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Old 03-20-2008, 04:17 PM   #1
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Red face Ramstein AFB Germany

Ok....with only 16 months left till retirement from the Air Force...we just found out that we are being sent to Germany. We have mixed feelings about this assignment. I know it will be amazing to live there. The bummer is that we just bought 85 acres with house and river front in West Texas. My parents have their house up for sale in Maryland so they can move to West Texas with us.

If you are currently stationed in Germany or have lived there....please post good thoughts. I really need a pick me up. We have little time to get things ready and I am not even sure if I will be able to continue Stampin' Up! over there.

Please pray for me and my family.

Thanks in advance.

Tracy
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:00 PM   #2
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You can do SU no problem. I had a downline there. I've never been stationed there but my bf was when he was younger. You can easily travel all over Europe. It's a great way to end your career!
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:17 PM   #3
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Hey, you can't move! I won't have an upline!
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:17 PM   #4
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If I had an opportunity like that, I'd jump on it. My dad was in the Air Force and took the family with him the two times he was stationed at Ramstein. In my heart, it's like my second home. While you're there, be sure to take advantage of traveling around Europe. The second time we went when I was a teenager, we took weekend tours into France a few times, a really nice tour of Rome for about a week, a trip to Berlin (when there was still a wall), a trip to Israel. As a child, I vaguely remember going to Spain and Holland.

The first time we were stationed there was in the mid 1960's, and we started out living in a village called Hutchenhausen. We lived in what is now the Burgermeister's residence. Our next door neighbors were so friendly - we still keep in touch with them! Make an effort to learn the culture and speak the language and you'll have a great time.

Hope this helps,

Agnes
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:40 PM   #5
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I am completely green with envy!!! We were stationed at Sembach AB (close to Ramstein) for four years 87-91. I would live there in a heartbeat if my family lived there, too. You will absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it there. Live off base and experience the German life. There is so much to do there... travel if you can - even day trips, eat at restaurants, try your German - you'll be appreciated! You will love it. I want to go back there to visit in the worst way!! So much culture and history there...

I'm sure you are a bit shocked, but once it wears off, I think you might just get a bit excited. How many people (other than military) can say they lived in another country? Once in a lifetime experience!!!

Good luck
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:52 PM   #6
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I am German so off course I am telling you, you'll enjoy it. I agree that you should live off Base, because we Germans are real nice people .
Ramstein is a great Base and really you should travel if you can. France is only like an hour away. Paris like 3 hours or so. You can be a SU demo on just about any Base. You will probably have to go to housing and get a home based business package. Fill it out and have it signed by your hubby's commander, turn it back in, and within a few days you'll get approval. They tell you what you can and can't do. We are currently in Okinawa,Japan and it was like that here. SU orders get here within 1 week or so, so I guess they'll get there just as fast. I have seen a few ladies here on SCS that are in Germany (greater Kaiserslautern area) you should enjoy it.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:36 PM   #7
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i haven't lived there, but the base is HUGE, and you will get tons of COLA granted the euro is crappy, but if you stick to on base, you should be making quite a bit of money. and it's an awesome place to be because they have hops to all over the place. lots to do. it's one of the better places to be overseas from what i hear.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:36 AM   #8
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We lived in Italy for 3 1/2 years (Navy). While I loved Italy, I would have jumped at a chance to live in Germany. It is such a beautiful country! Ramstein is a great place to be. It always seemed to be the "hub" of things going on. Enjoy it! It is one of those chances you don't get everyday and will remember for the rest of your life.
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:35 PM   #9
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I spent 2 1/2 of the best years of my life in Germany. I lived with my grandparents after high school, and fell in love with the country! We still return there any chance we get. Germany has such culture and beauty. I am sure you will love it!
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:40 AM   #10
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Germany is lovely and so much to do and see. Haven't lived there, but have visited several times. The wine country is fantastic and the opportunities to travel are great. And of course, the food is to die for, especially the yogart and the bread. I love to go to the bakeries. Also, get into going on Volks walks, they are fun, and you meet a lot of great people and see the countryside.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:46 AM   #11
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Hi Tracy! We are stationed at Ramstein AB Germany. We moved here in Dec 07 a week before Christmas. We were at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX. We have enjoyed our time so far. We've been to visit a few places so far. I think you will enjoy it. I can almost guarantee by the time your 16 months is up you will have wished you came sooner! There is a lot of support here on base and on yahoo groups. A military spouse put together a website for people pcs'ing into the area. I live in Miesau which is about a 12 minute drive through the villages. I could easily hop on the Autobahn and get there is 8 min but with construction going on I try to stay away from the autobahn. HEre are a few websites that you can take a look at:

http://www.kaiserslauternamerican.com/index.php
http://www.germanyinfosite.com/

Not sure how much you really hate to find a new hairdresser but everyone swears by this place I'm going to be making an appointment soon too:
http://www.sandys-hairstyling-salon....lisch/Home.htm

This find it guide will be your lifesaver! It has every phone number you will need to all bases surrounding us. It has a mini phone book for the surrounding area too. This is the online version once you get here you can go to the family support center and pick up a hard copy:
http://www.finditnet.com/

And if you're going to work these are some websites that post jobs:
www.usajobs.com
www.cpol.army.mil

And here is the website for the USO in K-town:
http://www.uso.org/kaiserslautern/

A few words of advice as far as things to bring over here:

I brought over all my kitchen appliances and they are in the basement because of the 220V here so if i wanted to use them I'd have to use a transformer with them. There isn't much counter space and they are big so I just chose to purchase from people who sell things when they move or just bought new ones. A lot of people do that here they will either buy them from someone moving or purchase new and then sell when you leave.

Curtains are another thing I couldn't buy over there cause obviously you don't know what size you need but man are they expensive on the economy. I have bought some of my curtains for my house online.

If you live off base like i do depending on your oven most german ovens are kinda on the small side. I can't fit 3/4's of my pampered chef steonware inside because it's too big.

I also brought my Dyson vacuum with me but it's in basement too because I don't want all the juice sucked out of it while being used on a transformer. I just bought a 220V vacuum from the bx.

I can't think of anything else but if I do I will definitely let you know!

As far as stampin up! you just have to get your military form signed by the commander that you are permitted to sell only on base and only to military families. It states we aren't allowed to sell to German nationals. I know of a group that meets once a month for Stampin' Up! meetings. I haven't been to one yet but there is one. On Ramstein and Vogelweh there are Stampin' Up! classes which are taught by stampin' up! gals. I've placed one order since I've been here and it took only about a week to get here so not bad at all.

If you have any other questions just pm me or something.

Take care!
Felicia
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:19 PM   #12
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oh my gosh....I would trade places with you in a minute...we were stationed at Sembach AFB....I taught second grade and my husband was in training then moved to Kapaun to the USAFE NCO Academy....we were there for 5 years and if we hadn't been transferred to Florida we would have stayed until we retired...we lived off base with a wonderful family and the son who was 6 then still calls us today...he is now 30 and has two children....it was an experience of a life time....and all the traveling....every place is so close...do it all....have a great time....hugs, Fran
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:40 PM   #13
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Although my time here has been short, I have LOVED it here. Take advantage of the travel opportunites! I arrived shortly before Christmas, and am returning home in a couple weeks. All together, in my few months here, I have been to 11 countries! You will love it in Germany! Be happy!
I have lots of our travel and Germany pics on my myspace page and am slowly working on getting some on my blog if you want to check them out, the links are in my siggy line! Seriously though - this is an awesome opportunity for you!
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:52 PM   #14
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Tracy - we have been to the area plus we have many friends who still serve in the miltary. You will like it!!! If you love to travel - that's the perfect place...you are close to France and many other European cities!!! I'm almost a little bit jealous....I miss home - I was born and raised in Bavaria!!!

You will love the good geman food and beer - LOL!!! Make sure you have a good camera to capture your fun and exciting time there!!! By the time you have to return to the US - you will probably want to stay longer....

Have fun and keep us posted!!!
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:54 AM   #15
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Oh Wow! You lucky duck! We lived there for 2 years and wish it had been more! I'm always telling people I'd move tomorrow if the gave us orders! We lived in Reichenbach Steegen - awesome village! Great words of advice so far but here's one more, get as many mail order catalogs as you can since that will be a big portion of your shopping! I also took advantage of the option at Christmas to have it wrapped at the site and then mailed straight to the recipients! Why mail it twice just to wrap it?! Go have fun and don't miss a single opportunity since you never know if you'll have it again!
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:33 AM   #16
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To add to the last comments about mail order....
www.drugstore.com is a great place for getting about anything hygeine related
www.shipitapo.com lots of places will not ship to an apo or fpo, this site you sign up for free and they give you an address in the US. When you use that address, they charge your credit card to ship it on to you at your apo address. this website is invaluable!

On another note - the wrapping of gifts before you send them may not be a good idea - check with the post office - with all the new security measures the boxes may need to be opened and inspected.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:55 AM   #17
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We are in the military with the Marines. I wish we could move and be stationed over there for a couple of years. What an opportunity to live without having to move on your expense. I'd jump on it. So much to see in our world. You can always move back home once his tour is up. I have friends in the Army that have been stationed there. They said its the best place to live and the people are so friendly.
Good luck on your decision.

Bonnie
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:41 AM   #18
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We have been here just short of a year and we love it! Once we got over the jet lag and found a house, things have been wonderful! Like Felicia said earlier, as far as household stuff goes, I would leave most of your kitchen appliances in storage. I took my Kitchen Aid Mixer to England for 4 years and something just didn't sound quite right about it when we got to Minot...so now it's in storage. Same with my Dyson, I wasn't about to run it on a transformer! Your can find a lot of stuff from people who are leaving. We live off base, on base housing is ok, but we only qualify for a 3 bedroom and I need that 4th one for all my stamping and scrapping stuff! We live in a village called Rodenbach, it's right in between Ramstein and Vogelweh. There are 2 BX's and 2 Commissaries and they are pretty decent. I still have to have a few things mailed to me here, but it's not too bad. Most stores are pretty cool with shipping stuff to an APO. Some aren't.

Most people around here speak decent English. Most restaurants have English menus.

I know of a few SU demos here, I sell The Angel Co, and am friends with a CTMH consultant. You shouldn't have a problem!

The travel opportunities are amazing! We're going to Paris/Disney for spring break and it's only 3 1/2 hours away! They are FINALLY raising our COLA a bit so that is nice. When we got here last April the exchange rate was $1.33 to one euro, now it's at about $1.60.

Those links that Felicia gave you are great! Check them out! Oh when looking for a house, be aware that most relators charge a fee that's equivalent of one month's rent. We got here during spring break and the kids HAD to get in school, so we wound up going through one to get our house. The AF doesn't pay you back for that. If you find a listing that says "Immobilen" that is a relator. Just so you know. They're easy to avoid if you don't want to pay the fee.

Are you going to be here for just the 16 months or did your husband have to extend? Where's he going to be working? If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!!!

You will have a wonderful time here!
Laura
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:41 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okstamper View Post
We are in the military with the Marines. I wish we could move and be stationed over there for a couple of years. What an opportunity to live without having to move on your expense. I'd jump on it. So much to see in our world. You can always move back home once his tour is up. I have friends in the Army that have been stationed there. They said its the best place to live and the people are so friendly.
Good luck on your decision.

Bonnie
We are seeing more and more Marines here in Stuttgart. They are all coming here to support Africom - maybe your hubby can request orders to Stuttgart.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:35 AM   #20
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I just was talking to my mom about this forum. My ancestors are from Germany. It would be great to go see where they are from..its sounds something like Born Bon but I dont think I'm pronouncing it right. She also mentioned that she'd go back in a heart beat.

I'm going to ask my dh tonight to see about that. We have 4 years left to retire too. How about the schools there for the kids. Are they pretty good?

Bonnie
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:58 PM   #21
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I was born on that AFB in Germany!

My parents LOVED the area and still talk about their travels while in Germany! Some of my best childhood photos were taken over there!
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I just was talking to my mom about this forum. My ancestors are from Germany. It would be great to go see where they are from..its sounds something like Born Bon but I dont think I'm pronouncing it right. She also mentioned that she'd go back in a heart beat.

I'm going to ask my dh tonight to see about that. We have 4 years left to retire too. How about the schools there for the kids. Are they pretty good?

Bonnie
My kids are at Vogelweh Elementary. My son will start Kaiserslautern Middle next year. The DoDDs system is ok. We came from an outstanding school district in North Dakota, so it's taken a bit of getting used to. Everyone just has a differnet way of doing things is all! There are 5 elementary schools, 3 middle and 2 high schools between Ramstein, Vogelweh and Landshtul. I've heard good things about all of them. Ramstein is the more crowded of all them I hear. Where you go all depends on where you live. The bus system is good. I was a bit wary of it, but I'm comfortable with them riding the bus. The drivers and monitors are German, and they aren't required to speak English but most do at least a little bit.

Good luck on getting orders here! The more the merrier I say!

Laura
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:38 AM   #23
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I have several friends that teach there and they are great schools!
We are hoping to get to Germany some day......My DH is DOD Civilian Admin so it is hard for us to get anywhere good. Few job openings and tons of applicants. Plus, when we take an overseas assignment it is hard to get back to the US. So, we could end up being there a while.
Have fun and travel travel travel.....
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:48 AM   #24
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I AM SO JEALOUS! I fell in love with Germany when I was in my 20's and have been back several times. I haven't been since the kids were born (more than ten years now) and I miss it so much.

I think the German culture is so amazing! I love the family values, and the community bonds. I had no trouble finding people who would speak English to me.

My only issue was that most of the Germans I met wouldn't give me much time to speak German to them. Then again, I am sure it is because I butchered their beautiful language.

Be at ease, you will love it. Only rent your current property so you can return to my beloved homeland of Texas. I understand your hesitation to leave the great state of Texas.

C
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:15 AM   #25
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I AM SO JEALOUS! I fell in love with Germany when I was in my 20's and have been back several times. I haven't been since the kids were born (more than ten years now) and I miss it so much.

I think the German culture is so amazing! I love the family values, and the community bonds. I had no trouble finding people who would speak English to me.

My only issue was that most of the Germans I met wouldn't give me much time to speak German to them. Then again, I am sure it is because I butchered their beautiful language.

Be at ease, you will love it. Only rent your current property so you can return to my beloved homeland of Texas. I understand your hesitation to leave the great state of Texas.

C
They take every opportunity they have to practice their English! Most of them love to practice.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:27 AM   #26
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Tracy,

You'll love it here in Germany. I live in Wiesbaden which is about 1 1/2 hours
away. The Romer Art Center on Wiesbaden Army Airfield has started carrying
scrapping supplies and they're getting more in every week. They also have
a month crop group.

I just wish I had a Stampin' Up consultant.

Deb
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:59 AM   #27
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I was born in Kaiserslautern (moved to the states when I was 9 mos old) and currently have a lot of family living in K-town and Hochspeyer. My mom is German and met my dad while he was stationed in K-town with the Army. I LOVE LOVE LOVE visiting there. When I was younger we used to spend our whole summer vacations with my grandparents. If you like to travel and get out and about and do things you will never be at a loss of things to do in that area. One thing you MUST do is hike to one of the many guest houses in the woods and get a good traditional german meal. I am not sure what part is better, the hike to get to the guest house or the meal LOL. K-town is a great town to explore and very easy to get around.
If you have a GPS check out geocaching.com there are a lot of caches around the area that will also take you to the places that the locals like and think are worth taking others too.
Hope you have a great experience -- I may be heading that way for my cousins 40th birthday in Aug. I will look you up if I get to go!!!
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:23 PM   #28
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I was stationed in Germany for 5 wonderful years and I treasure every minute of it. Please take the time to enjoy the German people and all of the wonderful travel opportunities. Understandably you love West Texas but it will be there when you get back, your memories of time in Germany will be with you for a lifetime! I'm retired Army and I miss the travelling and the adventures. Kay in Florida
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:08 PM   #29
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Tracy...you will NOT regret making the decision to come over here vs retire.

One year ago, out of the blue, my husband got this assignment to Sembach (yep, there are still some people there...and schools!)..and at the time he was at 19 1/2 years. We've been here 9 months now and although it's had it's ups and downs getting settled....we are really glad we came over here (again!)
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:26 PM   #30
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We were staioned in Germany too...absolutely love it! I'd go back in a heart beat! We lived off base (I highly recommend) in Spesbach which was a perfect location to both Ramstein and Vogelweh. It only took 5-10 min max to get to either base. Experience all their culture you can. We did Volksmarches, Wine Fests, Wine Probes, we use to pick a place to eat 2-4 times a month and go with our friends, just to try something new. Our favorite place was Alt Landstuhl. Chateau Briand...yummy!
Speak their language. I spoke it to them as much as I could. There was this guy who sold produce/honey outside of the Ramstein gate (they stopped doing it after 9/11, not sure if they're doing it again) and he'd speak English to me and I'd speak German to him...that way we both get to practice.
Travel...get out and go as much as you can! I went to Poland 3 times with my girlfriends to shop for Polish Pottery (really cheap there), it was so much fun. We went to The Black Forest and bought cuckoo clocks...even let our daughter pick one out so she has it when she's older. We went to Egypt, France, Belgium...and many more countries. Germany is so easy to travel and get around in.
I think you will enjoy it there. There's so much to do on and off base.
I'd gladly trade places with you, lol
Wishing you the best,
Tanya
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:44 PM   #31
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My DD and DSIL and family came back from 3 yrs + tour of duty in Frankfurt. They absolutely LOVE Germany and would go back without hesitation if given the chance. My 2 youngest grandchildren never knew anything but Germany before they came back. They still call Frankfurt home! I was able to make three trips over and also fell in love with the country. The people are wonderful...friendly, helpful and most speak a little English. There are plenty of bases over there so you have all the accommadations available to the military here is the U.S. There are so many activities going on that you can find something different to do every weekend. I hope you will be as happy there as my family was. Yes, it is expensive if you have to buy out in the economy but with all the exchanges etc. you will do fine.

Perhaps your parents could stay in your home while you are gone or maybe you can rent to someone in the military near you. Best of luck no matter what you decide.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:13 AM   #32
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My son was stationed at Rhinemein(?) for 2 1/2 years and hated to leave Germany. He loved everything about it. He was thinking about getting out and staying over there, but didn't. He was one who also spent a huge amount of time going to visit other places, something that a lot of people are afraid to do.

I know this is old. I wonder how she's liking it so far.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:47 AM   #33
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My husband was stationed at Ramstein when we got married in 1987. One week after or marriage I ended up in Germany for 2 years. Obviously, I was there a long time ago but I loved every minute of it. We lived off base in a house in Landstuhl, not far from the base. The German people are friendly and most speak English. Usually they understand more English than they speak. They are a clean people. They would be out on weekends scrubbing the sidwalks and streets in front of their homes and there were lovely flower boxes everywhere. My husband had only 2 stripes then and wasn't making much money but we traveled as much as we could because everything is so close. It was about 5 hours to Paris and we went to Brussels, Italy and Austria and to Berlin (before the wall came down). We loved the Octoberfest in Munich and went there twice. There is so much to see and so much history - it's beautiful. Visit the Old Firehouse resturant in Landstuhl! Great food and good people!! Only one piece of advice, try to learn a little German. They really appreciate it if you at least try. I only learned a little German (you'll pick it up fast) but if you try and use a little German and they try and use a little English you'll be amazed how easy it is to communicate. Our 25th Anniversary is coming up in a few years and we are thinking of going back to Germany - we loved it so much!! Kathy
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:01 AM   #34
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shadow, my son said the same thing about learning the language. He said the Germans really liked people who would try to speak the language even if they didn't do it very well.

He had a school friend who was living over there with her grandparents and he'd go see her evenings and learned to speak fairly decent German. He said they were great and really appreciated people who made an effort to learn.

He also said he was stunned by the amount of Americans who rarely, if ever, set foot off the base.

There's a sort of German bar close to where I live and when he first came home we'd go down there and he'd sit on the patio drinking German beer with this homesick look on his face. Mooning around. It was halarious.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:53 AM   #35
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Well, I will echo what everyone else has said, "You will love it there!" I lived in the K-Town/Vogelweh area for 4 years in the early 80's when my dad was in the AF and I loved it. What an amazing experience for me.

My sister later joined the AF, too (as did I!), and she got stationed at Ramstein AB many years later. She has since retired from the AF and is STILL living in Germany working for a contractor on the base. She's been there for 9 years now. Or maybe it's 10?

In any case, there's so much to see and do. Follow the advice of all the women who are currently there and have provided you with links, etc.

And congratulations on this fabulous opportunity to see a truly beautiful part of the world. Safe travels to you and your family.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:10 AM   #36
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Tracy,
Have you gotten to Ramstein yet? I used to live at Sembach Air Base; it is now an annex to Ramstein.

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Old 06-10-2009, 01:12 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Tracy A. Simmons View Post
Ok....with only 16 months left till retirement from the Air Force...we just found out that we are being sent to Germany. We have mixed feelings about this assignment. I know it will be amazing to live there. The bummer is that we just bought 85 acres with house and river front in West Texas. My parents have their house up for sale in Maryland so they can move to West Texas with us.

If you are currently stationed in Germany or have lived there....please post good thoughts. I really need a pick me up. We have little time to get things ready and I am not even sure if I will be able to continue Stampin' Up! over there.

Please pray for me and my family.

Thanks in advance.

Tracy

Oh WOW!!! My prayers for you are that you enjoy the chance to travel and not hate it there due to leaving the new home...

I was stationed in K Town (Kaiserslautern) WAY BACK in 1988-90... I LOVED going to Ramstein and to Landstuhl... THAT was the GREAT CHOW HALL LAND... LOL YES! I was Army and traveled to eat at a AF Chow hall... I was young, single, no bills.... (i.e. Partied like a fiend) but it is a GREAT Place to end the Military career....DONT HOLD BACK... See it all.... ESPECIALLY take the tour boat when they set the Rhein River on "fire" OMGOSH!!! GORGEOUS!!!!


Best of Luck to you.....

PS SU will ship to ya
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:17 AM   #38
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My husband and I were stationed at Ramstein when we first got married in 1987 - 1989. It has probably changed since then but we loved it there. We lived in an apartment in Landstuhl. There is a fantastic restuarant in Landstuhl called the Old Firehouse. You should try it! The German people were friendly and every weekend we would get in the car and drive to another town to see the sights. There is so much history there. Paris is only about a 5 hour drive, we visited Brussels, went to Octoberfest in Munich and one time drove all the way to Italy. We were in Berlin (before the wall came down) and Garmish is beautiful. The trains are clean and alway on time. It's a good way to get around. Try to get out and see the country, it's really beautiful.

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Old 06-26-2009, 12:46 AM   #39
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hello
i am from holland and love to go to germany. it is a lovely country but verg different then the USA...people are more closed...but the land is so nice to see..we go there every year for our vacation in the black forrest....
and 18 mounths that is only 1 and half year ..before you know you are back in the usa .
bye bye from holland
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:36 AM   #40
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Hi Tracy,

and WELCOME TO GERMANY!!!
I'm sure you'll like it there - it's a beautiful landscape, and pretty far to even more beautiful places like Heidelberg!!!
SU has been active in Germany for about two years now (with a special German catalogue), so I'm sure you can go on with that.
And there's a wonderful stamp shop in Frankfurt, not too far from Ramstein. Take a look at www.stempelmeer.de
There's a large stamp show every September you shouldn't miss, the Stempelmekka, you can find it at www.stempel-mekka.de
There are not so many stampers in Germany as in the U.S., but they are very enthusiastic and meet often, so if you are interested to get to know German stampers, please send me a PM.

Have a great time in Germany,

Christiane
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