Vienna im Vinter

A couple of weeks ago, I went with some friends to Vienna for the day.  At the top of the list was to see the Schönbrunn Palace as it's the #1 attraction in Vienna and I've never been.  It's the 1,441-room summer home of the famous Habsburg family.  And it's very Ro-coco.

Shyla and I in front.

The backyard.

It looks a bit different in spring and summer:


We then enjoyed a nice lunch at a very Viennesey restaurant:


and all split our first Kaiserschmarrn for dessert.
The Habsburgs used to eat this for dinner.

 Crepey/pancake puff with bites of carmelized sugar and a side of plum sauce.
 
 Pretty soon I won't be able to jaunt to Vienna for the day with my girlies. :(



then walked around, shopped and had a coffee at the Sacher Café before driving home in the snow.


Auf Wiedersehen, Wien.

{Photos courtesy of Shyla and Kim. Danke!}

Abominable Snowhund


I hate to show you dog in the snow pics yet again, but these are just too good not to share. This morning a couple of friends and I (and Elsie) went to the Hilmteich to walk the woodsy path full of pluffy, fresh mounds of snow.

Starting out


with Cecile

Holy snowballs

She provided good laughs for the fellow walkers

Time for a snowcone treat.

( Action pics courtesy of Kim P. )

A Wordpress Website for the IWA of Graz

Our English speaking women's group needed a new website as the one we had was pretty outdated and a pain to update.  I was asked to redesign the site and I decided to use Wordpress, since it's something I'm familiar with and is very user-friendly and makes updates a cinch.


I had never done a "faux" website using a blogging platform, but it's quite easy.  The confusing part is the domain name transfer between continents and all that technical stuff I've never dealt with before.

If you live in Graz and speak English and would like to check out our group, click on the membership page below:

(If it weren't for this club, I wouldn't have met most of the friends I have now...and I'd possibly be fluent in German.)

First Real Snow

We Texans (and South Carolinians: Art) still get excited over the first snow.



And some videos of our snow covered street and...a happy dog.
(maybe turn volume low for video 2)




(videos here for those in a reader)

and happy 3 years to my Artie-poo!

Pregnant in Austria

During the three years that we've lived here (I can't believe it's already been three years), I've had friends from back home ask "Would you have a baby over there?"..."Do you trust their medical system enough to have a baby over there?".

Lederhosen onesies are available.

Peeps, this isn't a third world country.  This is Austria.  Have you seen how they care for their land?  Meticulous rows of perfect crops, perfectly stacked firewood and flowers bustling from the windowsills.  Have you seen their freeways - cars neatly lined up driving happily amongst each other?  Have you seen how they serve coffee?  The only thing that causes concern is "Have you heard how they speak?".  The language barrier can be tricky, but thankfully I've found a doctor whose English satisfies.

Now, the part about not having family or mama or mama-in-law around is a bit scary, but it looks like we might be back in the States for the actual birth anyways, so come on over mamas.

As for the medical care, so far everything's been wonderful.  In fact, possibly better than if I was in the States.  I get an ultrasound every time I go...3-D too if I want that.  In America, I believe you get two the entire pregnancy and if you want 3-D, you pay lots extra.  My doctor said some doctors like to spend their money on a ferrari, he spends his on the latest and greatest ultrasound machine.  He also told us his office was the first in the world to have a 3D ultrasound machine back in 1998.  He is proud and I like that.  He cares about his craft. 


I also get a little yellow preggie passport called a Mutter Kind Pass (Mother Child Passport) that documents my preggie stats.  Lovin' it.

I've also recently taken part in a European study on the CMV (Cytomegalovirus) virus during pregnancy that my doctor is participating in.  Turns out I've never had it and don't have antibodies to it, so I best not contract it while pregnant.  I somehow got in the crap group (the control group) that won't be tested for it during the pregnancy...only at the end.  The chances of getting it are rare, but I won't be loving up on any kids for awhile (as they are the main sources of it).  Anyways, this virus is currently not tested for, but is more common than any other (common being .5% or so?) and this study will see if it's worth testing for and if medication can help if caught early.  I sat in with 15 other pregnant girls (all around 9 - 12 weeks pregnant) and listened to the details of this study in German for about 15 minutes and understood about 10% of what my doctor said.  I went for it anyways.  This is trust, people.

So, that's how it's been so far.  So far, so good.  If we do end up staying in Austria through the birth, I will have to do some research.  Like how do you say epidural in German?