Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The burden of the Easter Bunny

With Easter being very late this year the chances for nice and warm weather very obviously quite big and we all were lucky as the last 2 weeks have indeed been full of sunshine and warm temperatures almost like in late spring. Even though Jakob picked up some fever, a heavily running nose and strong cough he did take most out of the beautiful weather during his 1.5 weeks with Kerstin at grandma's place in Vorarlberg. He spent a lot of time outdoors, feeding the ducks, playing sand in the backyard or sitting in the newly attached swing on Heidi's terrace. In the meantime Markus back home in Vienna fitted the terraces with new wooden panels as the ones we had laid out turned out to be unsuitable for a terrace which one walks on with bare feet and crawls around. Hence we now ended up with some tropical, but very nice wood on bothg roof terraces. Thursday afternoon after work and after having picked up and registered our new car he set off to follow Jakob and Kerstin to Vorarlberg and spend the Easter weekend with family.

Ready to shoot a new season of "Home improvement"

While the early summer weather continued on Friday and Saturday when we met Mirko and Maria on Bregenz, played and enjoyed ourselves while still fasting Sunday morning was overcast and featured a light drizzle and therefore we expected the easter bunny to hide presents and sweets for Jakob and his cousin Ylvie indoors. The bunny must have had a huge basket on his back as the presents he left behind were quite large - a whole box of lego bricks, shoes and some pacifiers for Ylvie, a trainer bike, helmet and a child-toolbox for Jakob. We knew that the trainer bike is currently just on the limit (Jakob just touches the ground and might need to grow another centimeter or so to really do well) and so we were not too worried about him not using it all Sunday long. We also knew that the toolbox was the perfect gift and ever since he is fixing every screw in the house. Not only has he tightened all loose parts in grandma's place but after our nightdrive back home to Vienna Sunday night he also did some extra work on the terrace and tightened all screws which Markus obviously has not tightened enough when he laid out the wooden floor.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No sign of pirates in the Caribbean

Over the past years Markus has established a certain tradition by going usually for a weekend long for a sailing trip with his former boss – who is co-owner of a Swan 82 sailing yacht – and friends. While the past trips took them to Sardinia, Sweden and Mallorca the trip in 2011 has been scheduled earlier in the year and to a more exotic destination: the Caribbean. Hence Markus boarded a plane on Thursday morning to Paris and from there on to St. Marteen where the group of 7 got on the Astro de l’Est. Even though the new main sail has not arrived on time for the trip the Swan, a racing yacht, travelled at pretty good speed – more than 9 knots - with only the jib sail for the first three days.

The beaches on Prickly Pears Cays are far from being busy

After a swim in the Caribbean Sea early morning and a healthy breakfast on board they headed on Friday to Anguilla, an Island close to St. Martin where they enjoyed the peaceful bays of Prickly Pear Cays and Sandy Island, an island which consists of nothing else but sand, a bar with a few tables and 5 palms. On Saturday the crew travelled back to St. Martin where the new main sail was picked up and continued further towards St Barths, a mountainous island with a crazy airport – the short runway starts right after a hill and ends on the beach – and some of the most exclusive hotels and clubs. The whole island was preparing for a 5 day regatta - Les Voiles de Saint Barth - and so the marina in Gustavia, the capital, was full with large sailing yachts as well as huge private motor yachts which could be mistaken for cruise ships.

Turquoise sea viewed from Nikki Beach Club

On Sunday the crew was working all afternoon to put the new main sail up – tough work even for the whole crew of 4 people – and so the passengers decided to spend the day in St Jeans in the Nikki Beach Club. The club in St Barths is apparently the most scenic one in the world, not only as it is next door to the Eden Rock Hotel, and thus frequently visited by lots of celebrities who spend their holidays on or off St Barths. The lunch with cocktails served into the sea, delicious food, lots of french Rosé and fine tunes mixed by the DJ lasted all afternoon and the group only returned at 1800 back to the boat which was finally fully equipped thanks to the hard work of the crew. The next destination for the Astro is Barbuda which is reached after an approximately 12 hour trip and thus the yacht set off at 0230 in the morning but beforehand they dropped Markus off in the Marina as his sailing trip ended according to plan on Monday. He spent a night out on the road, had and early start and soaked up a lot of sun at Nikki Beach Club again before enjoying the experience of flying the short 15 min trip to St. Martin and then onwards via Paris to Vienna again where on Tuesday morning he finally could hold Jakob and Kerstin in his arms.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus