Exploring: Lake Lanier, GA

Once again this weekend the German and I donned our exploring shoes and headed out into Georgia to see what other lovely treats this land has to offer and we weren’t disappointed!

We headed north and ended up at Lake Lanier – it looks a little bit like this:

Beaut!

Beaut!

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Yep, breathtaking!! Now this place is, like a lot of things in America, HUGE and I mean HUGE! It’s spread over 38,000 acres, yep 38,000 acres or if we’re talking water, 59 square miles of it oh and it has 692 miles of shoreline – that’s one big lake to try to walk around!! Unsurprisingly the German and I skipped the option of walking around it all!!

Basically you can’t see the other side of it – it stretches as far as the eye can see and is just beautiful! Loads of people (including the German’s colleague!) have boats on the lake and literally spend every weekend there during the summer and I can definitely see why! Imagine it, blue sky, bright sunshine, sizzling temperatures and a beautiful lake to cool down in whilst sipping an ice-cold beer! Yep I’d be down for that too!

Alas that’s not what the German and I got up to yesterday! The temperatures are cooling down slightly in Georgia as autumn starts so there wasn’t much boating action involved! Instead we took a stroll around a small part of the lake and came across a bench swing! I love these things so obviously we had to have a go on it! Although the German likes to see just how high we can go – slightly scary but I went with it and we survived! We also took some pics – pretty difficult when you’re trying to make sure you don’t fall off but I think they were successful:

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We finished our walk and came across many a group of people tucking into a BBQ – it seems the lake is a fab picnic spot and we were oblivious to this! The smells were fab as families got together and tucked into their grilled goodies – next time we are definitely sorting out some sort of picnic to take with us!

I’ll leave you with this little gem…

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Aren’t we just beautiful?

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Exploring: Marietta National Cemetery, GA

Ok so this post is a little bit different for me – stick with me though – it’s definitely worth it – especially as you lovely people seem to like reading my usual ramblings!! I feel like this is something that I HAVE to share with you!

On Sunday the German and I went to Marietta (the place where I saw the British Corner Shop and got a little bit too excited!) and after checking out the square and having an ice cream in the sun we went to the National Cemetery. This could be the biggest cemetery I have ever seen – the view was just out of this world – lines of small white marble stones as far as the eye could see:

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It was the perfect day to take a look – bright blue skies and sunshine and there was nobody around so we could take our time walking around and looking at the monuments.

To put it into perspective this cemetery spans 23.3 acres and is the resting place for 18,742 people who’ve fallen during battle. It was established in 1866 by General George Henry Thomas as a place to bury 10,000 Union soldiers that had died during General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. The guy who donated the land wanted both Union and Confederate soldiers to be buried their to try to foster some kind of peace but both sides rejected the proposal, resulting in the cemetery being used primarily to lay Union soldiers to rest.

I couldn’t get my head around the size of the place – it was just breathtaking and a beautiful final resting place for America’s fallen. I thought it would be unfair not to share a few pictures with you so here they are – enjoy!

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Exploring: Music Midtown 2013

So this weekend the German and I dusted off our festival gear and headed to our first American music festival:

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Music Midtown in Atlanta! Now we’d been waiting for this for months – the German got the tickets back in July when I was in England and I was one excited lady! Plus the thought of going to a festival in the sunshine was VERY appealing – you’ll find out why in a mo!

Friday came around and the sun was, of course, shining in the sky – it couldn’t have been anymore perfect! And off we trotted to midtown Atlanta in some unusual festival gear – shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops!! Now bearing in mind the last festival we went to was Leeds Festival and the UK is notorious for its bad weather (especially in the summer around festival season!) so we are used to this:

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Yep it basically turns into one massive mud bath so imagine my delight when on Friday we had our sunglasses on and could even sit on the grass without worrying about getting mud on our bums – to us it was festival bliss!!

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We saw the end of Pheonix (thanks to the massive queue to get int!) and one of Toby’s favourite’s Cake. Then it was the turn of headliners Journey. Now in the UK Journey aren’t that big – the only song I know is ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ and this is mostly because it became a bit of an anthem at a radio station I used to work at! (Also one of my housemates hated it so whenever we were on a night out and it was played we would call him and sing it down the phone – a great idea until he came home the following day and played said drunken message to me! CRINGE!!) Back to the blog! Basically because this was the only song we knew and we didn’t want to get stuck in hours of traffic (or in a sweaty people sandwich on the Marta!) so we decided to jump ship and go home! A successful first festival day!

Day 2 however couldn’t have been any further away in likeness from day 1! Now I need to point out that it hasn’t rained in Atlanta for about a month (well actually since my brother and sister-in-law left – there’s something to be said for the Brits bringing the rain with them!) and unfortunately for us the weather forecasters had been saying all week that there was going to be some showers on Saturday. This we were braced for, a few showers isn’t that bad – especially when you think of the festival weather we’re used to!

We woke up and it looked a little gloomy…a bad start! The German headed off to watch his Bundesliga and I was meeting him later on to head to the festival. I was just getting ready when the rain started…and it wasn’t stopping!! Booooo! So in true festival style I donned my shorts, long socks and wellies (or as they’re known over here in America rain boots!) along with my waterproof jacket and went to meet the German. By now it was midday and it was STILL raining. Not a good sign! But we trotted off down the road and stopped off for a sandwich on the way! My legs were wet but that’s easily rectified! The rest of me was still rocking the dry look underneath the waterproof jacket – result!

We got to the entrance and once again there was a queue, oh and it was still raining. Suddenly the rain got heavier and heavier and we had nowhere to run to shelter!! Cue very soggy festival goers:

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We were getting wetter and wetter by the second! My denim shorts were so wet they were dripping down my legs, onto my socks and into my wellies – so much for having dry feet!! Brace yourself for this one people – even my pants (or underwear as the Americans like to call it!) were wet! Sorry about putting that mental image into your mind but seriously I was soaked to the skin!! This was not turning out to be a good day!! It was now about 2:30pm and the rain was still falling!! We managed to catch the end of Weezer which the German was pleased about (I wanted to see Capital Cities but he won on that one!) next up was the band I was very excited about seeing – my fellow Yorkshiremen the Arctic Monkeys!!!! I could not wait – I just wished it would stop raining!!

But alas it wasn’t going to happen just yet! I looked up and the skies looked really grey again – another big downpour was on its way! By this point I think my waterproof jacket was so wet it was no longer waterproof! Oh and my wellies were squelching so much I took one off to see how bad it was – I actually had to tip water OUT of my wellies! Yep there was an actual puddle in there!!! I could squeeze the water out of my socks! As you can imagine this didn’t bode for a very happy camper and the thought of another downpour was not a nice one so we headed towards the trees to try to get a little bit of shelter and as luck would have it we came across a little tent that had just enough room for us to squeeze under! Perfect! The rain did fall again but we stayed kind of dry!! Oh and we found some drinks that gave us a little taste of home that we didn’t expect to come across in a festival in the middle of Atlanta:

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Mine was the Strongbow and the Newcastle Brown was actually brewed in Tadcaster back in the UK!  Then it was time for another piece of home and the Arctic Monkeys so we braved the rain and we weren’t disappointed! For a moment I felt like I was back home – their Yorkshire accents were a joy to hear!! Their music was of course even better!!

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We were slightly happier by this point! By now it was about 5:30 and the rain was finally starting to get a little lighter!! AT LAST!!!! By 6pm it had stopped and it didn’t come quickly enough!!! If it had carried on we were actually contemplating leaving after the Arctic Monkeys!! I was still soaked to the skin though!! We saw Imagine Dragons (who were FAB!!) the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Queens of the Stoneage before the headliners Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The site was now looking very similar to the Leeds Festival site – it was turning into a mud bath:

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It was now 9pm and I was starting to get cold (my shorts were still soaked through!!) and we’d seen the Chilli Peppers before (and we weren’t impressed!) so instead of sticking it out and getting a cold we watched a few songs and headed for the exit – our festival day was over!! I was excited to get home and get a warm shower and the German was dying to sit down, saying his feet hurt – I think it’s a sign we’re getting old!!

I nearly forgot – we didn’t talk about the food! No idea how that happened! So as well as the usual festival food like pizza, burgers, chips and the like there were food trucks, gyros, huge turkey legs and more importantly BBQ!! Yep you could get pulled pork sandwiches and ribs and they looked amazing!!!!

All in all the festival was fab – even if we were soaking wet!! There was a slight problem when it came to the toilet – there were HUGE queues for the lovely (that was one VERY sarcastic lovely there!!) portaloos, or porta potties as they’re called over here along with massive queues for food – basically I don’t think there was enough of them for the amount of people on the site! We still enjoyed it though and will more than likely head back again next year – hopefully this time the weather might be a bit better!!

One last thing…I found this on Sunday on a (very sunny – typical!) trip to Marietta and got very excited:

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Yep a little shop dedicated to all things British!! It was like a little slice of home for this little Birt in Atlanta but unfortunately it was closed! Booooo! This might have been a good thing – I could have been tempted to stock up on some very expensive British provisions – the German wouldn’t have been impressed!!

Live to eat or eat to live?

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If there’s one thing I’ve noticed since moving to America it’s the emphasis placed on food! It is EVERYWHERE!!! Now I know it’s essential we all eat, in a nutshell if not we’d die! But I think there’s a difference in how American’s view food and how us Europeans do! And here’s why…

The first thing you notice when you land in America is that there’s somewhere to eat on every single corner! Seriously!! And I’m not just talking one restaurant, wherever there’s one at least another 3 are lurking in the sidelines! For example, within walking distance of our first apartment (and when I say walking distance I mean a few minutes on foot!) there was a Taco Mac, Longhorn Steak House, Chillis, a Five Guys, Wet Willies (yep that name makes me chuckle too!) and at least 2 others that I can’t remember the name of and not forgetting the Chick-fil-A a couple of minutes up the road!

Basically it’s so easy to pick up food in this country – you can’t drive 500 yards without stumbling upon some sort of restaurant or fast food joint! And just about everything has a drive thru, even Starbucks! And on a completely different note that I’m guessing might shock you a bit (well if you’re not from the States!) you can pick up your prescription from the drive-thru pharmacy!!!! I kid you not!!!

Anyway back to the issue of food! As you all know it’s one of my favourite subjects so there’s no wonder I’m blogging about it!! In fact just last night we ended up at The Vortex (of Man v Food fame! It deserves a blog post in itself and will indeed get one at some point!) and chowed down on this…

Delish!

Delish!

A huge Tex Mex BBQ burger with a big side of Tater Tots and yes it was amazing!!! And yes I will be going again to try one of their other delights – there was just too many to choose from!

Right Rachel back to the blog post! Basically, eating out here is a way of life. It’s a given and for many people it’s an activity they do every single day, whether it’s grabbing some lunch at Moe’s (they do amazing burritos!) or heading out for dinner after work. Instead of making some lunch and taking it to work, to me it seems like the majority take advantage of the fast food world they live in and just see bobbing to the nearest drive thru as a way of life. If I leave the gym at lunchtime, the queue for the Chick-fil-A is literally around the block and holding up other traffic!!

Similarly when you go out for dinner over here, things always seem quite rushed. Your appetizer is out before you know it, closely followed by your entrée (I’m actually using American language here, I should have said starter and main course. I’ve slapped my own wrists!!) and before you know it or you’ve even asked for it your cheque is on the table! There’s no break between courses so you can have a chat and soak up your surroundings, no sitting around and finishing your drinks before asking for the cheque, this is a part of America I’m not so fond of. Admitted it doesn’t happen in every restaurant you go to but it’s very common. I enjoy eating at my own pace, having conversations and feeling like you have to shovel food in your face at a rate that’s going to give you heartburn by the time your done!

Every night restaurants over here are busy, even on Mondays! Back in the UK Friday and Saturday nights are packed, but the rest of the week places are usually quiet. It may be because of the high work ethic in America, people work long hours and probably don’t want to slave over a hot stove when they get home, this I can completely understand – I mean who wants to spend hours cooking up a storm in the kitchen when they’ve been at work for the last 12 hours – definitely not me!!

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining about the food over here, definitely not in no way shape or form! In fact I love it! Who wouldn’t want cheese on everything? Who wouldn’t want the most amazing burgers ever? Who wouldn’t want steak, seafood and as much Mexican food as you can imagine including some of the tastiest tacos I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting into my mouth?

I think what I’m trying to say here is that to me, American’s see eating out and eating in general as a necessity, not necessarily something to enjoy. I may be completely off the mark here and please do correct me if I’m wrong!

I’m a guest blogger!

So after attempting to get my blog noticed by more people I was asked by the lovely UK Desperate Housewife USA to write a guest post for her blog! She moved from Blighty to Washington last year and writes a fab blog about her adventures and experiences of life in the US which, being up on the East Coast are different to life down here in the South! Obviously after being asked I jumped at the chance! But I wouldn’t want you lovely bloggers to miss out on my ramblings so I thought I’d post it on here too! Some bits you’ll already know about, others you won’t! So sit back, relax and enjoy!

Hey! I’m Rachel and this is my first ever guest blog post so a big, huge, mahoosive thank you to UK Desperate Housewife USA for asking me to get involved!!

 I’m a British expat who’s lucky enough to have waved goodbye to dull and rainy Blighty and set up home in hot and sunny Atlanta! I’ve been here for 8 months now and I’m loving every minute!!! And how did I get here? Well it’s all because of this man and frozen cakes!

Cake man! AKA The German!

Cake man! AKA The German!

Yep we made it to Atlanta because my lovely husband works for a frozen cake company! And yes we do get cakes and have to taste them to see if they’re good or not! Amazing I know!! One day he came home when we were living in our lovely flat in Leeds and said ‘We’re taking over the running of the American office, how do you fancy living in Atlanta?’ Well as you can imagine this didn’t take much thinking about! At the time I was working as a freelance journalist and after a few minutes of thinking (well actually it was more like seconds!) I said a big fat YES!!! And that was that, we were heading to the States, well once we’d been to the embassy for our visas and had the removal men come around to pack all our stuff up!

So what’s life been like since I moved here? Well there’s been some culture shocks, some things I’ve embraced whole heartedly and others that I’m happy to just let pass me by! So here’s my list of the pros and cons of being an expat in Atlanta:

PRO: THE WEATHER

Now this is something I seriously cannot complain about! The weather here in the South is amazing!! Just about every day there’s bright sunshine and seriously hot temperatures! A definite culture shock from the dull, wet and miserable Leeds that I left behind in England!! A typical day in Georgia kind of looks like this:

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Not a cloud in the sky! It’s definitely not something to screw your nose up at! But, and at the risk of the Brits back home saying ‘you don’t know how good you’ve got it’ it can get too hot! Especially in August, or the dog days of August as they’re called here in Hotlanta! It’s so hot you literally can’t do anything without getting hot and sweaty! Even walking out to the car is a huge task and if you sit by the pool you have to have a dip at least every 10 minutes because you just can’t stand the heat anymore! Right now I would say it’s a nice temperature, it’s in the high 80s meaning you can sit outside without ending up drenched in sweat (horrible visual I know! Sorry about that one!) You can go for a walk without needing a complete change of clothes when you get back! Having said that, this year has been one of the worst summers for years..typical when we turn up! It’s rained more so far this year than the last 2 years put together – I’m blaming our British visitors! Every time they came so did the rain! Since my brother left about 3 weeks ago we haven’t seen any rain at all!! I think there’s something to be said for taking the weather with you!

 

CON: THE BUGS

Yep living here in the South there are LOTS of bugs and when I say bugs we’re not talking little tiny things that don’t bother you, oh no we’re talking HUGE ones that scare you to death!! In fact right now there’s a MASSIVE spider about to eat it’s pray on the other side of our porch screen, I’m just glad it’s on the other side of the screen! If it wasn’t I definitely would not be sitting here right now! There are also cockroaches. Yep you heard me cockroaches. They’re huge vile things and despite the apartment people spraying the place for bugs they still manage to get on the balcony and occasionally inside our apartment! It would appear the beautiful weather that I just branded a pro is to blame for these beasts too! Oh and I spotted this little, or should I say big guy on my way out the other day…

Scary...

Scary…

I have no idea exactly what he is but I know that I don’t like him!

 

PRO: THE OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE

The weather here in the South means you can spend a lot of time outdoors…something I am so grateful for! I love being outside, especially when it’s bright and sunny! There are loads of places here to take a walk, chill out, meet friends and just take in some of the amazing scenery! In fact here in Atlanta it’s like living in a forest! There are so many trees you wouldn’t think you were living in a huge city that’s home to 6 million people! Here’s the view from my balcony…

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Yep nothing but trees! In some areas of the city, one minute you can be in the middle of some huge skyscrapers and the next you can turn a corner and you’re in suburbia with huge houses surrounded by trees! Although if you’re a hay fever sufferer you’d probably class the trees as the biggest CON ever! Around Easter time the pollen starts to fall and literally leaves yellow dust over EVERYTHING! Sometimes it’s so thick you can see it in the air and feel it on your skin!! Eugh!

 

CON: YOU CAN’T WALK ANYWHERE

If you want to go somewhere in Atlanta you have to take the car. Simple as. Before we moved here we thought we could have one car to share like we did back in Leeds. Oh how wrong we were! Everything is a drive away. You want some groceries, you need to get in the car. You want to go for a walk, you need to get in the car to drive to the trail. You want to go on a bike ride, you have to put your bike in your car and drive to a bike trail. I kid you not!! That’s one thing I miss from back home, being able to take a stroll to the local pub on a Saturday afternoon or evening or walk to the shop for a few bits and bobs. If you go out at night somebody has to drive, taxi’s are also practically non-existent, and the ones that are around are always a little bit dodgy! This also means that the traffic here in Atlanta is horrendous!! Never ever leave the house during rush hour, or the three hour rush hour that lasts between about 4:30 and 7:30pm. Your usual journey time will double and you’ll be crawling in traffic as far as the eye can see!!!

PRO: SHOPPING

Yep as a (temporary) lady of leisure I’ve spent a lot of time shopping over the last few months (well not too much or my lovely husband would not be happy with me spending all his money on clothes!!) and believe me the shopping over here is good! Especially the outlets! If you go on the right days some stores can have an extra 50% off already discounted items, saving you loads on designer stuff! However it also makes you want to buy more because you think it’s such a good deal!! Whoops!

CON: AMERICAN DRIVERS

So when I came over here I had to get used to driving on the right hand side of the road and driving on the HUGE roads, and when I say huge I mean 6 lanes wide!!! I went from one extreme to the other and instead of having a small car like my little Peugeot I left back in England I joined the SUV club so that I could be high up and see more whilst I was driving! It made me feel so much safer!! Now I’m not saying every American is a bad driver, that is far from the truth but you do get the odd few who really don’t seem to know what they’re doing! And when they take their tests in a car park (yep, I got my Georgia driver’s license by taking my test in a car park and going on the road for 5 minutes and doing nothing but turning left!) there’s no wonder they struggle on the real roads! The majority of them don’t know what an indicator is and they often pull out in front of you without any notice on the highway! Just the other day I had to slam on my breaks as a woman pulled into my lane without indicating! Don’t worry I beeped at her!!

Then there’s the truly ‘Southern’ things we’ve experienced:

THE FOOD

Now if you’ve read my blog you’ll know that half the time it revolves around food, not good when you have a wedding dress to fit into in a few months time!! Eeeeek! (Yes I am already married but seen as though we said ‘I do’ on a beach without anyone knowing we thought we’d do it all over again next year with our friends and family!!) And here in the South the food really isn’t helping me to fit into said dress! Everything and I mean EVERYTHING here is deep fried!! Fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, fried pickle spears, fried okra, fried catfish…you get the gist! And then there’s the stodge…waffles, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, hush puppies, cornbread, tater tots, sweet potato fries…the list is endless!! And every single thing is delicious! Oh and it’s usually covered in cheese just to add that extra bit of tasty-ness and up the calories even more!!! And we can’t forget the weird concoctions that strangely work like waffles bacon and maple syrup…

Surprise of the day!

Surprise of the day!

I was adamant this combination would not work before I tried it. I mean sweet and savoury in my book should not go together but I was shocked…it actually works VERY well indeed! Then there’s the fried chicken and waffles, this one I still haven’t tried because I’m sure it won’t work! Fried chicken should be eaten with copious amounts of mac n cheese or fries, not waffles! But I’m sure one day I’ll be persuaded to give it a go and I’ll probably rave about how good it is!! Oh and there’s the HUGE portions…check out this salad I bought the other day…

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Seriously who needs that much lunch? I think I managed just about half of it before giving up! In fact the portions are so big that most people take a goody bag home for later!! Definitely something you wouldn’t see back in the UK!

THE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY

Everybody down here is so friendly…they call it the Southern Hospitality! Wherever you go people ask how you are, strangers who you walk past say hello even though you’ve never met them before and flash you a smile! At first I found this strange and a little bit weird, bearing in mind I come from England where people are much more reserved!! But I’ve got used to it and now I kind of like it! I join in and give people a smile and say hello to random neighbours in my apartment complex! There are times when it can get annoying though, especially when you’re shopping! When I’m out clothes shopping I like to take my time, look slowly and without any interruptions…something that is not allowed in Atlanta!! As soon as you walk in the shop they pounce ‘How are you today?’ ‘Is there anything I can help you with?’ ‘Are you looking for something in particular?’ No! I just want to take my time and look at what you’ve got!! If I need some help, I’ll ask!! That also took some getting used to but I know how to handle them now!!

So there you have it…my take on life in Atlanta so far! There’s definitely still lots for us to experience here in the States but so far I’m liking what I see! We’ve already learnt a lot since moving over here and I’m sure we’ll be learning and embracing loads more in the coming months and years! We’ve become keen basketball and baseball fans and with the football (American not Soccer!) season now upon us my husband is trying to teach me the rules of American football…that one hasn’t got my attention just yet but I’m sure it will at some point!! And after living the life of a lady of leisure since moving here in January I’m now officially allowed to go to work thanks to my work permit arriving in the post a few days ago…I think my life here is about to change and with it will come a whole wealth of new experiences! And guess what…I can’t wait!!

The end of the lady of leisure?

So as you all know the past 8 months of my life (well maybe more 9, I haven’t worked since before last Christmas!!) have been spent as a (temporary) lady of leisure. They’ve consisted of some of this…

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Yep I am a lucky lady! Along with trips to the gym, lunch with friends, a spot of shopping in the mall and also that all important status as tour guide when the Richter Hotel was open.

But it would appear that is now all about to change…

So getting hitched to the German meant I got a new visa and a new status in America as an E2 Spouse. That status also means I can go out to work. You could say that was the downside of getting married! (I’m only joking German of mine!!!) So as soon as the German arrived back in the States he got the wheels in motion to get me that all important work permit. This was back in July and the German thought it would appear in a few weeks. Oh how wrong he was! He came home one day after speaking to the lawyer and revealed that it could take up to 3 months! Inside I was secretly jumping around and shouting YES! But obviously on the outside I was extremely sad that I wouldn’t be able to trot out to work everyday for at least another 3 months!!

However, on Thursday I asked the German if he’d checked the post when he came home. This is a usual sentence on a daily basis in the Richter house cos that’s usually what the German does when he gets home from work! He said he hadn’t because he had his hands full, I then said do you want to go check it now? This, my lovely blog friends, is a sentence I kind of wished hadn’t come out of my mouth when he returned from the post box!

He strolled in the house saying ‘You’ve got lots of post!’ Well when he said lots he meant 2 letters, that to me is a lot! I never get post! He went on, ‘One’s from Delta’ I replied with ‘And the other one?’ he just passed it into my hand with a sly smile on his face! I checked the postmark…Texas. My reply was ‘You know what this is don’t you?’ He then acted dumb with a ‘No’ answer. I went on to open said envelope that was red around the edges and had some sort of UPS delivery bar code on it – let’s just say it looked official and important!

I slowly took the pieces of paper out of the envelope and suddenly there it was…gleaming in delight as it fell out of the envelope…oh yes it was my work permit! It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, for some reason I thought it would just be a piece of paper with my name on it but it’s like a credit card with my picture on and everything! Although sadly the German seems to have sent them a picture where I look like I have a dodgy cyclops looking eye. Not good! But it does meant that Rachel Richter is now officially allowed to work in the United States of America. The German was obviously very excited about this…I on the other hand was slightly less excited! That’s it, I officially have to get a job!

So the applications are already heading in and on Monday the German is sending me to the Social Security office to get that all important number so that I can join the masses in the rat race and get stuck in the horrendous Atlanta traffic every day! (This I am not joking about – the traffic here is unbelievable!!!) As the 7 dwarves say…’Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go!’

So if anyone out there has any tips on how to get a job in America or more importantly is in Atlanta and needs a writer/journalist/communications/PR/blogger/social media type person I’m ready and waiting for your call!!

Anyone for tennis?

So right now I’m supposed to be watching my first ever American football game with the German who keeps asking if I want to know the rules. However, I’ve been distracted! First of all by wedding cakes (the conclusion there is that they’re serious business and there’s a lot to choose from!) and now by you lovely little blog followers! Yep I decided to get out the laptop and give you a little update! So here goes…

The boy and I bought some tennis rackets about a month ago and since then they’ve been happily hanging in the spare closet…until yesterday! After saying to the German that we’re not very productive when it comes to weekends (which I admit is sometimes never a bad thing!) we decided to dust off those rackets and play our first ever game of tennis together! OK so we may be a little late for the Wimbledon rush but the US Open is on at the moment at Flushing Meadows (love that name by the way!) so we joined the masses (or thankfully lack of!) and headed to the tennis courts in lovely Roswell!

Here goes!

Here goes!

Now before we left I don’t think we really thought about the weather…it was bright sunshine and about 28-30 degrees, in other words HOT! It seems other people took note of this because when we arrived at the tennis courts they looked like this…

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Yep, they were empty! We were the only nutters playing tennis in the afternoon heat – spot the foreigners!! But this was probably a good thing as it’s been a loooooong time since either of us last played so it could have been a little bit embarrassing if the pros were playing around us!

Now if any of you know the German you’ll know that he always likes to win. The boy is a bad loser and gets very miserable if he’s not victorious! So he was adamant that he would win and bearing in mind I haven’t played since I was a child it was looking likely! We took to the court and started with a few warm up shots. I missed the first one, not a good start and it left the German wondering what type of an opponent he was up against! But I redeemed myself and hit some good shots! Result! After a few breaks for water (believe me it was HOT!!) we decided to start an actual game…let the competition begin!!

Game number 1 got underway, first point to me! Yay! Second point to me! Yay! Third point to the German…boo!! Fourth point to me! Yay! And then guess what…yep game to Rachel!!! Wooooo! The German wasn’t very happy though especially when I went on to win the next 2 games too! I know…a good start! But things weren’t about to stay that way…mostly because of this…

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Yep the German meant business. After a quick water break he soon fought back, the next game went to the German, and the next, and the next. I’d lost my touch, plus the German kept doing those little shots at either end of the court which meant I was doing a lot of running and physically couldn’t make it from one side to the other in time! Add to that the heat (did I mention it was hot?) and the final score ended up 6-3 to the German. Boooooooo!!

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Sad face 😦

But according to the German I played well and that means he’s happy to go back to the courts and play again with me as his opponent! This readers, is an achievement for me, we once went out on our bikes together but I was deemed too slow and consequently banned from anymore bike outings with him! So being branded a good player and making an agreement to go at least once a week is a big thing!!

It means I’ll be seeing a lot more of this…

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Yep the German in action on the tennis court! (He’s sitting next to me as I type this and asking if an action shot will be included – here it is oh German of mine!!) But hopefully we’ll think about the heat next time and won’t end up looking like a big sweaty mess!!