I love my family, I really do, I think they are amazing. Cooko but amazing. So I was uber excited when finally, after a year’s time, I was able to visit them again. I had so many plans that included cuddling my niece, playing with my niece, eating ice cream with my niece, taking pictures of my niece, telling my niece stories about the world, going clothes shopping with my niece. She is almost two years old and simply adorable and if I do regret anything about not living in Austria anymore, it is that I don’t get to spend more time with her. Thankfully my family made all the accommodations for me being able to do just that. But I am jumping ahead here. After my rather eventful flight to Vienna I finally, with 12 hours of delay arrived in Vienna greeted by my dad. He put all my luggage, which wasn’t much, into his car and drove me to my best friend C, who was anxiously waiting, hoped for time to pass quickly while window shopping. Our plans that day were simple: ice cream, zoo and play with my niece. And that is exactly what we did.

At Austria's zoo
At Austria’s zoo

I think I took about a million and a half pictures of C at the zoo, but then again, I believe that was the first time ever that we did go to the zoo together, but I might also be wrong, we did so many things together in the past, that it is hard to keep track about all the things. It was so much to aaaah and ooooh about all the exotic animals (especially the hippos and pandas, seems that we were able to connect with them the most, for some odd reason, but I guess it was due to their lack of movement and them baking in the sun).

Later that day we were greeted by the most happiest child in the world. She is just gorgeous and hilarious and funny and smart and I know every aunt says that about their niece but tell you what, she is just simply perfect. Within minutes she was playing with me, playing catch, helping the park-owners to clean up by picking up all the trash along the road… She is a handful but I am very happy and glad to say, she is my handful.

After a fun-filled day we met up again with my dad, who despite his only daughter coming to town, still had to go to work. I have never met a person in my life that loves his job so much, other than A… A would consider moving into the basement of his work, just so he could be the first one in and the last one too leave. ANYWAYS. I am currently training for a half-marathon in Oslo and therefore needed some much needed professional advice on how to do better on my runs. Dad was kind enough to arrange just that, which is why I spent the first day of my vacation in a non-ac environment, where I ran round after round, faster and faster, not trying to stop or giving up, just so I could meet a high level of heart-frequency on which my perfect pace for my run will be determined… Now, I don’t want to get too technical but tell you this, my running plan is now so optimal that I run faster and longer than I did a year ago, without feeling like I just went through a car-wash without a car.

My main goal was to get to see my dearest friends and family. That is always my goal when it comes to vacationing in Austria. So I was very happy to hear that my American rock, M., had time to meet up with me. She was my very first friend in DC and has been with me ever since. Luckily we both come from Austria and where, thanks to facebook, able to stay in touch, even long after she moved back to Austria when I decided to extend my stay in the US. It is always so much fun to see her and talk to her and catch up. If you have ever met a down-to-earth-person, this is she.

And of course, there is no vacation in Austria, without a proper night out and although, C and I are getting to the age, where for night’s out, we consider flipflops good footwear, we still like to celebrate, what needs to be celebrated. C and I met approximately every other day to do the silliest things together, one of which was going to the Rihanna concert, and although I love her music, she seriously didn’t have to let us wait in the heat for so many hours, I mean seriously, I know you are from Barbados, but we are not, and we cannot handle the heat, especially not when there is no froyo or ice cream close… So much for that concert, but anyways, C and I went shopping and took tons of pictures any and everywhere. And when I say we went shopping, I mean we actually went clothes shopping, looked at fancy evening gowns that neither of us will ever wear AND we went grocery shopping in a store where the aisles are so long, you need binoculars to see the end of the aisle. So no surprise, when I say, that we went to a bar, to meet my friends, sat down and enjoyed our grown-up-night-out.

And thankfully my friends from highschool I and C where able to meet us up as well. I tell you what, sometimes it is difficult to connect, because you evolve, your lives differ and what once used to be the same, is not the same anymore. I grew up with I and C, we went to school together and went through some really really really funny (and/or embarrassing) episodes in our adolescent years. I cannot think of a single minute in highschool that I spent without C, mainly because we spent every second together. We would go to classes together, do homework together, laugh about silly comments that people would make. Some really good times and although I didn’t go to highschool with us, I knew her from junior high. She would always find a funny thing to say about what ever happened. I love that she doesn’t take herself too serious and always has a very down-to-earth-approach about things. It just makes spending time with the two of them a real treat.

Hey there, cool much?

The day after our night-out I spent in a fitness-center with my dad, doing Zumba. It was a lot of fun, but tell you what, my muscles were not happy. But the reward was for me to being able to spend the day with Nora and that was a delight. Going shoe shopping with her? No problem, she would try on 15 pairs, just sitting and watching every move you do and then prance around like a princess, picking out the shoes she liked the most, but changing her mind about a billion times. And when it was time to nap, she would fall asleep on my lap, leaving me un-moveable but me, being a good aunt, wouldn’t even move for an inch. She would run with me and talk to me and share her cherries with me. Having to say goodbye to her after two weeks, was the hardest thing I had to do. She won me over completely and just looking at her videos and pictures makes me really happy and content.

Unfortunately, my time management was, as usual way off and I did not get to spend half as much time with my friends and family as I hoped for, but such is life. I got to see the most important people in my life, even if it was just for a few hours, but it’s not important how often you see a person, but that you stay connected and in touch. As far as my niece goes, I can tell you this, she is my everything, and if it weren’t for the whole custody thing that I would have had to undergo with my brother, I would have scooped her up and would have taken her with me.

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