We’re here, we’re here, we’re here!

Yes, we are here – at post – indeed and have been so for almost an entire week in which we have managed to see quite a bit (the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘awesome’ are being used repeatedly in this household to describe what we do and see) and take in a lot of Viennese culture (yup, that means food….hello to you beautiful Beergardens with playgrounds [already went there twice…perhaps a bit dangerous to be so close to this promised land] and Heuriger/wineries selling yummy wine and delicious food).
So yes, we’re having tons of fun settling in and exploring – a few pointers as to why our transition was so much easier this time around than in Sao Paulo, when …. Well, let’s just say, things didn’t go so well…

     it’s Vienna….things are pretty (at least this time of year when the sun is shining and people are out and about and you can sit and eat outside…I did mention there were Beergardens here, right?)
– public transportation is at your doorstep – there are trams, buses, subways, and trains covering pretty much all of Vienna and if you can figure out how to read a map, you can  zip all over the place from the minute you arrive (try schlepping a double-stroller with you and you too can enjoy the fun of having to wait for the “right” “new” wheelchair accessible tram to show up so you can manage to get everyone on board!). With so many things to do and see here, it’s so nice to do them at your own pace.
– our sponsor has been awesome! Not only did she answer tons of questions before we arrived, but she also brought over bins of toys for the kids to play with until their own toys arrive…and she’s also super sweet and takes me grocery shopping so I don’t have to schlepp the basic necessities of water, milk, wine, and beer (hey, we’re in Vienna, remember?) up a hill in a double stroller!
 I speak the language….theoretically at least since Austrians have a funny sing-songy kind of an accent going on but speaking fluently and comfortably in German has been a super extra bonus here that has opened more than one door (literally). The weird thing is that my brain is now doing a funny thing of thinking more in German than English (while German is my native language, English is definitely more dominant) so some sentences that I start in English will have a German word slip in every now and then…let’s just see what happens with that over the next few years!
But enough of the writing, time to look at some pictures of where we are!

Beautiful buildings and playgrounds are pretty much everywhere….and yes, it really gets old to admire all this beauty…all the time (who am I kidding!?)

The Zoo is beautiful, accessible by subway, on the grounds of the Summer Castle (Schloss Schoenbrunn) and aside from all that beautiful garden and animal thing it’s got going on, it has not 1 but 2 playgrounds…so you can go from sliding and a rope course….

…to admiring those pesky little “falingos” that just keep popping up everywhere we go…

Did I mention there might be 1 or 2 beergardens? We have learned that the following equation tends to be true: Beergarden + sunny day = happy parent….

Our temporary housing is a bit on the outskirts of town (think vineyards and hills….did I mention it’s fun to push a double stroller up those hills? Oh the hardships of some places!) so we have become a pro at entertaining little ones on all the modes of transportation we take….sticker books and plain old books are a huge hit as are crazy 3D glasses!

…and finally, you know we are home (at least temporarily) when we start decorating….the kids had these wall stickers in their room in DC (Thomas the Tank Engine for Luca and Monkeys for Jules) – we brought them with us to see how well they travel and the kids had tons of fun putting them up again… they insisted on combining both themes rather than dedicating different walls to each so we are left with monkeys swinging on top of trains but it all kind of works, right?

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