Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend with Friends in Vienna

We'd first planned the next stop on our route to be Salzburg, but Jeff talked to our buddy Pete who has lived in Vienna now, working as a successful architect for about seven years. Jeff and Pete have been friends since high school in Arizona, both lived  in San Diego for awhile and no matter where we are in the world, we seem to see him every so often. He and his very sweet and beautiful girlfriend Stephanie had visited us in Prague and we'd been talking about getting to Vienna all year. Though it was only a few hours away from Prague, we never made it. I'd wanted to see it in another time of year, having been there in the winter once before. But, nevertheless we were glad Pete was in town, we could stay at his place, and we were excited for our visit. 

We slowly made our way from sunny Venice to the beautiful snow covered alps. We drove though countless tunnels, which made the drive easy. Europe's tunnels are really impressive, no slow winding mountain roads here! 

Lunch stop the highway in the cold Austrian Alps.
The Austrians and Germans sure know how to make a place cozy and warm inside. 
It was a long drive, but we eventually arrived around 5:30 at Pete's apartment. We were showing up on his birthday, with our crazy clan, but he assured us that the kids wouldn't be disrupting any plans. We were going out to dinner with his friends at an Argentinian restaurant. (I'd always wanted to try one of these all you can eat meat places). Jeff was skeptical... doubting we could get the kids to sit still for a long dinner and wasn't sure it was a good idea after an already long day. But, I said lets try... Pete said another of his friends would be bringing kids too. So we settled in at his apartment and headed out into the city. 

I thought this was hilarious! We get on the metro in Vienna, the girls immediately head to the back and make themselves at home, Savannah lays down for a nap, Brooke picks a newspaper...

Brooke's loves Pete! She has to hold his hand wherever we walked. Should I be worried??
Pete has an amazing group of friends as usual. He's one of those guys who seem to attract and maintain great friendships all over the world. I didn't get to talk to them much at the end of the table surrounded by kids, but it struck me that Brooke seemed to be right at home mixing with an international group of 30-somethings. Yep, can't say they aren't learning social skills. Brooke drew and played legos and talked to Pete's architect friend next to her. 

Pete's birthday dinner at an Argentinian all you can eat type restaurant. So good!
Savannah and Collin also did quite well sitting for a long dinner and I was proud of them. The other people decided not to bring their kids, so while we could have been a disruption, we actually got complimented on how good the kids were. Now, this is not to present any illusions that our kids are perfect, but you take them to enough restaurants and it slowly gets easier and easier.

Brooke had worked hard making a birthday card for Pete on the way there and it was really cute. Again feeling quite proud... Somehow our Italian bottle of wine and cheese as a gift paled in comparison.

Pete and Stephanie too quite good care of us:)

Who knew Pete was so good with kids? Made them pancakes made into the letter of their name.
No wonder Brooke likes him. 

Out to visit the kids museum

A two level play area made to be like a underwater and pirate ship. Yes, they loved it!

Too bad Collin slept through most of it. 
Dress up like a Mermaid, one of their favorite things to pretend.
 Also loved hoarding the pirate treasure. 

Lunch at the brewery. Fun trying to build houses out of coasters. 

Ice skating. Stephanie was so great to skate with Brooke.
( I was at the apartment with cold and tired little ones. )

Pete made carnitas tacos. Mmm, forgot how much we love Mexican food.
Brooke was his loyal assistant in the kitchen. 

Savannah actually fell asleep at the table with a taco in hand and guacamole on her face. So funny!

It was a great weekend and really nice to see an old friend, I hope they visit us soon so we can try to take care of them half as well as they did us:)

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