Graz's Trademark

(I took this pic!...not a stock photo from internet)

Today we had to take yet another trip up the Schlossberg to check out the clocktower that had been unveiled during my absence. It had been covered up with scaffolding for 9 months. The other day when I caught a glimpse of it from the tram, I said "Oh! I love the clocky!" (to Art) and the guy next to me laughed. He was thinking "total tourist to the max".

The weather has been kinda crusty since I've been back with thunderstorms almost every afternoon. Today was marvelous, but a leetle frosty for Coco when we weren't in the sunshine.

We asked a lady to take our photo in front of the clocktower and she takes it landscape and chops off the top.


So we took our own pic of ourselves in front of the landscape of the city, and now it has become our new title photo. (I have some spare...more on job news later.)


I'm sure pics of the Schlossy are getting old to you, but every time we go, it's still so pretty.
All the roses are in full bloom everywhere...


Even the lightposts are quaint and entwined with loveliness.


..and then walking back, I thought for a brief second, "they do have a Target!", but then was quickly brought back to reality.

Rose gardens on our street.

Back Home to my Lovey...



Another long trip back and now even more jet lag to conquer, but it was so wondey to see my Artie at the airport. He thought we would take the bus and train home....Ha! I called a cab up in no time..I wanted to get home pronto.

The next night we went to dinner. I had to take a picture of the menu for Andy, who said "Isn't everything really healthy there..like no fried foods?". Oh Andy...they will fry anything in sight and serve it up as schnitzel.


Then we went to to OBB train station across the street because we needed some ice cream and it has the only grocery store open after 7pm.

This is the crazy ceiling inside the lobby of the train station.
We thought it was appropriate when we first arrived in February because it kinda looks
like arteries, the subject of Art's research.


And then, on the tram home, I totally got busted trying to film this guy. First of all, because of his attire...shiny black spandex and a pony that won't quit and second of all, because he never stopped talking once we got on the tram. As you can see in the video, I got busted...which, why would I not?...i was pointing the camera straight at him....sometimes I think I'm invisible here.

video

So Many Peeps to See, So Little Time

I got to see a lot of friends and family while I was in town and mowed down a lot of good mexican food while doing it. This is not everyone, but the ones I managed to take pics with...my psycho blog mentality followed me home...

Sam Cheese! He's gotten so big and gives this coy little smile whenever I talk to or smile at him. Couldn't be cuter.

Jimmy asked me to dinner with him and his cute girlfriend, Natalie.
We went to one of the many new spots on Washington, Raia's Italian kitchen.


I also had lunch with my old office...it was good to see all of them.
Angela had me doing work up at the front desk for her in no time.


Dinner with the girls at Cafe Express.




Brunch with Lori (& Saige), Stephanie and Wendy

Molly, Lindsey and I made a trip to the new Forever 21 downtown.
Molly and I bought matching maxi dresses....totally terri.

And last but not least, my little bunkto. Art says I get this crazy look in my eyes every time I'm around Ty. Why can't I pack him up and take him back with me? (Cause his large body mass won't fit in a cute carry on)


Back Home for Chris & Lindsay's Wedding!


with the happy bride and groom to be (and all in purple)

The flight home was long and I only slept for about 2 hours despite the fact that I had four seats to myself. The guy on the aisle next to me kept giving me jealous glares as I was laying down fluffing my pillows (I had all four of those too). Hehe...Art and I were the only ones last time that didn't have a row to ourselves, so this was totally deserved.

I was glad to be home, but it did feel a little weird...I don't have a home, car or job there anymore and my husband wasn't with me..and it is DANG humid in Housty.

On Friday, the wedding festivities began...

at the rehearsal dinner with my sisties...Molly, me, Erin and Amy.
so good to all hang out together...i miss them a lot.


with Mimi, the matriarch



with the Hatleys

All dressed up for the wedding...we didn't plan our jewel toned dresses, but they looked wondey together. Sorry Ames, you weren't there (and, gasp!, wore black)

With the seasoned flower girls. Ana was so perked to be wearing tights...she was showing everyone..."I got tights..you don't"

The beauty bride and Molly

with our Pops

The groom's cake...Chris made this crossword and passed it out to friends weeks before and then supplied the answers on the cake.

the delishy cake


Molly, Jimmy, Amy and Andy all looking quite dapper

Mom with her long time bestie, Judy

Chris and Lindsay were wondey dancers and put on a good show.
I've never seen my brother so happy.


It was SO good to see all my family and a lot of my friends at the wedding. It was A LOT more English and chatting than I'm used to and I was loving it.

Art's First Blog Post (while Frau Valentín is in Houston)

Lots of things going on around town. It brightened up so I went out for lunch. Here is what I saw.

I noticed they blocked off train traffic on the street from Jakominiplatz to Hauptplatz. It was apparently sports weekend here in Graz. Here is the finish line to a wheelchair race by the Austrian special olympics.

Here you can see the street blocked off. Kids are playing soccer inside those green net areas.

They had kayak lessons in the fountain... the ducks must have been annoyed.

Here you can see the mass of humanity as I got closer to the Hauptplatz

A bouncy slide for the kids.

American football is becoming more popular here, Austrians historically being a warlike people. All the players looked American. This is in front of city hall.

Climbing up the clocktower.

Yet more climbing.

This guy was enjoying his blimp. He had a camera attached to the blimp. It sends the picture to his remote, which is shown here perched upon his belly. He's reeling it out...

The blimp.

You know he's been waiting a while for the chance to use it.

People everywhere. A zipline for kids too...


This guy in the red shirt was trying to convince a little girl to slide down. She wouldn't budge. I helped "convince" her.


The town, Kuntzhaus clearly visible.

The clocktower unveiled!

Billions of people. Where did they come from? Note the Austrian garb on display in the foreground.

I decided to lurk in the shadows of the forest.

Main church.

Elections coming soon. This is the party of Ty (BZO). They (along with the FPO) are "conservative nationalistic" (neo-nazi). Check out the Hitler-stash that someone gave the guy. The poster says "Guaranteed Incorruptible!" Most of their posters have either been defaced or placed upside-down.