Friday, July 31, 2009

Colleen's Arrival in Berlin

We anxiously awaited Colleen's arrival. We could see her through the glass that separated the German's, and a few others like us, from the arriving passengers. It was fun to watch Colleen emerge from the Customs/Border Patrol.

To the left is the picture of Colleen with "THE MEAN UNCLE". Below is the gang with that how can you miss it "happy to see you look". The ride on the bus and the u-bahn was fully of excited chatter. Honestly it didn't even seem like Colleen knew she was in a foreign land. ALL is well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things We Hope Colleen Brings From America

1. Herself – on time arrival
2. Plane tickets back for Seamus
3. An extra thick black and white milkshake from Charcoal Pit in one hand and a 44oz Wawa Decaf Diet Pepsi in the other
4. The Xbox 360
5. A Flat screen TV with cable that is in English
6. Internet that works 100% of the time
7. More (single) girls her age
8. Thin-skinned hot dogs
9. Welsh’s grape jam, Strawberry Cream Cheese, pancakes
10. Sam
11. A few girl friends for Ann
12. Air conditioning
13. Cell phones that work
14. A laptop for Pearse and his Harry Potter DS game
15. 5lb bag of M & M’s, Starburst,
16. Dad’s water bottle
17. More books in English for Mom
18. A track for Dad
19. Our Weber grill with Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce
20. A body pillow (or two)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Are you kidding me?

Just a few thoughts about how different life is for us here in Vienna compared to the USA...No 44 oz caffeine free diet coke, no caffeine free anything"are you kidding me?". Would anyone actually purchase and drive a smart car, have you seen those things, "are you kidding me?". Is a plain pizza actually called a Pizza, Maharita "are you kidding me?". Can a 10oz bottle of Coke or coke Light (diet coke) actually cost 2 euros, "are you kidding me?". Traffic will actually stop on the busiest of roads to allow you to get on and off the tram ( a trolley for you Philly folks), "are you kidding me?". Have I actually slept past 9 o'clock 3X since arriving in Austria, "are you kidding me?".
The only Mass in Vienna, Austria, that we can find is run by the Korean Community, "are you kidding me?". The entire family is aggravated if the Internet connection doesn't work including Pearse, "are you kidding me?". If you want a fast Internet connection you either stay at a hotel or pay for it at an Internet cafe, "are you kidding me?". When we go for a run from our house 11 Shubergasse it is uphill in all 4 directions, "are you kidding me?". Is it possible that we are watching the Tour de France, arm wrestling and the world's strongest man on a 17 inch TV, "are you kidding me?". Ann and I have a full bed and a single bed in the same room, guess who sleeps on the single most nights, "are you kidding me?". We have developed a rating class for street performers in the St. Stephens' square or platz, old fashion capitalism, if you are good we give you a Euro and if you stink we vote with our feet; but it always seems like the bad actors/performers are the most greedy, "are you kidding me?". The Phillies website is more important to me than when I actually lived in Philly, "are you kidding me?". Pearse wants to know "Dad, do you ever flush?," "are you kidding me?". Mommy was doing laundry in a laundromat and it was 35+ degrees Celsius (and 23 degrees Celsius is 75 degrees Fahrenheit) "are you kidding me?". We have eaten every meal together and haven't killed each other, "are you kidding me?". New appliance manuals actually have an English section, it's the one in the back of the book,"are you kidding me?". The trians and the trams run on time and everyone rides on the honor system, the conductor doesn't check to see if you have a ticket, "are you kidding me?". Can a bottle of wine actually be cheaper than a bottle of Sprite "are you kidding me?". And last but not least, Math is equally less fun in Vienna than in America, no I'm not kidding you!

Some Interesting Observations

Walking around Vienna, you see many different things and people. One of the first things you notice is how beautiful the buildings are. Everyone is different and Maurice is talking about doing a poster of the Windows of Vienna because they are all so different and beautiful. With regard to the people - so many of them have multiple-multiple piercings and tatoos. Additionally, they like that you can see them. We saw one guy yesterday running that had a huge tatoo covering his thigh - very strange. With regard tot he piercings - we saw one girl who had a piercing in her gum between her two front teeth. I can't imagine that is comfortable.

The other evening after mass, all the boys were watching the break dancing street performers. I was on the outskirts just people watching. I saw 6 muslim women full dressed in black (only eyes showing), but each of them was carring a Palmers bag. I guess if you can't shop for clothes - this is the next best thing!!
You had to be there to understand. I guess I need to carry my camera even to church so I can capture these "special" moments. Anyway - off to try and coordinate more trips. Have a great day everyone!