Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jetlagged Vienna Zombies Eating Schnitzel

Once we arrived and retrieved (miraculously ALL) our luggage, we rode into the city and dropped it all off at the hotel. Then, since we couldn't check in, we had 4 hours with 6 tired children to show them around town. We went to the Rathaus (city hall) where they show free movies every night in August and September, we walked through Heldenplatz (Heroes' Plaza) and the Volksgarten (people's garden), through the palace and down two big shopping streets, Kohlmarkt and Graben until we reached the center of the bicycle wheel that is Vienna: Stefansdom. We managed to stop and buy chocolate and apfelsaftgespritzt (like apple beer, only dry) and then made our way back to the hotel by the Opera, the Burggarten, and the MuseumsQuartier where we stopped and had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, the Glacisbeisl. By then the kids were well and truly exhausted, and we took our first U-bahn ride for one stop with our children pole dancing and Tomas yelling "my train! my train!". It was a good thing to arrive at the Pension Baronnesse.

Flying High

Our flights were unusually free of worry and on time and uneventful. The addition of three Isaak children (Chloe, Liam, and Tomas) meant that we could have exchanges and playdates even in the air. Even a bigger relief was the fact that Rob the Packermeister Meisterpacker managed to get all of our luggage into ten bags, each weighing less than 50 pounds (most of them weighing 49 pounds, actually!). How often have you had a counter agent tell you that your bags were well packed?!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Visitng the Christensons

Mike and Rob see eye to eye because they think they both have such humungous crania -- they are virtual planetoids! Now Will and Ethan are ready to become "HEEDS, the Next Generation".

I'd like to say that we're responsible parents, and after a day like that we brought our children home, fed them dinner and put them to bed. But, no. We drove down to Fremont to visit our friends the Christensons and kept them up until after 10:00pm. They all fell asleep within 3 minutes of sitting in the car. Hmmmm.

All in a Day in San Francisco

Doing a dance at the Ferry Building.
Will was so good at hanging off the cable car that he got a mommy telling him "You hold on tight!"

While in California, Rob took Maddie and Will to visit the city. They rode a BART train in, took a cable car, played at playgrounds in North Beach and Nob Hill, ate and shopped in Chinatown, walked to Fisheman's Wharf and Pier 39, then caught a ferry back to the Embarcadero and Ferry Building markets and rode BART back to Piedmont. What seasoned travelers they are!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Maddie was baptized and confirmed by her papa on Saturday, August 5th. She wasn't worried at all, and afterward she said "That was fun! I like getting baptized!".

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monterey Dunes

In mid-July we drove out to California for a Shumway reunion at the beach. We always go to Monterey Dunes which is in the middle of artichoke/strawberry/gourmet lettuce land. It was over 100 degrees in Gilroy (about 20 miles away), but got down to 50 at the beach. Ahhhhh. Shumways and artichokes like nothing better than the cold, cold fog!

Generally, we got up, ate breakfast, went to the beach until we were frozen through, then ran back to the pool, then the hot tub, back to the cabin for lunch and then we began again. It was Sebastian's first time playing at the beach because last time he was two months old, and came out once or twice bundled up in his blanket. He thought this was the world's largest sand box! He was not as fond of the water as his brother and sister. They ran out and jumped waves for hours, beaten only by Rob and Aunt Karen's polar bear swim.

While out at the beach we saw a sea lion a few times, a sea otter eating, lots of pelicans and snowy plover, and Rob and I saw a pod of something (dolphins or whales) swim by on our last morning there.