Every now and then….

…you just need a weekend away. Away from city life. Away from the kids. But apparently not away from rain. Last weekend, we set out to our second, EVER overnight alone in the past 5 years (the first barely a few months away….but oh, such a distant memory!). And we were not all alone this time around – no, we traveled with our dear friends Mark and Julia who also needed a break from being parents. The plan was simple: drive about an hour to Lake Neusiedl (“Neusiedler See”), rent some bikes, and drive from vineyard to vineyard to sample local wine … Continue reading Every now and then….

Chocolate overload – and we finally made it to Graz

That’s the only way of describing our outing yesterday – chocolate overload. We headed to the Zotter Chocolate Factory, about 1.5 hours from Vienna for what promised to look like heaven – unlimited chocolate tasting PLUS a huge petting zoo and garden! It was literally all that – chocolate, more chocolate, and then more chocolate followed by lots of playtime. It was really hard work touring it all. There were about a gazillion tasting stations and after the kids recovered from tasting the bitter cocoa beans (their faces shrieked “betrayal!”), they were even willing to go back for more of the “real” chocolate stuff … Continue reading Chocolate overload – and we finally made it to Graz

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 … Continue reading Birthday Surprise Get-Away

“Lugge mol da” – fun times with Swiss German/Brazilian friends!

This post could also be entitled  “you know you’re an international/global/third culture kid/person if you are halfway around the world from where you originally met your friends, you speak in multiple languages to each other and your kids at the same time, your friends seriously contemplate visiting you in crazy destinations like Mongolia, and this is all completely normal.” You see, I first met Tanja in my German expat playgroup in Sao Paulo. She arrived around the same time we did with her husband and a “blind passenger” on board (German idiom, literal translation…it’s kind of a fun one which is … Continue reading “Lugge mol da” – fun times with Swiss German/Brazilian friends!

Roman Ruins & a Castle …. it’s what we do on weekends

Today was yet again, another cold (seriously, what is up with the never-ending winter of 2012/13?)  and foggy day so we hopped in the car and drove out of town hoping to find warmer weather (which we didn’t) and learn something new and exciting (which we did). We set out to explore the ancient Roman ruins of Carnuntum – the Reborn City of Emperors (see my review here). The ancient city (spanning a huge area….10 square km) has been partially (less than 1%) excavated and reconstructed so we thought what better way to teach our kids the value of history … Continue reading Roman Ruins & a Castle …. it’s what we do on weekends