Sunday, July 10, 2011

My first military move - The journey from Germany to England!

So I have really been slacking on this blog!!! But now that we are all settled down in our new house & base in England, I thought I would share the experience of my first military move!

We had decided early in the year that we wanted to drive to England on May 5th, because it was the earliest time we could leave Mannheim! I like to plan ahead and get everything organized as far ahead of time as possible - unfortunately, the military doesn't work that way!!

After a lot of panicking from me & no sign of orders a month before we were due to leave, I was worried we would have to change our move day. But suddenly, it came together & we had my EFMP interview at Ramstein AFB on April 13. After literally sitting down for 2 mins, the panel stamped my paperwork – Dependent Travel Recommended – I was officially command sponsored!!!

Chris submitted the new paperwork & 2 days later, we finally had our orders in hand! Now came the fun part. We had to rush to get our Household Goods pick up scheduled & our military furniture picked up. Needless to say, the TMO office wasn’t too impressed that we had only given them a weeks notice to arrange a pick up & pack! Luckily they found a spot for us.

Once this was arranged, we had less than week until we had to move out of our beloved apartment. The last week was bittersweet – so sad to leave our sweet little town, Heddesheim, but happy to be heading on our next adventure!

The packers came and packed up our stuff on April 27th. Me & Toby hid in the bedroom while the packers were here. They spent the whole day packing up our small apartment. Once they were gone, all we had was our inflatable bed & the stuff we would be taking in the car with us. It was so weird seeing our apartment empty!

Suddenly, it was April 29th – time to move out of our apartment and into base lodging. We had our inspection, signed all the paperwork – we were officially homeless!!! Thankfully, we managed to get one of the only pet rooms at base lodging so Toby could stay with us. We spent almost a week in lodging – very boring!! Chris had to outprocess most of the time, so me & Toby passed the time watching TV & sitting at the window watching the birds!

Before we knew it, it was May 4th – Day before the big drive!!! We had to take Toby to the vets to get his flea & worming treatments done for his pet passport. We were so lucky to find a wonderful german vet when we were there. After putting up a fight, we got his treatments done.

We drove home through Heddesheim to say goodbye – very sad, I was in tears, especially as we drove past our apartment.

Finally May 5th – moving day was here! We woke up at 4.45am to be on the road by 5.30am. We knew it was going to be a really long, tiring day, but we were ready! We were worried how Toby would be on the trip – he HATES the car, but after an hour, he resigned himself to his fate & fell asleep on my lap for a majority of the 11 hour journey!

We travelled through Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium & France to get to the Eurotunnel to take our train to England. The journey was relatively smooth, although we got stuck on the Brussels ringroad in Belgium for 2 hours!!!!

After a very smooth ride on Eurotunnel, we had arrived back in England!! It only took us 3 hours to get up to our new base – RAF Alconbury! We were so exhausted but happy to finally arrive. Even better, we had managed to get one of the only pet rooms again!

After a relaxing weekend meeting new people, we went to the housing office to find somewhere to live!! We were restricted because hardly any of the houses allowed pets, but we stayed for over half an hour looking at houses. We were about to give up, when one of the housing office ladies walked in & handed us a new listing. It was perfect!! We called the landlady & arranged to view the house that evening. As soon as we walked in, we knew we had to have it!!! We couldn’t believe our luck – only 4 days after we arrived, we already had a house!!

We had less than a week to wait until we could move in. After killing time for that week, we moved into our house! Even better, we received our household goods the day after that – it had only taken 2 weeks for our stuff to get here! We unpacked really quickly and got settled in straight away. We love our big village, it is perfect for us!

Even though everythin was left to the last minute, we had the simplest, stress free PCS ever!!