29 September 2008

Naschmarkt (weekly shopping)

Today we went back to the Naschmarkt to do our produce and meat shopping for the week. We also got some Asian food supplies because there is an awesome Asian food store that has twenty different kinds of soy sauce. Nice.


There are dozens of stands, so you have to walk down the row and compare all the prices. Some are really similar, but every once in awhile you get to a stand that has cheaper prices. And sometimes they play games with the weighing, negating any savings that you thought you got.



They sell fresh ground spices in bags. I think this is one of the only things that is actually cheaper than back home. Unfortunately the names are not the same, so it took the pocket dictionary, lots of questions, and even more smelling of bags to figure out what to buy. We got some cumin, ground fennel, ground rosemary (I've never seen that in the states... usually it is pine needle looking things), cinnamon, dried onions, red pepper flakes, an Italian seasoning mix, a pasta seasoning mix, chili powder, ground coriander... and bay leaves. Yum. Cooking should be a little more interesting now. It smells nice when walking around the market with the spices and fresh fruits, and then every now and again you walk past the fish cart and the nice smell is interrupted...
Chris paying for the spices. There are a lot of kinds of olives for sale, and the vendors are always handing out free samples. Cool except that Chris doesn't like olives... and I like it better when they give out the dried fruit samples. Chris tried a wasabi nut the other day. A little bit of sweet followed by kick-in-the-teeth spicy.
Here is the butcher that we buy some of our meat from. The ground beef is 2-3 euros a pound (oops, a kilo... not a pound) cheaper than the grocery store.
No ramen noodles for us... that is 3.30 Euros, which is like $5 for a bag of ramen noodles. Maybe they taste better than your average 10 cent bag in the states. So if you're looking to get rich, move to Europe with a container load of ramen noodles!

For lunch, Chris wisely selected a kabob stand. They have meat on huge skewers that they cut off and put on flatbread. It was so awesome. Even Ollie got excited about it.

After shopping at the Naschmarkt, we asked this guy for directions to the beach.


And for all of you Narnia fans out there who have always wondered what Turkish Delight is, I got to try some today! It comes in different varieties. Very interesting stuff. It's like a gelatin fruit-honey mixture covered in sugar, and this one had coconut. And for kicks, here is a link to website that has a recipe. I know you all want to try this one!

http://www.countrymom.com/sweets/turkish-delight.html

Gute Nacht!

Check out our picture gallery for more pictures of our European adventures as well as hiking trips in Utah and family photos.

Karlsplatz

Today we went over to Karlsplatz, which is a church that is now a museum. It was built in the 1700's, and is very beautiful. There is also a nice park there where Elora got to go on the teeter-totter and swings. Then we headed over to this fountain around the corner, which Chris thinks is devoted to the Soviet Union, but we are not sure because everything was in Russian...

Elora liked to run up to the fountain and get the mist on her face. Then she would run away yelling, "I got a yittle (little) bit wet!"

Here is a better view of the pretty fountain. Not sure what the building in the background is, but it looks nice...

Here is Chris strolling down the street, admiring the architecture. This is a really beautiful section of Vienna. Would love to live here, but I don't think we could afford this district!
Elora is staring at the water. I wonder what she is thinking about?
This is the fountain again with the theorized Soviet monument in the background. We should probably do a little research and figure out what this monument is for before publishing our ignorant assumptions... Chris says his assumption is not ignorant, it is a well-founded educated guess. (edit: After some research Christ confirms. Although the fountain was built in the 1870s, the monument behind it was built in 1945 to commerate the Russian liberation of 1945. Kinda strange way to look at what the Russians did in the aftermath of WW2 as liberating, but oh well).
Ollie makes an appearance after taking a little nap in the stroller. He was fascinated by the fountain.
Elora's new hobby is "climbing" trees. She doesn't do much climbing, we just stick her in the tree and she sits there, but she thinks it is really exciting.
Here is the teeter totter... A little bit upgraded from Glendale's, but lacking in country charm. It also doesn't go quite as high. Sigh.
Elora found some nice sticks at the park today, which she used to drum on everything. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl...
This is the church/museum at Karlsplatz.
Elora was really excited about the angel statues. She actually gets excited about all statues she sees. I'm not really sure why, but it is very sweet to hear her ask to go see the statues.



Check out our picture gallery for more pictures of our European adventures as well as hiking trips in Utah and family photos.

Around the House (Flat)

Oliver has been refusing to go to sleep at night, so last night he sat next to his Nana while she read a book. He kept trying to grab her book from her, I think he wanted her to talk with him. I was trying to get a picture of him grabbing her book, but he was being a little ham and kept giggling at me when I pulled out the camera.


Here is Elora's new dress that I made for her before we came over here. She loves dinosaurs, so when I saw this fabric I bought it, and then it sat around for about 6 months. She saw it one day and said, "Mommy, make dinosaur dress!" How could I resist a request like that? She wore it to church. Our ward here has about 25 families and 18 different nationalities. It was a pretty interesting experience. It is an international ward, so everyone speaks English, and a lot of the people work for embassies and things like that.


Check out our picture gallery for more pictures of our European adventures as well as hiking trips in Utah and family photos.

28 September 2008

Sunday

Today we made the trek to church. It takes about 45 minutes to get there, but we got to see some really beautiful architecture when we got off the train and wandered around looking for the bus stop. We are not really bad with directions, but when you have a stroller you have to take the elevator instead of the stairs, and for some reason there are never as many signs telling you which way to go when you get off the elevator... I unfortunately did not have my camera again



Check out our picture gallery for more pictures of our European adventures as well as hiking trips in Utah and family photos.

27 September 2008

First Week in Vienna (as a Wien-er)


Here we are! Finally in Vienna after two crazy months of packing and visiting family. Here's what we have been up to:

Day 1: When we got to the airport with our eight large checked bags plus five carry-ons, plus a stroller, two carseats, and two kids, we were met by Wolfgang, the manager of a paintball store in Vienna. He had a nice sign that said "Williams Family" so that we would recognize him, since we have never met. Chris got it all arranged ahead of time to have a paintball team van come to the airport to help ferry all of our luggage. Ah the joys of the paintball industry! After twenty hours of traveling, that was the easiest part! Once we dropped off our luggage, we walked around the gardens of the Schonnbrun (it is a big palace with huge gardens). Naturally we took absolutely no pictures. We will be going back with our camera, it is right down the street from where we are currently staying.

Day 2: We went into city center and saw the St. Stephan's Cathedral. Once again, no camera. Nice. But we did get to see some guys breakdancing in the square, and Elora thought that was fascinating. We also got to see a living statue, but no crusty jugglers...

Day 3: We are trying to find a long term apartment, we are just in a vacation rental right now. We visited our first prospective apartment after emailing people until 2 am the night before. Third floor, no elevator, no trees, no grass, graffiti... dark alleyways, nuff said. However, Elora did run in and say, "This is our new house! I am going to bed!" and she ran into the bedroom. Poor kid, she needs a home. After viewing the apartment, we went to the Schnitzelhaus and got schnitzel sandwiches (very thin fried battered pork on a bun. Yum.)

Day 4: We saw another apartment that had a full bar (brandy or scotch anyone?) in the hallway and a large vodka bottle in the bathroom. Next! Then we went to the naschmarkt, which is a very famous and large open air market with fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, pasta, nuts, cheap (ish) bags and scarves, etc! Very fun. Again, no pictures, but I will be returning weekly to do my fresh produce shopping.

Day 5: We were supposed to see another apartment in the morning, so we got up really early, and for the first time did not get lost on the way there. But no one showed up to show us the apartment. While waiting, we got a call on Chris' new European cell phone (prepaid! I have one too, Chris got me a pink one. Nice.) from a man who wanted to show us a different apartment. So we took a train and Wolfgang picked us up at the station and drove us around in the woods (getting a little nervous here...) and then took us to a nice apartment that we told him we would be interested in renting. It was his grandmother's, hence the really awesome furniture in the pictures...
And here are some pictures of the really important things: Food! This is a restaurant and two bakeries near the apartment we will be renting. There are also two grocery stores really close, and two more still within walking distance. The nice part about living here is that we take the train and walk everywhere, which means I am always hungry, and therefore have absolutely no guilt about eating as much bread and as many pastries as I want!!!


Day 6: Today we went to Ikea! Awesome. It was fun to look at items for our new apartment (and sad to look at the prices...) The Ikea was at SCS which is Shopping City South, which is the biggest mall in Europe. Apparently everyone in Europe was there too, because it was amazingly crowded... Any mall with at least three McDonald's is a big mall. Elora wanted to wear her Yankee's jersey today, and she entertained us all with "Take me out to the ballgame" while we rode the train. Here we are on the journey there:

Tomorrow we will be going to church. After living next door to church for four years, we now have to walk to the train, take the train, then a bus, and then walk the rest of the way. Should be fun. Chris wondered if we just just switch religions to whatever church is closest to our apartment...

Check out our picture gallery for more pictures of our European adventures as well as hiking trips in Utah and family photos.