Saturday, December 31, 2011

sunrise in Wien, sunset in Miami...

The way layovers should be... at South Beach, Florida
today's been pretty cool - waking up at 4.15am in the cold dark of Wien, seeing sunrise running between planes in Dusseldorf airport, missing our connection to New Orleans and being treated to the sunset on Lummus Beach in South Beach Miami, and hopefully making it to sleep in New Orleans on our 11pm flight!

Lummus Beach, South Beach Miami
Getting re-energized and in our beach attire...

Only in Miami... diet pills, energizers, warming magnum condoms, performance enhancers - and all to be had in the 7 Eleven

being in Miami is awesome - i'm reminded how much I've fallen in love with america !! each time I come I seem to be surprised then more enamored with how nice and enthusiastic people are here. you smile at them, they smile back at you, you joke around, they joke back. Not like the slightly colder european attitude... 

it's definitely party time here... perhaps being one day before NYE is partly to blame, but I get the feeling that it's just that sort of place of endless summer.

an absolute treat to be here instead of waiting out the 6 hours in the airport! oh, and the sushi. and beer. oh and oh and .... just happy:)

This is traveling happiness - not quite on the beach but things that make me SMILE

Frohe Weihnachten aus Wien!

Xmas lights in the innerstadt, Wien

after 3 weeks getting to see Wien lit up with its beautiful xmas lights, dressing my first real xmas tree (it was HUGE!) and being treated to wonderful meals from Philipe's mum, I'm finally rolling myself out of town, and continent, on my way to the next foodie destination, New Orleans!

celebrating xmas here was very different from those in Australia or my orphans xmas in Buenos Aires last year... the traditions, the cold weather, the beautiful lights, the food and Philipe's welcoming family and friends all made it a wonderful time. Austria is somehow different - the people are very proud of being Austrian (ahem. and not German), when you walk into a cafe, the entire room says hello (perhaps this was more so out of Wien), and there's little words such as auf wiederschau'n instead of the german wiedersehen and gruss gott for greeting people that somehow make you feel proud being in Austria.

as well as being a tourist, I also got to revel in relaxing in one spot and to be treated like one of the family - Gerlinde - Philipe's mum as well as seemingly continually cooking up big yummy meals was very welcoming, and the having comforts of a wonderful house was a total treat. I don't think I've ever eaten as much lebkuchen, kekse, kuchen, beef, ham, pork, duck, crusty bread roles, salami, and oh.. joy o fjoys.. espresso's ever!

Philipe with his adorable mum Gerlinde and brother, Andreas

some of the memories that made it so wonderful
  • xmas markets - on the first day going to Schonbrunn and eating a pretzel! with Wibke, Ronald, Stefen and Philipe, others in Wolfgangsee (near Salzburg), in the Rathausplatz, also even in the local village - Perchtoldsdorf
  • getting the first real xmas tree - and dressing it on xmas eve morning complete with CANDLES and glass baubles (kugel)
  • attending Bach's Oratorium in Steffansdorm (thank you to Philipe's mum for the treat!)
  • waking up to a white morning in Wolfgangsee
  • being able to have good coffee every morning, afternoon, evening
  • hanging out at the house with Philipe and Gerlinde, preparing and wrapping presents, cooking
  • being treated to endless traditional Austrian dishes from Gerlinde, a Moroccan inspired banquet from Johanna, and home baked xmas cookies from Wibke and Christina
  • going for morning runs in Perchtoldsdorf... through vinyards, forests and all 10mins from the house
  • meeting Philipe's friends - especially Peter and Karin and our night in the very picturesque Modling
  • visiting Hundretwasserhaus and KunsthausWien. The organic forms inspired me as to the power of architecture
  • seeing all the beautiful lights in the centre of Wien
  • seeing a saxaphone quartert busking ... fantastic, young players
ok... i want to rush to get my next post up on the happiness I'm feeling being in Miami, so will leave the post with some pics:)

The xmas market in Wolfgangsee.. so picturesque
Xmas eve dinner
The xmas tree in finished glory!
Getting dressed up
Getting it secured into it's stand... it was so tall and proud - yet so amenable to being bent and holding up baubles
Inpromptu saxaphone concert
Yes - the vinyards I ran through on my morning run.. and the view to Perchtoldsdorf
People playing Eisstockschiesel outside the museum
First day,, first pretzel, first xmas market

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

(was) so happy to be back in london

i noticed that i'd written these exact words 3 times in my diary on the days I was in London... why? along with the bundle of emotions of finally arriving there at 6pm on Friday night, after being in airports since 4am Wednesday morning in Peru, there were things that made me smile, happy feelings of being back somewhere I had enjoyed, and the excitement of seeing friends.

The lead up had been emotional, with delays, long waits, rebooking of flights, and only snatches of sleep. But... sitting on the DLR from london city on my way into Oxford Circus, holding to me my backpack of
worldly goods and just grinning at people in the tube... I was super stoked, in 1 hour I'd be happily crammed into a soho bar with my friends hearing all about what they'd been up to the past year.

Emerging out of the tube at Oxford circus, it took me about 7 bewildered seconds to orientate myself towards Kingley Stret using fcuk and regent street as markers, and then off I went backpack in tow to the bar among the beautiful and well dressed. stories were swapped, g&ts drunk with much laughter, and although feeling just a tad hungover, the following morning walking from Felipe's house to Southfields tube I revelled in how beautiful London can be.

Just some lil moments that came upon me during my 30hours in London...
  • really worrying whether flushing such luxurious thick toilet paper would block the pipes
  • the wonderful cold, crisp air, free of dust
  • bright winter sunshine
  • dogs on leashes
  • no stray dogs hunting for food
  • hearing all the different languages
  • being able to understand the spanish conversations
  • admiring the beautiful boots, handbags and coats worn by londoners going about their daily lives
  • preparing to speak spanish to a cashier, or saying permiso instead of excuse me
  • being able to drink water straight from the tap
  • undertanding all of every announcement
  • seeing every culture of people around me
  • greenery! lush winter greens
  • the xmas cheer especially around Hampstead
  • back in old stomping grounds
  • feeling heart palpitations of being in my favourite clothes shops
  • remembering that it really does take over an hour to get anywhere in london

It was really wonderful to see all you guys again - big hugs to Felipe, Victoria, JP, Mike, Elaine, Dan, Julian, Anna, Yulia, Neil, Catherine and Chris. Bummed I missed seeing Hilga and Gabs, but there's next time

Cheers from a rather greyer but beautiful Wien:)