Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ted and Anna Arrive in Vienna

Ted and Ana arrived on Saturday!!  We went to Vienna Airport to pick them up, and spent Saturday and part of Sunday with them. Jack fell apart when he learned that we were not, in fact, on vacation, but that he and Nate and Kent all had school Monday. Just because someone else is on vacation, doesn't mean that we are, unfortunately.  He recovered nicely, and we had a great couple of days. Here are some of the highlights:

Here's the scene at the Vienna Rathaus- the City Hall.  There were all these booths with crafts and ornaments, and other booths with Gluhwein (mulled wine) and Beeren Punsch- mulled Beer, which sounded horrible, but was our favorite.  There were red currants soaked in something lovely in the beer punch, and really, it didn't taste anything like hot beer. Can't describe it, but yummy.  Everyone was walking around with  real coffee mugs and I thought how clever the Austrians were, and how "green" they were to bring their own mugs. But then I realized that the mugs all looked pretty much the same. Different colors, but the same design. Turns out that the booths all had mugs and you paid 2 euro extra for your drink for the mug. When you brought it back, you got your 2 euro back. Or you could keep it as a souvenir. No paper cups-- seriously-- Amazing Concept, right?  

The trees around the city hall were lit with different lights- here are some hearts.

 We all think it's funny that things are called "Wiener" here. Apparently the Viennese don't think it's as funny as we do to be at the Weiner Christkindlmarkt, but I thought it was a hoot. I guess seventh grade humor just never gets old with some people.

Nate and Jack really needed light up Santa hats.  Jack, as you can see, was enjoying the Christmas Market.  I wish I had a picture of his outfit. Kent thought I brought his coat, and I thought Kent brought his coat, and so as a result, he had no coat. He had on several shirts, including my fleece, and a large scarf which made him look slightly Arab.  With the Santa hat, he looked a bit like a deranged elf. At one point he decided he didn't want to be part of our family anymore, and so he stopped in front of a bus stop and refused to move. We walked away, thinking that it was dark and he was in a strange city packed with people where he didn't speak the language and that Certainly he would follow. But, no. He parked it right there. All these gluhwein-filled, Christmas shopping Austrians walked by him looking concerned for the lost child.  Several of them stopped to see if his family was nearby, but of course we were watching him from further up the street, hoping to win the contest of wills.  I intervened when it looked like someone might actually try and talk to him about where he lived and try to find his parents. 

This is probably the same "made in China" stuff they sell in the US. It just looked pretty in the stalls in the night. Or maybe it was just the beer punch....

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