My husband is amazing. (No, he’s not looking over my shoulder as I write this.) He just is. While he’s not the most sensitive guy in the world, he pulls out these zingers from time to time that remind me how sweet he is. (Chris, if you’re reading this… it’s totally manly to be sweet and sensitive.)
It began a few weeks ago when the weather started getting colder and I realized that, had we been pretty much anywhere in North America, we would be surrounded with Christmas atmosphere. Music. Food. Spiced everything. Cups of Christmas cheer. Holly, jolly people being extra kind to each other. Totally commercial, but I admit I miss it.
When we moved here, we didn’t bring anything and I was really missing my Christmas trees. Yes, I have 4 of them. 2 big, 2 small, and numerous mini ones. I prefer fake trees because I feel horrible discarding a once-living tree at the end of the season. If you do, cool. If you don’t, cool. I’m not here to sway anyone’s decision. This is just my personal thing. Anyway, I was baking shortbread with the girls and listening to Christmas music about a week or so ago and told Chris that we should get a tree out here. Our mission here is to explore and experience the world, not to accumulate stuff, so Chris wasn’t into it. Me… I was planning to get one regardless because I need the Christmas ‘feel’. (Sorry babe.)
I found the Christmas feel I was looking for in Vienna and it was spectacular! The Christmas markets were amazing. We visited the Rathausplatz first and we felt like we had literally walked right into Christmas. I enjoyed some spiced, hot mulled wine while the girls fell in love with roasted chestnuts for the first time. Most of the items for sale were beautifully, masterfully crafted and we perused the stalls while eating, drinking and listening to Christmas music. The following morning we went to the child-friendly Karlsplatz market. The girls got to play in a giant pool of hay, make candles, key chains and homemade soap. We had so much fun that we spent almost 6 hours there, purchasing tickets for an opera, orchestra and ballet at Schonbrunn Palace on our way out.
Sunday saw us at another market near our hotel and we took a horse-drawn carriage ride back to get ready for a night at the palace. We all wore fancy dresses and I was curious as to what the girls were going to think of the concert. They loved it.
We ended the trip with a morning at the Natural History Museum. Mind blown. It was such an incredible experience. This was also the least expensive activity of our whole trip, just $10 for adults and FREE for kids 19 and under. We could have spent the whole day there but we had a flight to catch.
Back to Chris. He was too busy at work to take the extra time off work so it was just me and the girls. He picked us up at the airport and he had a surprise…a Christmas tree, complete with lights, ribbon and ornaments. I think the girls and I squealed a little as he set it up. It’s small, but just enough for us to feel like it’s Christmas. The cats have knocked it over several times since so it’s already starting to look a little Charlie Brown-ish, but it’s our Belgrade baby and I love it.
There’s more, but I’ll fill you in on that later. Cheers!