has room in it despite the arrival of more clothes…

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This technically means I can buy more to fill it up…but that would mean spending the German’s money which I don’t think he’d be very pleased about – I seriously think he is turning into my Northern, Yorkshire dad!!

So 52 boxes later and there was a LOT of rubbish – here’s where you have to use your imagination – we technically couldn’t get out of the house…see this hallway…

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The rubbish was literally piled to the ceiling – blocking the exit. MASSIVE fire risk I know but hey there wasn’t a blaze and we’re all still here! Thankfully we managed to get all the cardboard, paper and bubble wrap (yep I did want to stand and pop all the little bubbles but sadly there was too much unpacking to do!!) out of the house and to the recycling centre which is just over the road! Phew!

Most things did all arrive in one piece which is surprising considering their looooong journey but we did have a few breakages – a few champagne flutes (not that we drink champagne every night of the week!) a wine glass, a mug and a baking dish all went to that kitchen heaven in the sky and a couple of bits of furniture came with a couple of chunks missing but apart from that everything is a-ok! Woooooo!

This also means that I now have an iron. I need to check if it works properly, what with the low voltage and all,  but it means my housewife duties once again include ironing…and believe me there is a MASSIVE pile to catch up on. 😦 I’m kind of putting it off by writing this blog…and stretching it out for as long as I can…

So that’s it – we’ve not officially, fully moved over here! Everything we own is here and unpacked and Atlanta is now home! There’s still some stuff to buy though – we need more pictures on the wall and decoration bits like vases and stuff (again this means spending the German’s money so I had better shut up!!) but our lovely new apartment now looks and feels more like home! It did kind of shock me for the first couple of days because I wasn’t used to the pictures being on the wall and the apartment looking fuller but I’m definitely used to it now and I LOVE it!!

Oh and in a washer/dryer update – they were fixed yesterday…a week later! BUT, yep there’s a but and it’s kind of a big one…the oven is now broken and not heating up! Last night we had to have stuffed chicken cooked in the microwave because the oven was taking so long! I wonder how long it will take them to fix it this time…

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