So I’ve been here exactly one week now. I can’t believe that: it seems like a lot longer. Each day has been packed, there are hundreds of things to do in Garmisch, so I’m sure the rest of my time here will be packed as well. Words cannot describe how beautiful it is here. Everywhere you turn, the Alps are the background. Garmisch is in like a little pocket, or valley, in the mountains. And I’ve never seen mountains so tall. Even on a “bad” day, it’s still incredible with the peaks rising far above the clouds. I have over a year, but still might not get to experience all that Garmisch has to offer.
The flights here weren’t bad, although United sucks. $6 for a beer? Will never choose them on my own. Had to watch Spain dominate from Chicago, which was alright. Doesn’t beat standing on tables with Tommy at Doyle’s, though. Speaking of football, it’s too bad my plane didn’t get to Munich earlier, two of the girls that came in before me got to see some of the German players at the airport, like Muller and everyone’s favorite name, Schweinsteiger. Customs was easy, my bags came fast, made my way out and was greeted by one of the resident service directors, Jesus, or J for short. So J picked the four of us, loaded up the van, and away we went. Through the streets of Munich, passing old architecture, new architecture then hit the Autobahn. About halfway to Garmisch we followed the bend in the highway and all of a sudden the Alps come into view, and they are spectacular, and my words can not do them justice.
Once we got to Garmisch we were taken to where we’ll be living for the next 13 months. It’s called The Abrams, or “Abrams” for short. I’ve been told it used to be an old German hospital. I’m not going in detail on what that means, but I’m sure you can figure out what kinds of things took place here. At least that’s what the rumor is. The complex, along with the hotel and the military base, is guarded 24/7 by contracted German guards. No one goes in or out without them knowing about it. So as we pull up, we have to show them our passports, and J’s speaking German with one of them, then I hear the guard laugh and say my name. Then J turns to me and says, “Your parents are here”, and handed me a note from my mom. The others thought that was funny and I said, “I tried putting the whole Atlantic Ocean between us, but she still tracked me down.” After we toured the housing complex, my parents picked me up and took me around town. They took me on this hike up a gorge, and then we stopped for my first beer, a dunkel. Delicious. They then took me grocery shopping, which was a must because I was given a single room, so I have no roommate to share cooking stuff with, so I have to buy everything I’m going to need. But I guess it won’t be that bad, cause I do have my own room, and I can do so many activities in my room. During dinner I was falling asleep, so my parents took me home, said our “good-byes”, and that was that.
The next day was spent touring the hotel and learning a little more about what we’ll be doing there, and filling out tons of paperwork, and we met the G.M. We met the G.M. around lunch time and he talked to us a little about the mission of the hotel and how important our guest are, but even before he talked with us, I could already feel the feeling of what this experience is going to be like. I knew coming in that it was a hotel for our military families, but finally being here, and being able to put faces on it and seeing the families together, knowing that this could be the last family vacation any one of the families goes on, is something that takes me away, and something that makes me thrilled and honored, to be on a team that is on the front lines of making sure that their vacation is the best one that it can be. Being able to provide a service to the men and women, and their families, who serve us, is a feeling that I can’t even put into words, and am so thankful that I can help provide the relaxation that they desperately need and absolutely deserve. During one of my massages, I was looking out the window and saw a man sitting on his balcony, staring off into the mountains, holding his one year-old daughter on his lap while she laid, and frolicked about, is an image that exemplifies exactly what the mission, and goal, of the Edelweiss Hotel and Lodge is all about.
Now having said all that, this time here is also about having fun. And Tuesday nights at Peaches is a must, especially during your first week. Tuesday is America night, and $1=1Euro, so all the Americans come out for it, and it’s a great way to start meeting people, the other hotel staff or the soldiers stationed here in Garmisch. There are a lot of really cool, and interesting people here. Very fun and welcoming, especially one of the soldiers stationed here who is from Olympia and asked me if I am from Hiltop. He’s a great guy, and a hell of a cook. So it’s been great meeting lots of people, doing lots of things, and seeing lots of stuff. And for all my buddies back home, I’ve discovered the Bumpy’s of Garmisch, so whenever you come over here, it will be just like home.
So all in all: I love it here. I will be fine here, but I do miss everyone back home. But for now, I must go to bed. I’ve got massages in the morning, and I need to wake up in five hours to Skype with my baby. And in about 14 hours, I won’t be the “new guy” any more, as nine new people are coming in. And if anyone wants my address, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Skype me at wildboy714. Talk with you soon.