Saturday, June 27, 2015

Marhaba from Turkey

Marhaba means hello! I'm finally here.  I can't believe it.

Last Friday, I found out that my passport still had not made it to the Navy office that needed to get it, so that meant that I wouldn't be able to schedule my flight until Monday.  Since I was in Virginia Beach, I knew I would need at least 48 hours to get from Virginia Beach to Northern Virginia.  On Monday, I get the confirmation that my passport had arrived, so I would be able to leave on Wednesday.  I probably would have not rushed, except that TODAY is Mike's birthday and I wanted to be sure to be there for it.

Once I got the word that my passport was in, it was a crazy, emotional roller coaster.  I booked a train ticket for Tuesday and arranged to stay with my friend Rachel in Arlington Tuesday night since I'd be getting in so late. I also had to figure out how to get to the base to pick up my passport and then get to the airport.  Luckily, Mike's dad was more than willing to lend his car and drive me to the airport.

When Tuesday finally came, I was a basket case of emotions.  Saying goodbye to my family was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  The memory of me crying on the train as I'm watching my mom wave goodbye still brings tears to my eyes.   Luckily, I had the entire row to myself, so I could just curl up and cry.

The train was late, but I eventually made it to Rachel's.  The next day, the day started pretty early, but I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to pick up my passport and get to the airport in plenty of time. I got to Mike's dad's house, borrowed his car to drive to the base (about a 45 minute drive each way), and picked up my passport. When I walked in to the office to get my passport, I half expected them to be like "Oh, we actually found something wrong with your passport" but luckily, they handed it right over and I said my farewells to them.

On my way back to Mike's dad's house, Mike messaged me to say that my flight was delayed three hours! Honestly,  I was beginning to think this move was doomed.  I had a three and a half hour layover in Munich, but with the delay, it was going to be cutting it close.  Since I had been delayed so much, I spent the entire afternoon hanging out at Mike's house. I thought that Wednesday would be easy since it would be busy and the hard part of saying goodbye to my family was over, but as I sat around waiting, I got more and more nervous.

I got to the airport with plenty of time to check in and get through security.  I was so nervous and kept running into little road blocks.  I got to security, where they check your tickets.  My ticket had the original boarding time (5:30) on it, but it was past 5:30 since my flight had been delayed, so the security people had me stand aside while they checked my flight status. Of course it was fine, so they let me go, but it just added a little tension to my already nervous self.  Then, I was so flustered that I forgot to take my laptop out of my bag as it was going through security, so they had me step aside again as they wiped it down for bomb/gun residue.  I was pretty overwhelmed at this point and glad to get to the gate where I could just sit and mindlessly browse facebook before board.  Once I got to the gate, things went off without a hitch.

I boarded the plane and settled into my window seat.  The flight was pretty uneventful.  I watched Still Alice before sleeping for a few hours.  Once we landed, I knew it was going to be tough to make my connection, but nothing about this move has been easy and I wasn't about to give up now.  Luckily, I didn't have to go through customs, so I could just sprint from gate to gate.  Picture little old me, with two large carry ons, running through the Munich airport. I made it to the gate just in time to jump in line with everyone else and just like that, I was on my way to Izmir.

After the two hour flight from Munich to Izmir, I landed at the airport and made my way through customs to baggage claim.  After grabbing my bags, I exited the airport and saw Mike waiting. I wish I could say this was some joyous reunion (and maybe it was for him), but I was so nervous and overwhelmed that I just hugged him and cried.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think I've ever been so happy to see him, but the other emotions that follow moving to a new country and leaving my entire life behind also presented themselves.

We had to wait about a half an hour for the bus to take us from the airport to the hotel, but we eventually made it on the bus and to the hotel.  By the time we made it back to the hotel, it was 4:00 (Thursday).  We hung out for a little while before going out for an early dinner.  Since Mike has been here for a week, he'd already found an apartment for us! Go Mike!  It's right downtown on the same road as all of the bars and restaurants, so we stopped by on our way to dinner.

Open Concept isn't really a thing here, so the kitchen is pretty closed off, but look at all of those cabinets!! SO.MUCH.STORAGE!

A little blurry, but this is the master bathroom.

This will be the main guest bed room.

All of the furniture in the pictures will be gone, but you can get the gist.  The main common/living room is L shaped, so the dining area forms the bottom of the L.  We'll sign the lease on Thursday and hopefully move in Friday.  Our express shipment of stuff (pots, pans, silverware and an air mattress) are here and ready to be delivered, so we'll schedule them for Friday.  The rest of our stuff was in Germany last time we checked and they said it shouldn't be more than a week or two before it arrives in Izmir.  Hopefully not too long!

Anyways, after we stopped by the apartment, we went to dinner at a restaurant right below our apartment.   I had a potato and vegetable dish, which was pretty good.  I was really hungry, so anything would have tasted good at that point. Mike had the same dish, minus the vegetables and add in meat.   

We were back at the hotel by seven and called it a night.  I told Mike before I left that I was going to need a bottle of wine waiting for me in the hotel room and he delivered.  He went to the commissary and bought the most expensive bottle they had ($16).  It wasn't that great, but it did the job. 

We spent the rest of the night in the hotel room. God bless Mike because he dealt with a lot of crying and emotions from me that night.  Like I said earlier, I was so glad to see Mike, but extremely overwhelmed, knowing that this would be my home for the next two years.

We left on Friday morning for a birthday weekend at the beach.  The beach is an hour west of Izmir, so we figured we'd get away for the weekend and celebrate Mike's birthday.   When we get back tomorrow, I'll update you all on that. Thanks for reading!

Oh, and go SCOTUS! You guys rock! :)