May 11, 2022

Vienna: fancy-pants eating, smarty-pants son, and a surprise noise maker

Coach and Ed (who I cropped out) ordering
at the ruin bars in Budapest.
The Vienna Airbnb guy was frustrated that I hadn't responded to his emails. He wanted to touch base about what time we were arriving, etc. Hey, traveling is a full time job. I hadn't looked at my email much. Plus, Coach and I were sharing one phone with internet access. Mr. Google-maps lover usually had it in his possession. 

When we talked about going to Europe, we knew our current phone provider didn't offer coverage overseas. Can we get by without a phone?



My guys walking the
streets of Budapest.
It is a different day though and I get that it makes things so much easier, so . . . we bought a phone for Curly NOT AT WALMART FAMILY MOBILE, or whatever it's called. Her phone plan automatically offers overseas service. It's a more expensive package, but it was monumental in helping us travel. I feel like a grown up. I mean except for the fact that I had to borrow my 14 year old daughter's phone to go to Europe.

Upside for Curly, she didn't have to wait until graduation from 8th grade to get a phone. Less than a week after we were home, Curly was heading to caddy training. It was one of those who's-on-first nights when Coach was working late and I had to drive in different directions. 


Remember the tour
of the parliament
 building in Budapest? This was
the inside. Gorgeous.
How 'bout that for no fanfare?  

Commercial for why NOT to get a phone package from Walmart is over. Back to Europe:  Shortly after we discovered the front side of Gellert Hill and took a photo of the kissy-face people, I responded to Airbnb guy. 


We left Budapest Friday late afternoon, after arriving on Wednesday morning. The weather was freakishly warm and no one told the train that, so the heat was BLASTING. We ended up sharing a train car with a student from California. She and Ed exchanged travel experiences and we all took turns stepping into the hallway to wring out our clothes from sweat thanks to our sauna like experience in our cabin. I wish this was an exaggeration. 

We picked up the key for the next Airbnb from a restaurant across the street with no problem, but we couldn't get the key out of the lock once we were inside the apartment. Ed finally managed. It was very counterintuitive, but Ed still gave us the raised, hairy-eye-ball look of a wise-ass college kid who knows more stuff than his aged parents. 

Meat , veggies and potatoes.

We threw our stuff down and raced out the door to a restaurant that was ridiculously close. It was a pricey place that we'd researched online. We ate well. Really well. I loved my dinner, and announced that I'd cracked the code on how to eat GF and survive in Europe. High-end. Since I insisted that we eat somewhere for fancy-pants people and it worked, I was like THIS IS HOW WE WILL EAT THE REST OF OUR TIME HERE. 

Saturday morning, we took a  free tour of the city. Our tour guide was excellent. Vienna was pretty. Full of artsy stuff and stories of people who came there to study art, enjoy it, etc. Beethoven moved there to study under Mozart. He got word his mom was dying, so he went back to Germany. Then he returned to Vienna five years later, after Mozart had died, and lived there for 35 years. During that time he struggled with hearing loss and eventually completely lost his hearing. Now you feel like you've been there, right? 

Our tour guide asked if anyone knew what the statue represented on top of a building. It was the earth being supported by a person. Or something. 

I think this is the building that corresponds with Ed's answer, with the statues holding up the hold 'earth.'

Ed:  Um, is it Gaea?  

In Greek mythology, she is the personification of the earth. He'd learned about her in Latin class. Shocked that he knew the answer, our tour guide's mouth fell open. She called him brilliant. Ed shrugged, looked a little embarrassed. I waved my hand around and shouted:  THAT'S MY KID! *No, I did not. Coach and I got a little chuckle out of Mr. Smarty Pants. 

THE NOISE:  We stayed in the Airbnb Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night there was a whirring kind of noise, intermittent but more on than off. It was super irritating. Dull and background noise-like, even my trusty sound machine didn't drown it out. It was not as constant Saturday night, but still happening. 

Mr. Annoying.

Saturday morning we left quickly to take a free walking tour of the city. I didn't investigate until Sunday morning when we were moving at a slower pace. 

Coach thought a  neighbor had a dying dog. I thought it was an old washing machine with an agitator. Who does laundry ALL NIGHT LONG? 

I opened the blinds a little and there it was. A PIEGON. Sheesh - go whir somewhere else. 

Did you know pigeons could be so loud? All night long? Do you know your Greek mythology? 


Nicole said...

I love how you discovered the key to eating - fancy and expensive! I like it! Budapest looks absolutely beautiful!

Colleen said...

Oh Austria has my heart! That pigeon would have driven me crazy! Glad you found some good food that was GF. And of course Ed knew the answer, he is a genius.

Pat Birnie said...

Traveling without data is challenging. Canada is know for "the most expensive phone plans in the world" - true. Roaming charges range from $10-15 a day, depending on where you are. It's crazy and frustrating and I hate to pay them on principle. We try to manage on wifi as much as possible when traveling, but it is sometimes not possible.

Beth Cotell said...

So glad I ad you've cracked the GF code to international dining! So happy you finally got a decent meal!!!

Bibliomama said...

Glad you finally got a good meal. Looks like a fantastic trip. And yeah, when we got Angus a phone plan in the U.S. Matt looked so depressed at how cheap it was until I said "it's okay, we have health care".

Ernie said...

Nicole - Budapest is beautiful. Yes, fine dining is where it is at. They aim to please.

Ernie said...

Colleen - I didn't know pigeons could be so annoying. How do people live in cities? Austria was very beautiful. The lunch story was a different story, more on that soon. Leave it Ed to know this quirky thing that he picked up in 4 years of Latin.

Ernie said...

Pat - I did NOT know that about Canadian cell plans. Coach could never live there. He researched forever till he found the cheapest plan available. It usually works just fine until someone wants to put us on a huge group chat - then forget it. Or traveling to another country. So limiting.

Ernie said...

Beth - You and me both. I joked with Coach and Ed that I should write a book about where to eat when traveling based on the places that worked for me . . . another reason to keep traveling, wink wink.

Ernie said...

Ali - The meals in Vienna were very good, pricey - but worth it. We followed the same plan in Prague and it worked out. I did not know there was such a difference in phone plans between here and Canada. Good, affordable health care sounds divine though.

Pat Birnie said...

Oh yes - we more than make up for it with free health care!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

YES, I feel like I've now visited Vienna.
Honestly, I knew none of those facts, and I know ZIP about Greek Mythology.
A pigeon? WHAT? That's funny.

I'm glad you finally cracked the code; now you'll know for next time. Mrs. Fancy Pants.

Ernie said...

Pat - DID YOU SAY FREE? *runs to closet and starts packing bag. I didn't realize. That's a huge leg up compared to what we have going on in the US.

Ernie said...

Suz - I didn't know anything about the stuff they discussed in the tour. The Hapsburg family - never heard of them. They were something else.
signed, Mrs. Fancy Pants

Kari said...

Who knew a pigeon was as loud as a washing machine? Apparently the European pigeons are. :)

Ernie said...

Kari - Pigeons are deceivingly quiet looking. Bert on Sesame Street loves pigeons, does he not value his sleep? I'm laughing at the European pigeons being louder than ours.

Ally Bean said...

I do like that you had to ask your teenage daughter for her phone so you could travel abroad. There's a wonderful irony to that. I knew pigeons were noisy. I sympathize. I agree with Nicole that Budapest looks beautiful.

Ernie said...

Ally - Ha. Yes, I see the irony. We're the parents who waited so much longer than most parents to give our kid a phone, then we got it so that we could use it before we gave it to her. Goodness, are pigeons ever noisy. I urge anyone who gets to travel to check out Budapest.