Our visitors this summer have been a string of gifts and treasures. Now Mimi and Dede are finally here! They stepped off the plane early this Monday morning and arrived at our door, glowing in the sunlight. Jake and Eli are bursting with smiles! I think grandparents are as close as it gets to heaven.
Even Gussy thinks so!
At Happy Hour Mimi and Dede told us that kitties like potato chips, so we gave Gussy some chips. He likes to be part of Happy Hour too.
I love that Mimi is always ready to try new things. A clear sign of someone who seizes all of life’s possible moments. It means she gets as excited as I do, about weird things like artichoke liquor.
And making sushi from scratch, which was particularly impressive to do on the day they arrived after 36 hours with no sleep! I think “Mimi” means Super Woman in German.
Their arrival was full of energy and suitcases filled with fun things like jeweled silly putty, rope bracelets, boat models, and a huge bottle of vanilla. They know us so well. Sometimes I feel flooded with regret over being at work rather than being home, and it gets worse when family comes to visit, but the blessing is that Jake and Eli get to spend the whole summer surrounded by family.
There were trips to the pool and to Schwedenplatz for ice cream, a day trip to the UFO Tower in Slovakia, and an afternoon on the Danube where they rented this cool boat. It had a built-in slide! This is why kids need grandparents (and Mike), because I would never do something fun like that.
Another weekend they rented a boat on the Neusiedler See in Rust, and had the weirdest lunch experience ever. I guess even Austria misses sometimes. We’ll just choose to remember the beer, and how much fun everyone had swimming and driving the boat!
While Mike and I were at work during the week, Mimi and Dede and the kids Ubered around Vienna trying to stay cool in the blazing summer sun. They went to the War Museum and saw the car where Franz Ferdinand was shot. Eli got a new Lego bus from the Wiener Linien Museum, and Jake got a Metro pillow. Chocolate chip pancakes showed up for breakfast. The picture-taking possibilities with burnished old statues were endless.
One Saturday they made lasagna entirely from scratch, even the noodles! Jake and Eli mixed the dough and patiently rolled them out, over and over again with the pasta machine.
Meanwhile, Dede kept us all up to date on the lunar eclipse and the outrageous events of the news. It says something about the current state of things, that even our 10-year olds think late-night comedians and jokes about our president are funny….
After dinner was time for games and movies, mostly movies since this is what “vacation” means to the kids. As a person who has a very hard time sitting still and watching movies, this was the best gift ever!! Captain America, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Popular Mechanics, and endless repetitions of James Bond… I understand the patience that takes. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Mike also had a birthday. It’s nice when there’s an excuse to have cake :).
And homemade Chicken Kiev….
There is never enough time or enough space to remember all the details of the days. These pictures only scratch the surface, but the love underneath runs deep. It’s funny, how families seem to have trouble with both what’s said and what’s not said, but we can figure it out if we’re patient enough to keep listening.
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”