January 10, 11, 12 (Days 1, 2, and 3)
Hello the blog world!
We are in Vienna and we’ve already seen it snow twice. =) We are happy for all the nice warm clothes that we have. The past several days weren’t very exciting so I’ve combined them all into once little post for you.
Joanna departed Houston today. My flight was at 3:40pm, and I felt like I just barely made it. I didn’t sleep last night for all the tasks and packing I still had to get done. Then, once businesses opened in the morning, I was out running several last-minute errands. Finally, I had to take Milo to the vet to be boarded and all of this took so much longer than I had anticipated. As a result, I canceled my supershuttle ride to the airport gaining me one extra hour at home to finish up before driving myself to the airport. I only thought of one little minor thing I forgot, so, somehow everything got done.
My flight was very uneventful. It was packed, but I managed to get a window seat rather than being stuck in the middle. I slept nearly the whole flight and I arrived in Amsterdam on the morning of Day 2.
Mark left Skikda on the helicopter to head towards the Annaba airport. When he arrived, search and rescue was working in full force at the airport and he and his co-workers were stuck waiting on the helicopter for an extra 20 minutes while they finished up commandeering the tarmac. Luckily, there was still plenty of time before his flight to Paris. Flying to Paris was uneventful.
Joanna arrived in Amsterdam early in the morning at around 7:45am, and for the first time, it was pitch black outside when arriving. There is so much less daylight in the winter! Since my flight to Paris was not until 10:45a, I had plenty of time to do some computer and internet work during my layover. My flight from AMS to CDG was again uneventful. I arrived before Mark and managed to make it to our hotel located at the airport, but not actually connected. Mark would meet me at the hotel when he arrived.
Finally, we were both re-united. Our flight to Vienna isn’t until tomorrow (I left time for winter flight delays that never happened, thankfully) so we had about half a day to waste. There was a 2-minute train ride from the hotel back to the airport, so we ended up going back to CDG for our meals rather than eat the overpriced food at the hotel. We found a restaurant called Hippopotamus and were very amused at all the hippo references. For instance, we both had hippo burgers. There was hippo steak too. (Yes, it was all really beef, but it was fun to joke about our first time eating hippo)
Our final travel day before vacation really starts. Today we flew from Paris to Vienna on another uneventful flight and arrived in Vienna just as it started to snow! We weren’t the only people frantically pulling out our cameras so that we could take photos of the airplanes and tarmac covered in snow. =) The snow didn’t last too long and by the time we took the CAT train from the Vienna airport to the city central (Wien-Mitte station), it had stopped. From the Wien-Mitte station, we had incredibly good directions from our apartment rental to use the subway to get to the apartment. There was a 3-minute walk to our apartment, and for the first time we had to step outside into the freezing weather. It wasn’t too bad! Once again, we were impressed with our apartment rental as we followed their directions to the apartment, where we had a code to a safe holding our key and entry directions. The entry directions were amazing, too. These people could have written directions for my grandmother, they were so exact. =)
The directions included: “at the end of the main hall, turn left (double-wing door). Open the green door with the front-door key. There you attain the elevator. Go to the 3rd floor and leave the elevator through the right door. ” and so forth. It was pretty complicated to get to the apt with all the doors and it was nice to have such amazing directions. So far we are very happy with the GAL Apartments Vienna.
Our apartment is amazing with two large rooms. One is a living area with the kitchen, table, and coat rack. A large bathroom with a nice large shower is separate from the water closet holding just the toilet and tinniest sink you’ve ever seen. It is the definition of a water closet, in my opinion. =) In the next room is a huge bedroom with two couches, a tv, a desk, and a large bed.
We have a grocery store about 1 minute away from our place, so we stocked up on groceries. Then we did a little event planning hoping to find a concert or an opera to attend tonight, but tickets were sold out everywhere. Oh well. Instead we planned on dinner and a movie.
Tripadvisor helped us found a restaurant with tasty baby back ribs for Mark, while I tried to stay healthy and eat a salad. Then we headed off to our movie. Unfortunately, we were unable to stay for the whole movie because my salad gave me food poisoning and we had to go home early. Boo. Thankfully we had already done our grocery shopping, so we could spend the rest of the evening drinking tea and doing some more Vienna travel planning.
We have a week here in Vienna, and we’ll find another evening to go back and watch the movie. Oh, I forgot to mention how packed the movie theater was. It was horrible designed for the amount of people, too. The lobby was long and narrow with barely enough room for 6 people to stand shoulder to shoulder across the width of the room. Here there was a crazy long line for the tickets, a line for popcorn, and then a bunch of people standing around out of the cold waiting for their movie. There were 6 theaters off the end of the long side of the lobby and were all stacked on top of each other via a long spiralling staircase. To make matters worse, they didn’t allow people into the theater until just before movie time, so there were lines of people on both sides of the staircase for each theater. It was a madhouse! The bathrooms were no better with incredible lines for both the stalls and lines for the one sink, as well. But this theater shows movies in their original format, which for us means seeing movies in English. =)