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Bad = Bath.

At first we thought Vienna had more sidewalk cafes with people drinking wine than anywhere else we’d ever been.  Then we thought they had more parks than anywhere else. But because it’s August and it’s hot, and the kids are still out of school for another three weeks, we are finding that the city is also full of “bads.”  Public swimming pools are everywhere!

And they are charming too.  This one looks just like a Christmas market:


Except instead of fried donuts and mulled gluhwein, there are semi-naked people lounging topless with cigarettes.  Have we mentioned that everyone smokes here?  Yeah, they probably know they shouldn’t, but Austrians really seem to embrace life without worrying too much about the inevitable end of the road.  Drinking, smoking, lying in the sun, and just in general enjoying the daily rhythm.  I am really liking it here.

The kids are liking it too.  Check out this 9 meter swing!



I don’t have pictures of all the places Mike takes the boys during the week, but he is really getting around.  Kids ride free on all public transportation for July and August, and admission to a pool is usually less than 10 Euros for all three of them.  The pools are filled with Austrians in all forms of dress and semi-dress, some with water slides, some with beer/wine gardens, all surrounded by green lawns full of families and sunbathers.  There is always a small cafeteria selling hot dogs, ice cream, pretzels, and occasionally a “potato dog” which is a hot dog wrapped in deep-fried tater tots.

Here is a picture from a place we went together, the Donau Insel, or Danube Island.  Danube Island is a recreational area supposedly made larger when the rubble from the city was piled into the Danube to get rid of it and make the island bigger.  It will be great for biking once our bikes arrive!  For now, the boys love it for the water park.  There is a big natural pool, sand for digging, a water wheel, a huge playground, and a “boat” for hauling themselves back and forth across the water.  It is so reassuring for me to see them playing with the other kids even though all of them are speaking German.


The views of the city are great too!



The Secret Lives of Pets.  The best ice cream we’ve ever had.  Walking to the grocery store, fresh bread every day, riding the tram, walking to work, seasonal fruit, window shopping, some fun neighbors we’re still just getting to know.  More castles and gardens than we will ever be able to visit in just three years.  A city that’s full of things we didn’t even know we were missing.

“Mom, I can see now that it’s going to be okay.  I like it here.”

Music to my ears.  I’m so relieved that we all believe it’s going to be okay.