Saturday, December 25, 2010

An exciting night and a clear answer

Jakob was dead-tired when Markus brought him to bed and within a few minutes after having finished his night bottle he was fast asleep and as soon as the adults were complete again the distribution of their presents kicked off. As its been introduced a few years ago the "secret santa" rule has been applied again and so everyone had to organize the present for one other person. The handover of the presents is always a pretty funny event as the unwrapping of each present is a real ceremony and each of us has to find out who secret santa has been.

This year kicked off with an impressive present from Sandra consisting of several parcels including self-made pralinees in a glass deposited i the snow outside and we all believed that all other presents would be far less exciting and impressive than the first one. For some reason hardly anyone made the right guess who his/her secret santa was as a large majority thought it was uncle Werner for them. Large confusion came up when we realized that there was one present too much underneath the tree with one of them not having a name tag.
The surprise for Flo was large when he picked up a present for Kerstin as it was him who had picked Kerstin and it was him who forgot the name tag on his present. Unfortunately for Kerstin Jakob woke up just when she was unwrapping and we had to interrupt the process.

Jakob must have anticipated something special to come up as he did not want to go back to sleep and so Kerstin brought our junior down to the living room and he helped her unwrapping the present. Actually he Jakob rather took away the small box from Kerstin and opened it himself and showed the content to everyone in the room with pride and honor. Within the wooden box a small whitegold/platinum ring was embedded with a small diamond on top. After a few minutes of having shown the present to all the others apart from Kerstin our sunshine finally handed over the ring to Kerstin who answered the question with a clear: YES.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

White Christmas

On Thursday we left Vienna early - just after lunchtime in order to avoid heavy traffic - and headed for Vorarlberg for the traditional christmas holidays with Kerstin´s family. For the first to hours Jakob slept peacefully in his seat and when he woke up he was in very good mood, enjoyed overtaking many cars and lorries on the highway and was not demanding a stop on the way. As traffic was very modest and the weather conditions good - no freezing temperatures and thus safe roads - we reached our destination afer 5 hours and we could enjoy dinner with grandma Heidi.

Christmas Eve started early for us at 0600 and it seemed as if Jakob knew something special would happen that night. Markus did some shopping in Bregenz in the morning and he went into town again with Jakob in the afternoon to visit the donkey in the city centre where met Flo and his friends for a tradition: mulled wine and lots of chats just before Christmas kicks off. Once the boys returned home they got ready for the big night, got into neat clothes (coincidentally in partner look) and while it started snowing nicely outside we all waited for the arrival of the "Christkind". When we heard the bells ringing in the living room - which was locked all day - Jakob not only got nervous but also a bit scared. Kerstin had to cary him when slowly opening the door in order to find a beautifully decorated and enlightened christmas tree with many presents underneath.

Like father - like son

Our sunshine was fascinated by the looks and when we started singing christmas carrols alongside Katrin´s guitartunes he was all excited and full of joy. Jakob soon detected the parcels that were left underneath the tree and enthusiastically unwrapped the child table & chairs, pencils, a blue doll´s pram, cans of spanish olivs with anchoas, a xylophone, books, CDs and pictures. He actually did not even know what to use first and was running around in the living room like crazy so that he almost diregarded the food which was brought to the table in the meantime: sausages, potatoes and horseradish. After dinner he continued playing but it was pretty obvious that he was dead tired and we soon brought him to bed while the adult´s presents were unwrapped. The night was long and Jakob took another prominent role lateron.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Buy turkey for christmas

Due to a stomach virus which Markus caught on his way to Frankfurt Monday morning ended up spending the rest of the week in Vienna which Jakob really liked as it gave him a lot of opportunity to play and have fun with Dad. Working from home when fit again on Thursday and Friday gave Markus the oportunity to plan and prepare everything for Saturday's christmas lunch with his parents. First thing Friday morning he headed to the supermarket and bought all necessary ingredients for roast turkey with currant glaze. In the late afternoon Stefan came by and together they prepared the 4kg turkey by drowning it in salt water and putting him on ice. simultaneously the starter, a carrot-ginger-soup as well as the currant glaze were prepared.

A salty bath for the bird.

Early evening Kerstin headed off toward her office as she joined her colleagues for the corporate christmas dinner and in order to make her departure easier Jakob and Markus joined her on the way and while Kerstin had her first drink the two boys wanndered through the cold but beautifully decorated city towards home. At home Jakob was absolutely lovely, had dinner , played with Markus and got ready for bed withou any complaint of any question about mum. He fell aspeel peacefully and when Kerstin came home after 0100 Jakob was still fast asleep in his bed.

Lots of raw meet in the morning...

Saturday morning we started early again as the turkey needed a lot of time for the final touches and even more so for the roasting. Stefan made his way to the wintry city - it was snowing all night long - and the two chefs stuffed the bird and prepared it with the delicious glazing before putting it into the oven just before 1000. When the grandparents and Ines arrived in Vienna Jakob was again on excellent form and enjoyed the large group showing all his skills. Lateron Ines and Kerstin went to the toboggan hill together with Jakob in order to make him tired for a lunchtime sleep before the bird was finished.

... and a crispy Turkey 4,5 hours later

After almost 4,5 hours we finally could take the turkey out of the oven and get ready for lunch. It was a mouthwatering sight and a delicious smell that we could all enjoy when the roasted turkey sat on the dining room table and was waiting for being filletted. The taste was definitely living up to the smell and sight and noone dcould recall when we had such a tender meet last and we all were stuffed even though we did not manage to finish the whole bird. Given the big success of the lunch - we can live with the large knife Stefan broke preparing the side dish - it seems that a new tradition has been borne for the christmas celebration in Vienna. With this years experience we will make some adaptations for a repeat next year.

Jakob, Kerstin and Markus

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A penguin on the roof

In sharp contrast to Saturday, when the sunshine made the cold temperatures feel much less cold, Sunday morning the sky was all grey and the -10 degrees felt like -10 degrees. Overnight St. Nicholas stopped by and left behind a bag full with goodies for Jakob (whereas one or the other chocolate bar was reserved for Markus) as well as a new classical tea-pot. Sandra and Flo unfortunaltely left us right after breakfast heading back home together with friends and so we were left all on our own. Given the unfriendly weather we decided to spend the day indoors and make use of all Jakob's toys.

No need to leave the building when there is snow all over the terrace

In the later afternoon however we put on our snowgear after all as Markus and Jakob decided to play on our terrace which is all covered in snow as well. The attempt to build a snowman failed as the snow was far too fluffya nd not sticky enough. Mrkus could however make snowballs and so the two guys were tossing snowballs onto the handrails and Jakob liked it when the ball busrt into pieces once hitting the glass. When Markus then pushed Jakob in his bobsleigh through the snow and tried the penguin slide Jakob was all excited and cracked up. This showed once again, that it cna not be wild and crazy enough for our sunshine.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jamaica Run

Throughout the past week winter dominated Austria and Vienna almost drowned in snow. Especially towards the weekend the snowfalls got richers and only on Friday 25cm of fresh snow covered the city and Markus was really happy that he did reach home with 1,5 hours delay coming from Prague. As the clouds cleared up that night temperatures dropped into double digit negative territory and Saturday morning, when we had breakfast together with Sandra and Flo the sun was shining, we had a blue sky and yet very wintry temperatures.

The fresh snow combined with sunny weather and the fact that our guests bought Jakob a little bobsleigh almost forced us to get ready to get outside once we have finished breakfast. We wanted to enjoy the powder snow on the nearby Jesuitenwiese which not only has a floodlit tobbogan hill but also a few other mounts more suitable for beginners. Jakob was not very impressed when we pulled him along the footpath across the Jesuitenwiese and he only started laughing when Markus ventured out rning through the powder snow. Finally there was some action thanks to bumps and an uneven surface. When however the bobsleigh tipped over and Jakob ended face-down in the snow he was not ammused at all and complained loudly.

It can't be fast enough for Jakob

The good thing however was that Jakobs love for the snow was not cooled off by this accident and he happily boarded his vehicle again as the beginners hill gor closer and closer. After a first successful run down the hill "on the leash" Markus sent our junior off on his own and Jakob liked that even more which he epxressed with loud laughter full of joy. He could not steer the bobshleigh but that did not bother him at all - he just liked the speed and bumps. Markus had to pull our sunshine uphill countless times and he did not get bored to that. The biggest problem was that Jakob's woolen gloves got more and more covered in snow and Jakob's fingers were freezing. hence we returned home in order to warm up again.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Frosty the snowman

The winter has a tight grip on Central Europe providing not only freezing temperatures and a lot of snow but also influencing traffic both on the ground as well as in the air badly. Markus and his client were quite anxious throughout Tuesday whether their fligh to Prague in the evening would really happen and were preparing for a plan B - an overnight train. By the time they left the city for the airport it has staretd snowing again, while the airlines stilkl showed no sign of any delays. Once checked in and waiting in the terminal building, it turned out that the plane has not arrived yet and so they left Warsaw with more than 1,5 hours delay, but at least they made it: The "White Hell" was left behind.

A frozen smile can not be pretended

Judging by the weather development on Wednesday in Prague it seemed though that LOT has not only taken numerous pasengers to Prague but also carried the snowclouds as the intensity of snowflakes increased every hour. When Markus left the ofice in the evening returning to his flat - his client dinner was cancelled as his client has not arrived yet due to the bad weather - he felt an urge to be active. Hence he put on all parts of his running outfit available - 3 layers of long sleeved Nike DryFit shirts and headed off for a run alongside the Vltava River. It was very refreshing to run through 15cm of powder snow with fresh flakes falling on his head and the -6 degrees or the frozen eyebrows were not felt at all. The fact that hardly any people were out on the roads and traffic was very very light provided a very peaceful setting and when Markus returned to the apartment 45 minutes later he felt like new-born and the hot shower gave back moe energy than he used for the activity in the snow.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Monday, November 29, 2010

An unwished sightseeing tour

Monday morning Markus was due to depart for a business trip to Warsaw with a client and when he was picked up from home Vienna was covered in ca 10cm snow. Traffic to the airport was relatively light as obviously many people decided to leave their cars at home and use public transport instead. Markus flight took off on time and nothing indicated any potential delay. Come 0945, shortly before scheduled arrival the passengers were informed about the fact that Warsaw airport was temporarily closed and that they were expected to land with a 30 minute delay. As the snowfall in Warsaw did lose intensity during the time the plane was n the holding pattern the airport remained closed and thus the pilot had to reroute to Krakow in the South of Poland.

The airline organised a bus transfer, but as this trip is expected to take ca. 3,5 hours already in good conditions this sounded like a endless trip in wintry conditions. Hence Markus decided to take a train for the journey, leaving Krakow at 1403. The trip itself was smooth, the train was less busy than Markus expected and the closer he came to Warsaw the denser the snowfall was and the colder it got. Not only has winter arrived in Europe, but Markus finally also arrived at 1715 in the epicentre of winter at.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The gingerbread man

Having travelled to Vorarlberg by plane, Jakob returned home on Wednesday by doing his first trip on a train. Together with Sandra and Kerstin he boarded the train early morning in order to get on the way for an 8 hour trip from the Western to the eastern part of Austria. Jakob enjoyed the privacy of the compartment, played and had fun and after a while even fell asleep and rested for good two hours. Like that the trip felt much shorter than 8 hours would suggest. Unfortunately Markus missed the three on Wednesday as he was going to London for the rest of the week and thus he had to wait until Friday night to cuddle Jakob again.

Pretty hard work to flatten the dough

The past weekend was very nice and wintry with first snowflakes falling Friday night in Vienna. Markus took care of Jakob on Saturday while Sandra and Kerstin did some shopping and it felt very good to spend time with the sunshine after not having seen hi for almost two weeks. On Sunday, the first advent Sunday, we did start preparing Christmas cookies and Jakob was very helpful. He was working hard to cut trees, snowmen, stars or hearts from the gingerbreaddough His favourite form though was the simple round circle which he hardly gave away. With that circle he decorated the dough and cut circles but also moons. As our junior enjoyed the work so much we were not concerned about the fact that the flour was all over the kitchen as well as all over Jakob’s. When we finished baking the cookies it the forecasted heavy snowfall started.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not feeding chicken pocks, but tuna, chicken and beef

With Markus' hefty traveling schedule these days Jakob and Kerstin end up home alone most of the time and thus they decided to fly away. Firstly, Jakob liked it on the plane when we went to Mallorca and secondly grandma Heidi is still dire straits since she tripped, fell and broke her arm a few weeks ago. So Markus drove the two - who were actually a little bit nervous - to the airport on Sunday morning and waived them Good-Bye before he himself left for Warsaw onMonday where he sent all last week with a client. The short flight to Friedrichshafen was smooth and Jakob did again like it. He likes even more the fact that the whole family is there to entertain him in Vorarlberg.

One would question, whether a little energetic 16 month-old like our little sunshine could really make the life easier for someone handicapped with a plaster, but experience showed: it does. Jakob has finally made really friends with Tom, the cat. he strokes him and more importantly - makes sure that Tom gets something for breakfast. Once Tom has finished his meal, Jakob puts away the feeding bowl so that noone trips over it. In summer Jakob still tried to eat out of the bowl instead - this time luckily seems over!

J knows how important food is for him. It also has to be for Tom!

By mid week Jakob has picked up a cough, had slightly higher temperature and we also found two blisters on his body and so we thought that he would have picked up the chicken-pocks - which Anna was suffering from the past weeks - as well even though Jakob was vaccinated against it. A visit to the pediatrician did not confirm the chicken pocks, but diagnosed an inflammation of the middle ear in a very early stage and prescribed antibiotics. So there is a sick bay anyway on the western front of Austria. Our junior though does not give us the impression that he is sick - he is full of energy, smiles and laughs and does not mind the coughs or pain he for sure has.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Friday, November 5, 2010

Just like in Bedrock

Most likely everyone still remembers The Flintstones - Fred, Wilma , Barney and Betty. The cartoon series from the 1960-ies is for sure well known in general, but do you also know how Barney & Betty's son was called? Hi sname was Bamm-Bamm. and his girlfriend was Pebbles - Fred & Wilma's daughter. Bamm-Bamm's name came from his only ever words he spoke and the fact that he liked to hit hard on things with the club he carried around at all times. Our little junior is also a real bundle of energy: he is runing around all day, riding his rocking horse, chasing people and even more so likes being chased around in the flat. Jakob currently is also using everything for making noise - his beloved toy is a hammer with which he even likes to hit on his head - and he also has a girlfriend - Anna. Together they remind us a lot of Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm.

The original characters from the 60-ies...

...and the couple today

When Kerstin had her ladies' night this week Wednesday and some of her former colleagues visited us at home Jakob was everything but tired. He turned on the volume, and provided his best for the audience. He entertained the ladies for a while making fun and noise by throwing toys on the table and using the hammer of his workbench as drumstick - yet again. Just like Bamm-Bamm.

Bamm-Bamm, Betty & Barney

Friday, October 29, 2010

All over the place

Our life has changed big time since Markus starte working again. For Jakob and Kerstin the new job meant that they are on their own throughout the week while Markus spends time in the office in Prague or London or is back to travelling all over Europe to see his clients again. Every now and then - ideally at the beginning or the end of the week - he also visits his clients in Vienna and thus can prolongue the weekends with family.

While we can not spend time together during tge week and only can see each other on video calls thanks to Facetime and the iPhone 4 weekends are now dedicated fully to family. It is interestig to see that when time is scarce preferences are shifted and the most important thing is to be happy together. Suddenly bad news are not seen as so bad news such as the theft of Markus' scooter or small accidents. The amount of time spent abroad and on the road will remain large in the short run, however there is light at the end of the tunnel and markus can spend more time during the week again with his loved ones.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A new chapter

On Tuesday evening a wonderful time has come to an end when Jakob and Kerstin drove Markus to the airport. It was the last day of his gardening leave and in order to get to his new workplace on time he had to board a the OS711 to Prague. His new employer - Wood & Co - is a dedicated regional investment bank and the boutique-type brokerage house Markus used to be working for in the past.

While the new job and new challenge is something positive for all of us, there is though a quite high price we have to pay for the time being: Markus will be away most of the upcoming months as he will be based in Prague for now and also spend a lot of time in London again. Not seeing Jakob every day is very tough and does hurt. The weekends and days with the family will be intensely used and enjoyed and hopefully it wont be long until he will be able to sleep at home most of the nights again.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No pain - no gain!

Thursday evening we left Vienna for a long and active weekend in Vorarlberg as on Sunday the Sparkasse Marathon took place which by now has become a traditional event for Markus run the half-marathon distance. Anna, Lini & Peter visited the Laendle as well (arriving Friday afternoon) even though Peter decided last minute to not take the challenge of the 21,0975 km race as he was suffering from a cold and therefore they used the days to visit Peter's sister in Vaduz, some friends and to watch the race. While it was raining when we arrived Friday night the weather improved throughout Friday and peaked in a gorgeous early spring weekend with sunshine and more than 20 degrees.

Ready to take on the challenge.

Markus' birthday on Saturday was declared a "no-celebration-day" in order to not jeopardize the performance on Sunday and so it was an easy going day on which Markus just picked up his number in Lindau, we had a walk through Lindau together with Sandra & Flo and in the evening had a big portion of pasta prepared by Heidi. Sunday morning the sky was blue and cloudless and when Markus boarded the ship in Bregenz to reach the start area in Lindau it was already quite warm. By the time the race was started - at exactly 11:11 by both the mayor of Lindau and Marathon due to the celebrations "2500 years of marathon" - the temperature in the sun has already reached more than 20 degrees again.

Jakob was the first one to congratulate - and took the medal.

Given the warm weather and the fact that Markus' preparations were not ideal - even though he had loads of time during his gardening leave he did not stick to his training plan but rather did odd training runs with a maximum length of 75 minutes - he started into the race rather slow and tried to keep the pace for a finishing time of 1:45 minutes. After km 11 the fact that there were no long runs in the preparations he had to reduce his pace in order to make it to the finishing line and was only able to speed up again for the last three kilometers of the race. In the end he reached the finish in the Casino Stadium Bregenz after 1:49:23 which left him not surprised but definitely a bit frustrated. The obvious lesson from that is: No pain - No gain. Clearly there is a lot to make up for next year! Irrespective of the finishing time during the afternoon and evening Markus' birthday was celebrated with banana & yoghurt/blueberry cakes and Heidi's delicious Kaesepaetzle before falling dead tired into bed.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Monday, September 27, 2010

Three days - three different activities

Last week was a pretty busy one for us: On Tuesday the three of us attended a small playgroup in the nearby "Kreativraum" during which a group of 10 little ones between 10 and 15 months were singing, dancing, drawing pictures and playing music. After a slow start into the one hours session Jakob was warming up and really enjoyed the course and luckily another 8 sessions will follow over the coming months.

On Wednesday morning Markus' parents and brother came by and after coffee an cake on the terrace Stefan, Kurt and Markus got on their bikes heading out west. The three guys followed the Wiental bike trail towards the Vienna Woods. In the meantime Viki joined Eva, Kerstin and Jakob for some shopping on Landstrasse whereas the main target was warm shoes for autumn/winter for our junior. After a 2,5 hour gentle tour with some ascent towards the end of the journey the three sports-men reached their destination: Gasthaus Mirli, a nicely set restaurant in Tullnerbach with pigs, sheep and other animals nearby. While refreshing with apple juice the four shoppers as well as Ines & Peter arrived and we all managed to enjoy
the sunshine together on Mirli's terrace. The scenery is great and with all the animals nearby this is a great place to spend an afternoon with children followed by good food not too far out of town. We concluded the family day with nice dinner inside and reached home at 2200 with Jakob fast asleep in his car seat.

Next day in the morning we got ready for some splish-splash as Jakob joined the baby-swim course again. Due to our trip to Mallorca he has missed the first lesson, but in Spain he was able to practice a lot and so he was all eager running and jumping into the 32 degree warm water in Dianabad. As one could expect Jakob was yet again the loudest and most active member of the group, enjoyed himself in the water and tasted the water several times. But as long as he has fun, we don't really mind and given he is sleeping well after having lunch right after the course we managed to do some shopping in the city as well.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meat, bones and stairs

Since our return from Spain we have settled again at home after several rounds of washing, re-filling our fridge and getting into the Viennese rhythm. On Sunday we met with Markus uncle Peter and his partner Hedi, Markus cousin Peter jr. and Viki & Stefan in the nearby Schweizerhaus, a beer garden which is an institution in the Prater and famous for its Stelze - a rear pork knuckle. As to our all surprise the weather was very nice warm and sunny we had a table outside which allowed us to enjoy the real Schweizerhaus atmosphere. For Jakob this meant loads of broken stones to play with, many people to greet and a cool playground ion the middle of the beergarden. What it also meant was a new experience. After having eaten together with Kerstin half a grilled chicken he surprised us all when he tried the real stuff and really liked to chew on the pork knuckle which was half as large as himself. There is no doubt anymore that our junior is able to eat EVERYTHING.

No worries: Its a pork knuckle and not a human bone!

After the "power lunch" on Sunday Jakob did make another leap in his development of skills on Monday when not only he for the first time walked (on all four though) up the whole flight of stairs in our flat, but he also for the made his way down without holding on to neither Markus nor Kerstin but only by holding on to the handrail or moving down backwards. Once the new skills were learned we spent a wonderful afternoon in the zoo visiting the tigers, lions, seals and elephants, including the elephant calf Tuluba and enjoying the sunshine and nice late summer weather. When we came back home the first thing our sunshine did was to train his new skills over and over again and thus making us move up and down a lot as well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mallorca - There and back again

For the past 2 weeks we have been offline. During that time we have enjoyed our first family summer holiday and experienced a great time on the Balearic island of Mallorca. We left for the airport in the morning of Monday September 6 and Jakob was clearly excited about our departure as he did not sleep at all that morning and also during the 2 hour flight there was no sign of being tired. He explored the airplane, had fun with the crew and entertained the people in the front rows with his sounds (some would call it screams), laughter and other activities. After the arrival at Palma airport though our sunshine got very quiet and soon after having left the airport in our hire car he was fast asleep in his car seat.

An airplane features lots of interesting stuff.

For our 10 day holiday we have booked an apartment at Apartamentos LEO in Port de Pollenca, in the north-east of the island which is approximately 50 minutes drive from the airport and the main city Palma, both located on the West Coast. Our apartment was very nice and calm (there were hardly any other guest in the complex during our stay) and so had the small pool which was located right in front of our terrace all for ourselves. While one normally would be very happy about a pool in which one can jump into in the morning from the terrace, we were not so comfortable with the situation, as we were afraid our nosy junior would fall into the pool. Even though Jakob was indeed very often very close to the brink, he never fell into the water. It seemed that he had enough respect of the wet element to not get too close.

The pool was interesting, but no hazard.

Our activities on Mallorca were not predefined only vaguely: we wanted to spend time on several beaches throughout the island (hence the hire car) whereas we decided rather spontaneously where to go. Our "home beach", Platja Port de Pollenca was ca 15 minutes walking distance from the apartment and never too busy. Once Jakob was there though, the noise level increased big time as he greeted almost everyone who passed by with a loud "Ahhh" and luckily both the Spaniards as well as the large amount of Brits on the beach (most of them also with children) were very responsive and did not seem bothered by our junior. The same was true actually on the other beaches we went to. Apart from meeting and greeting many people Jakob also got to know both sand and salt water and he loved them both more and more the longer we stayed. Swimming, digging sand, destroying anything mom or dad built, sipping the water and eating sand were the most loved activities on the beach.

Water is fun. Especially if dad is underneath.

Before leaving for Spain we were most concerned about Jakob's reaction to the food and drinks and thus had taken along all sorts of drugs for him in case of diarrhea. Fact was, that Jakob ate huge portions, filled the diaper sometimes three times a day, but never "soft" and thus we were glad to take the drugs back home again untouched. We also learned during our holiday, that we can feed our sunshine pretty much everything: He loved to eat olives with anchoas, grilled octopus, jamon iberico and the peak was when he ate half of Kerstin's gambas al ajillo (prawns in oilve oil and garlic!!) at Meson Ca'n Pedro. The gambas were followed shortly after by the bottle of night milk and yet Jakob neither threw up nor had any digestive problems. We probably can say, that we are safe now.

Just before the gambas arrived on the table

While after a week we felt that the holidays are going by slowly the last three days flew by so fast that the whole holiday suddenly felt like having passed by extremely quick. On our flight back home which was late - departure at 2055 - Jakob again greeted everyone getting on the plane and tried to fight sleeping, but as he was so tired he had to give in after what felt like hours of screaming. Our pilot was luckily well experienced as he apparently could hardly hear anything on the radio communication given we were sitting in the first row and Jakob's volume was pretty high and so we arrived safely at home just after midnight.

"I dont want to leave from here!"

While we are sad to not have sun, sea and beach anymore but autumn temperatures we are quite happy to be back home again but are going to return to Mallorca for sure again in the coming years.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Friday, September 3, 2010

A new gem on the roof

Entering the last third of his gardening leave Markus got some inspiration from his youth: When he was a teenager and also as student he used to spend a few days during his summer holidays doing some DIY together with his granduncle Adolf - applying wooden wall panels, laying of paving stones or tearing down walls and redoing whole rooms. It was always hard work, but fun and great to see something new being created with one's own hands.

The lessons he learned many years ago now paid back when Markus decided spontaneously on Monday to tackle a long awaited project: a wooden floor on the terrace. During the morning he drew the sketches of the terrace with exact measures, calculated the necessary wooden beams for the substructure & the bars - we decided to go for larch rather than tropical wood like bangkirai - and In the afternoon of that rainy day he headed off towards one of his beloved stores - OBI - and took along Jakob, Kerstin and Heidi who wanted to pick some stuff up at Ikea next door. More than one hour later Markus left the store as large client (which meant that he got the VAT back!) and his three passengers a little bit shocked as Markus brought along a huge trolley full with the beams as well as screws and some other tools. The question that arose at this point was: One of the three passengers or half the beams? Not surprisingly the beams stayed back in the store and were picked up half an hour later. Tuesday morning Markus went back yet again to pick up the larch bars which have been cut to size in the meantime and spent the late afternoon transporting the wood upstairs onto the terrace. At night, when Jakob slept and Kerstin had her girl's night out - she is on the road a lot these days - Markus moved all plants and furniture from the terrace-to-be-transformed in order to be ready to kick off next day morning.

Wednesday late afternoon: If only all the bars would be fixed already

Monday morning the weather was glorious though chilly and thus perfect for construction works. The first hours were dedicated to building the substructure in order to make the job of fixing the bars onto it easy and smooth. As Jakob was quite keen to wander around the terrace and find out what's underneath the beams the job took a bit longer and so Markus could screw the first bar onto the beams early afternoon. The first few lanes were pretty difficult as they had to be properly straight but at the same time the substructure was still fairly loose. After the fourth lane everything was pretty stable but unfortunately Markus has killed already two drill bits and thus he was scared that he would soon have to stop soon if equipment keeps breaking at that pace. While Jakob liked the terrace with the substructure he was absolutely crazy about helping when the power drill or screw driller were in use. Markus had to regularly stop and let the junior "work" with some tools as otherwise the little one would have gone crazy and so by the evening ca. 1/6 of the terrace was done.

There was someone who helped Markus. Sometimes.

Thursday morning, Jakob's first way was all the way upstairs to the terrace where all the tools were parked and when Markus started working again he had to shut the doors and work as quietly as possible in order to not get too much of Jakob's attention. When Jakob and Kerstin left after lunch to visit Doris, the signs for Markus were all on "GO" and so he worked his way without further damage to any drill bits all over the terrace on his knees only making occasional breaks to drink something or to give the screw driller some time to get recharged. When Jakob and Kerstin came home at 1900 Markus was finished physically, has finished the flooring and fell into bed soon for a good sleep. Friday morning some detailed finishing work was done as well as moving plants and furniture back to the re-designed terrace and in the afternoon our new "lounge area" was open for business.

The result of some hard work.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

360° and you too

Monday morning was wet and cold. Cold as one usually would expect in October, but not late August as the temperature did not manage to climb above 11 degrees. This fact per se would not have been a problem, but given we had plans for the evening outdoors,we were worried about the rain as well as the chilly temperatures. At least the rain stopped during the afternoon and made us hopeful for a great night out in the nearby Ernst Happel Stadium. Grandma Heidi as well as Renate and Werner took care of our little sunshine in the evening and thus enabling us to be part of a the biggest crowd ever in Vienna's largest arena: We were two of the 75.000 people seeing and hearing U2 in their first concert in Austria since 5 years.

For two hours U2 excited more people than ever in the Prater

Due to the fact that Sandra and Flo were lucky enough to get hold of two separate seating tickets but not being able to take two days off from work we inherited the tickets and were able to see Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen live on stage for the first time. Our seats provided us with a great view overlooking the crowd and were absolutely rain-secure as they were at the very top of the stadium just below the roof. Thanks to the huge 360°-videowall above the impressive stage we could see well anyhow and the mood up there was great as well -neither of us was sitting during the whole concert. The gig was a great music show where the band fas clearly the centre-piece rather than dance acts etc like we have seen at Madonna's concert two years ago. Not only that Bono hit the tunes at all times - even when obviously his technicians deafened him with too high volume in his earplug - but also the band came across as very sympathetic, the highly respected charity projects were not thrown at the crowd but delivered in a very decent way and on top of all that the gig itself offered a great mixture of old classics, new stuff and great atmosphere.

Overall the concert was a very memorable event in which we only would have wished the weather to be nicer (and maybe standing tickets) and with Jakob having behaved nicely the door seems open now for more evening events to attend together again in the future.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer activities in and around Vienna

Since our return home from Vorarlberg after a smooth journey last week Wednesday night we have been pretty busy actually. Luckily there were no bad surprises waiting for us at home as Markus' brother looked well after our home and so we could concentrate on getting our "Vienna rhythm" again and on enjoying the warm summer weather. On Saturday morning then we drove to Oberwart where we had birthday lunch with Markus' Dad followed by Fabio's 1st birthday party in Stinatz.

On the way to an appointment in the pool

On Sunday morning we went to meet family Strutz and by lunchtime drove to Bad Voeslau to spend the afetrnoon in the very nice outdoor thermal pool. For some strange reason we were not the only ones with this glorious idea on a day when the thermometer showed more than 30 degrees and thus we were not only looking for a parking space for quite a while (before deciding to park right in the middle of a car park) but also we had to take any left space on the lawn next to the playground with the shade of the children's slide as the only sun protection. The day was absolutely perfect, Anna and Jakob had fun, we all enjoyed ourselves and a great barbecue in the Strutz's backyard was the icing on the cake of a wonderful summer day.

Rain in summer is not necessarily a horrible thing

At the beginning of the week we continued to exploit the sunshine and did some more swimming in the Stadionbad before clouds and rain started to appear on the horizon. Come Saturday, grandma Heidi as well as Renate and Werner arrived in Vienna for a few days and a clear mission: They are due to take care of Jakob on Monday night.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Out- & indoor action

With the weather rather unstable and reminding rather of a warm but rainy early autumn rather than mid August our activities during the day were rather limited to anything inside or not too far away from home, just in case another downpour would start. Friday afternoon was dedicated to the larger family with the whole Meierei (Werner & Renate, Katrin & Dipak as well as Anja) joining us for coffee & cake in the afternoon followed by a Mexican evening with Tortilla chips au gratin, Tortillas, beef & chicken, guacamole, squished beans, feta, salad, tomato-coriander salsa, cheese and sour cream.

A spectacular start for the kayak

On Saturday morning we were real daredevils leaving for Andelsbuch in the Bregenzerwald together with Sandra & Flo to watch the Outdoor Trophy, an event where teams of 4 did a mountain run, paragliding, kayak and last but not least mountain biking. We headed for the most spectacular point, the handover from paragliding (a 17x30 meter box had to be reached fro landing in order to avoid a penalty round) to kayak and it was very good fun. Jakob was fascinated by the whole scenery, the athletes did a very good job - only a few had to run the extra round and only one had to empty his kayak after the jump into the water - and the weather was luckily in favour of us and the event. In the later afternoon Markus headed together with Sandra & Flo to Ulm to buy a new wardrobe at Ikea for their flat and for Heidi's house. Not only that the journey lasted 50% longer due to the speed limit in germany once u drive with a hanger, the largest and most heavy parts were sold out and so another trip to Ikea has to be done by them in the next few weeks.

Fun at the playground was rare the past days

The following days Markus finished the DIY in Heidi's house with a little help from a small friend called Jakob, (assembled the wardrobe, fixed some shelves etc), our sunshine used each rain-free minute to run the terrace and he enjoyed himself in the shopping centres in Buers and Dornbirn where he dashed through the alleys. Especially at H&M in the Zimbapark our sunshine was running for almost half an hour without stopping, laughed and screamed permanently and made this shopping trip a short one even though the decisions what Sandra should be buying seemed to not having been the easiest ones.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer activities: sliding & hiking

Summer returned on Monday and on Tuesday the weather reached temperatures for a day in the outdoor pool again. Hence we got on our bikes and went to nearby Strandbad Eichwald in Lindau, which offers both the possibilities to go for a swim in the lake as we as in several pools. The Eichenwaldbad offers great possibilities for children of all ages with swings, sandboxes, pool in with several depths as well as a water slide. Jakob loved it there, both inside and outside the water and if Kerstin and Markus improve there skills on the waterslide again, that might be more fun as well in the future: Both of us tried to slide down together with Jakob, but we held up the traffic and had to push in order to move on at all. If the weather allows we will give it another try this summer!

Back in the child carrier and still smiling

On Wednesday we put on our hiking boots again as the whole family Meier and Blaser (apart from Flo who has not holiday unfortunately) went to Moeggers to hike the Walderlebnispfad. The tour is not too long but completely in the woods and offers a lot of possibilities for children to play and learn trees and the nature life in the woods and it can be spiced up with the Inpsirationspfad where water has to be crossed via small bars, a rope or hanging bridges. Jakob was dead tired as he did not sleep in the morning and thus missed 2/3 of the tour (including the swing on the rope) but was full of joy when he was awake in his child carrier. Afterwards we all had fantastic lunch in the Ried Stueble, remotely located but excellent food, before we headed home and enjoyed the rest of the late afternoon running (Markus) or cycling to the lake and taking a swim (Jakob, Kerstin, Heidi & Sandra)

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Moving pics from the Big Apple

Once Markus has arrived back in Austria, had reviewed all his pictures and had his impressions settled one of the early Beastie Boys albums inspired him to a small video about his days in the Big Apple. The clip is available also on YouTube.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Monday, August 9, 2010

New York - a recap

On the flight back home to Europe Markus for some strange reason had time to review the past few days in one of (if not THE) the most exciting cities in the world. When he came to New York for the first time on business back in March this year he fell in love with the city in the very first moment. Back then though all Markus was able to see was the glimmering life in midtown Manhattan and all the touristy stuff. The decision to come back again and get to know the city better was taken back then already and so this trip was not really a spontaneous thing.

Most of the tourists buy and wear these kind of shirts. Markus did so too!

The Big Apple was different this time. Completely different actually. It was hot and humid, the subway became the alternative means of transportation to walking and Markus had all day long to dive into the city rather than spending most of the time in meetings and being kind of isolated. Markus obviously saw a lot of tourists again on his ventures (Italians were virtually everywhere), but he also went off the beaten track where he mainly saw New Yorkers (not necessarily Americans, but still people living in New York). The other New York did not disappoint Markus at all - rather the opposite: He fell in love with the city even more!

It's virtually impossible to name the most impressing thing as there were so many of them, but the view of midtown Manhattan from the north end of the Jacky Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park probably qualifies best for it. The fact that Markus enjoyed that view in March already and staying somewhere midtown makes this moment reachable on a daily basis makes this Markus’ New York moment and something one could get used to.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Markus' final hours

Sunday morning Markus had a “lie-in” and only got up at 0715, skipped his morning run through Central Park and has early breakfast instead, checked out for his room and ventured of for his last day in New York. As routines should not be changed, his first destination was anyhow Central Park. On his way he stopped by Apple’s Flagship store on 5th Avenue which is open 24/7 on 365 days a year (!!!!) to pick up a small gadget for a friend and continued his stroll through the huge park. He had a look at the façade of the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and took a closer look at the Upper East Side which he concluded with a coffee at Dean & Deluca. Afterwards his way led him around the Jacky Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in the middle of the park from where one has a fantastic view on midtown Manhattan and he dipped a few blocks into the Upper West Side around lunchtime.

The view on Bedford Av from Markus table in Fabienne's Cafe

Once midday went by Markus took the Subway for his final destination of his stay in the Big Apple – the hip and neighbourhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Markus’ journey ended right in the heart of Bedford Avenue and the area immediately cought his full attention. It reminded him very much of Camden Town in London, just with a bit less tourists. He had excellent lunch at Fabienne’s cafe , a very cool and nice café/restaurant on Bedford Av/North 5th, strolled through the neighbourhood which is characterised by some old residential blocks with several new developments in between. The crowd there can be best described as young & hip and can not be compared at all to the tourist laden crowds in Manhattan. The time in Williamsburg went by extremely fast and so soon he had to head back to his hotel to pick up his luggage and go to JFK airport again in order to catch the flight back home.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Sunday, August 8, 2010

To Brooklyn and back

Markus’ plan for Saturday was to check out the Brooklyn and so he left his hotel after another early morning run in Central Park and breakfast and boarded a subway towards Coney Island. He exited close to Prospect Park, watched training sessions for junior football and soccer teams – interesting was that a large number of parents was there watching their offspring during practice and it seemed almost like a family picnic with whole families present – and he then made his way through the park towards the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden was a real refuge from the noise and heat of the city with all the trees and plants and so Markus took his time, rested underneath cherry trees and enjoyed the time.

An oasis of fresh air and nice smells in the heart of Brooklyn

After leaving the park Markus passed by and on the Brooklyn Museum and moved on towards Manhattan and even though he was planning to walk less today he ended up crossing Brooklyn Bridge per pedes again and basically walked a similar route than the day before with the only difference that he moved north, not south. A short stop in the hotel and a shower refreshed him again and gave him energy for a trip to the southern tip of Central Park where he enjoyed the last sunrays of the day.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Saturday, August 7, 2010

An eventful day on both sides of the Atlantic

Thursday evening Markus adjusted to New York time by strolling from his hotel near Times Square (the hotel @ Times Square) through the Theater district and Hells Kitchen to the Hudson River. There he watched children play with the water fountains, had something to eat and a drink and watched an open-air promotion fight-night with 4 bouts over three rounds each. By 2230 local time he was dead in bed though and finally had some proper sleep again.

Friday morning he woke up though at 0530 (which translates to 1130 at home) and ventured out at 0600 for a run in Central Park. He was pretty surprised not only by the fact that already at that time it was very humid and had 25 degrees, but also by the countless people that were running, cycling, walking or playing tennis at such an early hour! Clearly the city never sleeps! While Markus was sweating it was wet also back home, but because it was still raining and thus Jakob & Kerstin again had to spend most of the day indoors. They visited Sandra in Bregenz and there our little boy tripped, fell and bumped his head properly. As a result he has the first decent bruise right above his left eye, which was not bleeding, but was well visible for Markus when we had a video call thanks to the iPhone 4 and FaceTime.

Markus, Brooklyn Bridge & Manhattan

Markus focussed today on the southern part of Manhattan and walked via 6th Avenue through Midtown, Chelsea, the Flatiron district and Greeenwich Village, SoHo and TriBeCa towards the Financial District. On his way he dis some shopping at Hollister, Gap and Abercrombie&Fitch before visiting Wall Street and taking a look at the charging bull which he did miss the last time he was in the Big Apple. After a walk through Battery Park he boarded the Staten Island Ferry and took a closer look at Lady Liberty. The free of charge ferry takes half an hour one way and offers a great view of the Satue of Liberty and is therefore a good alternative for people who do not need to get up to the top of this New York landmark. Once back from Staten Island Markus also walked across Brooklyn Bridge and enjoyed the view of Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge Park in the sunshine.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Friday, August 6, 2010

Second Trip - First Class

Thursday morning Markus’ alarm clock went off very early at 04:35 as he had to catch a flight from Friedrichshafen Airport to Frankfurt at 0600. After a 30 minute drive (held up by a few lorries) Heidi’s taxi service delivered Markus just in time at the small airport. The flight to Frankfurt was short & smooth and upon arrival Markus was picked up by a Porsche Panamera S right by the airplane parked in the outfield to bring him to the Terminal. The reason for that fuss was the fact that Markus granted himself an upgrade to the First Class for his onward flight to New York, a goodie which he could enjoy all the way given it was a daytime flight.

There is not many hotels which have such a large bathroom like the FCT in Frankfurt

Markus was brought to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt where he had to spend 3 hours waiting for the connecting flight and the service there was truly unique. He was welcomed by a Lufthansa representative and all his luggage scan and passport control was taken care of. He had breakfast freshly prepared in the restaurant – run by Do&Co – took a shower in order to have a fresh journey to the US and relaxed. Come boarding time he was accompanied to a limousine again and brought right to the plane where he made himself comfortable on the upper deck of one of Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-400.

Who said it's no fun when it's raining?

A few years ago we had the chance already to experience First Class when we were upgraded by Thai Airways on our last holiday in Thailand and so Markus knew what he could expect. Fresh flowers as decoration, vintage champagne, fresh caviar, delicious scallops and excellent personalised service lived up to the expectations and made the journey to the Big Apple a short and a truly memorable event. While dad was enjoying top-class service above the Atlantic Jakob had to put on the rain-gear in order to be able to get some fresh air. Equipped with new waterproof boots and a proper raincoat our junior had fun outside in the rain.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First trip - First Class

Wednesday morning we drove to Wangen, a beautiful small city in the Allgaeu where we met Kerstin's schoolmate Moni and Stefan, who have spent a few days with us in Vienna in June. We had breakfast on a nice square in the oldtown and afterwards strolled through the weekly market which is held each Wednesday. Early afternoon we visited family Meier for late lunch and met Anja who arrived in the morning from Barcelona.

Later in the afternoon we decided to have the first trip on the bike with Jakob whch took us to tyhe newly opened Seehotel "Am Kaiserstrand" in Lochau. Jakob liked it a lot to be driven in his chid seat, he was singing and "talking" all the way - below clip gives you some impressions. After a drink in the Badehaus just offshore the new hotel - a converted military base - we returned home where Jakob fell into bed shortly afterwards.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

On the bike

Sunday evening the weather turned wet and cold again and during the whole night lightning turned the darkness for several seconds into day followed by thunders and lots of rain. Come Monday morning the rain was over and it looked like a beautiful day with bearable temperatures. After the exhausting day in the mountains we did not do much though on Monday but only drove to Dornbirn to do some shopping in the Messepark after lunchtime.

When we came to Vorarlberg last week one of the bulkiest pieces of luggage was Jakob's Hamax bicycle seat which we took over from our friend Sandra since Rosemarie does not need it anymore. Given it took away so much space and given one can use this seat for several years we decided to buy a second one for our vacations in the Laendle so we don't need to transport it all the time back and forth.

A sceptical look as Markus stopped after only a few minutes

Once back from the Messepark with the new seat Markus immediately got on the case to mount it to Kerstin's bike. Afterwards we tried to convince Jakob to test his new helmet - an absolute must when traveling by bike - and that proved more difficult than we thought. It very much looked like he is scared of the large thing being put on his head. As we all got a bit inpatient, we decided to simply jump into the cold water (literally) with Jakob and put him into his new seat. the light rain that started did not disturb the joy and interestingly, once our junior sat in his seat he had no problem whatsoever with the helmet. The short round Markus was cycling with the small boy in his back showed though that - as expected - Jakob likes the bicycle a lot and thus we expect to cycle to Bregenz in the next few days - once the weather allows.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Sunday, August 1, 2010

He was accepted!

What is the best thing to do on a hot summer day in Vorarlberg? Going for a swim in Lake Constance unless the water has cooled down to 17 degrees due to the most recent heavy rainfalls. The second best thing to do is then to go hiking in the mountains. We decided to pursue the latter plan and headed off at 1000 towards Bizau in the Bregenzerwald where we hiked around Schoenenbach, a beautiful plateau amidst the mountains. While Sandra, Heidi, Renate and Kerstin as well as Flo and Werner carried rather light equipment Markus had a large and heavy backpack to carry as it included Jakob. Our sunshine enjoyed the the time in his child carrier from where he had a great view of the mountains and from where he could oversee all the action. Our trip was an easy one with not too many ascents - the tour is actually also suitable for pushchairs - and the most exhausting was actually the warm, not to say hot temperatures. Given we were above 1050m temperatures of close to 30 degrees are quite something.

Jakob must feel like a king being carried in the shade

Everyone was pretty happy when Jakob was hungry and forced the group to a break in the shadow where he had his lunch and the rest of us relaxed. After that break our junior had to give in to the fresh air and fell asleep (again) while Markus carried him on the back. When we finished the roundtrip after a two hour walk we had lunch at the Gasthaus Egender, an inn which is famous for its Kaesespaetzle. This traditional dish from Vorarlberg, rich of cheese, fat and onions is not liked by everyone and we so far have not fed it to our junior yet (it does not seem to be the right nutrition for a child). When Kerstin had her portion on her plate in front of her Jakob did taste it and as a consequence took over the fork and fed himself more or less. He obviously liked it, so far he also tolerated it and thus he has passed the "Vorarlberg acceptance test". Thank God!!! Surprise surprise - Jakob was dead in the evening and fell asleep instantly in his bed after an overdose of fresh mountain air

Below one of Jakob's favorite songs and some of the moving pictures we took today in the mountains:

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Many new things in Vorarlberg

In order to give us a little bit more room and to allow Jakob to sleep on a normal size mattress (just like at home in Vienna) Heidi moved us into a different, larger room in our "holiday apartment" before our arrival. The new setup is pretty cool and Jakob now has a nice "cave" behind our bed where he can spend his night and in which he seemed to feel comfortable from the very first moment. As Heidi only moved the bed to the new room while the wardrobe remained in the other room Markus got active on friday, went to buy some tools, dismantled the wardrobe and racks and moved them to their new destinations. Jakob was all exited about the action and both Heidi & Kerstin helped the move as well so that on Friday evening our new room was all ready. There is still more to do, but we still have more than two weeks to sort that out.

Come on dad, I need to get to the football ground on time!!!

On Saturday the weather was back to summer-mode and thus Jakob could play in the garden with the brooms and his new tricycle which we brought from Vienna. He likes to push it himself but also enjoys riding it himself. In the evening grandpa Eugen came to see us and he delivered his birthday present for our big boy: a handmade wooden truck! The truck is perfectly sized (Jakob can reach the floor with his legs sitting on it, has a loading platform with a cover (which is at the same time Jakob's seat) and is absolutely unique. Our guess is that soon our junior will use the truck to transport soil or plants through Heidi's backyard and terrace.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Friday, July 30, 2010

Less rain than expected

During the course of Thursday the weather turned wet and cold also in Vienna and it seemed like the right time to leave the city for our break in Vorarlberg. Markus used a short window of opportunity to pack all our stuff into the car. This task was - as expected - a very difficult one as we were took a whole lot of outfit, toys, presents and equipment with us. At the end of the day we fitted in most of it and left behind only a few things which were not that necessary and at the same time we had enough space for ourselves as well.

There was a nice summer rain falling on our heads when we departed Vienna at 1930 and we all prepared mentally for a long and quite tiresome journey which we expected to be rainy all the way. During the first hour Jakob had his sleeping bottle and afterwards watched the cars and trucks next to us as well as the wet surroundings before he fell asleep in his car seat. To our surprise the rain the rain stopped after a bit more than 1 hour of driving and it remained dry until the moment when Markus emptied the car in Hoerbranz shortly after midnight and thus he was soaking wet for the second time that day as we were caught by the rain also in the afternoon in Vienna.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus