Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Everything's Coming Up Roses

I hope all you Amerikanerins had a great Memorial Day weekend.

Life over here is just rosy.  :)  We've been enjoying them for the past couple of weeks and they might almost be on their way out.  Don't leave us, Rosies!  Poor Art has been sneezing, wheezing and puffy eyeballing for a good month now, so he might be ready for all flowers to fire their arses outta here.

Our front garden:

And around the neighborhood:

Art's mom comes on Thursday and we're looking forward to that!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recent Designs

Have a good weekend, y'all.
We'll be back Monday with a new episode of The Expat Inquiries.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Scoop on Venice

(Reposting this from last Thursday because Blogger deleted all posts that day.)

Venice is one of those places that people seem to either love or hate.  I can definitely see that if you go at a time with some serious heat and crowds (during the time when the canal smell is wafting possibly), you could be quite less than impressed.

Things are expensive (during peak time) and you could feel like you're forking over a lot of cash for a steam bath of stink with the herds.

Fortunately, we didn't have this experience!

Our hotel (two left buildings) in the less traveled, more local Santa Croce district.  (It was 1-star, 90 euros a night, but actually quite great.)

Hotel info and reviews here.

Our view.

 And a cute terrace patio to enjoy.

One of the finer mask shops, but there are cheesy mask kiosks EVERYWHERE.

As with all good spots, Venice has become quite the tourist destination.  So much so that tourists far outnumber locals on any given day.  For me, this takes away from the wondiness of a place.  Some people don't mind, but I'm not a person that likes to be in crowds.  I especially don't like that it takes away from the authenticity of a place...when around every corner there's cheesy souvenir shops with glass trinkets up to your eyeballs.  And more Nikons in a square foot than you've ever seen in your life (us included!).
 Around the Rialto Bridge...a popular spot.  I can only imagine this doubles in June and July.  Nein, danke!

 And if you've seen The Tourist (not good, but pretty scenery), you might recognize some sites walking around. When we were standing at the famous Rialto Market, I noticed this was the scene where Johnny Depp is chased over that balcony.  Then the cop falls in the water.  Then Angelina's lips puff out some more.

St. Mark's Square.

You have to see St. Mark's, though.  It's impressive.  Too bad we didn't make it inside because of long lines the first day and the second day...preparations for the Pope's arrival! Yes, we didn't even know the Papa was coming.

 His little red stage.  I'm sad to report we did not venture out to see him that evening because judging from the crowds and chaos during the day, we would not have even made it into the square or even be able to see him.

 Flags hung with care for Benedict.

We found that we loved the other areas of Venice that most tourists don't venture to.  I especially love the city in the evening and at night.

We got a little lost, but enjoyed walking around solo and stumbling upon some fancy homes and hotels.

Venice is hard to navigate.  Definitely get yourself a map and look like a fool with it blowing in your face walking around. One slightly wrong alley and you're in a new district.  Good thing it's an island.

Narrow little walkways everywhere. "Oh, we're at the canal" doesn't help.

 We did take a water taxi over to Murano island and saw the brief glass blowing demonstration.

 Another gondola ride offer-er.

Great coffee shop.  I like choco chips in my stuff.

We especially liked the Dosoduro district close to where we were staying.  Filled with students and quaint trattorias with better food and prices.  (We were not impressed with our food the first two nights.)

 a family in Dosoduro outside playing..what else.. soccer.

 Just cute.

Veggie market boat.

Pimp my ride.

 Cute restaurant we found for the last night.

All in all, a success.  Just to get away from the daily grind and experience something new together is fun...like a second little honeymoon.

 Back to Austria.  The Worthersee above.  I tell you what...  You can tell when you are in Austria and when you are in Italy.  This little country we live in is pristine and green!

Monday, May 9, 2011

3 Nights in Venezia

We just had a great three nights in Venice.  What a beautiful little city.  We went sort of as a birthday trip for Art, but mostly just to go...when the weather was perfect and when it wasn't quite peak tourist time. 

Venice is definitely one-of-a-kind.

Back to real life sans canals. :(

to be continued when I have the energy to upload more...