A Day of Firsts! And a New Car…

15 Sep

Hey, y’all! So today is feeling pretty significant- like this book that we’ve started writing is actually starting now- like we’re past the Prologue and all the dedications…I say this because it’s a day of firsts. It’s Neve’s first day of school, it’s John’s first real day of work, it’s the first day we’ve had two cars and aren’t dealing with drop offs and pick ups, it’s the first day we’re not dealing with a rental car whatsoever, it’s the first day I’ve gotten to put on my workout clothes and head to the gym as soon as I woke up just old times (I may or may not be twirling around my room singing, ‘The hiiiilllllls are alive with the sound of muuuuuusic…’)…And we’ve just gotten back from our first trip that was a huge success! So yep, it’s a pretty good day here in Stuttgart!

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So before I get into our trip, let’s just look at the cuteness that was Neve this morning headed to her first day at school! Try to look past the hotel room that is resembling a hoarder’s bedroom. As for clothes, we’re having to make do with what we’ve got as, once again, I didn’t pack correctly. Who knew the highs would be in the 50s by early September?! Jeez. She was pretty excited, though. And a bit nervous. She’s had 4 days as a drop-off at school since we got here, along with one meet-the-teacher (and classmates and their parents) last week, which I definitely think helps her to feel more at ease. It’s tough being in a new school with new teachers (especially when you had such fabulous ones back at home!) and making new friends…Neve is like her Mama, though, and is a creature of habit. She does her best with routine and certainty. So I really think that getting back into the school groove will be just what she needs- what all of us need. Her teachers seem lovely, sweet and very qualified. Her classmates and their parents are great from what we can tell. The school itself is warm and inviting. Fingers crossed!

We had a fantastic weekend away. Thursday morning, we flew from Stuttgart to Zurich, Switzerland to Gothenburg, Sweden. Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city, fifth largest in all of Scandinavia. It has a great feel to it- very modern, very active and with a younger feel, probably because of all the universities there. It has the COOLEST playground we’ve ever seen. Neve was in love. We also liked the area because it reminded us of home- it looks ALOT like Washington state- pine trees, rocks, grey skies…

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Gothenburg is also home to Volvo’s main factory and production facility. How in the world did you guys end up building a car all the way in Sweden, you ask? Well, we first made the decision that we wanted a third row vehicle for our time here- mainly to make things as easy as possible when we have guests. (Caravanning, finding parking, etc. in Europe is a nightmare, so riding together was a must.) We then researched our options, knowing that we needed a European make so that it could be easily maintained and serviced while we’re here. The Volvo XC90 won by a landslide on so many scales- size, comfort, gas mileage, maintenance needs…The challenge came with the fact that this year’s model is brand new, first of its kind and not available yet at dealerships. In other words, you can only order them through your dealership, but then wait 5-6 months for delivery. In Europe, the wait is about 3 months…Unless you pick it up yourself. So there you have it 🙂

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Picking up the car at Volvo was the NEATEST experience! You arrive to the headquarters and are seated with coffee while you wait on your representative to come go over everything with you.

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Volvo Headquarters

Then he escorts you to a pair of glass doors- the Delivery Hall- and leaves you to go get your vehicle. A few minutes later, a garage door opens and in rolls your new 4-wheeled baby.

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As soon as you walk through the doors- you’re presented with ‘the box.’ 🙂

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You spend the next hour or so going over everything about the car in perfect detail. He teaches you everything you could possibly need to know and then some! Now y’all know I’m a Jeep girl, through and through. I’ve owned 4 of them- the last one being my favorite car EVER. So I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous that I wouldn’t love this baby as much as all her predecessors, even if I had chosen absolutely every single feature she has! But y’all- she’s AMAZING. I’m in love. She’s gorgeous on the outside (John laughs because I do still think that a Jeep Grand Cherokee is just a smidge prettier), way gorgeous on the inside (like I’ve never seen a prettier interior), she drives smoothly and effortlessly, and she meets every single one of our needs. What a relief!

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You’d be amazed at how many people pick up their cars from the factory! Seriously. By the time we were wrapping up, there were 2 other vehicles sharing the Delivery Hall with us and a showroom full of folks waiting for their turns! We were lucky in that two other American couples had, like us, the first available appointments of the day (imagine that, overachieving Americans), so we made some new friends. Volvo invited all of us to stay for lunch and then to take a tour of the factory, which was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen- a real life ‘How It’s Made!’

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And with that, we bid Volvo and our newfound friends Adieu and started the 4 hour drive south to Denmark…Stay tuned tomorrow for the second half of our trip- Copenhagen and Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Lots of fun was had!

Oh, but before I go- John’s car! Last week, he also lucked up and found exactly what he’d been looking for! It’s a small 2007 BMW with lots of pep, perfect for getting him to and from work. It’s a manual, though, which meant that he’s even learned to drive a stick shift! I’m beaming with pride at my teaching abilities 🙂 Nah, I’m really proud of him- and amazed at how few times he’s stalled!

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4 Responses to “A Day of Firsts! And a New Car…”

  1. Eleanor September 16, 2015 at 9:28 PM #

    Everything seems to be coming together for you three! In two more weeks you will be trying to find Neve in the packing boxes you thought were empty! Love the car!

  2. Georgia September 16, 2015 at 6:12 AM #

    Great report on your trip. That Neve looks so cute all dressed for school.

  3. Marilyn Deatley September 15, 2015 at 2:28 PM #

    Loved reading your “car delivery story” first thing this morning. It is is very foggy on top of Tuckahoe Hill this morning at 8:30 AM. Friend, Marilyn

  4. Robin September 15, 2015 at 1:41 PM #

    Now all you need to really start this “normal” life is a house to live in – soon. So glad things are beginning to settle down. Gorgeous pictures!!

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