Friday, May 30, 2008

Quick update from Wien

We are at Marc and Nicol's fabulous penthouse apartment on our way out for Langnacht of the churches. All of the churches are open late, and many are open to the public for the only time all year. Should be interesting, little bean had 2 naps today so should be prepared. Or she'll pass out in her reclining stroller...we've really spoiled her on not keeping her up late at all this trip. And we have a couple more days here to adjust if she doesn't like it.
Vienna is an awesome city and very kid-friendly. At first it was a big shock from the quiet village of Hallstatt, but our apartment is spacious, bright and close to the city tram. We feel very cosmopolitan here. I see the churches lighting up all around us, so we are off on our evening adventure.

Guten abend vom Wien

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A little piece of heaven on earth

78 degrees, a light breeze and 360 degree views around the lake and mountains. We love it here in Hallstatt. It is a welcome change from the hustlebustle of Salzburg. The little bean gets to run around to her heart`s content as it is traffic calmed here. We took a hike up to a glacier garden yesterday and a bike ride around the lake. Little bean is a great passenger, she cried when we had to return the bikes this afternoon.
All this fresh air and exercise led us to a 3 hour nap, for all 3 of us this afternoon. So relaxed. Dinner was lakeside and just wonderful in the balmy air.

Tomorrow we venture on to Vienna, where it will probably be even warmer. We have an apartment there and will have lots of room to share. Although our room here has been more like an apartment, roomy and airy. We will really miss it here!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


What a lovely sunny couple of days, quite a relief from bundling up against the chill. We hiked across a mountainy-hill yesterday to a mountaineer's hut for lunch. Neat views of the Altstadt (old town) of Salzburg. The little bean had no interest in our fresh lunch, preferring to munch straight off an apple. That occupied her for about 1\2 hour. She enjoys riding in the backpack and her dad doesn`t mind carrying her at all.

We are catching a taxi to the bahnhof in a few minutes, off to the picturesque town of Hallstatt, about 2 1\2 hours away.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Halloo from Salzburg

We had a lovely drive up from Cornwall to Gatwick Airport in London on Wednesday. Just beautiful farm scenery and we even managed a detour to Stonehenge. The little bean was asleep so we took turns walking over to peek through the fence. We ate lunch in the parking lot, REAL Coke with REAL sugar, cornish Yarg cheese with fresh baguette. The best meal!
The flight to Salzburg was easy and comfortable, BA provided sandwiches and beverages even on a short flight. Gatwick is great airport, clean and well organized. We met another family travelling to Austria with a 16 month old little boy. He was cranky, and reflected even more what an amazing traveller our bean is.

Salzburg is COLD! In the 50´s, but we are dressed appropriately. We took a funicular up to the fortress over looking the town and we let the bean run all over the place. Austrians seem to love children, and the bean charms them all. We have been enjoying native dishes like vegetable strudel and cheese spaetzel. It has been very easy to find veggie dishes here, unlike what I´d read beforehand.

Our hotel is a gem, and our host, Peter is one in a million. The little bean has a super soft and comfy cot and our room is spacious. She loves the hand-held shower and throws a tantrum when it is time to get out.

We leave for Hallstatt Sunday morning, so hope we can get online again before that. We miss our family and can´t wait to share our adventures in person. XOXO

Monday, May 19, 2008

The sun has reached Cornwall

Although it was gray in Goldsithney, it was sunny out at the Lizard Point Sunday, a 20 minute drive out to the Southernmost point of england. The views of the flower-carpeted cliffs were stunning, but it was so windy I was worried the little bean might blow right off! We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the most southerly point cafe, great views from inside (and out of the wind). Today we went out to St. Michael's Mount, the castle on the rock off the coast of Marazion. We walked out during low tide and after touring around and lunch we took a boat back. The little bean loved the boat ride, all 5 minutes of it. We have discovered her love of ice cream this trip, when you are having local, all organic ice cream we can't resist either!
The little bean is sleeping well for both her naps and through the night, which is lovely. She wakes up in the morning and from nap looking for "Lyler" (Tyler) the corgie. She seems very much at home here, and she is a pleasure to travel with.
Tomorrow is our last day for fun in Cornwall as Wednesday we travel back to London and on to Austria. Probably won't post again until at least Thursday.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A lovely Cornish Morning

We are all settled with Auntie and Uncle in Goldsithney, my sweet husband did an incredible job driving us from a town 45 minutes away - in a diesel, 6 speed very "posh" car. We were delayed getting into Heathrow so missed our train on Thursday, so spent an evening in London. Lovely hotel, quiet and allowed us to catch our breath. The train was crowded on Friday but filled with really nice people as we travelled from London (Paddington Station) to Truro in Cornwall. We drove from Truro to Goldsithney and got in about 6 pm. Auntie made us a top-notch meal of asparagus hollandaise with rice (and salmon for the omnis). The little bean loved exploring the house and the garden out back. She is in love with their corgie, and he is tolerating her very well. She had a rough patch in the middle of the last night (cursed teething is never-ending), but is sleeping in this morning with dad.

We are going to the village green to a plant sale today, then the beachside playground overlooking St. Michael's Mount. It is gray and cool and feels completely english. What a gorgeous place.

Monday, May 12, 2008

2 Days until the BIG TRIP

Last night the husband and I got the clothes packed into our suitcases and most of the carry-on items lined up. It is such a hassle that we cannot pack most liquids in our carry-ons. I mean, such a hassle! Oh well, it is just part of the adventure of travel. One last trip to the grocery store this morning for snacky items (Milano cookies, crackers) and taco stuff for dinner tonight. (I don't imagine we'll be eating too much mexican food on vacation.) It felt cold out, says Encinitas is 58 degrees. It is breezy and felt much cooler than that. This is probably the weather in both Cornwall and Austria. Better get used to long pants and long sleeves. At least the little bean loves to wear her jacket.

For lunch I made the lentil soup from Veganomicon. I had never made any type of lentil soup, and the only kind I've ever eated is canned from Progresso...and guess what? My lentil soup ROCKED. I almost couldn't stop eating it, I was happy when it cooled enough to go into the fridge. The little bean thought it was pretty tasty. She picked out and ate the diced carrots first, then ate quite a few bites of the soup too. I used red lentils which really fell apart, but I think that was better for the baby to eat anyway.

I am probably enjoying one of the last truly quiet and peaceful moments for the next few weeks. I hope the little bean finds a way to sleep as comfortably during our travels.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Just winding down from a lovely Mother's Day. The little bean slept until a reasonable hour, and we still made it out and about by 9 am. After one false start (no travel high chair or sippy cups), we stopped at the local flower stand and the donut shop. Thank goodness VGs had a couple cinnamon sugar twists to satisfy the husband and I. Delish, but what a sugary mess they make in the car. Little bean had her first taste of sugar-dipped fried fat. She loved it, sigh.

Mother's day was a brunch with my MIL, she prepared lemon poppyseed waffles topped with fresh local strawberries and blackberries (which were from Costco). As if this wasn't enough, she whipped up a quick spinach and mushroom frittata. Excellent, and the bean also loved every bite. Of course, she would have been happy eating just the "berwies" until she popped. I have a mental image of her blowing up and turning purple like the girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After the meal we headed over to the Montage in Laguna Beach to walk along the beach path. It was so gorgeous, even if it was May-Gray today. The bean was reticent to step onto the sand, but she eventually went for it. She was interested in the water coming up, and had fun almost getting wet.

Dinner tonight was huge globe artichokes (4 for $5 at Henry's this week) and a strawberry goat cheese salad. I coated goat cheese rounds with finely chopped almonds and black pepper and sauteed them in a mix of olive oil and butter. The salad dressing was my verion of Trattoria i Trulli's: mayo, brown sugar, olive oil, balsamic, garlic and S&P. OMG, it was great. One of these days I will start experimenting with food pix, but I'll have to be happy with my descriptions for now.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Finally starting to pack for THE BIG TRIP

Well, the little bean is asleep for her afternoon (and only) nap. Which means I have between 1 1/2 and 3 hours to accomplish my daily household chores. The nap will probably be on the shorter side since she didn't want much lunch.

For today I've gotta: clean up kitchen, do one load of laundry, pick up downstairs, planning/packing clothes for THE BIG TRIP. Oh crud, I've really gotta pick up the whole house since the carpets are getting cleaned tomorrow.

We are starting to pack 1 week ahead of time, which is still probably not enough ahead. 2 small carry-on size suitcases for 2 adults and one toddler, plus one duffel for baby backpack, travel chair and diapers. Well, that's the plan anyway. I'll add our packing list when I see what we've actually packed.