Monday, September 3, 2007

Vienna Waits for Me

After 2 weeks traveling around China and Tibet, we made our way to Vienna, Austria for three nights. It is a spectacular city full of so much beauty and history. Unfortunately we were so jet lagged (passing out at 5 pm and waking at 3 am to start the day) that we slept through most of it.

Anna had the toughest transition from the 10 hour flight. While waiting in the airport for our van to arrive her head spun around and she turned into the “spitting, snarling travel beast” that we all harbor somewhere deep inside. We all just looked at her in astonishment. “Who is this child? Is she having a seizure? Why isn’t her mother doing something?” The next morning, however, she didn’t remember a thing about the whole incident. Cool. I always have to have drunk a whole bottle of wine to make that claim.

We stayed at a spectacular hotel – Alstadt Vienna (thanks Kellie!) very near the heart of the museum district, and took a handsome cab (horse and carriage) ride to get the hour-long-short-and-sweet tour. “Beethoven lived here….Mozart performed his first concert at six years old here…Freud practiced here” type - deal.

Taking a tour, even just a short one is really a good way to get the lay of the land when you are in a new city – especially with kids. It cuts down on the first few hours spent looking at a map and wandering around lost while people whine at you.

We passed by a “farmer’s market” and later went there for lunch. It turned out to be a small wine and beer festival complete with heaping plates of spicy fennel potatoes, sausages, and diced fried pork. Yum. But it was also our first experience with EURO vs. RMB. vs.US Dollar. US $5 for a coke. Ouch.

Mike and I spent an afternoon making a few new friends in a small Viennese wine bar. It was my first taste of the grape in a month!

Although we didn’t visit any museums, we did manage to get the kids to a performance by the Vienna Symphony and Opera Company. This was given at the Royal Palace in the Ballroom. It was lovely and the kids really seemed to enjoy it. They sat still, paid attention, and even bobbed their heads from time to time.

I, however, was a different story. As the symphony was in full glory, and the tenor in his beautiful tux was belting out a piece from “The Marriage of Figaro”, I couldn’t help but picture the Bugs Bunny cartoon, and my brother Jimmy’s rendition of “I Kiwwweddd Da Waaabbbiiiitttt”. I giggled through the whole thing and embarrassed my family.
Of course the next day I claimed not to remember a thing. Must have been the jet lag...or the wine bar.


Blogger Kellie said...

Happy to know you loved the Alstadt Hotel. It's a great little find, cool little neighborhood in the middle of a big beautiful city. Maybe you'll need to make a jet-lag-free trip back there someday.
Have a great time in Greece! See you soon...

September 3, 2007 at 4:28 PM  
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