Birthday Surprise Get-Away

John’s birthday is a few days after Juliana’s and this year, he was in for a real surprise!

You see, we are not such great believers in giving material presents (unless they are something super cool like the kindle I gave him a few years ago!) so after putting an end to exchanging Christmas presents years ago, we’ve been focusing our energies on using birthdays as an excuse to do things together that we haven’t had a chance to do like eat at a nice restaurant, see a show or concert or the like.

Well this year we did something we haven’t done in say the last 5 years or so. I surprised John with a night away in the small, cute, and close-by  city of Baden bei Wien – ALL BY OURSELVES!

That’s right – no kids. They stayed back in Vienna with their babysitter to enjoy every arts/craft and baking activity they could get their hands on.

The best part was that it was a real surprise – although it took some planning and coordinating and almost all of our friends were in on the secret, John had absolutely no idea until I told him to pack an overnight bag on the morning of his birthday. Got to love when that happens!

So, what did we do? We walked around the beautiful downtown….

Baden bei Wien - Hauptplatz
Baden bei Wien – Hauptplatz

We debated whether we should attend a Ball at the Casino across the street from our hotel on the night of John’s birthday….

Ball on John's birthday - yes, it really says on there "Falco meets Amadeus"
Ball on John’s birthday – yes, it really says on there “Falco meets Amadeus”

We visited one of Beethoven’s houses (he moved around a lot apparently; and there we thought we were the prime example of residential instability?!)…

Me and Beethoven at his house
Me and Beethoven at his house

And explored some wineries and sampled wine without having to chase after little people or occupy them with activity books…

Wine tasting ALONE!
Wine tasting ALL ALONE!

And then, on the morning before we headed back to Vienna, we hiked through the Vienna Woods in the very unseasonable warm temperatures that almost didn’t require a jacket….


Super fantastic birthday surprise and weekend. Now we are just questioning ourselves why we haven’t managed to do this much sooner?

Oh and yes, the kids totally missed us in case anyone is concerned. So much in fact that they could have cared less when we came home. Yeah, thanks a lot kiddos 🙂


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