Friday, February 27, 2009
Exile Part Zwei
Wow, time has gone much too quickly, and I realized I had yet to post the conclusion of our exile trip to Zagreb, Croatia. Unfortunately, it feels like a long time ago, and my attention is focused on our next trip to Istanbul, Turkey with the students, so I will make this post quick.
After walking around touring the inner city for the afternoon, we found a very cute coffee shop with some amazing home-baked goodness, including doughnuts.
A little aside on the doughnuts, this time of year before Lent is called faschingzeit (fasching "carnival" time). In Vienna, there is a ball somewhere nearly every night, but another exciting part of fasching is "Krapfenzeit" or "doughnut time." Kevin and I love these homemade goodies filled with a yummy vanilla cream or an apricot marmelade. We do our best to out-eat each other in regards to the krapfen, eating two or three on a good day with fresh brewed coffee. My favorite thing to do is get one fresh out of the fryer down at the EisTraüm (outdoor ice arena) and choose my filling and whether I want it powdered....mmmmm. The whole purpose of this yummy krapfen, is so the good Catholics have a sweet, easy thing to give up for Lent because after Ash Wednesday the krapfen nearly disappear until next year. (Kind of defeats the purpose, no?) I could dedicate a whole post to the Krapfen. Jameson now loves krapfen, and I will have a fun time explaining to folks back home if one of his first words is "krapfen!"
After our afternoon coffee and krapfen we walked back to the hotel and decided to incorporate an afternoon nap into our schedule. (The beauty of exile). After scouring the internet for a good restaurant on travel websites (not much info on Zagreb)we finally decided on one.
It got great write-ups and was relatively near the inner city, in an area that we were now familiar. The restaurant was called Ivica i Marica, and supposedly it was moderately priced, not too fancy, but great food. We walked in and it was MUCH nicer than we anticipated, and we looked at each other and our incredibly active 11-month-old son, and shrugged our shoulders. We were hungry, so we made peace with the idea that we might be "those people." When we arrived there were three other tables filled in our area, but no one very close to us. The waiter was great he brought us a cool high chair, that Jameson sat in for a bit while I tried to entertain him with his cup or spoon. We perused the menu and ultimately ordered on recommendation of the waiter for the regional specialties. Sometimes that can be a little dangerous, but the description of the food sounded amazing, so I wasn't worried. By the time our drinks arrived Jameson was getting antsy, and when he gets antsy, he is wiggly and talkative. I was doing everything I knew how to do to keep him from disrupting everyone's dinner, pulling out all the tricks. Right before our food arrived, the band that had been having drinks while they waited for other musicians to arrive began to play. The timing was amazing and my son sat open-mouth entranced by the beautiful stringed instruments. All through dinner he sat and watched and clapped and bopped his head. We went from being the scorn of the restaurant to all the other diners laughing and smiling at our boy. Phew! Disaster averted, this time. Oh and, in case you are wondering dinner was fantastic, I wish I had a pic, but I was too busy trying to keep Jameson entertained. The video below shows just a bit of Jameson dancing to the music. I look so frazzled, because I was frazzled!
The next day was more of the same, walking around, enjoying the weather, sun, food, oh, and how much nicer this city was than Prague.
We had requested a late check-out, so we went back to the hotel to put Jameson down for a nap before our 5.5 hour train ride home then headed to the train station. We find our train, and are surprised to find see that it goes through Hungary, instead of Slovenia, and there is no dining car and only "Big room seats" (sorry I literally translated that from german, not sure how one would describe it in English, open car?) rather than our little room we had on our ride there. The seats were not very comfortable, and my nearly year-old broken tailbone was definitely pretty sore. Jameson was exhausted but wouldn't sleep, and the arms between our chairs couldn't move so Jameson had no where to be except on my lap or in the carrier. Finally, at around 8pm he fell asleep exhausted. The train seemed to have some sort of mechanical issue because we were stopped in the middle of no where for an hour and a half. We made the best of it, and were all very excited to arrive home in Vienna before the U-bahn closed for the night.
The Longest, Slowest train ride home