Yesterday evening, the German side of our relocation company gave us a call, informing us that our household goods will arrive in Bremerhaven on Monday or Tuesday; then the container will get shipped by train down to Tützing and then transported by truck to our home in Bad Heilbrunn. At the latest, our items will be delivered by Tuesday the 17th of February (‘s birthday, incidentally). It’s a relief knowing that our things are on their way, but I’m especially glad that we won’t be moving into an empty house. That was a real possibility, because it can sometimes take five or six weeks for goods to ship across the Atlantic and then be processed through customs.
To facilitate this process, we needed to register at the Bad Heilbrunn Rathaus (town hall) and get some paperwork filled out. That ended up being today’s errand. We bundled up Rosebud, grabbed some items to leave at our house and caught the 9:30 am bus to Bad Heilbrunn. We were at the Rathaus by 10:00 am, and began the registration process. I had a little trouble understanding the clerk because he had a slight accent, but ultimately the process went very smoothly (yet another advantage of us living in a small town; the town government is small and efficient). In Germany, residents are required to register with the Rathaus. We needed to provide our passports and the address from which we were moving. Since Sourtrout has been registered in Mannheim, he did his registration separately from Rosebud and me, as ours is from our Indiana address. One of the benefits to us registering is that is now enrolled in the correct tax bracket – in Mannheim, he had to register as a single income earner, but now he is registered as “family man”, dropping him from being taxed at about 50% to 32%. This should also enable us to qualify for Kindergeld, money that the federal government provides for families with children up to a certain age. I think we will get between 300 and 400 Euros per month for Rosebud, which is a big help.
After getting our registration taken care of, we went for a lovely walk through Bad Heilbrunn. The residents there are quite friendly. A lot of them have relocated from München or have vacation homes in Bad Heilbrunn. On our walk, we saw signs for the 850 year celebration of the town, as it was founded in 1159. We went past the Bad Heilbrunner tea company, which specializes in quality herbal teas. I’d like to take a tour of the factory at some point. The town and area is quite lovely, and being in the foothills of the Alps, it’s a tourist destination for outdoor lovers. It was a twenty minute walk from the center of Bad Heilbrunn to our street, Ostfeldstraße.
We enjoyed seeing our house again; this gave us the opportunity to think about where we want to put our furniture once it arrives. Rosebud will have her room in the attic; our living room, dining and kitchen areas will be on the first floor, our bedroom and library will be on the Erdgeschoss (ground level) and then the basement area will be for our guests; plus there is a laundry room in the basement and a large storage space. We also have two garages. The house layout is ideal and we do have quite a lot of extra space for family and friends to visit! We also counted all the light outlets (eleven), windows (ten) so we can buy lacy drapery, and balcony doors (three). Evidently we have a lot of lights and drapery to buy. In addition to that, we need to purchase a washer, dryer, oven, cook top, refrigerator and dish washer (although that last item can wait). Eventually I’d like to replace the kitchen cabinetry but it will be fine for now.
After we finished up at our house, we met one of our neighbors, a retired gentleman named Herr Metzgeler. I think he will be a good neighbor to have – he was very friendly and seemed glad to meet us. I am sure I’ll have lots of questions about German living for him. Hopefully he won’t mind Rosebud and me dropping in from time to time; and hopefully, we can help him, too. We have another neighbor in our Reihenhaus (rowhouse) but I don’t know yet who that person is.
By this point, we were ready for lunch so we took the opportunity to walk the Speckerbäck Bäckerei (bakery) around the corner. I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time in the Bäckerei. We had delicious ciabatta, mozarella, pesto and tomato sandwiches for lunch, plus coffee and heiße Schokolade (hot chocolate!). Between the two of us, we spent about ten Euros for our sandwiches and two beverages each – very reasonable, indeed. This bakery specializes in artisanal bread, so I bought a dense loaf of Tölzer Landbrot (Tölz country bread). I also bought some pastries. Next time I need to ask what the pastries are called as I didn’t bother to look at the tags. Finally, it was time to catch the 13:30 bus back to Penzberg. The bus stop is not more than 50 meters from our house. We discovered that the bus at this time of day is filled with school children heading home. I had to laugh, because I had a brief teacherly moment: I had an urge to herd kids. Haha! Once a teacher, always a teacher.
We didn’t take any pictures today because the weather was dark and cloudy. Once we have the chance to purchase lighting for our house, then we will do a video tour so all of you can see our charming Bavarian home (and hopefully, that will lure you to come visit us!). I am still in disbelief that I now live in such a beautiful corner of the world. I feel great raising Rosebud here – what an opportunity for her.
This past Saturday, we went to our favorite café here in Penzberg, the Café Freundenberg. The proprietress adores Rosebud! I love going there because the staff is welcoming and kid-friendly, and the cakes are out of this world. If you visit us, I promise to take you there.
Rosebud and Mama at Café Freundenberg
On Monday, we ignored all the news because we wanted to be surprised by the Superbowl. I believe the kickoff time would have been 2 am here, so downloaded the Superbowl instead, and we watched it on Monday evening. (Montagabend Football, anyone?) Naturally we feasted Bavarian style. In this picture, you can see our spread: Brezeln (pretzels), spicy German mustard, Münchener Weißwurst (Munich-style white sausage), vegetable salad and of course, das Bier. We really enjoyed the game, too – it was a nailbiter!
On Tuesday, Rosebud and I went to Lenggries with Jeremy and his daughter Abi. Jeremy had been there on Saturday to go skiing and ended up wiping out on a slope; in his rush to meet up with his group, he had forgotten to get his ski deposit back. So it was an opportunity for us to see the slopes.
The slopes and Stubl at Lenggries
It’s right outside of Bad Tölz, so it’s perhaps ten or 12 kilometers from our house. To give you a sense of how close Bad Tölz and Lenggries are, you can see it on this map:
And look how close we are to the Austrian border!
On Thursday afternoon, Rosebud and I went to Kloster Schäftlarn with Jeremy and Abi. Here’s a map link:
View Larger Map
There were lots of school kids in the town, so I would like to go back on a weekend. Kloster (cloister) Schäftlarn is known for its flower garden and natural products so I would very much like to see the gardens in bloom in the spring. There are some lovely walking/biking paths nearby, so I think it will make for an excellent day trip as the weather gets warmer. It was a warm afternoon when we were there, so we enjoyed walking around a bit. Here are some pictures:
I was especially amused and delighted by this sign, which says “Bats welcome”:
Now I wish I had a car myself because there are so many other little places to discover. In time, we certainly shall! Hopefully we’ll get a car in March, perhaps an Audi A2.
Let’s see – in the world of Rosebud, she now has two bottom teeth and she’s sitting up a lot better. She’s decided that she loves cereal and is starting to take to other tastes as well. I think she must be going through a growth spurt as she’s been hungrier and taking lots of power naps. She’d getting better at sitting up, and is starting to grab on to things so she can pull herself up (although right now she is just grabbing, not doing much more than that).