Monday, June 29, 2009

Little Bit Zipline Fun

We spent the afternoon after a rainy morning testing the limits of a zipline in the park down the street. We still have more work to do.

It could have just been a dream, but I swear I caught Pascal on film looking awful happy climbing up on a police motorcycle.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Panorama from Duerstein Castle

Panorama from the Duerstein Schloss or "Crumbly Castle" looking down over the Donau. The rocks in the foreground look like what you see in many medieval paintings. I always thought the rocks in these paintings were distortions of real rock formations. Guess not.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Video from Duernstein

Walking to the Donau, up to the castle and around Duernstein.

Duernstein on the Donau

A little ausflug today (Sunday). Friends from Sabine's work loaned us a car for this weekend and next. We drove up the Donau about an hour outside of Wien to a little medieval city complete with crumbling castle (Duernstein). The area is also full of vineyards and apricot jams, liquers, etc. We climbed up to the crumbly castle and had lunch on a beautiful patio overlooking the Donau.

Pictures from top to bottom: 1. Farm girl 2. Papa chillin at lunch 3. Mama chillin at lunch 4. Farm girls 5. Tessa self-portrait 6. Dessert as Hauptspeisse 7. Trail to the Castle 8. The Donau below 9. Mary & Baby Jesus blessing the way 10. Nice weed 11. Ani at the lunch terrace 12. The crumbly castle 13. Tessa and Anika 14. Pipi JUmps!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

IKEA and Public Transportation

Went to IKEA and bought a floor lamp, a desk lamp and desperately missing cross-braces for our IVAR shelves. Took two U-Bahn lines, one bus, and 1/2 kilometer of walking. How do you get this stuff home without a car? Tie it up with 6 meters of string and brown paper! IKEA had a table outside the cash registers all setup just for this task - guess I'm not the only one.

Homesick but I found a Gym!

Feeling awful homesick. I didn't think I would feel this way so soon and so hard! It's not a pleasant feeling at all. Very negative.

Today (Saturday) I found a gym at the university where I can do gymnastics! That made me feel better. As soon as I walked down the stairs and smelled that distinctive mixture of chalk and sweat, my spirits lifted. Anika, Tessa and I sat down on some mats and watched the action (mostly university students, ranging from totally unskilled to decent skills). I asked some guy chatting behind me about how Anika and I could find a class/time to workout and he turned out to be an instructor and he invited me to join his class. I followed the class, was told not to bend my arms on my handstand press and I tumbled a little. (Austin: to my surprise, my front flip was actually not that bad) I can't wait to try some giants on the high-bar next weekend.

After that Sabine and Pascal joined us for a tour of Schonbrunn Palace. Very magnificent, huge, beautiful, stunning. Not a bad day in all, with some positive steps toward integration. Whew!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Day Before & Confucius

Here are a few pictures of our new apartment (Magdalenenstrasse 6/Top 8, 1060 Wien). We moved in the few things we've been living with, and tomorrow come the movers with ALL OUR STUFF! I thought I should take a couple of pictures of the apartment while it is empty, to note the change once our things are moved in. We can't wait to start building a home!

I learned something very relevant from a kid's cartoon a couple of days ago. Somehow or another a character was quoting Confucius and his saying that, "to find your home, you must leave your homeland." I don't think that necessarily means your home will be found somewhere else, but more like to be able to truly recognize your home, you must travel away from the familiar - for perspective I suspect. We'll see if it works ;)

Picture description from top to bottom: 1. Ani and Pascal's bedroom 2. Entry Hall with Living-room entrance to right 3. Kitchen 4. View from Living-room 5. Living-room looking into Master bedroom 6. Living-room door to the left, Tessa's door to the right 7. Master bedroom

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Anika and Papa Arrived in Wien

We made it. Good flight. The first week wasn't so great, a bit of cold rain after all that sun. I was a full of negative thoughts, and with the feeling that moving to Wien was a huge mistake. I felt that we left everything behind, but what's to be done now, etc.... But with a little sunshine and a nice walk through the innen stadt I started feeling much better.

Anika is doing really great. We have to adjust to a lot of new things, z.b. walking a lot, getting lost on bus routes, winding through crowds. Basically all those things you don't even notice or think about at home, you need to think about here 'cause everything is new and different. It's a little bit fun, but after a whole day of it, you definitely feel exhausted. Anika is a real trooper and doesn't complain.

We looked at a school for Anika, d.h. Astrid Lingren Schule (pipi langstrumf autor). Anika liked it and I had a nice helpful talk with the Frau Direktorin (principal). Ani is really excited to start school in a week or two.

We also finally got a really nice apartment (Magdalenenstrasse 6/ Top 8). Altbau, big rooms, high ceilings, wooden floors in fish bone pattern, nice large kitchen, good neighborhood. We get the keys 10 June (Wednesday), next week!! We get our sea shipment Friday. Tessa comes the following Monday, 15 June. We'll all get to move in together!!!

The video is from our walk in the Innen Stadt and includes a visit to the Schmetterling Haus. Crazy fountains.

P.S. There are all kinds of foreigners all over the city. You hear a lot of english, and eastern european languages on the street. The eastern europeans are really recognizable because they dress sooooo baaaaad! Cheap fabrics in some kind of disco style. A lot of english is spoken between foreigners of different languages because they hold english in common. I heard an Afrikan looking guy talk to his Austrian girlfriend in english with a whole lot of german words thrown in. I bet we'll end up speaking that way at home too ;)