09 April 2011


A gorgeous day in Vienna. LG and I are up and wide awake at 6:30am, and can't believe it when we knock on 721--they're all still asleep! MK, DM, KF, and NJ! Yep! Still asleep. Seems they had a bit of a rough night while LG and I snoozed away. As promised LG did turn like the hands on a clock--360 degrees. Not always clockwise. She keeps it interesting. I don't know which direction her lanky arms and legs will swing next. Still, we sleep well. And, there's the Jacobs' 3-in-one (cream, sweetner, and espresso) version of Starbucks Via readily available next to the stainless steel electric kettle, so I get caffeinated quickly, which makes a huge difference.

By 7:30am, we're all at breakfast in the hotel restaurant. So many great choices--broiled tomatoes, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, oven-roasted potato wedges, croissants, Kaiser rolls,sweet breads, smoked salmon, cheeses, cold meats, egg salad and meat spreads, cereal,waffles... Top-notch selection. Something for everyone. And, an automatic cappuccino, latte, espresso, hot chocolate, mocha machine that's self-serve.

We gather our layers of clothing, the stroller (with baby Noel strapped in!), cameras, and cash, then head to the Naschmarkt. This is just the second time MK has been here--she's always stayed home with a baby! First baby KF and then baby NJ. It's very windy, but the sun is shining brightly. It's not even crowded when we arrive! The flowers are beautiful in this bright sunlight. Before long we stop to buy sunglasses for KF and LG. KF is our sensitive little girl and she NEEDS sunglasses--truly.

We buy just some fruit and some vividly colored Easter eggs; some cheese-stuffed olives, good Middle Eastern bread. Usually we carry lots of fresh food back to Chorvatsky Grob, but since we will be in a hotel again tonight we'll just have to be satisfied with a visual feast.

By 11:30am we're on the U-Bahn again and on our way to Schonbrunn Palace to visit the Children's Museum, the Easter Market, and the beautiful gardens. This is my first visit, and I love it. As I've said in the past, Vienna is like a small Paris--I want to sit on one of these benches and soak up the Spring sunshine. DM takes LG and KF to the labyrinth/maze and then to the playground while MK and I play with Noel and sit on a bench. A few minutes of quiet.

Afterwards, we walk through the Easter market, buy some sweet bread for the little girls to snack on, and stroll toward the U-Bahn.

Using the U-Bahn has been such a great idea and so efficient this visit. The little girls love everything about the trains, and they ride free while the adults can ride all weekend for 10 Euros each. The funny thing is that we haven't been asked to prove we have tickets even once and we've been on many, many trains so far.

About 2:30,I get some big girl time alone--DM and MK take the girls for a rest time to the hotel while I head to the
Ringstrassen Gallerien and have a quiet lunch at the Illy Caffetteria--grilled chicken with rocket greens, vinaigrette, tomatoes and cheese. The salad comes with a crunchy Kaiser roll. I sit on the terrace sipping my roter spritzer, relaxin,g and quietly people watching for over an hour. Later I shop a bit.

I've already walked Stephansplatz plenty this trip, but I'm on a mission to buy LG and KF some socks as MK forgot (she rarely forgets anything!) to pack socks for Kika.

The rest of my alone time is spent scouring the grocery stores for specialty items. I buy some tarragon in a tube, apricot and wild cherry jam, cappuccino chocolates, a fresh basil plant and an electric hand mixer for MK. Also, a very cute Billa bag--bright yellow with red cherries.

It's still very windy in Messe-Vienna (I've researched the name of this area--I believe it began about the same time as the Prater amusement park. They created this area for the exhibition and later businesses continued to locate here. It's now a corporate center with hotels, housing, and restaurants.) as I return to the hotel. I have just 45 minutes before we take the U-Bahn2 to Praterstern for the 1/2 block walk to Indisches Restaurant Zum Inder at PraterstrauBe 57.

We order appetizers of fried onion rings and vegetable & beef Samosas. For our entrees,
We order curry for the adults; lentil soup and Naan bread for the three little girls. The servings are modest, but we have plenty for everyone.

After dinner I take all three little girls outside on the sidewalk while DM and MK wait for the check. The two older girls take the strings of Baby Noel's warm red bunting and run in front of the stroller like they're pulling her on a sleigh. We all giggle and laugh. Baby Noel is delighted and this grandma runs behind the stroller like she's younger than reality. A good time is had by all, and I don't die!

Remember me mentioning that I'll have a quiet room of my own? Actually (to use one of LG's favorite words) the reality of one king-sized bed in each room means LG sleeps with Marielle... And, tonight MK and DM put Noel to bed in their room, and everyone hangs out in my room until she is sleeping. This makes sense... While LG and KF watch a video on the iPad, I retire to the bathroom for shower, shampoo, and solitude (for just a few minutes).

We are all having a very good time in Vienna and we are exploring new neighborhoods this trip. Staying for two nights has made our visit so worthwhile and relaxing. We will leave with great memories and many ideas for future visits.

Lights out in Room 721 at 9:00pm and lights out in Room 720 shortly after.

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