21 May 2009


Today we leave BA for Vienna, but not until late afternoon/evening. This morning both little girls sleep in until 7:00am, and so do all the adults! LG loves wearing dresses to school so that she and her best friend Ella can dance in their classroom. KF also comes proudly down the steps wearing a skirt and red t-shirt and her normal huge smile. As I take pictures LG says "cheese" and then KF says "cheese." How fun!

Soon KF has the My Little Kitty safety helmet on her head and is outside playing on the terrace and in the dirt with her bucket and shovel. She is a little brown berry--not minutes in the sun and she tans--like her Aunt JE in many ways. The smile rarely leaves her face.

I love hanging around the house with the little girls. Today we drink lots of coffee and open doors and windows to let in the birdsong and breezes. Unfortunately, there are also the sounds of construction as the contractors continue building the newer development between this house and the new highway. The newest construction is very contemporary, but this sub-division and the one closest to the village have the traditional stucco and tiled roofs which I like the best. I remember being surprised at how Mediterranean the homes are when I first visited in 2000.

We will sleep three nights in London at a Small and Elegant Hotels site in South Kensington tonight--the Citadines, which is across from Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. And then, on the last night we will journey to Heathrow and stay at the Ibis hotel from my February 2008 experience.

We plan to go to the theater once or twice and to tour Hampton Palace and maybe journey to Bath. Everywhere in London City there are beautiful buildings and interesting people watching. We hope it is a bit cooler than here, as temps are supposed to hang in the 80s for the next few days. Vienna was quite hot yesterday unless you could find some shade and/or a breeze.

Just before we leave for the airport bus, Marcella visits with her 4-month old baby, Lueza. Marcella and Lucia are the two Slovak young women who were brought to the U.S. by my sister-in-law LFW to participate in her Early Childhood Master's program at the University of New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina arrived during their last semester and Marcella and Lucia ended up living with LFW's family from September to December. Lucia has become a nun, and Marcella is a stay-at-home mom for the time being in Bratislava. LFW's family has enjoyed continuing the relationship with these two lovely young women--visiting them in BA a few years ago.


Our flight to London goes without a hitch, arriving at Terminal 3 just before 8:30pm. The Piccadilly Line Underground is accessible between Terminal 2 and 3, and thanks to CA’s foresight I have enough English money to get us 4£/person tickets. The Citadines Hotel is just down from the Gloucester Road Underground station near Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park, although we first walk in the wrong direction…

Ferdinand checks us in—not the most sociable or congenial desk clerk, but we get our keys. JL has never experienced having to put your room key in to operate the lights. The suite is modest, but nice with a small kitchenette separate from the bedroom/sitting room—just the right size for two travelers here for a short stay.

JL likes tours, so I immediately load up on the brochures. We have been talking about going to Bath, and find a tour that will take us there and to Windsor Castle and Stonehenge. We open the window for fresh air and fall asleep reading. A long day that began in Chorvotsky Grob, continued in Bratislava and Vienna, and ended in London City. The adventure continues.

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