Today’s Ramblings #6

The German wants to light a fire. Here. In Atlanta.

IMG_6239

Yep, we have a beautiful wood burning fire in our apartment and apparently he’s really excited to get it going since we moved in back in March. The thing is, we live in Atlanta, in the South, where the temperatures rarely dip below 15 degrees celcius, and to me that isn’t cold!! But the German is determined to light a fire at some point! He was so close but yet so far on Saturday – it was kind of chilly for a change, in fact so chilly that I’d retrieved the throw we used to use practically everyday back in Leeds and wrapped myself up in it on the sofa! But sadly for the German we were going out that evening and my exact words were ‘If we weren’t going out tonight, you could have had a fire.’ He wasn’t impressed! But he’s already planning his first fire – he’s checked the weather out and he reckons today could be the day!! If it is I will have one very happy husband! I’ll keep you posted on that one!

Now if there’s one thing you don’t want to see whilst driving in Atlanta (apart from the rows and rows of traffic that are inevitable through the 4 hours that consititute rush hour!) it’s this:

IMG_6233

Yes the delightful school bus! I agree, they look amazing and at first make you feel like you’re in a film (yes American readers, back in the UK we don’t have the yellow buses, we’ve only seen them on the big screen!) but once you’re behind one you may aswell double, or maybe triple, your journey time! These things stop EVERYWHERE, and I mean EVERYWHERE! Unlike in the UK where they stop at the usual bus stops and the kids have to walk the rest of the way home, here in the States they literally stop outside every single house, well as long as a student lives there! I got stuck behind one yesterday, and I kid you not, the bus moved literally 1 hundred yards before stopping again! House, after house, apartment complex after apartment complex, if kids were getting off, it was stopping and they seemed to be getting off at every single one! And it isn’t much easier if you’re heading in the opposite direction either, once the bus stops, both sides of the road must stop too! But at least on the other side once you’re past it, you’re past it, not stuck behind it stopping every 2 seconds!

And get ready for this gem…the Holiday season is in full swing here in America! So much so that even the fast food joints have ‘Holiday’ menus! And when I say fast food I’m talking places like Church’s Chicken (for you Brits back home this is like a KFC!) who are offering a ‘Holiday Bundle’ that gives you 8 pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob! Seriously?! Yes, because this is America! God Bless it!

Advertisements

Home is where the heart is!

First of all this post comes with a warning…it may be slightly boring!! Don’t let the warning put you off though – give it a whirl and make your own decision…freedom of speech/thought and all that!

So we’ve been officially living in the United States of America for just over 3 months now but I think we’ve only felt finally settled here in the last couple of weeks! And this post will tell you why! So as you already know we lived in a temporary apartment for just over a month, then moved into our own apartment but didn’t get our container from England for weeks…not the best way to try to settle in when you don’t have your home comforts around you! Anyway it finally arrived in a Tonka truck (still love that fact!!) and my brother and sister-in-law were here (and made to help us unpack!!) then when they left the German trotted off to Chicago for a week!

All that jargon up there basically means that it’s only in the last 2 weeks that we’ve been able to chill out in our new apartment, on our own with all our home comforts around us! We’ve been here for more than 3 months!!!! But I’m pleased to report it’s all good!! I wouldn’t say everything is perfect yet…we do still need to buy some stuff but we’ve made some additions like this photo wall we created last weekend…

Homely!

Homely!

Yep we went to Ikea, Home Goods, Michaels and many more and came home with a shed load of picture frames that the German ever so quietly (who the hell am I kidding – sorry neighbours!!!) hung on the wall! We’ve got pictures of our families, my parents before they were even married (yep that was many, many, many moons ago!!) pictures of the two of us when we’ve been out exploring in places like Greece and…wait for it…some empty frames! We were so excited to get it on the wall that some of them are actually empty and still have those pictures in that come with the frame – technically we have random people on our wall! Never fear though – I think one of our jobs this weekend is to get some more pictures printed!!

We also made our balcony look a little more homely…

IMG_2928

Yep Ikea once again got our custom with some plant pots, plants and a watering can! Can you guess who picked the bright colours? A gold star is heading your way…it was me!! I decided to add a little colour to the German’s life seen as though everything he picks is either grey, black or at a push blue!! He wasn’t too impressed but decided to give in eventually!!

Things still aren’t perfect though…right now the weather isn’t amazing – it’s cloudy and windy but still quite warm. Now I’m sure you’re all thinking come on girl, you came from England so there’s no way you can moan about the weather! You’ve already had a fair few days that would pass as summer in England! This is all true, last Friday I even caught some more sun and have a slight watch strap mark on my arm! It looks great. So here’s where I prove you wrong…I’m not moaning about the weather – I’m gonna have a rant about the TV! So when we moved in we looked into setting up cable (it’s a staple over here in the States!) but as we don’t have a credit history yet because we’re little foreigners they wanted us to pay a $300 security deposit (that they’d pay back to us at $5 a month!!!) along with another $300 to have one of those box things that record the 5 channels at a time. Now if we had a credit history we’d have had both of these for free…co-incidently we didn’t choose this option and instead went for this…

IMG_2930

Yep you see that black thing on top of the sofa? That’s your bog standard aerial that picks up the free TV channels. Now personally, being a tidy freak, I’d like to have it on the table at the side of the telly but thanks to the trees outside it would appear it picks up a better signal when its on top of the sofa…doesn’t it look beautiful? Oh and every time it’s windy, or a helicopter flies over the picture is pixellated and cuts out. It’s great when you’re actually trying to watch something interesting!

Now hopefully this weather will do one soon because it’s Cinco de Mayo this weekend and I want to get involved in the celebrations!! There’s a huge one in the Centennial Olympic Park on Sunday that I want to go to but at the moment it’s looking like it might rain! Damn you Mother Nature messing with my Cinco de Mayo plans! I’ll keep you updated on that one – obviously if the rain holds off and we go there’s definitely a blog post coming out of that trip!!

So now Atlanta feels a little be more like home sweet home we have more guests arriving next week! Yep our friends from Germany are stopping by for 2 weeks and we’re all heading off for a week in Florida!! I’m sure there will be a lot of blog posts to come out of that trip! Brace yourself people!!

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.

 

 

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…

IMG_2250

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…

IMG_2258

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…

The story so far…

So it appears I was being ambitious with 2 blogs in less than 24 hours…I apologise for going AWOL but things had to be done…wait right there and you’ll find out what in a mo!

Now at the end of post number 2 I had my visa – and strict instructions from the lovely man in the US Embassy who issued it to me – to take ALL my documents when I got on that big plane over here!

So at the end of last month we had a big leaving party (BIG thanks to all our friends and family who made it there – you know who you are!) and 3 weeks ago today amid streaming tears after saying goodbye to my mum and dad we boarded the big Delta iron bird and started our new adventure! (I sniffled my way towards however many thousands of feet you are in the air – thankfully I was in the window seat where nobody could see me!)

Continue reading