January 29, 2006 at 3:02 pm (my so-called life, this and that, wedding stuff)

OMG… this was fun! I went gown-shopping with my Mom and my sister on Friday. Nina picked us up at noon and we drove to Düsseldorf. First stop was “HONEYMOON“, a pretty exclusive bridal store. Ahm, yes, and we came without an appointment… big no no! :( [but how should I know – I am pretty new to that business ;)] The lady was pretty nice though and said we could stay. I must admit, it was kind of weird to be in a bridals shop picking out a gown *lol* when I tried on the first gown, it felt a little bit unnatural to wear it, but I quickly got used to the idea :) OMG, the gowns were soooo beautiful and it was so much fun to try them on. I didn’t really know what I would look like in a wedding gown [seriously, you don’t have any idea, until you actually wear one ;)], but I can say, the first dress I tried on was MY dress… you know, I pretty much knew right then that this was exactly what I was looking for :) HA! Since I hadn’t really been  in the wedding-mindset for a while, it was really amazing how all of a sudden, picking out a gown could get me all excited :) I tried three or more other dresses, but I didn’t like them as much or they were pretty but totally NOT for me. I was told, I am a “classic bride”… there you go… plain elegance without much knickknack ;)
Well, have a guess… the dress I liked was of course the most expensive one… 1700 Euro! :( *gasp*
We decided to leave and go to another bridal store [which was not worth talking about] and then drove to Neuss. The lady at this store was really nice and I tried about 5 different dresses there and one was really (!) nice – a little different from the one I instantly fell in love with at the first store, but still very nice.

I was totally overwhelmed when I got home that night and believe me, although you think you’ll definitely remember the exact dresses that you looked at, it’s impossible. When you tried on so many dresses, it’s really hard to remember all the details. I spent the rest of the evening browsing the internet for more ideas regarding gowns, hair styles, invitations, etc. :) I am really getting into it!

Saturday morning, we had an appointment at one of the restaurants were looking at. It’s a really nice place (an old estate… I meant to say “Bauernhof/Gutshof”, but “farm” sounds pretty wrong in this case) which is part of an old town center with cobbled streets and an old archway. Really pretty :)

In the afternoon, Nina, my friend Ira and I went to another very big bridal store, CECILÉ,  near Köln. Fortunately, we had called the day before and could get an appointment for Saturday. It was a really nice place with a little coffee lounge with free drinks and many bridal magazines :) We had some coffee while waiting for the saleslady that was going to help us. It was so exciting :) When she came to get us, she asked if I had an idea of what my wedding gown should look like already and I told her pretty accurately what I was looking for :) She found a dress for me, pretty similar to the one I had first tried on the day before, and Ira instantly loved it :) It looks like we all have the same taste in wedding gowns. I also tried a few more, different dresses which were all very beautiful, but in the end we all agreed on which one we liked best :)
Nina and Ira were so excited about it *lol* and I wish I wouldn’t have had to take it off again… ;)

I am going to go back with my Mom this week and try on the three gowns again that I shortlisted and hopefully I’ll be able to make a decision then :)

Today my Mom and my sister went to another potential restaurant for the wedding and also had a look at the chapel in which we’re going to have the ceremony. Let me tell you… this is all sooo much fun, but also so exhausting! All I am thinking about is the wedding right now… I wake up having lots of thoughts and I am going to bed at night thinking about the things that happened during the day. If I am starting to bug you with all this wedding-talk, please let me know… I can “try” to cut back on it ;)

In the evening, we went out to a belated birthday dinner for my Granddad [his birthday was December, 30]. It was a really nice evening with yummy food :) I love family dinners… it’s always nice to get together and catch up… but now I need to go to bed. It’s pretty late… Good night!


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Back home

January 26, 2006 at 3:07 pm (my so-called life, this and that)

So here I am, all refreshed and rested after 15 hours of sleep the night before yesterday :), but still not very happy about leaving Jon and Sacramento…

Sunday we spent all day packing boxes and cleaning out the apartment, since Jon will be moving to LA in a week already. I also had to pack my suitcases and run some more last-minute errands. In the evening, we went out to dinner with Aaron and Maria. I got to pick the place and I decided that I needed one more yummy Caesar salad at Mimi’s Café and it was delicious :)
I cleaned the kitchen in our apartment when we got home [all the fun stuff like scrubbing the oven and stove etc.] and then Jon and I lay down for a little while and of course fell asleep… I woke up again at 1:45 a.m. and had to force myself to get up and finish packing my suitcase. We went back to bed at 3:30 a.m. and our alarm rang at 7:00 a.m. :( just great!

I got up, took a shower, Maria came over at 8 a.m. to say goodbye (before she went to work) and then I went to the post office to give them our change of address forms and mail out the first package for my spouse visa! OMG. I hope I did everything right and things will move along quickly.

We left for San Francisco at 10:30 a.m. and had a bite to eat for lunch and then it was time to say goodbye again. Ah, how I hate these times at the airport :(  but I kept telling myself that it’s going to be for the last time!
I made sure they took out my I-94 at the check-in and when I got to the gate, I checked out again at one of these self-check out counters [that Kim told me about from Chicago]. Honestly, I am not sure if they had been there when I left San Francisco in November, but I swear I didn’t see them and I didn’t use them at all… although a security lady told me that they are mandatory and that you can get into trouble on your next entry [oh well, maybe that’s why I was pulled out upon my arrival in Minneapolis?!]
I must say that I think for being mandatory, these check-out counters are not very “visible” and if I hadn’t heard about them before, I would probably have ignored them completely. If they are mandatory, why don’t they have these check-out counters right at the gate where you have to pass them or otherwise can’t get on the plane??
Anyway, I have my check-out receipt and made sure twice that INS knows that I left the country as I promised.

The flight was long, but I like British Airways :) I traveled in a Boeing [big!] and every passenger had their own tv screen in the rear of the seat in front of them. That was very cool because you could chose between 6 movies and decide which one you wanted to watch. Also, I had an aisle seat in the middle row and the other three seats were empty :) unfortunately, I always end up with very rude people, because when realizing that nobody else would occupy these seats anymore, a man switched from his seat to the other aisle seat at the end of my row and -believe it or not- pretty soon lay down to sleep on all three seats next to me. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t really feel like sleeping at that point anyways, but when he got up to use the lavatory, I put stuff on the seat next to me to make sure I have some more space.
I watched “Pride & Prejudice”, “The wedding crashers” and also finished the book that I was reading [The Kite runner]… but couldn’t really sleep much.

We got to London on time and I had about 2,5 hours until my connecting flight and then I arrived in Düsseldorf at 3:30 p.m. My Mom picked me up at the airport and when we came home my sister and my aunt were waiting for us and we had some tea and talked for a little while.
Then my Dad came home and was very happy to see me *LOL* and we had dinner together [bread and cold cuts :)]. Afterwards I called Jon real quick to let him know that I made it home safe [and it was so weird to talk on the phone again… how I hate going from 100 to 0 in a few hours].
I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. – that was how long I could force myself to stay up – and then slept 15 hours nonstop.

In the afternoon, my sister had arranged a meeting at one of the restaurants we were looking at for the wedding in May… which means I was thrown right into the middle of organization ;) My parents, Nina and I went there at 4 p.m., we were shown the room for  family celebrations and then sat down with the owner to talk about the food for a buffet. I  still want to look at some more places and get other cost estimates for the wedding.

I spent all last night looking at different places online and sending out  inquiries. My sleeping rhythm is totally messed up again, as I stayed up till 2 a.m., talked to Jon and then slept till 11 a.m. this morning. That’s jet leg for you.

Friday and Saturday, my sister is planning to take me gown-shopping… ha, this is so surreal ;) but I am sure it’s going to be fun!

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I am leaving for Germany

January 23, 2006 at 9:24 am (my so-called life, this and that)

my bags are packed and Jon and I are leaving for the airport pretty soon. We’ll have one more nice breakfast at Bakers Square in Davis and then we’ll be off to San Francisco. I am glad that my flight departs in the afternoon, which gives us a little bit more time today.
My flight details are:

San Francisco (SFO) to
London (LHR)
Flight: British Airways 284
Depart: Mon, 1/23/2006 at 4:15 PM (SFO)
Arrive: Tue, 1/24/2006 at 10:30 AM (LHR)

London (LHR) to
Dusseldorf (DUS)
Flight: British Airways 940
Depart: Tue, 1/24/2006 at 1:15 PM (LHR)
Arrive: Tue, 1/24/2006 at 3:35 PM (DUS)

Oh well, that is it then, I guess… goodbye Sacramento :( I’ll miss you.

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January 21, 2006 at 1:32 pm (friends, my so-called life, this and that)

the last days were just insanely busy. On Thursday, I went to my old office to meet with Gerald and pick up my recommendation letter. It was the first time since I left last summer to see Gerald again and it was a little bit awkward, but I tried to be pretty cool about the whole situation. Michelle was unfortunately not in the office, because she’s scuba diving somewhere (her new hobby ;)), but Gerald and Justin took me out to lunch at Strings Italian Café. Afterwards we went back to the office and Gerald showed me some stuff that he is working on. I must admit, it felt kind of weird to be in the office and not work there anymore :( Gerald expressed deep sadness that he won’t be able to try and hire me anymore… he seriously thought there would still be a way to hire me back. Apparently, he was also very surprised that Jon and I actually got married recently after I had told him last summer that I didn’t want to push marriage for visa purposes [but that was before he screwed up, so plans change!]

He and Justin had both got a wedding gift for Jon and me and Gerald wrote me a really nice recommendation letter. He also kept saying that he really hopes that he hasn’t seen the last of me and that he would instantly hire me back if things don’t work out in LA and we decide to move up north again … yaddah yaddah. Whatever. I don’t know how serious I can take him… but it was nice and he sincerely thanked me for all my good work (and I am still the co-author on one of the publications he’s working on ;))

In the afternoon, I went to the Outlets with Maria, because I wanted to look for some jeans. Of course, I didn’t find any that I liked and then we saw these cute shoes (actually in dark brown) that looked SO comfy, but I didn’t really want to buy shoes, so I didn’t.
We drove to the Mall later to check out “Claire’s” again for some more earrings (and I also ended up buying a pretty ring) and on the way home stopped at “Panera” to get some baguette.
Jon and I cooked chicken, Spätzle and salad for dinner and then we played some “grass” with Aaron and Maria.

Yesterday morning we went over to Aaron’s place for breakfast. He made Quesadillas, an Omlette and Waffles with Strawberry topic [this breakfast was sooo American *lol*] and in the afternoon Maria and I drove to the Outlets in Vacaville again [to check out some boots that I had seen there two weeks ago, but of course they were gone :( ] and I bought two bras at Kohl’s for $30. This is such a bargain! I love shopping here :)
At 4 p.m. we met with Elcin in Davis at the “Konditorei”, an Austrian Bakery. We had a fun time together, although I had to break the news to her that Jon and I will be moving to LA and that I won’t return to Sacramento when I get my visa.
It kind of makes me sad, because I really hoped that Elcin and I would have some more time to get to know each other better. Well, we can always visit :)

me and Elcin

We got back to Sacramento around 6 p.m. and Jon and I spent the evening by ourselves, doing stuff around the apartment and watching some more X-files.

Today was superbusy as well. We got up early and went to Walgreens and got passport-photos taken for the visa application. They turned out terribly… we both look like criminals, but who cares ;) The girl at the store just took one (!) picture with a digital camera in front of a white background and she didn’t even show the photos to us to check if we were ok with them. Ah, it doesn’t really matter I guess.
Then we went to the bank, got our address changed there and did some shopping.
Back home I started getting the papers ready for the visa application and then went out to make copies of everything. On my way back I stopped at Nordstrom’s Rack quickly (because they usually have good deals on jeans and stuff) and actually found two (!) really cool pairs :) Of course that all took much longer than I had anticipated and I got home at 6:45 p.m., cooked dinner and then Jon and I had planned to start cleaning out the apartment and getting boxes ready as I won’t be able to help moving in two weeks. I am glad Aaron is moving down with Jon at the same time and can help him.

Oh, that reminds me: we’ve got the apartment!!! The guy called us yesterday to confirm. Jon was so excited [and I am excited, too, but also sad that it’s getting closer and closer to say good bye to Sacramento…] There is only 1 more day left up here before I fly back home and next time when I come back, we’ll be living in LA *sigh* I think the whole situation is much harder and more emotional for me than for Jon. He’s just so excited to move down there… as for me, as much as I am looking forward to our new place and living in LA, I am sad to leave Northern California. I really liked it up here and will miss it so much :(

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January 18, 2006 at 11:11 am (my so-called life, this and that)

Ok, I ended up going to Downtown Ventura on Monday afternoon with Jon’s Mom. Jon wanted to stay home and read, so she and I drove Downtown and strolled down Main Street. They have quite some interesting shops in Ventura, nice boutiques and lots of Antique stores. It was so much fun to rummage in all the ancient stuff ;) some of it seemed pretty worthless, but other things were quite nice!
We had some coffee at Starbucks and sat outside in the sun :)

In the evening, we went out to dinner with Jon’s parents and his friend Ian. We went to a restaurant close to the airport in Santa Paula (about 15 minutes from Ventura) and Jon and I had pork ribs *yummy*

Yesterday morning, we decided to drive down to LA again to look for apartments. I had searched the Internet for some more apartment places and had checked www.craigslist.com as well. It’s a website where people can post things to sell, rent, buy… etc.
It took us about an hour to get to Westwood (West LA) and we had some breakfast at the “Corner Bakery Cafe” – it’s a pretty neat place and I am hoping that we will be able to buy fresh bread there [I have yet to find out about that.]
Then we started our apartment hunt… we parked the car and walked around the neighborhood, checking out places that I had found on the Internet and just looking for renting signs. Since it was just around lunchtime, Jon mentioned that some of the management offices might be closed until 1 p.m., but we still decided to walk on and try different places. Some offices were in fact closed, at other aparment buildings we just talked to a person through the intercom telling us that nothings was available at that time [which was kind of frustrating, since all these places had big “now leasing” signs hanging from their buildings :( ]
Finally we found one place to look at which was a “loft” apartment for $1350 [note: apartment prices in LA are insanely expensive and this price is pretty much as good as it gets… it was by far the cheapest place that we checked out]. The “loft” -which is a two story aparment with an unpartitioned upper floor and high ceilings for the lower floor – looked really nice and we instantly liked it. We had been looking for 1 Bedroom apartments originally, but they were even more expensive, so we were seriously considering this place. I preferred to look around some more, but in the end the loft was the best and cheapest option [and still insanely expensive]. It was 3 p.m. by that time and we decided to put our names and deposit down for that place when we received a call on our cellphone from a guy named Ken who I had called earlier about a place. We had walked by this place earlier and he had a sign out that he was renting a 1 Bedroom aparment. To be honest, it was just a stupid idea to call him, because the apartment he was advertising was in a “condo”-type building [not a huge apartment complex!] and there was no way we thought we would be able to afford this place, but I had called just for the heck of it, because I liked the building and I just wanted to see what we were NOT going to get ;) So we went back to his place and took a look at the apartment, which was on the 2 floor with a separate entrance, a huge living room with bay windows, a big kitchen, a separate pretty big bedroom and a bathroom. We fell in love with that place instantly, but walked out thinking that this must be about $1600 or something. Jon was about to leave, but I said that I wanted to talk to that guy and ask him for the rent… just because I was curious how much that place was.
Ken, a guy in his 50’s, was really nice and we talked a little bit and when I asked for the price, we almost keeled over… Jon was already half out the door when he heard “$975” and we were like “Excuse me?” We couldn’t believe our ears!
Jon went back up to take another look at the apartment [to check if there was anything “wrong” with it *lol*] and then came back to verify that he had understood him right… $975?
We both were totally stunned. The apartment is  older, but very well kept and just beautiful! The only downside is that it doesn’t come with parking and there is only 2-hour parking on the street, but Jon was positive that he can figure something out (since there are two streets a block away that don’t have any parking restrictions).
This place just really fell from the sky!
Ken said he was going to make a routinely background check and he would let us know. I do hope he calls [hopefully tomorrow!!]

Here’s a picture from the outside. The apartment is on the second floor (the whole front side that you can see). Isn’t it charming? ;)

Oh, and then there’s another cute thing about it… the address is: 460 1/4 Kelton Ave… I feel like in “Harry Potter” :) I have never heard anything like that, but Ken explained to us that this is acutally the “real” address of this place.
I can’t believe how lucky we were… the whole apartment hunting was pretty exhausting and then this place popped up… for $975/month! That is unbelievable! Oh please, let us get this place!!!

Jon and I had some dinner at “Olive Garden” and then stopped by at Dhevan’s place to tell him the “good news” :) We drove back to Ventura around 8 p.m., told the whole story to Jon’s parents (who were really happy for us) and then went straight to bed. We were exhausted!

This morning, we got up early and drove back to Sacramento… I had a nice talk on the phone with my sister and then went out in the afternoon to run some errands. When I got back at 5 p.m., I invited Maria over for some coffee.
Oh, I forgot to tell you… Dhevan got us this really nice Cuisinart coffee maker which grinds the whole coffee beans before brewing. It’s awesome! I had been waiting for 4 days (!) to try it out :)
Let me tell you, you could really taste a difference! I am so excited about it!
We chatted with Aaron and Maria for a while and then I made some dinner for Jon and I and we watched some X-files. We really had to turn our minds of for a while [we both have so much going on right now].

I’ll be leaving here in 4 days and I feel so rushed, because there is so much I have to take care of before I leave and I am so sad, because I won’t be able to enjoy my last few days in Sacramento :(
I really loved living here and it makes me kind of sad knowing

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