Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Hate Boring Titles

"Come With Me To Austria..."


What am I, a Tourist Site?


So, let me apologize for my lapse in judgement...

Now let's move on with our regularly scheduled post.

It's Sunday now.

Easter Sunday.

It was a so sweet to wake up to a breakfast table decorated with bunnies, chocolate eggs and flowers that brought out the fun spring feeling of Easter.

We got ready for our venture to go see the Lipizzaner Stallions at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was so excited to be able to see it in real life an not just on YouTube or a PBS Documentary!

Of course I was EXCITED about everything we did. Seriously, I was so happy to see and witness everything that we did. I can hardly contain my excitement as I write about it. I don't think I can fully express what a blessing and what a beautiful experience this trip was. It was like a dream come true. Really. A dream.

We didn't have to wait in line too long, but we did have to stand in our places for a little while so that we could have a fairly decent spot. It was really funny to watch this Italian Family try to get seats they hadn't paid for and then try to squeeze there way into spaces so others who paid more for seating couldn't see around them. It made for some entertainment as we waited for the actual show to start.

The lights were low and there was a blue hue to the spot lights that made for a majestic atmosphere. That was the only thing we could take pictures of. I didn't bring my camera that day because I knew that pictures of the horses would not be an option, and lugging my camera around was quite a chore.

So we settled for the shots we could get in the darkened hall with our iPhones:

It was so wonderful to feel the ambience of the Spanish Riding School. So old. Witness to so many memories and triumphs. I wish I could have taken pictures of the show. If you want to, at least, see what it is then you can watch the short clip for YouTube below.

After standing for the show for one and a half hours we decided to rest for a bit just outside the Riding School.

We then went and got some lunch on the street from one of the food vendors—which added to our "local" experience. Then Marc and I wanted to give ice cream in Austria a try. We were not disappointed. In fact that began our daily intake of some kind of ice cream each day for the rest of the trip. I can now say I have tried ice-cream in 4 different countries... I know, I'm cool like that...

We decided to take a walk down to the canal where all the graffiti art is. It's kind of like a "legal" spot for people to out their "artwork." I loved it. It was so cool. There were so many beautiful pieces. So much color, personality, life and stories. I am amazed at the talent that goes into theses murals.

Enjoy the photos.

 Everything was covered in graffiti and I just had to get a pic of us in the graffiti tube!

I'm telling you though, it was killing me that I had no sidewalk chalk. I really wanted to add my little bit to the art just to say I did. Next time I go to Europe, remind me to bring my sidewalk chalk... And yes, I looked, I never saw any. Not even at the kids' stores...

Oh well, I think I left my impression on people.

I think many were confused at my complete an utter admiration and excitement of every tiny little thing... tee hee!

We sat on a bench there by the canal for quite a while just talking, people watching and just trying to rest up a bit from all our previous times of walking and walking and walking. After we had had enough of that we decided to walk back to the City Center to get a good look at that again and enjoy the grounds a bit.

On the way there we took an underground walkway. It was like a subway station for pedestrians. It was pretty cool... at least I thought until I decided to use the bathroom...

I try to use the potty whenever there is a chance so that I am never in a rush and can't get to one if I wait too long... I know, but potty breaks just get funnier as we advance into our vacation. Anyway, I saw that there were a couple of women's bathrooms so I pulled at the first door. It didn't want to open for me so I went to the next one. It opened easily and I walk in.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a janitor lady who looked an awful lot like a man. Before I could open the stall door "she" approached me and I realized it was a man.


A man?

Am I in the right bathroom?

Did I just walk into the men's bathroom?

Then I saw a women walk past to the sink area...


I'm in the women's bathroom.

The man startled me back to reality by talking to me in thick German again and I think after he saw the complete bewilderment on my face he finally said, "You speak English?"

"Yes," still with, I am sure, a questioning look on my face.

"You must pay to use the lavatory," he sternly announced.

"Oh," I said.

So I turned around and left.

I didn't need to pee that bad.

And I didn't know if I was supposed to hand the money to him or if it was like a vending machine and I had so much time behind the stall door before I was ejected out.

I also have now idea why there was a man in the women's bathroom telling foreigners they have to pay to pee.


Pay to pee.

OK, people.

I had been thoroughly impressed up until now...

I'm sorry. I don't want to pay to pee. I'll just wait.

Have they started this in the U.S. and I just don't know about it?

Anyway, we all had a good chuckle about the man in the women's restroom and we proceeded on up the stairs to the street entering to the City Center. We sat there and watched people, trying to guess their nationality. I tried to start finding celebrity mismatch look-a-likes. For instance I saw a woman who was the perfect cross between Judi Dench and Kevin Bacon... yep. She exists. Looks a little like this...

Hee hee hee heh heh ha!

We eventually ended up back at Achim and Maria's place and we relaxed a bit and that is when we were able to SKYPE with the kids to see how their Easter was going.

I was so happy for them being able to spend Easter with their Aunt Jessie and Uncle Joel. They are their second set of parents.

Jessie said they did so well and that it wasn't as hard as it had been in the past.

Jessie also spoiled my kids with some Easter things so they could have some things like her kids did.

So sweet.

Sister was so happy to have a twinned shirt with LittleB.

Baby was still enjoying Little B's horsey so much that she had to carry it around with her new stuffed bunny rabbit. (Look at her face. She cracks me up.)

This is while they went on a little treasure hunt. So fun.

This image was actually sent to me the day before but I forgot to post it yesterday. Baby had found these 2 spots on Jessie and Joel's driveway that had been left over from some fireworks and she made a face out of it. She called it "happy."

I also ran across some pics that LittleB and Sister took with their iPods while at Jessie's house. I wanted you to see a little of their side of things when I could so it was fun to find these today:

Sister had MANY more pictures of this golden egg, but I thought it would suffice to show you two. I just got a kick out of her reflection in them.

It was so fun to talk to the kids and see how happy they were. I am so blessed to have family that love my kids as much as I do.

After I came down a bit from the extreme high of talking to and seeing my kids we sat around on the couches a bit more.

See those bright pink toes? Ya, those are evidence of my first ever pedicure!
My friend, Tanya, treated me before our trip! Thanks Tanya! When I wore my flip flops on a walk one night,
Marc was able to spot me because he could see my toes in the dark. Ha!

 Maria and Achim decided to go for a run before we started dinner and Marc and I wanted to get more photos of the village they lived in, so he walked us a ways down the cobblestone streets and we parted ways.

Marc and I were alone. He was using my camera and I was teaching him a few things about photography and he was really having a good time.

He got some GREAT shots.

But I don't have any of them...

Ya, I think I may have deleted them when I transferred them to my external hard drive. I am going to keep looking. I'm hoping maybe I left some on Achim's computer.

So instead of crying about it (because I already stressed over it for an hour today, frantically searching) I am going to post the pictures we took with our iPhones on that cute, romantic walk of ours.

I'm sure you can imagine the great pictures we got with my nice camera... imagination...

Maria returned from her run early and saw us as she was driving home so we rode with her instead of walking back. It looked like it was threatening rain so we figures, "better dry that soggy."

We had raclette for dinner. Raclette is a Swiss dish. We had the privilege of having it once at our friend Irina's house and we had brought it up in talking with Maria and Achim and it was decided that that would be one of our meals. This is the reason we went to by cheese the day before.

Raclette is melted cheese and you pour it over vegetables or fruit or whatever. This time we just had potatoes and bread. It was fantastic, and I honestly don't think I have ever eaten that much cheese in one sitting in my entire life! Wow! And the cheese... oh the cheese... it was delish!

After dinner, talking, laughing and getting to know each other a little better we all began to retire to bed. Before getting right to that point, though, we were able to SKYPE with our friend and next door neighbor, Amanda and her family. It was fun to see and talk to them too. It was also nice to hear from them how our kids have been doing so well under Lindsey's care. (Don't worry guys, she wasn't alone. I made sure to have 3 other people scheduled to come in to work alongside Lindsey for the kids.

We are so blessed. My cup overfloweth.

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