Archive for October, 2011

Hot chocolate at Michaelerplatz

Friday, October 21st, 2011

The last few nights at our house have been rough.  Liam is teething again, and Benjamin was having strange (and apparently unpleasant) dreams about Elmo and Grover being at our house, which had something to do with us having to move.  So, we were ALL up a lot the last few nights.  I managed to sleep in a little bit this morning (thank you Dan) but it was still one of those weird days where I can’t quite seem to get anything to happen the way that I want it to and I somehow make it to 4:30 in the afternoon without having done any of the things I intended to get done.


Der Zahnarzt

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

I haven’t been to the dentist since January.  I’m a bit of a nut about oral hygene, and my teeth were starting to feel icky, so I just couldn’t leave it any longer — it was starting to get to me.  So I found a dentist, and today, I went.


Mommy, can you fix my blankets?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

I might still be up, or it might be the middle of the night, or almost the morning.  But, I hear the cry of “Mommy!  Mommy?!” and off I go.  I stumble in the darkness, past (or over, or through) toys, bikes, train tracks and books.  Benjamin needs me.


Stuck in an elevator

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

I was having a grumpy day today.  No particular reason — I’d been feeling lethargic all day, even though I have a long list of things to do, and that combination wasn’t putting me in a good mood.  Then, this afternoon, Liam refused to take a nap, meaning I got to spend 2 hours trying to keep him quiet enough to let Benjamin nap — not an easy task, since he seems to want to turn every toy in the house into a percussion instrument of some kind, and he’s also in a major phase of not wanting to be restrained — kicking, flailing, throwing his head around, scratching.  A charming way to spend a few hours on a day when I already was in an unpleasant mood.


1 degree

Monday, October 17th, 2011

It’s cold in Vienna, already.  We’ve already hit the freezing mark (not officially yet – officially we’ve gotten down to 1, apparently, but there was ice on the sidewalk when we left for the zoo yesterday morning) and the warmest it’s gotten in the past several days is about 12 degrees (low 50s).  This week is forecast to be more of the same, with lots of nights nearly hitting the freezing mark and several days of high temperatures in the single digits.

I absolutely love the onset of colder weather.  I’d much prefer to have a slightly chilly October, rather than a warm one — I much rather be bundled up in scarves, hats and sweaters than to be wearing shorts while pumpkin picking.  This is my kind of October.

I do have to admit, though, that as much as I like the chill in the air, the smell of woodsmoke and the sparkle of frost, it puts me more in mind of November or December than October.  (I’ve already caught myself singing Christmas Carols with the kids a few times!)  And, despite my careful research into relative temperatures, I’m a bit worried about what December, January and February have in store for us.

So far, though, our apartment is warm, I can find coffee and hot chestnuts on the street corners, and (most of) our sweaters and cold-weather clothing safely arrived from home.  If I could just find someplace that sells hot cider, I’d be all set.

An adventurous weekend

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

The passing of our six month milestone here, along with the rapid onset of cooler temperatures and earlier sunsets have really kicked me into gear in terms of getting out and doing the things we want to do around Vienna.  The days are short (and getting shorter), cold (and getting colder) and numbered, so we must get out and see what there is to see.


The pitter patter of little feet

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

It finally happened.  Dan & I were lying in bed this morning (at 7:30!) and we heard it – little footfalls running through the apartment.  Benjamin was on the loose, and neither one of us had yet gotten up.  We switched his bed from a crib to a toddler bed last weekend, and it only took him a week to figure out he can actually get in and out without supervision.


Deer crossing

Friday, October 14th, 2011

One of the many things I love about living in Vienna is the food.  One of the many things I love about the food is its seasonality.  When we first arrived, it was Spargl (asparagus) season.  You could hardly order food in a restaurant without somehow getting asparagus involved:  it was on the pizza, in the soups, in the risotto, in the bread, on the side.  It was everywhere.  The same has been true for the other seasons we’ve gone through:  strawberry, chanterelle, blueberry, apple.  It’s great — for a few weeks, every restaurant incorporates whatever is in season, and then, just as you’re getting tired of having asparagus for every meal, the dishes change and you won’t be able to get them again until the next time that season comes around.  I’m really enjoying it — not only is the food fantastic, fresh and flavorful, but it’s making me more aware of the season.

We’re in the best food season so far right now.  It’s fall and harvest time, and several great things are in season at the same time:  pumpkins, chestnuts and game.  We went out to dinner tonight and shared a dinner that included venison, wild boar, glazed chestnuts and baked sweet potato (the first time I’ve even seen that particular vegetable on any menu here).  This particular restaurant gets extra points for advertising their “wild game” specials by erecting actual “deer crossing” road signs on the sidewalk by the front door.

Our dinner was excellent.  But, beyond that, I am quite enjoying the celebration of the autumn and the feel of the season.  I love this time of year, and there is so much to appreciate about it.  All I have to do is find a place that sells hot cider and I’ll be all set.

Discovering Vienna

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

As we explore Vienna, I often talk about “discovering” something — a restaurant, a shop, a favorite spot, or a new way to do something.  Yet, my “discoveries” are a little like Columbus discovering America . . . there were aleady people LIVING in America when he “found” it.  (Although, I think I’m going to start declaring locations around Europe, as I visit them, in the name of the Calle clan.)


Happy place

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

This evening, I went out for my usual “hour off” at Starbucks — just me, a book, and a cappucino with whipped cream.  (Another thing I know I will miss when I go back to the States — they don’t sweeten their whipped cream here, which I think is AWESOME.)

As much as I deeply, truly love my children, having an hour where I don’t have to be “on” is great.  It really isn’t so much about having a break from changing diapers or kissing boo boos, it’s more that I’m not “in charge”, I’m not responsible for anyone or anything for a little while.  My brain can rest.  I can put myself first for a few blissful minutes, without having to put anyone else second.  It’s really nice.

This evening, walking back, it was chilly and raining . . . which I love.  I decided, on my walk back in the rain, that this is my third favorite kind of weather (after 65 degrees and sunny, and then any kind of snow).  I think I may actually be another species, because I don’t think very many human beings LOVE cold and wet weather.  All the people I passed on the street were bundled up and under umbrellas, hurrying to their destinations, while I grinned and barely kept myself from skipping down the sidewalk.

Now, after dinner and baths and stories, the kids are sleeping.  I’m sitting and listening to Miles Davis.  Today was a very good day.