Sunday, August 02, 2009

Memoirs of our Austrian Travels...

My travels with Brian have taken us all over the world, from volcanos in Costa Rica to the Colesium in Rome. I now hold my breath a little in excited anticipation between one fantastic excursion and the next. Of course, before the babies, trips were longer and more often. But the fact that we get to go at all, with two small children at home, is a blessing from God.
To a girl who dreamt of running off after college and backpacking across Europe (my one regret in life). . . just the idea of a big, juicy trip is exciting.
But actually going...magical.
Brian and I were both glad that I purchased the airport neck pillows for the trip. You've seen them. I always thought they were a little cheezy. Um. They AREN'T. (Except maybe the fact that they were giraffe print) They helped us get 4 or 5 hours of sleep on the ride there. The rest of our awake time on the plane, I think we spent eating.
Thirty-five hours later, ok only 9 hours, (but it seemed more...9-month old baby across the aisle) I finally got to see the wonderland of Vienna for real with my sweetie.
We arrived in the unairconditioned airport collected our bags and were soon whisked away to the Hilton. So maybe the people weren't as warm as the airport, but Vienna made up for it in charm and scenic landscapes.
Although we lost a night of sleep, we forced ourselves to stay awake once we arrived, so the jet lag wouldn't be as bad.
For me, who is used to Tarzan-style swinging through the jungle of our life with a girl strapped to each hip, a vacation wasn't even on my richter scale. I didn't even emotionally prepare or begin to really imagine what it would be like. Just focused on packing bags and getting the girls ready for the 8-day seperation. Everything we did in Europe was relaxed and made me feel rejuvinated. We saw archetecture, gorgeous people, huge statues, 1000 room castles, exquisite art, head turning fashions; we walked miles, rode subways, took trains, called cabs and rode buses.

Each morning, the hotel had a spread...and yes there were donuts. One day we climbed the 343 corkscrew winding steps to the top of the south tower of St Stephan's Cathedral for an idyllic view of Vienna; the next we took a 3-hour train across open fields of sunflowers to Budapest.

Hand in hand, we walked picturesque city streets, stopped for lunch whenever we wished, smelled the cuisine wafting out of restaurants and giggled as we people watched! Together we visited a Viennese winery with it's traditional Austrian food and wine served in carafes. We took a lunch cruise on the Danube River and saw naked people splashing at the shore; we visited an enormous 300 year-old monestary with huge gardens and a 12 room library; and shopped the streets of Krems, the quaintest town I've ever seen.The food was outstanding. I could have bathed in the olive oil and eaten pesto out of a cup like ice cream.
Brian, explaining the vacation to Carlisle and Evelyn before we left sounded like this:

Bri: ' You know how Daddy loves to take Mommy on dates?'
Carlisle: ' Yes.'

Bri: ' Well, Daddy is taking Mommy on a week long date.'
Carlisle: ' Why?'

Bri: ' Because I love her.'
Carlisle: ' Oh.'

Of course, despite all of the amazing sights and breathtaking adventures, we missed those little babies voices.
Carlisle: ' Hi Daddy. Are you on a plane?'
Bri: ' Not anymore Sweetie.'
Carlisle: ' When you comin' home?'
Bri: ' A few more days.'
Carlisle: ' Why you takin' so long?'
Evelyn didn't share her sissy's feelings.
Evelyn: ' Hiiiiii Daddeeee....
I love you Dadddeeee.
Bye Bye Daddddeeeee.'
And then she was gone. She just hands off the phone to someone else, and walks away!
Of the many experiences that we had, a couple will stay with me forever. Strolling through Nasch Market hearing the dozens of different language, smelling the flavors from around the world and watching the non-chalant market workers conversing with each other, passerbys and customers about their piles of produce and food.
Pausing at an overlook in the old, historic city of Buda as the sun made it's descent behind the hills of Pest.
Snuggling up one night with Bri, an obscenely large slice of pizza from an Austrian street vendor, a chocolate sachet cake, and a movie.
Eating at a ridiculously tiny table in an Italian restaurant where bread is served with gobs of garlic visably oozing off of it and where the pesto pasta is so good, I was left speechless!
But now we are on the plane headed back across the ocean. I can't wait to get home and wrap my arms around those sweet girls...smell their hair. Kiss their cheeks. Hear all the questions. Ask them about their week.
Oh. And. Watch Carlisle's face light up as she sees the hot pink Hello Kitty shirt we got her at the market.
And. Hear Evelyn laugh as we give her the white 'kaddy kaddy' that has a super loud meow noise when you squeeze it.
Oh. As for me and Brian. We got gifts for ourselves to.
Bri- gelato after every meal and 15 pounds around the middle.
For me- my new favorite bracelet, a new pair of jeans and 5 pounds! What? Great.
The trip was a total and complete GIFT from God.
And, honestly, being home with my sweet guy and my precious girls is such a gift from God too.

Going, Going...


Aron said...

So Glad y'all had such a great trip!!! It looks like it was Perfect!

Justin and Marketa said...

Oh wow!!! Thanks for the great commentary. It felt like I was there. The pictures are perfect! Can't wait to go now!

gillian said...

Y'all are fabulous!!! what a BEAUTIFUL, fun vacation and your pictures were wonderful!

Rebecca said...

LOVE the pictures- and 1 last thing- do you think maybe the 5 lbs MIGHT be due to some other reason?!?! ha=) love you guys!