July 4, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

We're goin' back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali.
We're goin' back to Cali.
I don't think so.
Remember that song? Great song. I've always felt it was written especially for me.
I've been holding out on you just a little about living in Germany. The truth is that since moving back to Germany last September I've been determined to spend summers in California. My reasons are thus: 1) I want my kids to be half American; 2) I want to spend face time with my colleagues, instead of being on the phone every night; and 3) I want to shop on Sundays, dammit!*
* The Germans, who treat smoking everywhere, even delivery rooms** as an inalienable, God-given right, have managed to make it illegal to smoke in restaurants but still hold firm on the concept: 'And on the 7th day He rested.'***
** OK, I said that for effect, I don't think even the Germans smoke in delivery rooms.
***If monks had been women it would have been, 'And on the 7th day She shopped' and Germany would be a vastly different place because of that one little word change.
But going back to Cali is not so simple. For one thing, the company we work for, after spending quite a bit to move us back to Germany and rent office space for us here, is understandably reluctant to finance our trip to California.
For another thing, the friend who was going to let us have her house in July made some dramatic life changes and is now moving abroad and renting out the house, so instead we'll be imposing on a mixed bag of colleagues and friends and moving around frequently in a borrowed car with 2 small children and enough personal effects to get us through seven weeks.
Which, as Sara kindly pointed out, could put a damper on the shopping.
Added to this, the theme du jour seems to be, 'You shouldn't have moved to Germany, mwa ha ha ha ha....' Which is good because a huge welcome would have been so embarassing.
There is also an emotional price to pay. Our 17 year old cat is clearly depressed by our pending departure. A friend of ours will be staying in our house while we're gone to look after him but he knows. He's a loving fellow and a dear old friend who values routine and having his family around him. He's been a little under the weather lately and I am not without worries on his account. May he please be well until we get back.
And finally, the piece de resistance, if you will, is our vacation. The money we might have spent on plane tickets to Hawaii will instead be spent on short-term daycare. Normally budget constraints would have forced us to forget about Hawaii and drive down to San Diego instead. However, my mother works for Hawaiian Airlines so the four of us are going to attempt to fly standby to Honolulu out of LA, where we will be visiting the rest of my family. And it gets better because hotel cancellation policies in Hawaii make it impractical to book a hotel in advance, since we may not make it to Hawaii at all.
I leave to your imagination a family of four with too much luggage and fairly uptight, control freak parents trying to fly standby out of LAX with no hotel reservation on the other side.
I know I seem incredibly easy going but I'm not at all about travel.
Suffice it to say that this summer will be something new for us. Everything will not be planned to the nines and there will be multiple logistical and professional challenges to work through. But our friends have really pulled through on accommodating us and our family and friends - not to mention Target, Pottery Barn and Whole Foods -are so excited to see us that we're going to try to make the best of it, have fun and do our part to generate much-needed business revenue in bankrupt California.
Anyway, that's the update on my end. If I'm quieter than usual for a bit, never fear.
I'm just in transit.


  1. Um, I'm not sure I want to be the one to mention it, but if you're already hauling a bunch of stuff to the states and then you go shopping, isn't that just more stuff to haul back?
    (Sorry, my husband always says I can find the negative side of everything. I say, I'm just thinking ahead to avoid problems.)
    Sounds like you're going to have an awesome adventure though! I'm a little jealous!

  2. I can shop at Whole Foods, and in a modest way at Target. And I never actually BUY anything at Pottery Barn.

  3. I think you should stop in Utah, on your way.

  4. Wow. Well, good luck. Maybe you should just "go to California in your mind." Oh, wait--that's "Carolina." Too bad. (And as a major-league cat-lover, I hope your cat does okay, too.)

  5. That's what I call "fitting it all in"! I think it sounds glorious!

    But please DO keep blogging!


  6. Wow! Good Luck and don't worry about anything. You can handle whatever comes up or doesn't come up or goes down. You get the picture!

    Have fun shopping at Whole Foods for me. We have a few here but they aren't all that close to me. Closer than yours, though!!!

  7. My husband and I are moving to Germany from Oregon in a little over a month. We are hoping to get a place in Erlangen. I am excited to follow your blog.

    Mine is www.teamtoppel.blogspot.com

    Not really up and running quite yet, will post more once we are settled there.

  8. funny, because we're trying to get out of cali

  9. The entire scenario you just described gives me a fright! I can't imagine schlepping around kids from place to place without plans or preparations... I wouldn't be able to sleep for the duration! But have fun at Target!!!

  10. Oh my goodness! Rather you than me! Sounds as if you'll have lots of funny blog material for us all though! :-)

  11. let me know if you need to borrow anything -- While K is probably too tall for my girls I'm sure we could outfit L with no problem. We also have a few of everything so do hestiate to call.

    We're also a great stop for a playdate.

  12. hehe -- can't edit comments -- doh. Of course the "do" should be "Don't" above but I'm sure you knew that.

  13. Flying to Hawaii without a hotel net? You are one brave mommo! Have a safe trip and keep us posted.

  14. It all seems very un-German of you. :)

  15. That was a cool song. Now I want to hear it. This will be an adventure. I know it will work out.

  16. What an adventure!! I couldn't do it!! I am stressed enough just going to visit my sister for the weekend. I am really going to miss my own bed.

  17. The Hawaii-without-hotel was for effect, to highlight less planning than usual. Me - aka Mother - lives in a nice Honolulu high rise near Chinatown with a hotel on the top floors. I will book a room at the "kama'aina" - aka local - rate. Plus, in this year of lessened expectations, hotels have many empty rooms, some at bargain prices.
    Oh, and we have Target and Whole Foods and I'm holding my breath for Pottery Barn. Not quite roughing it - I get the grandkids, they get a vacation.

    Or am I spoiling the dramatic effect?

  18. I feel much the same way. In fact, I'm holding on a post about my effort to take a long vacation in the US, primarily for the kids and my parents (I would rather be in Italy). Once I have recovered and my ear has recovered from the burning sensation of being on phones with various airline counters untilthe sweat poured down my jaw. (Yes, I can use a computer. Yes, it's more complicated than that).

    With the German in Munich M-F for a good long time, perhaps we can all meet up some time when we are both back:).

    And I wish my mom were as helpful as yours sounds- you go,Mother.


Related Posts with Thumbnails