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.