Sunday, July 31, 2011

Typical behaviour in untypical weather

The past 1.5 weeks the weather was anything but summer-like as temperatures dropped into the mid-teens and it was raining a lot. As a consequence we not only could not use our season ticket for the nearby Stadionbad and had to look for alternative entertainment for our junior. On Saturday we initially wanted to do some shopping at a Swedish furniture chain in the north of Vienna, but a combination of construction works and an early morning accident on the A23 made us postpone the trip to the afternoon . When Jakob woke up after a more than two hours long lunchtime nap we got into our car again and wanted to follow an alternative route to Ikea. However the inner city routes were clogged by that time as many drivers used this detour to avoid the still completely blocked A23. Hence we changed plans again, returned home and went into the Prater instead - Jakob was riding his bike and we tried to keep pace with him. We spent time on the playground on the large slide as well as the flying fox and our junior, who is currently ion the phase of “I can do that on my own” ordered us several times to stay away from him and not get near him to help. The following movie is evidence for that:

Sunday was a carbon copy of Saturday with weather not having improved at all, cloudy skies and temperatures below 20 degrees. We decided to go the zoo in the morning before lunchtime as we haven’t been there for ages and only last week Saturday had to call that plan off due to rain. We watched the feeding of the seals which as always has been a highlight. Jakob for the first time watched the whole procedure very concentrated and was laughing lout whenever a seal jumped out to grab some fish. The less than 1 month old newborn seal also used the morning feed to present itself to the public. It was clumsily getting in and out of the water and even made the typical seal-noise the animals make when the demand something (at least they do so here in Schoenbrunn). We afterwards went to the elephants as it started drizzling and hid in the indoor compound until it stopped raining , moved on to watch the white-hand gibbons playing outdoors in the trees and took a glimpse at the newborn giraffe. By lunchtime we were back at home again and spent the afternoon chilling and relaxing before getting to work and to nursery again on Monday morning.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Girls aloud - the story of a hen-night

Part two of our “farewell-to-singledom” took place this past weekend and this time it was the ladies’ turn. Hence Kerstin was picked up from home on Saturday just after lunchtime by her maid of honour Maria in order to kick of a weekend themed “Mad Women”. While Jakob was initially not too impressed with the fact that his mom would be leaving him behind – he tried several times to take off her shoes and make her stay – he soon after the ladies have left could be effectively distracted by playing with grandma Heidi, cousin Ylvie, uncle Flo and Markus. A total of 18 ladies congregated to celebrate Kerstin’s hen-night and gathered at Motto am Fluss for a warm-up and afterwards Kerstin checked into her hotel room, a stylish master suite in Le Meridien by the ring road. The girl’s plan to have drinks in outside the Moet Bar of the hotel but the fact that the funeral procession of the last heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Otto von Habsburg, was just passing by the hotel was a bit too depressing and so the drinks were in the outdoor-loungearea at the back of the hotel. Time now also was ripe for Kerstin to be properly adjusted for the night amongst other stuff with a little black dress and phenomenal high-heels which she was wearing for the rest of the evening.

So close, but no-one dared to jump...

For dinner the group had a reservation in Holy Moly – situated on the Badeschiff, a floating pool on the Danube channel – and they left the restaurant after midnight to hit the dance floor of Platzhirsch located right next to the Meridien. Kerstin not only endured dancing in her high heels for a very long time and only by 0300 decided to shrink by 10cm but also managed to have fun and enjoy the night without any drink while the girls around her had drink after drink after drink. The visit to the sausage stand at dawn however was a must and the sausage tasted similarly good with or without a drink. Having hit bed by 0600 Maria, Evi, Doris and Kerstin had nice breakfast/lunch in Palmenhaus on Sunday morning while Jakob was impatiently waiting at home for his mom and asked in regular intervals about her whereabouts. When the doorbell rang around 1400 and Jakob heard Kerstin’s voice on the intercom one not only could see his joy about hearing mom but also his relief that she returned. Our sunshine was awaiting her by the elevator and embraced her tightly as soon as she left the elevator. We are not sure, when he allows her to go out again without him!

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jakob turned 2 - that has been celebrated!

When Jakob woke up on Wednesday morning he was well aware already that the day would be special as a chocolate cake was "parked" in the air-conditioned bedroom and as a consequence our junior asked for some cake for breakfast. By the time Jakob reached the kindergarten he was confronted with more evidence of a special day: Kerstin took along a (different) cake for J's comrades and he was immediately decorated with a crown and placed right in the centre of a children's circle. Our sunshine seemed to have been fully aware of what all that was about and put forth his hand to every child around him in order to accept compliments and afterwards they all had the delicious chocolate cake. At 1030 both Kerstin and Markus - who took the day off - picked up Jakob from the kindergarten and made their way across the bridge home where grandma Heidi, aunt Sandra and cousin Ylvie were already waiting for us. There was also something else waiting for Jakob: a fully assembled brand-new Duplo deluxe train set - the present from grandma and godmother. Jakob's excitement was so large and he liked playing so much that he completely refused to go to bed for his lunchtime/afternoon nap which we did not like too much given the programme we expected for the rest of the day.

Cool!! I've got my own railtracks!

Just after 1330 the doorbell rang and Markus' family - grandma and grandpa, godfather Stefan and Viki as well as aunt Ines - joined us to celebrate Jakob's 2nd birthday. The weather was very similar to July 13th 2009 with hot temperatures (reaching 35 degrees) and thus we spent actually most of the afternoon in the air-conditioned living room. After the birthday cake - a delicious Sacher cake decorated with a train made of marzipan which Jakob ate straight away - it was time for the second round of presents. This time our junior was allowed to unwrap and he very much liked doing that. He took his time for each present and celebrated the unwrapping procedure and to all our surprise spent some time to play/look at and show around each present before moving on to the next parcel. He is now proud owner of a few pieces of clothing, two more books, a carpet with roads and buildings for playing with cars and a basketball set with a height-adjustable basket and a ball in order to one day follow the steps of dad and godfather. The latter present was tested by all party guests and Jakob was all joyful whenever someone scored and exclaimed a loud "NOOOOO" whenever the basket was missed. Guess what we heard most?

Practice for the NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2032 has started already

Later on we moved up to the terrace where the children's pool was waiting, but for some reason Jakob was less excited about swimming and playing in the water and thus it was mainly the adults - Stefan, Viki and Kerstin - who cooled off in the water. We did not find out whether it was due to Jakob being a bit tired, the water being too chilly or because of the many presents one floor lower. When Anja, Lini, Peter and Jakob's friend Anna completed the round of party guests junior could unwrap yet another present - a "travel highway" with a few toy cars made by Lini which impressed pretty much everyone. The day was concluded with a big barbecue whereas we did eat inside due to the heat that was still intense after 1800 and when bedtime came Jakob was fast asleep within a very short period of time. The excitement of the second birthday was obviously very tiring.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus

Monday, July 11, 2011

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Past weekend it was time for Markus' stag weekend which was organised and coordinated by Peter, Markus' best man. As it is tradition, the groom has no idea what would happen to him and had to be "ready for take off" Saturday morning at 0830. After a breakfast in Do-An at the Naschmarkt Peter and Markus together with Flo, Stefan, Bruno, Mirko, Geri, Christoph and Oliver got into two cars to drive on to the destination of the bachelor party. Markus, still not knowing where they would end up and what he had to expect, could only guess and was extremely confused when the convoy was split (unintentionally) with one car following the A2 southbound and the other one the S6 westbound. After the re-union on the A2 at the Pack however he was sure that the destination would be the Woerthersee in Carinthia. The guys checked into a hotel in Reifnitz - famous for the annual Golf GTI meeting - the wolf pack, joined now also by Christian, made its way to the lake where they enjoyed the sun, had several beers and did some watersports - wakeboarding and waterski. Markus' 4 wakeboard attempts anded all abruptly after a few metres whereas his 4 water ski attempts at least took him a total 100 metres into the lake.

Markus' outfit for during the day

In the evening the 10 boys met up with Fritz in Velden and Markus got the instruction for his evening's job: an accelerated bookbuilding of 50 useless shares issued by himself and signed by his honorable supervisory board consisting of Mr Madoff, Mr Strauss-Kahn and Mr Kulterer. Via speedboat they crossed the lake to reach Lakeside, a nice restaurant in Reifnitz where Andi and Klaus joined and completed the party guests. After dinner the majority of shares has been placed with other restaurant guests and at midnight the guys crossed the lake by speedboat again to Poertschach where drinks at teh bar of Schlosshotel Miralago and party at Anna W followed. Even though are mostly remembered but remain private.

Sunday was for some people slower than for others, was spent again by the lake in Reifnitz before drinving back to Vienna in the late afternoon.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus