Eating / Expat Life / Groceries / Parenting / Travel

We Heart Essen

I was planning on posting pictures of our kitchen but decided to postpone in order to take a few better pictures. But while sorting through those kitchen photos, I got to glance through other pictures which I feel capture our journey and process of moving and settling into life in Essen. Here are some of the things that we love so far about living here. Enjoy this little scrapbook of the initial weeks of our lives in Essen.

Vera's Ferien Filmstrip

Vera’s Ferien Filmstrip

Vera had to draw some key scenes of her summer holiday during her first day in her new school. As she didn’t really get much of a holiday since Baden-Württemberg’s school year ends late and North Rhine Westphalia’s starts early, the main event was not a beach vacation but rather our move. Here she depicts the moving van, our drive in the car to Essen, arriving in our temporary flat, she and Stella unpacking and settling in, and then sleeping.

It’s funny, what sort of things give us pause and make us grateful for where we are. The Main Train Station is an obvious one. I took a train straight to Berlin during my second week here, and I can easily go anywhere from this train station, unlike in Aalen where I would have to take another one hour train ride to Stuttgart. Most people would complain about hearing airplanes overhead. I do when they are so low that I can read the serial numbers (as was the case in Meerbusch). But even though we are close to the flight path now, the noise of the airplanes in fact comfort me. I know that a plane ride home is not too far. I know that I can get to most points of world by taking an easy 30 minute drive to Dusseldorf International Airport. And along that vain, I was happy to find an STA Travel on Rüttenscheider Strasse. It made me nostalgic for my 20s.

It wasn’t without pain, but we found a great house in the neighbourhood where we wanted to be. Essen Werden has a charming mini-Altstadt. As a new friend I made through the American Women’s Club of Dusseldorf put it, Werden was the kind of place she thought she was moving to when she left Texas to move to Germany. It is cute cute cute. It has a significant cathedral and a prestigious music and art conservatory which give it a special and international flare.

A wonderful byproduct of having this music school is an abundance of excellent music schools including the city run one, the Folkwang Musikschule. Both of our daughters are enrolled in ballet class here where they have a LIVE pianist accompanying them.

Of course with big city living comes a big central public library with lots of lovely books and even a magazine dedicated to activities for kids in the region.

And did you know that Essen is known as the shopping city? Guess what it has amongst all of its stores? A piece of home: TK Maxx. Amazing how they are all the same. Forget about all of that sustainable living and social responsibility stuff I spend so much effort on living and maintaining. This is my comfort zone.

IMG_3300Let’s not forget about the warehouse of discounted Korean groceries in Duisburg. This will for sure be a separate post along with all of the other grocery stores and restaurants.

While we easily get to sight see in close by cities like Cologne, we can also drive ten minutes and be on a farm where we can eat homemade potato pancakes, waffles and pancakes and the kids can play for hours without end in the hay maze, soccer field or playground.

My Kindi KidsMoving stinks, but with every move, I’ve gotten to witness my kids build stronger bonds with each other. Knowing that they are naturally sticking together as they explore each new place, experience so many new events, and encounter loads of new people makes me really proud and glad for them to have each other.

Gladback-Schalke scoreboardMy husband likes to tease me that now that we are so close to his home town of Mönchengladbach we could easily live there. That is something we would never do, but how fun that we can spontaneously witness live Borussia Mönchengladbach kick Schalke 04’s butt 4-1?

Opa and LennyAnd the really special part, is that my kids can spend more quality time with their grandparents. After all, what’s life without family?


7 thoughts on “We Heart Essen

  1. Yes, i do. I also have a matching egg container (ceramic). That’s how I roll. I am such a sucker for that kind of stuff. It’s especially great to see my husband’s expression when I buy things like that 😉


    • I am a sucker too except I am trying hard to resist in an effort to minimise. Moving will incentivise this even more! Do you put seasonal fruit in your basket? Does it make it look more attractive and make you want to eat it more? Or does it just go off faster and then you have to wash that thing. I thought of the egg one more to store chochkees like jewelry. We go through way too many eggs and recycle our cartons for me to consider actually using it for … eggs.


      • I love your ideas. I use mine when I want something different … A nice pop of color on the table for example. As for the berries, of course seasonal. And of course everything looks more attractive with beautiful presentation.

        Liked by 1 person

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