Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Something new?

Okay, I'm gonna try something new.

Went out last night and saw some music videos I thought we really fun. Now the annoying part is, I'd had a couple of beers (yes, I said beer - cheaper than water here) and can only remember two of the three I liked best. It's not that I was super drunk, I think the DJ was. He kept cutting away the video before the end of the songs to put on a new video. So I never got to read the artist's name or song name.

Luckily, I knew who two of the three were and was able to find the video without knowing the song name. The final one, I will continue to seek...

Now, let see if I can get them to post here. One is by Take That and the other is by Freemason.

A-Ha! I found the third one (only took about an hour of searching) and it's by Princess Superstar adn lordy, this video is odd.

Auf Wiedersehen, Wien!

Well today will be a quickie because I am counting down the minutes we have left in Vienna and the time ahead of us in Budapest!

My camera battery didn't charge properly last night, so Robb was in charge of almost all the photos today. As it is our history, on the last day, we panic shopped. In Between we toured. The highlight was the Majolika Haus an art nouveau building in Vienna. (photo below)

Lyle needed a warmer coat desperatly. So I bought a white leather jacket. Robb bought a nice wool car coat that will go with a suit or jeans (Hugo Boss). and finally, at the end of our day, Lyle bought a coat with a fur lining. Of course.

Lyle and Robb trying the jacket that I ultimatly purchased. They had to try it on so I could see how it would look (only better on me). It has a bit of a "project" on it, I must get rid of that confederate flag patch on the front!

The most beautiful building in Vienna.

Interesting poster along the street...

Ah, Einspänner... I think I'll miss you most of all...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Needy much?

Just curious as to who may be reading this...

Down at the end of each post is a little area called "comments".

Don't be afraid. You probably will be mocked. But it will probably be by someone you already know. Doesn't that make it that much better?

Wednesday is the last full day in Vienna. So I expect to be out panic shopping! Looking for that last little perfect item that will represent Vienna to me. Or is so cute, I want to wear it out that night.

Robb's Wiener!

Today we changed hotels. Le Meridian is exactly the opposite of the Bristol. Modern, sleek, minimalist. I can’t find any light switches.

We dropped off our bags and began our day. Fist stop the Secession Building. An “eyesore” when it was built, this beautiful building now houses modern art. But as they were installing a new exhibit, we could only see the old modern art. Gustav Klimt, Beethoven Frieze: This Kiss to the Whole World. Quite stunning.

We then made our way “out of town”. Much like as if we’d spent three days exploring the area around Beverly Center and then took a grand tour to Hollywood blvd. In any case, it was a change of pace.

Had a lovely meal (you know I’ve got photos) and then took a walk in the frigid brittle winter. Always so enjoyable.

At last we made out way to Schönbrunn Palace. Possibly the most famous two details of this palace are the fact the Mozart played concerts here when he was as young as 4 and that Marie Antoinette was born and raised here.

We had planned to just walk by... you know, “seen one Versailles seen ‘em all” kind of attitude. But it was so cold we wound up going in to escape. It was very lovely. Mind you, it was no Versailles.

Then back to our new hotel, some gym, sauna and unpacking time and voila! Here we are!

Required coffee and whipped cream photo of the day.

So civilized. Here's is one of the three dogs having lunch today with us.

In front of Schönbrunn Palace.

Like Marie Antoinette before him, Robb nearly lost his head over the palace!

Well, you know you've made it when your toilet is so fancy and everyone wants to see it!

Palace, shmallace...

Won't you take me to... europafunk-y town?

A promise fulfilled.

The last missing pice of luggage appeared. And you want to guess when? While we were out shopping to replace what was inside it.

I just kept believing and hoping that it would show up. So much so, that though I bought some needed clothes, I hadn’t replaced the toilet tries. I just didn’t want to go through all the drama of trying to find things “like” the ones I wanted. I wanted MINE. I didn’t want deodorant that would make me smell differently (or smell at all). I wanted MY shaving supplies. I wanted my fucking sweaters!!!

So all is nearly right with the world.. except now I want BA or American to pay for Lyle’s new coat (because he didn’t have one warm enough on him when we landed - it was in the checked bag) and my pants. Because I wouldn’t have bought as heavy a pair of pants if I’d have had mine here.

After the symphony last night, Robb & Lewis met us for a late night dinner and of course, dessert. Who could have dessert without some einspänner?! So after dinner (you know, midnight) we were raring to go. But what to do at midnight on a Monday...

We took the tram across town, got off, and wandered back towards the hotel in a meandering a route as possible.

Hey, when the weather dries up and the wind dies down you grab what precious time you have and see some sights!

Today we change hotels to the Le Meridian.
Yesterday, in between showers.
(Note my delightful dress pants worn all day before my jeans and sweaters arrived.)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Another little tip!

As you read through the blog, you may see some words are a slightly different color. Perhaps a light purple. If you click on those words, you will be directed to a page of interest to that word. For instance, tomorrow we are moving from the Bristol Hotel in Vienna about a block and half over Le Meridian. Try that out and see what happens!

Auntie Em! Auntie Em! It’s a twister!!!

Hooray! Another bag has shown up!

Of the two missing bags, the one with Lyle’s puffy coat, some socks for him, some underwear for him and more shoes for him arrived at about 8 p.m. Sunday night.

On the downside, the third and final piece of luggage still missing contains his flannel lined pants, all my jeans, all our sweaters and all our toiletries. So if either one of us looks a little “rough” in the pics, it’s because our delicate skin is not getting its preferred regime.

The weather has also taken a turn. Instead of being bitterly cold, it’s now also added brutally windy. No more snow, but some freezing pellets of rain tried to drive themselves through my cheek last night on the way to dinner.

Today was a very light picture day. Because it was such awful weather! I woke up at 6 am. I did my yoga, my stretching, my daily meditation.

Did you actually believe that for even a second!?!

Woke up at 6 am. Swore inside my head so as to not wake Lyle. Finally about 6:30, I realize I am not going to fall back asleep so I got up.

I gathered up the guide books (they were packed in the luggage that had FINALLY arrived) and then went to the dressing room closet and closed myself inside to read without the light spilling out and waking up Lyle.

I read until about 8. The weather kept turning. At 6 am, it was WINDY, bright and spotty clouds went flying by. At 7 it was pouring rain. At 8 it was clear and dry. At 8:30 it was pouring. The wind kept moving weather through faster than can shop a 70% off sale!

At 9 am I phoned Robb & Lewis. They were not up yet and would call me when they were.

I got dressed. I checked on the weather. I changed my shoes. I checked on the weather. I changed my shoes. I checked on the weather and I changed my shoes again. At 9:30 Robb, Lewis and I went out for breakfast.

We went out the front hotel door and ducked straight away into the subway. We weren’t taking the subway anywhere, we were crossing the street and walking a block underground out of the weather.

We ate at a local institution called Aida. Mostly it’s a pastry shop. So by default we were forced to eat pastry for breakfast. I had the cremeschnitte. It was my second one of the trip. My fist one was yesterday but I ate it so fast I forgot to get a photo before it was all over. YUMMY. It’s basically a piece of puff pasty on the bottom a piece on the top and yummy delicious wholesome whipped cream (schlagober) filling as high they feel safe to go. In the cremeschnitte picture here, they have added a completely unnecessary middle layer of puff pastry.

Lyle joined us for lunch at Julius Meinl. Its an international grocery store that collects the best of everything from around the globe. Oh, and it’s also a deli, a bakery, fresh fish, coffee bar, wine store, restaurant, tea shop, art gallery and a bank. Primarily a financial institution I am told. Ha!

Then it was shopping, shopping, shopping. I needed something either than dress pants and thin jeans to wear in public. Went to H&M, Diesel, H&M, Zara, H&M, Hugo Boss and H&M. Bought two pairs of pants. One actually from H&M.

Robb & Lewis are headed to a symphony tonight of Mozart. Can you believe it? Mozart. In Vienna!

Lyle is taking a nap and I will be going to the gym.

Lyle's hair got a little big from the hurricane hair stylist.

As the clouds roll by...

Special photo for Chandra. In the store here, they actually sell "Toast".
(In reality, it's just plain bread.)

Lewis really enjoyed the Diesel Store... chair.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A little Tip

When looking at the photos, if you'd like to see it LARGER, you can click on each photo and it should expand.

Depending on how your browser works, you may need to use your "back" button to return to this page.

Hi Sharon!


Woke up today (Sunday) in Vienna! After all the talk of jet lag, I find a late night of drinking, passing out in your hotel and waking up in the morning always re-sets my clock. I’m totally on local time now.

Since Lyle has only the clothes on his back and I have just the pair of jeans I wore (thin jeans for travel) and two pairs of dress pants - we thought we should go shopping and get a few things (like hair gel?).

“I’m sorry, this is Austria. Nothing is open on Sunday.” the concierge told us. He isn’t kidding. About a quarter of the restaurants are open and that is it. Nothing. Nada. Nunco. Zip.

So I hope we all like Lyle’s pants. Because though I can give him underwear, socks and T-shirts and Robb can lend hum (and me) sweaters and scarves, no one in the group wears the same size pants as Lyle. Thank god they are dark color to not show any dirt.

Today we did a mini-tour of Vienna. Bought our transit passes and rode the tram around the Ring Road. Then coffee (einspänner) at the Imperial Hotel and nice hike in the freezing frigid weather to the Belvedere Museum. It’s a former palace that now houses a large collection of Gustav Klimnt art. That totally shoots me in the foot over the story I told Sheryl Larson that I never go to museums when we travel. Hey, there was NOTHING else open. We tortured Lyle that he could buy a nice Klimnt T-shirt, scarf and umbrella. Only thing open in Vienna on a Sunday, museum gift shops.

The tour begins... I hope you like Lyle's pants.
So far they're in every photo of him!

Supermodel Heidi Klum wants to take me shopping or to Wonderland!

Inside the Belvedere Palace in the "Grotesque" Room.
Those are satan's minions working!

Belvedere formal gardens covered in snow.

Hi Lyle, nice pants.

Sculptural decor over a doorway. I swear the one guy is checking out the other guy's butt. Notice how cold it is? His nipple seems to be quite hard.

The Emperor has no clothes

We arrived in Vienna about 6:00 Saturday night. Robb and Lewis landed at 6:30. At 6:45 Robb and Lewis had their luggage. At 7:00 Lyle and I had one of three pieces. It’s 6:30 pm on Sunday. We still have only 1 of 3 pieces.

I have socks, underwear, my puffy coat and winter boots. I don’t have any jeans, sweaters or toiletries.

Lyle has what he wore on the plane and whatever I have that will fit him.

The hotel we are staying in (the Bristol) is amazing. The staff is tracking our luggage... well, they are consistently checking on it. So far, the airlines don’t know where it is. Still in LA? At JFK? In London? Well it’s not in Vienna.

I’m not angry about the bags being missing. Life is like this at times and being angry about it will ruin the trip. (besides, Lyle is angry enough for the two of us. Remember, he only has one pair of pants total.) I fully expect the bags to show up. For the first time in my life I have done the right thing and placed a sheet of paper inside the luggage with our home address and destination address. Just in case all the tags on the outside got ripped off.

But now that it’s day two of missing luggage, I wish I had my toilet tries. I have my own preference of which (expensive) brand of shave cream I use. Which (expensive) moisturizer. Even when stores open tomorrow will they have MY brands? And do I want to use a couple of hours wandering about locating all new items? Okay, I was totally going to H&M tomorrow anyway but not to replace all my sundry items.

It’s my belief that as I am leaving in the same pair of jeans I’ve worn for three days to go out shopping for new clothes, the luggage will finally arrive.

This is gonna be an interesting trip.
At the Admiral's Club in LAX - Ready, Set, GO!

Photo for Rachel who was recently lamenting the state of air travel. Behold, Lyle is dining on REAL china and has REAL cutlery! Food in Business Class was not bad!

After a quick shower in the Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow, I am ready to shop the Duty Free!!! Bought nothing.

Hello? Who ordered this snow? Why doesn't this plane let us off INSIDE the airport? Whaddaya mean get on the bus?

Robb & Lewis arrived right after we did. Too bad we can't say the same about our luggage...

Two old women in the Hotel Bristol Elevator.

No Kidding, it's really cold.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Travelling, Travelling...

So, we bolted out of bed at 7:30 this morning (a rarity for me) and began the panic for the airport morning. I needed to go BACK to the dry cleaners to get some alterations that weren't ready last night (sigh) and pick up a million dollars worth of pills for lovely little Lola (it was time for a re-fill.

Then we headed off to LAX for our Noon flight.

Upgraded to business class, the flight from LAX to JFK was uneventful (except that I watched Nanny McPhee on the laptop. It's AWFUL. And I LOVED it. Go figure. It has a very predictable and happy ending which is just my style.

On arrival at JFK we had 45 minutes to change planes. Turns out it was only a 3 mile dash. Out of one terminal and then back through security again. Yes, that will be the fourth bottle of water I have had to throw out today.

We make it, slightly breathless and board the plane. Then we sit for two hours waiting for a mechanical issue to be worked out. Always withe the seatbelt sign on. No food. Luckily water for us high and mighty folk in business or first class. This is when I fall asleep.

We take off. This is when I wake up. I don't sleep again until we are about to land in London two hours behind schedule.

We land at the same time our connection is taking off. British Airways (our travel connection) has already booked us onto a flight in 2 and half hours. We've showered and eaten in the international arrivals Lounge. Next up is shopping Duty Free in Heathrow Terminal 4. Fabulous.

So until we are settled in Vienna (24 hours worth of travel later) let me leave you with a link to a video that is playing in my head and on my ipod... Simply click HERE.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Day One...

Okay, before we head out to Vienna and Budapest I am trying to set this all up.

We are taking the laptop, so I am very hopeful that I will be able to post a few things while we are gone. This could become my new postcard addiction! Crap. Didn't I just spend thousands of dollars at "Miracles in Malibu" to cure myself of that addiction? (Hey, Mel! Hey, Lindsay! Keep up the good work!)

In the spirit of testing, testing 1,2,3... let me post a few pics from Christmas that most of you haven't seen because I just uploaded them to the computer when I was clearing off the memory card in anticipation of taking the camera on the road.


Christmas Photos!

The "ladies" prepare for Christmas Eve with a mani/pedi spa day!

Robb, Jim, Cooper and the blindingly white flocked Christmas tree.
(complete with chandelier arms, thank you Nordstrom!)

Ready for Christmas Eve Dinner at Doug's House!

The view from the Eiffel Tower (in our dining room) decorated with the internationl collection of ornaments. I think there were 23 Eiffel towers in the mix. Can you believe I put those red weeds in my house?

The stockings were hung by the chimney with great care...

Prepare yourself for SNOW BLINDNESS.

Scott with Rachel (eating a cookie).

Rachel and her mother smartly avoid being blinded by the tree by looking away.

Robb graciously thanks one of the kitchen staff, Mickey.

The worlds most hideos Buche De Noel.

Guess who got a THEME ornament!
(it's santa flying a plane)