Archive for the ‘Adventure in Vienna’ Category

Very Vienna

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

As we did yesterday, we decided to change our plans when we got up this morning.  Again, we had intended to visit Schonbrunn, but the forecast was for clouds (as it turns out, we’ve had sunshine almost all day) and we were worn out from our late tour around the city, so we decided to put Schonbrunn off until Saturday.  That left us, for the second day in a row, without any major or concrete plans.  And, for the second day in a row, our day didn’t suffer for the lack of itinerary at all.


Evening tour

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Yesterday was a big day of sightseeing.  I actually didn’t realize how much we had accomplished yesterday until I sat down last night to go through all the pictures I had taken throughout the day.  We saw and did a lot — we hit all of the major 1st district spots in one day, with two kids it tow.  Impressive.

But it meant that today we were all worn out.  We had designs on taking the Strassenbahn out to Schonbrunn to see the Easter market and the palace, but there was no way that was happening.  We *could* have done it, but we lacked the motivation.  So, instead, we went to the park.  We took the boys to the Rathauspark playground and let them swing, slide and play in the sand.  They got a chance to run around and stretch their legs and just do kid stuff, without taking too much out of the grown ups, which was perfect.

This evening, though, we were feeling up for a little more adventure and took my neighbor up on her offer of a walking tour of the oldest parts of Vienna.  She grew up here, attended school here, and is raising a family here, so she has a lot of information and a neat perspective on the city.  We didn’t start our tour until after dinner, and we weren’t planning on taking the boys (Dan was going to stay home and put them to bed while Mina and I went on the tour) but after our late and enthusiastic trip to the park, their naps were late and long.  Since they had only woken up a little while before dinner, we opted to take them with us instead.


Karnickel carnage

Monday, March 26th, 2012

We had a lovely, busy and very fun day showing Mina around Vienna.  We took in all the major sights of the 1st district — we saw Michaelerplatz, the Hofburg, stopped at my favorite Starbucks for a melange, walked along the Graben, visited Stephansdom, (went home, took a nap), saw the Rathaus and walked around the Volksgarten.  Then, as a perfect finish to a very thoroughly Viennese day, we had dinner at Cafe Central.


Easter Markets

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

The Easter Markets opened in Vienna this weekend.  I’m really excited about it – not only are they full of fun things to see, enjoy and eat, but they’re a very strong reminder of the best parts of our earliest time as residents of Vienna.  Not first when we arrived, but just as we were getting familiar and comfortable with the city, the markets were being set up, and we enjoyed some of our first leisurely weekends exploring them.


Mina’s Big Adventure

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Mina is on her way!  Tomorrow morning, I will drag myself out of bed (we do the Daylight Saving Time switch tonight), to the train station and then to the airport to meet her.  If Benjamin is up, he’ll come with me (he really, really wants to, but I can’t imagine that it’s good for anyone for me to actually wake him up to take him, so he’ll only come if he’s already up).  I absolutely cannot wait and desperately hope I don’t oversleep (because these are the things that stress me out).

Right now, my sister is on a plane, getting ready to take off to fly to see us.  It’s her first trip to Europe, her first international trip at all, and she’s doing it on her own.  I think she’s a little nervous.  I understand.  I did the same trip, also my first trip to Europe, also alone, two years ago.  (I was coming to visit Dan on a business trip to see if I could imagine us moving our family to Vienna, which, evidently, I could.)  I also know that she’s like me (more than a little) and the logistical details of such a trip are bound to cause her some anxiety.  I remember being worried about all of the steps along the way — negotiating passport control, finding baggage claim, finding my bag, getting through Customs, finding and meeting Dan.  Travelling alone is intimidating enough — more so when it’s not something you’ve done before and a million times more when you’re trying to do it in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language.

She’ll be fine.  But still, I’ll feel better when she’s here, and I can see her and hug her and talk to her IN PERSON.  I hope B is up and gets to come to the airport to meet Mina.  The boys can’t wait to see her and I know she can’t wait to see us.  I can’t wait to show her our place and Vienna and all the great things we’ve found about living here.  It’s Mina’s Big Adventure, and it starts now!

Angry Birds

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

So lately, we’ve been doing a lot better about watching less tv at our house.  February was one big, long, tv-watching fest here — we were all taking turns being sick, and nothing keeps the kids quieter (so that they can rest, or so I can) than a few hours of Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi or Olivia.  But, since we’ve all been feeling better, the days have been getting longer and the weather is warmer, I’m trying to cut back.

I wish I could say that we were filling that time entirely with trips to the park or the zoo, art projects or story time.  We do all those things, certainly, and they’ve all taken some of the space in our day that was recently occupied with tv.  But we’ve also been filling some of that time with video games — and I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than tv.


Only 11 days

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

There are just some things that I love about this country — there are some things that they really do right here.  (Don’t worry, there are still plenty of things I love about home too, I’m still proud to be an American and whatnot.)  But seriously, these people know how to take a vacation.

I was at Starbucks yesterday evening, and I was chatting with the barista.  She’s about my age, and has a little girl, so we have a fair bit in common.  She was asking how I was doing, since she hadn’t seen me in a while — but that was mostly because she’s been on vacation.  “Where did you go?”, I asked, and she replied, “Oh, just at home.  It was only 11 days, but it was a great holiday.”

Only 11 days.


Tough questions

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

So, in trying to explain to Benjamin about St. Patrick’s Day, I may have accidentally traumatized and/or warped him permanently.  It went like this:

B:  What is St. Patrick’s Day?

me:  Well, it’s a day where we celebrate everything Irish, which means everything from Ireland, which is a country, like Austria.  Your great-grandmother was from Ireland.

B:  Silly Mommy!  I don’t have a great-grandmother!

me:  (Hmm.)  Well, no, that’s true, you don’t now, but she was my grandma and she was your grandma’s mom.

B:  Where is she?

me:  (Oops)  Well, honey, she died a few years ago.

B:  What’s “died”?


First day of spring

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Wait, how did that happen?  While we were all sleeping last night, it turned into spring.  It actually snuck up on me and completely surprised me — I had it in the back of my head that spring would be starting sometime this week (I had the vague notion that by the time my sister arrived here on Sunday it would be here) but I didn’t realize that today was the day until it had already happened.  It’s wonderful and welcome news, and it means we survived our first Austrian winter without too much trouble.


Pumping on the swing

Monday, March 19th, 2012

I don’t know if we’ll get to keep it, but for the time being at least, it feels like Spring has arrived in Vienna.  The days are getting longer, and since last Thursday, the temperatures have been warm and it’s been sunny most of the time.  It’s wonderful, and I’ve been making a point of getting the boys outside to play after a long winter of lots of indoor playtime.