Archive for April, 2011

Easter shopping

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Part of preparing for our move involved separating everything in our house into one of four categories:  air shipment, sea shipment, storage and things to pack in suitcases.  The idea is for the air shipment to arrive 10 – 14 days after it’s shipped (to provide things you don’t immediately need in your suitcase, but to tide you over until most of your stuff arrives) because the sea shipment doesn’t arrive for 4-6 weeks after it’s shipped.  Since Easter is happening almost 3 weeks after we left, I made sure to pack everything we needed for Easter in the air shipment.  It’s not a religious holiday in our family, just a tradition, but I was careful to plan to have the things I’d need when we arrived.  I packed up cute Easter hand towels for the kitchen, and stuff to decorate eggs, but most importantly, Benjamin & Liam’s Easter baskets and the things that were to go inside of them.


I definitely don’t have it together

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

We’ve found a place, but we can’t move in yet.  We haven’t gotten our relocation grant, so we can’t go buy a washer/dryer or any other major purchase for the new place.  Dan’s work doesn’t start until next Tuesday.  So . . . . we’re on vacation!  We really can’t do much that’s productive right now — we might be able to later in the week, but right now, we’re waiting for a bunch of other people to do things, so we decided to have our first really leisurely day since we’ve been here.


Our new place

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Just over a year ago, I came to Vienna for the first and only time before I decided to move here.  I was here for four days — I came to meet Dan on one of his business trips.  I wanted to get a feel for the city and see if I could even imagine myself living here.  I wasn’t here for long, but we tried to get out, see some sights and experience as much of the city as possible.

Sunday morning of my trip here (which was also Valentine’s Day) we got up very early (not easy to do, due to the jetlag) and went to see the Vienna Boys’ Choir.  We weren’t entirely sure where we were going, and we got a little lost on the way.  We came up out of the wrong exit from the U station into a silent little square.  It was cobblestoned and deserted.  We set off, trying to find our way, and encountered a few people making their way to the church that was a little further along the square.  It was quiet, beautiful and perfectly my idea of Europe.  I loved it instantly.  I wanted to know where we were, but we were running late and didn’t have time to explore.  We eventually found our way to our destination, and didn’t get a chance to return.


A day outside of Vienna

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

One of Dan’s future co-workers invited Benjamin, Liam, Dan, Bailey & I to lunch today with his family at his home outside of Vienna.  We were really excited to get to see some of the area around Vienna, and to hang out with some Americans who had been through what we’re experiencing.  When Scott arrived to pick us up, they had outfitted their car with carseats appropriate to our kids’ ages, so we packed Bailey into the back of the minivan, and we all trekked off to Korneuburg.


Auf Wiedersehen, Hollandstrasse 8.

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

We left behind our first “home” in Vienna this morning.  I already miss it.  We moved into a new place, in another part of the city.  It’s smaller, it’s not as nice, and it’s not as much in the area that we want to be in.  That said, it is really neat to check out a different part of the city, and I think it will ultimately give us a more well-rounded view of Vienna.  It’s clean, it’s safe, it’s near a metro and it has everything we really need.  Benjamin is sleeping in the living room, but he’s happy.  Liam has a gigantic portacrib (I think he’s the only one whose sleeping situation improved) and he’s asleep and happy, too.  That’s what’s important.


We’re moving tomorrow . . . and I’m not sure to where

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Our stay in our first temporary apartment is coming to an end.  We have to leave by 10:00 tomorrow morning.  It’s been great.  Super-IKEA-ified, really comfortable, really clean, safe for the kids, and the location is super convenient.  It has served us well for our first 10 days here.  (I can’t believe we’ve been here for 10 days.)

So now, it’s on to the next place.  But until 3 hours ago, we didn’t have a “next place”.  (I’m still not sure we really do.)  This past week, we’ve been mostly focused on finding a place for permanent housing (and we’d been kind of hoping we might get that settled fast enough to not have to find a second temporary apartment) so we let the search for tomorrow’s apartment go until way too late.  We do have a favorite permanent place picked out, but we won’t even see a lease on it until Monday, so we need a place for the next little while.


Red tape

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

I mentioned, in a previous post, that the pace of things is just slower here.  Although Vienna is a bustling city, the vibe is just different than home.  That’s fine.  I actually think that I will come to really appreciate this about our experience here, and it’s something I’m already getting used to.  Dan & I were talking today about going back to look at our two favorite housing options.  My first instinct was, “Email them now so maybe we can go see the places tomorrow!”, but then I realized that no matter how quickly we contact them, we’re not going to go look at those apartments tomorrow.  That just isn’t how it works.  We’ll email them today, talk about it tomorrow and go see them Monday or Tuesday (because very little happens here on the weekends — I guess apartment shopping might turn out to be an exception).


Out in the rain

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

It was a chilly, rainy (on and off) day in Vienna today.  We were out apartment hunting, and we really felt not having a car.  The public transportation here is phenomenal, but there’s just something so easy about having a car.  We’re not “good” at being car-less yet, so there’s a lot to think about and plan for.

Here in Vienna, lots of people don’t have cars.  But they also aren’t living out of 5 suitcases.  They have great little buntings and rain covers for their strollers.  They have umbrellas.  They have boots.  They have raincoats.  We have some of those things (not very many).  It wasn’t a bad day, just a challenge.


Broken English

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

We’ve been here less than a week (one week ago, we were on the plane and on our way here) and I’m already noticing a difference in my ability to communicate.  Obviously, I’m in a country where I don’t speak the native language, so I’m stifled in my ability to communicate in German.  That’ll be true until my vocabulary extends beyond the half-dozen words I know (which are almost all for kinds of food).  But I’m shocked to find that it’s effected my ability to talk to people in English, too.  My English is broken.  I’m sure it’s not irreparable, but I’m definitely having trouble using it.


A grande soy chai is still a grande soy chai

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Today was probably our busiest day so far:  we looked at two apartment possibilities in different parts of town, Dan went by his new work to get some of the paperwork started and out of the way, we went shopping for non-food grocery items (which here you don’t buy at the grocery store), we went to the bakery (one of my new favorite places) for a loaf of bread and we had the cleaning lady come by.  And that was all before dinner, and in addition to the normal activity of life in a new place with two little ones.  Whew!