Crikvenica Croatia

crikvenicafisherman

This past week my family was in one of my favorite places. We were in Crikvenica, Croatia. It is a charming little coastal city. It is on the Adriatic. If you like to take pictures as much as I do, you will love it.

We usually go there in the Spring. We have several friends who live in Croatia and they say that it is packed in the Summer. It is so serene and relaxing this time of year.

The morning air is fresh, crisp and still. The birds sing and the waves crash against the rocks. The colors are so beautiful. The people are kind and welcoming and the food is tasty.

We were there for several days. I can honestly tell you that the laid back nature of the culture there and the easy going people had a calming effect on me. I am home now and feeling refreshed and renewed. It was a perfect break from our normal routine.

Crikvenica’s name comes from the Croatian word for church. There is a large white church near the beach. In the  town harbor there is a statue of a fisherman. It is there to represent the spirit of the fisherman. If you walk around you are bound to find sea shells, seagulls and even an occasional sea urchin.

In the past this was a Roman settlement called Ad Turres. It was also an important health resort. Early one morning I went out for a walk on the beach. The morning hues are so relaxing. The deep, rich tones in the water were beautiful The sky was full with birds and the air smelled of Myrrh. It was a sweet smell similar to that of jasmine.

Though this was not our first time, I won’t soon forget this experience. I could not stop taking pictures. Here are some of my favorites.

oldboat, crikvenica

When I saw this old boat, I couldn’t wait to get a picture of it.

I took so many pictures of this single boat.

I took so many pictures of this single boat.

My son said look mom, on the water it is full of invisible glitter! Isn't it beautiful?

My son said look mom, on the water it is full of invisible glitter! Isn’t it beautiful?

I love a sunset. All of my favorite colors blending into one masterpiece!

I love a sunset. All of my favorite colors blending into one masterpiece!

What are the top 3 things you would do if you had a week to go anywhere?

Have you ever been to Croatia? Have you visited Crikvenica? Which picture did you like the most.?I am going to print some out to frame.

I am linking up with Sunday Traveler today.

Ten Things I Have In My Purse!

travel, bag, purse, ten things

Thanks for stopping by again.

As a mom of 3 I need to carry a lot of things around with me. I need to be prepared. This is something I don’t have in my bag right now but I need to. Have you ever seen my Whatcha need bag? It has saved me many times. I recently broke 2 purses so I am carrying an old bag. I really want to get a Gina, George and Lucy purse. I just can’t decide which one! Well no more delay here we go!

 

 

 

Ten Things in my purse:

  • nail clippers
  • mascara
  • wallet
  • band-aids
  • socks
  • nail clippers
  • green tea bag
  • little t-shirt
  • Ninjago lego men
  • wallet of course!

Now it is your turn! What is in your bag?

Be sure and come back next week. The theme is Ten Things I like to do on vacation!

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One Thing I Really Love About Sunday

communion, house church, fellowship, Vienna

Communion is a time that I really enjoy. I like to think about people all over the world remembering Jesus and all that he has done.

I remember the first time that really occurred to me. I was at a world mission workshop in OC.

When we took communion that Sunday they mentioned that already all over the world people had already partaken in communion.

I love the thought of all of the places I have been to worship taking communion on the same day at different times and places. It makes Christian fellowship feel so much more connected.

I also enjoy the fellowship that we have in our little house church. Today was special. A friend of mine is fighting for her life. She is terminally ill with cancer. This is the second time she has had cancer this past year.

I have not seen her since she was told she had 6 months to 2 years to live. She Skyped in and was with us the whole time. I was able to talk to her on the iPad after and it made my day.

There is just something special about a community that makes you truly feel like a family.

I feel so blessed to be a part of such a special community. I am encouraged when we share our burdens, when we sing together in 2 languages and when we lift one another up.

I hope that you had a blessed Sunday and that you were able to feel renewed, uplifted and encouraged!

Perchtoldsdorf, Austria

Perchtoldsdorf, Austria

This time of year one of my family’s favorite places to go is Perchtoldsdorf. There is a castle in the middle of town and many Heurigen. Heurigen are the wine gardens that are open only 2 weeks at a time. There are so many of them and they alternate the days they are open. They are run mostly by families and they were created to feature the family’s wine of the year. In German hewer means this year. So Heuer

This is our favorite one. The food is great, the ambience is perfect as well. If you have been to Vienna as a tourist you have likely been to Salm Bräu. If you liked the food there, you will love the food served in a Heurigen. It is very typical on a nice day to see all of the Heurigen full with locals. This is where people come to celebrate, meet, and enjoy Gemudlichkeit – This is a word I love in German that captures the feeling of coziness in a community.

There are most always playgrounds in the Gardens. The gardens are larger than the buildings. You order drinks at your table and food from the kitchen. The Austrian way is to start out with bread and aufstritch. That means spread. You drink and enjoy one anthers company. After a while you get up and go order warm food from the kitchen.

Today we were in Perchtoldsdorf, but we were out walking instead of eating! The castle in the center of town is said to date back before 1000 AD. There is certainly a history behind it. The town was destroyed, and the people enslaved. Two of the Habsburgs fought over it and it has served as a stronghold! It was originally built to serve as fortification near the Vienna Woods.

We started out at a playground near the castle, we walked through the woods and then spent time at another playground before heading out.

Perchtoldsdorf, Vienna Woods, Austria

If you are headed to Vienna and want to get away from touristy dining experiences. This would be my first recommendation. If you click on the links above you should find the current calendar of what Heurigen in Vienna are open. Be sure and let me know if you get a chance to stop by!

 

Ten Things I Like To Eat

Thanks for stopping by again! This week we are sharing the ten things we like to eat.

One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is eating. Through the years my like have expanded to take in the many things I have tried and loved.

  • Soups – of all kinds, and all year round. In Austria my favorite is the Kürbiskernsuppe in Fall. Very specifically at the Kürbisfest in October. Kürbis means pumpkin.
  • Fruits – I suppose I may eat too many. When I was pregnant with my son, I had to monitor my blood sugar because I had too much fruit sugar in my blood during my glucose test.
  • Indian food – I will eat pretty much anything that is Indian. I love curries and all things coconut milk. I could drink Mango Lassi daily.
  • Pierogi – This is my favorite Polish food. They are dumplings. I have enjoyed it since my first taste at a little tavern in Gdansk in 2000. My favorites are the Ruski (Russian) ones that have potatoes, cream cheese and bacon.  I also like the meat filled ones. Our adopted mom in Zagreb makes amazing meat pierogi!
  • Ribs – My favorite are the Hawaiian or plum ones at Ribs of Vienna.
  • Asian Dumplings – They call my name, what can I say. I love the Dim Sum we order from Akikiko. They come with a lemon Mayo that I have yet to be able to duplicate, but it is amazing.
  • Gołąpki – This is another Polish dish I love. Cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and meat, then simmered in a tomato based cream sauce that has fresh herbs and dill in it! Yummy!
  • Knödel – These are Austrian dumplings. I like the selchfleisch (smoked meat) stuffed ones for a savory bite or topfen with strawberry sauce for a sweet variation. The dessert ones are great too! Nutella filled and even apricot ones made of ice cream!
  • Ćevapi – These I first tasted in Croatia in June 2008. We were on our way to Sarajevo where I hear they are world famous. It is also a popular dish here in Austria. they are kind of like meatloaf sticks served with flat bread and amazing sauces. They taste the best with Ajvar a sauce made from red bell peppers and eggplant. I got my recipe from a lady I sat next to on the train from Zagreb to Vienna.
  • Salads – I enjoy eating salads. I suppose this is a food I really miss from the states. Dinner salads that come in different flavors with meats and other great toppings. The Santa Fe Chicken salad at Applebess, and the Grilled Chicken Caesar at Chilis are the best.

Now it is your turn!

Link up, grab the button and see you next week.

Our theme will be Ten Things I have in my purse/bag!  See you then!

 

 

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Laxenburg Palace In Laxenburg, Austria

fountainLaxenburg800x450

Today for our Saturday outing my family and I went with another family to what is quite possibly my favorite spots… Laxenburg, Austria.

As I said last weekend we live in South Vienna. Lower Austria is closer to us than the City. There is a palace about 15 minutes from where we live. Schönbrunn was the Summer residence of the Habsburgs. Laxenburg was the residence they went to when they needed to get away from Schönbrunn.

Very early on some of our Austrian friends took us to Laxenburg. They told us a few things about it as we walked around. At the end of that trip we went for ice cream. To this day the ice cream in Laxenburg is my favorite. Lately I always order Mozart and Raffaelo flavors. They both taste just like the candy. Even the textures are great.

Ok, so I bet you are wondering what is so interesting about Laxenburg. It’s history actually starts in the 13th century. The Habsburgs are said to have come into possession of it in 1333.

It used to be a Marktgemeinde (a special kind of village). In 1780 the gardens were updated as inspired by English gardens. There are several ponds and an artificial island that Maria Theresia and her grandson Franz Joseph expanded it. We always walk around and then take the little ferry over to the island and walk back the rest of the way. The ferry ride costs .50 cents per person.The island is called Franzenburg. There is a little castle built on it named after Franz I. It was inspired by a medieval knights castle. There is a museum there that you can visit. There is also a little restaurant.

franzenburg, austria, laxenburg, Emperor Franz 1,

Today we saw several swans, as we walked near the water. They were taking off and landing repeatedly. I was amazed how loud the sound of their flapping wings were.

If you are a kid, you will be interested in the playgrounds, waterfalls and water fountains.

If you are interested in sports there is more than enough room to play ball on the grass, you can ride boats on the ponds and climb trees. They are 200+ years old according to our friend who is a horticulturist.

Photographers will be in heaven here as well. Between the wildlife, old buildings and luscious gardens there are more than enough things to capture in your lens.

If history interests you there are plenty of interesting things to learn here. Franz Joseph and Sisi celebrated their honeymoon here. Sisi enjoyed riding and loved to go out in these woods. I can totally see why! Crown Prince Rudolf (Who even has an apple named after him) was on of the members of the Imperial family that was born here in Laxenburg.

Here is an interesting thing for those who love horses like Sisi. When Maria Theresia and Franz Joseph expanded the property they added a tournament site. This is another one of my favorite spots. They horses that you often see around the park, must come and train there still. We often find fresh hoof prints in the ground, and jousting sticks.

horse, laxenburg, austria, tournament

 

 

laxenburg, austria

If you are planning a trip to Vienna, this is a great place to spend the day! There is a small entrance fee.

More information can be found here:

Schloss Laxenburg Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H

Schlossplatz 1

A-2361 Laxenburg

www.schlosslaxenburg.at

0043/2236/71226

email: office@schloos-laxemburg.at

Linking up here:

#Sundaytraveler

Ten Things I Love About Where I Live

Here it is our second Ten Things Thursday Link up!

Today the theme is Ten Things I love about where I live! Vienna, Austria

  1. fountainsliderI love how Family oriented Vienna is. I love that a store might close down just because the owner has a family event, or because they have made enough money for the year and are going to spend the rest of the time with loved ones.
  2. I love that our zoo is in the old Imperial Gardens. It is surrounded by ornate gardens and old buildings.
  3. I love the variety of foods available to me from all over the world. I can walk across the street or down the road to get exotic things at a normal price.
  4. I love that just walking down the streets we are exposed to so many different cultures.
  5. bahntracksI love that I spend more time walking or using public transportation; than driving a car. We live close to every major form of public transit so I hardly ever need to take my car.
  6. I love that we spend more time with the kids doing outdoor activities than we did when living in the States.
  7. I love hearing so many different languages each day.
  8. I love traveling to nearby places.
  9. I love that the city is so full of history and that I learn new things weekly.
  10. I love the fact that everyone really wants to be a good neighbor. That at the stores and on the streets I recognize and get to know the cashiers, and passers by. It makes it feel so cozy to me.

Ok now it is your turn what is it that you love about where you live?

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Next week’s theme is Ten Things I Like To Eat! Be sure and come back!

 

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Kirango: An Afternoon At The Library

For the past few years I have taken my kids off and on to participate in fun activities put on by our library system. We have gone to story time, craft time and little preschool circle times. They always enjoy it.

Now they are able to take part in a weekly story time. Once a month it is hosted in another language. Today was our first time to be a part of one of those.

Kirango @ Bücherei

Today we heard the story of the Giant Turnip. Репка in Russian. This was the very first Russian fairytale. The storytellers tole the kids that it is known by all Russian kids. They wanted to share it, because it is a common part of childhood in Russia.

They acted out the story using hand puppets, child volunteers and it was all bilingual. German and Russian. My kids loved that they recognized the slavic similarities in some of the words. The Russian for grandpa, and grandma are very similar in sound to what my kids call their Polish grandparents. That just added to their fun.

They laughed, played games, made a craft and even ended the time with sharing Russian cookies that were hidden inside the turnip from the play.

I appreciate having the opportunity to expose my kids to different cultures. I look forward to learning with them about other cultures in the coming months as well.

How often do you go with your kids to the library? Are there any special traditions or activities you have to peak your children’s interest in books?

Here is a youtube clip from the program. It is all in German, but I thought it might be fun to share anyway!

 

I am co-hosting the Grow your Google+ Circles with Amanda @ Mommyiscoocoo today so be sure and stop by! You can link up your google page right here! Just scroll below, add your link and grow your circles!

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Sunday Social: A Little More About Me

Linking up for the Sunday Social again! Today’s questions are:

1. What is your ideal way to relax?

I like to drink tea and draw, paint, read or watch something.

2. Where is your favorite place to be?

I can be content anywhere as long as I am with my family.

3. Who do you consider your biggest role model?

I have more than one. My role models are the people who have had a great impact on my faith and spiritual development. In the past seven months 2 of them have died.

4. What does your life look like in 3 years?

In 3 years I will have a 5-year-old, 7-year-old and a 13-year-old. I can only imagine that we will be increasingly busy and still traveling a bit. I am hoping to be doing something I love while they are in school.

5. If you could go back and change one decision, what would it be?

Not to try to adopt a child in the middle of cancer. It didn’t work out and added to the stress we already had.

6. What is your biggest accomplishment in life thus far?

Learning to embrace who I was created to be.