We were, as our recent visiting friends can attest, not model parents last week. No sooner had we picked them up from the airport than I was observed capitulating to Mr. PickyPants's demands for Nutella on his grilled cheese and ham sandwich in a desperate (and unsuccessful) attempt to get him to eat his lunch.
And then that evening, when well-laid plans to have the kids asleep for the babysitter completely failed, we left her in Mr. PickyPants's darkened room, holding a shrieking (overtired, teething?, freaked out about suddenly sharing a room with Mr. PickyPants?) Shmoogie and pleading with Mr. PickyPants to just lie down and try to sleep, OK?
(She's an extremely competent babysitter, we pay her *well*, and both kids were in fact asleep within half an hour, but, still...)
We totally enjoyed our Heuriger evening with a night view of the whole city at our feet (and refused to go inside despite the gusts and chill - the waiter was initially horrified, then tried hard to sell us some Schnapps... "its medicine... just call the doctor when you'd like some").
Then the next day, we dragged the kids out wandering through the center city (Schmoogie finally conked out in the stroller, poor thing), searching bumblingly for traces of the Roman settlement that started it all (unless you consider the Celts, who were already making wine from the wild grapes).
I think we were pretty good on Saturday; I stayed home with the baby napping and Mr. PickyPants chilling out with his sandbox while Mr. Right dropped our friends off at the airport again.
And Sunday, Shmoogie actually went down for her nap when we wanted her to and Mr. PickyPants was delighted to have the babysitter's full attention, so we Wein wandered nearly guilt-free for three hours.
The Wiener Weinwandertag is one of those totally awesome things so very Austrian and so lucky for us to have basically right outside our door for a few years. One weekend a year, all the local vineyards (Vienna is the only capitol city with 700 hectares of vineyards within it, producing 19 million glasses of wine per year, says the website) put up little sheds to serve you their wine (and sometimes sausage, or roast potatoes, or cake) and you hike from one to the next, following the fairly well-placed signs, and being well taken care of by the handy crossing guards on the faster roads.
Last year, we saw all this going on and gradually figured out what it was and it looked so idyllic! It was a perfect sunny-but-crisp fall day and we would have just jumped right on that bandwagon (to totally turn that idiom on its head) except that I was really, really pregnant.
This year, a gale came in overnight (the kind of gale that whistles through the trees and slaps the outside blinds around to wake you up and keep you tossing and turning the rest of the night) and a quarter of the way up the initial climb, I was not happy (the whole route is over 20 km - with 18 stations and 5 scenic overlooks! - we didn't do anything like that much, but we did do the steepest part right off the bat, on empty stomachs and with a cold). My poor frozen ears were saved by the silk scarf in my pocket, the tails of which then whipped around my face the whole rest of the way. And the first (and subsequent) glass of wine helped, too.
Still, fun. Seriously fun. What else could it be, really? Exercise, invigorating gales, the threat of rain... tempered by wine stops, hot paper cones of roasted potatoes to warm your hands, Wildwürstel (game sausage) and Kuchen to fill your tummy... And the kids at home with a babysitter.