In my last post I shared about the house we are going to be moving into. We really are excited to move into it and start our new life there. In fact, we were out at Kelley for a little while last week setting up our new CMR and checking out the commissary and just being there gave me butterflies of excitement! As I mentioned in that post, Matt and I met our upstairs neighbor when we toured the house. Monday we were thrilled to run into their whole family at the Food Court. We really look forward to being their neighbors! In the meantime we are actually pretty comfortable and making life as normal as possible while living in the hotel.
Life will become more complicated once we move, in some ways. In other ways, it’ll become more simple. In order to explain, let me tell you a little about Stuttgart as a duty station which will be especially helpful for those who haven’t had an overseas assignment. You can take a map and draw a big circle around the area that Fort Hood consists of. Same with Jackson, Carson, etc. However, in Germany our “post” is actually made up of several very small “posts,” so if you look at a map of Stuttgart and you want to craw a circle around the area that is “USAG Stuttgart” you’ll actually have to draw four (five?) different circles.
Patch and Panzer are very close to one another; Kelley is a bit farther away, and Robinson is way out in the boonies. The BEAUTIFUL boonies, but still, it’s a good distance, especially with the traffic.
Here are the official names of the mini posts: Panzer Kaserne, Kelley Barracks, Patch Barracks, and Robinson Barracks. “Kaserne” is a German word that means “barracks” so my question is why aren’t they all called kasernes? Or all called barracks? (There’s also an airfield here but I don’t think anyone lives there. I’m focusing on the four that have housing.) Here is a fun article about the location with a bit of history and what goes on on each of the mini posts.
Matt will be working on Panzer, which is where we are currently living in the hotel. His office is two buildings over and takes just a couple of minutes to walk over there. This is quite convenient for us with regards to Matt being able to spend a lot of time with us during these in-processing weeks. It’s convenient in that when we’re bored we can walk over to the PX and we can take advantage of the daily offerings of the USO.
In another post I mentioned that the hotel staff picked out rooms for us that are near the bridge. That has proven to be absolutely wonderful. The hotel’s parking lot is great for parking cars but it is not at all convenient if you need to go anywhere on foot therefor they built a bridge leaving from the third floor that takes you straight to the sidewalk giving you much easier access to everything.
Oh, and we are very close to the “alligators” and the coffee machine that produces Jacobs coffee 24/7. For those who have lived here before you know just how delectable that coffee is. (“Alligators” is Anna’s word for elevators.)
From the bridge:
This is from the bridge toward the parking lot. If you look closely, on the far right of the picture you can see the driveway from the PX parking lot down to the hotel’s parking lot. It is kind of steep. Because of that most people to ride the elevator to the third floor and use the bridge when going anywhere on foot.
If you walk the bridge to the sidewalk and cross the street, the building you’d enter houses the bank, USO, ACS, VAT office, and more. We are in that building 5-6 times a week for various reasons… mostly popcorn and drinks from the USO. They have a movie library and a gaming system that we enjoy as well. The staff are very helpful and welcoming. The picture below was taken from our living room window.
If you turn left at the end of the bridge you head directly toward the PX. (The PX is the one-level building in the center of the picture which was taken from the bridge.)
Between the USO building and the PX are other buildings that have other important offices: the housing office, for example.
If you turn right at the end of the bridge you are heading toward the Chapel. The first building you pass is for maintenance use only… the next is the Chapel. Beyond that are other things like schools, the commissary, shoppette, etc.
The following picture was taken from inside the hotel at the end of one of the hallways. You can see the angled roofline of the bowling alley. Just in front of that is a half-circle building. That’s the back of the chapel – the part that houses the offices and nursery. The sanctuary is the darker front half, though you can see two vertical stained glass windows.
The following picture was taken from the chapel looking back at the hotel.
And here are pictures OF the bridge as seen coming from the PX.
Poor guy didn’t know I was taking a picture of him. Our windows are the first three to the left of the bridge.
A few days ago I included the following video in another post, but since this one is about the hotel I’m including it in this post as well. It’s a quick tour of the Family room and regular room we have.
Today we ate lunch at the USO as they serve hotdogs every Wednesday. Tonight the bigs go to their second night of youth.
In about 20 minutes we’re going to ride out to Kelley to check our mail. We checked on the status of our house today and the lady said it could be ready as early as Friday. I’m not counting on it. In fact, I see us being here another week or so, but that’s just my gut talking. I have nothing to base it on other than I know that maintenance and housing offices aren’t known for moving that quickly.
Stay tuned… the next blog post will have an enthralling video of Anna’s Adventures in Hotel Living.