Saturday, 30 April 2011

Day Thirty: Photo Scavenger Hunt

Phew! My feet hurt. Today we joined in a photo scavenger hunt around the city, a team of six and a toddler all hell-bent on winning the trophy and the glory. Three teams to beat ...

Here;s our list ... we were doing fairly well from early on.

We stopped for a rendez-vous and a drink and the toddler went off to chat with some football fans.

And we stopped off at home to collect a few bonus photos. Like this one: Female in Heels. It's all going well...

... and then it wasn't.

Another one off the list: a team member playing on a swing.

And an elephant.

This was our very liberal interpretation of New Orleans.

And this the aftermath. The toddler didn't make it to the judging because she was so tired, but we won! We will be champions until the next time, when perhaps we will be champions again.

And with that, our thirty days is over. It has been a whole lot of fun and I think we'll continue the frequent outings - probably not to the same degree though; my feet are very sore and some days it's nice to hole up at home and not go outside. But I've learned a lot about a lot of stuff this month and would like the learning to continue.

So we'll keep blogging and if you want to keep checking in please do. Thank you for sharing our adventure.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Day Twenty-Nine: Wedding Party

There was a wedding today. You might have heard about it. The toddler and I were invited to a friend's house for a lovely party at a friend's house, so we were up bright and early putting on our party clothes and baking cookies. On arriving at the local train station we needed to grab a taxi to the house so we informed the driver where we needed. It's a small road off a small road off a smallish road and the driver wasn't sure where we were going - but the array of Union Jacks outside gave him a fairly broad hint and we arrived unscathed.

Amusing herself stealing from older boys.

And hogging the screen, the little monster.

This is as close as she's ever likely to get to Prince William. Although, funny story, her pushchair was given to us by a lovely friend who was at university with William and Kate and met him several times and her once. Two degrees of separation from the royal posterior to the toddler's.

She sat watching much more nicely with the boys than with boring Mama.

Why aren't you taking MY picture?

 And enjoying the aftermath wrangling a clothesline around the garden. Small pleasures.

What a lovely afternoon! We wish the happy couple all the very best and hope it is a long and happy marriage. Cynicism aside, it's a hell of a position to be in and much as I loved her dress I didn't envy Kate Catherine one bit.

It seems impossible to talk about the Royal Wedding without a mention of the toddler's great-grandmother, who passed away when Toddler was still Foetus. She was a fervent royalist and would have loved this whole event, and while I don't share her political leanings I was proud to join the party today (in my red, white and blue shoes) and was thinking of her the whole time.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Day Twenty-Eight: Kindermuseum

Today was a weather-dependent sort of day again. It was a bit undecided in the morning so we went with the mostly-indoor option, the Kinder und Jugendmuseum. They have a smallish space with one exhibit at a time; the current one is all about transport options and since the toddler loves CARs so much that she shouts the word whenever she sees one we figured it was a winning strategy. And so it was:

Trying to find our house on a giant aerial map of the city - that's a magnifying glass she's not looking into.

Dress up clothes from the packing trunk next to Sir Edmund Hillary's reconstructed suitcase. Something's missing, though...

The shawl, that's it.

Newton's cradle kept her amused for a while.

But nothing held her interest like being pushed around on a wheely chair.

She loved driving the car despite several small boys' attempts to oust her. Sadly she hated the mechanic trolley to lie on and go look underneath.

Upstairs there was a large train set that had many kids and one determined Papa working flat out to try to assemble a fully operational track.

Helping ... they managed it eventually and when we left had started bickering over a branch line to nowhere.

This was on the way home, it's a wind up puppet troupe on a trolley. Wonderful fun.

I'm very, very excited about tomorrow. And Saturday. And Sunday.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Day Twenty-Seven: Lollihop

With the return of the prodigal Papa, the sky, or at least the local transport network, was our limit. We decided that since the weather was threatening we'd skip the outdoor option in favour of indoor soft play. It was a sensible decision in the end since the weather stopped threatening and started being outright obnoxious. Still, we were safely indoors amid primary colours and primary-age chaos.

It started fairly tame in the under-3s pen.


Inflatable slides amused her - but they're still quite small.

So off she went in search of larger things.

My toddler on a climbing wall with a three-point hold and a hand on her back purely for effect. I can't explain how proud I was.

Then we explored the trampoline (you need to turn your head or your screen sideways. Sorry.)


She stayed on the train for about 9 repetitions, which makes about 45 circles.

And I only managed to convince her to leave the train by bribing her with the police car (four repetitions).

Then some extremely healthy chicken nuggets and chips.

Back to the toddlers' pen.

Up and down and up and down and up and down....

I was worn out.

There was time for a go on the roller slide and then another 370 goes on the train and then we headed home. On the way we discovered that our train wasn't running so we had to get a replacement bus. The toddler fell asleep on the bus and we spent a couple of hours walking her around a shopping centre rather than another load into her pushchair/unload at the other end. It was extremely self-sacrificing of us.

Still not sure what tomorrow will bring. We are however looking forward to Friday and Saturday. A lot.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Day Twenty-Six: Tourist Trails

We've not wanted to stray too far from the hospital for the past week and we were starting to run out of things to do locally, so today we did some tourist attractions around the centre of town.

We started out at Marienplatz, arriving just in time to see the Glockenspiel. Here it is in full swing:

Impressive, right? Apparently it's been voted one of the most overrated tourist attractions in Europe.

She agrees, although the sheer number of people who gather multiple times a day to watch it do its interminable, out of tune thing boggles the mind.

We made an emergency stop for the toddler's Nan to buy some clothes. She is pathologically incapable of walking past a C&A. It must be an age thing.

And then a refreshing stop for a drink and some lunch.

And a stop at the Frauenkirche to admire their beautifully carved door and the gravestones stuck into the walls. Fascinating stuff.

So exciting in fact that this was the end result. Zzzz.

Hopefully something more resembling normal service will resume tomorrow, we're hoping to have Papa home soon or at least know what's going on a bit more. We have a fair number of days out we planned and didn't get to because of Papa's unscheduled illness so no doubt those will continue after the 30 days are up. Probably not every day though - I have scheduled the 1st of May at home. In my jammies. Possibly eating nothing but cookies.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Day Twenty-Five: Park

We went to visit Papa and then to the park today.

Sadly, as I turned on the camera, nothing happened. I managed to leave the batteries in the charger last night.

So without any pictures of the toddler picking daisies and examining stones minutely the record of today is lost.

By way of apology, here is a picture of the toddler and her father taken last month. She'd never had a lollipop before and it could be years before I let her have another.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Day Twenty-Four: The Long Walk

We started off today with a trip to the hospital to visit Papa, who's doing much better now - well enough to be complaining vociferously about everything from the food to the roommates to the fact that when he requested to see a doctor the nurse told him he had to wait till the following morning. The roommates are probably just as objectionable as he says, but bringing a lively toddler into a room full of sick people is just asking for trouble so we took a tour of the admin waiting area (empty on a Sunday) and the garden. No pictures of the garden for no good reason. Sorry.

Empty waiting rooms make fantastic playgrounds.

But who is that lurking in the background?

It's post-op Papa!

Exploring a 3D wooden sculpture.

And another.

Sleeping through lunch.

Walking along the beautiful river.

Waking just in time to explore the market on the Praterinsel. But what's this?

THAT wasn't clear in the adverts! We decided against paying €10 to window shop.

And so we decided to go home and snuggle with the cat. Sometimes it's best to be at home, even if all the heart isn't there right now. We're doing our best.