Monday, April 7, 2014

Loïc's Visit

So if you're a friend of mine on Facebook, you might have noticed an influx of pictures featuring the one and only Loïc, my amazing French boyfriend.  Obviously we're long distance right now, so every time we visit one another it's a pretty big deal.  He arrived late on a Thursday evening and left Monday afternoon.  It was a very short "long" weekend so to speak.

For my birthday, the Lo got me a new laptop, especially for gaming since we're likely to be in an LDR for a bit longer.  Based on the sticker next to my keyboard, it's an MSi GE60, but I really don't know what that means, I let him take care of it since he's the expert.  Speaking of the keyboard, it's in  French layout.  That means, instead of the usual QWERTY setup, I'm looking at AZERTY and a multitude of other confusing mix-ups.  So, forgive me if there are typos in this post, I'm adapting to an entirely different system here! On the bright side, I finally can write umlauts!  It's such a pain in the ass to write things in German when you don't have shortcuts or umlauts on your keyboard.  I can also write all the French accents!  WOO! éèçà and this funny lookin guy § are all part of my daily use now.

Beyond Loïc's amazing gift, I of course cram-packed our weekend full of activities.

Friday was relaxing if I remember correctly; we picked up the kids and took the to the Technology Museum for a couple hours after enjoying an ice cream.  I think all of us were pretty worn out by the time we got back, but we were invited to dinner at our friend Paul's apartment with his girlfriend and fellow au pair Violet. They're a great couple to hang out with because Violet is also 23 and American and Paul is 24 and from Luxembourg.  They too are facing a potential long distance relationship and have been together for just two months less than Loïc and I.  They homemade turkey burgers and it was phenomenal.  We drank some champagne, radlers, and sampled liquor, so it was a good night overall.

Saturday should have been relaxing in theory, but that's not really something I believe in.  Our morning activity was watching the kidshop around on the trampoline for a while while my host father did some mountain biking, then we headed to the Naschmarkt.  I love the Naschmarkt and it's one of my favorite parts of Vienna.  It was a lot of fun to treat Loïc to his first heap falafel (we had them in Paris for at least 3x the price) and Almdüdler.

We had tickets to the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic) which is one of the best known groups of musicians in the world, and we scored 6th row tickets as a birthday present from my host parents.  This was the first "fancy" concert for both of us, and I don't know if we'll experience anything better in our lifetime.  We were probably the youngest people by 30 years in our tier of seating, and we seemed to also be underdressed.  We also got stares from said fancily-dressed old Austrian people because of our...non-mainstream piercings. We were just there to enjoy the music though, so it didn't matter to us what they thought.

And the music was...unbelievable.  We both remarked afterward that there were moments that almost moved us to tears, and watching the musicians feel the music was a special experience you can't have by buying a CD, or even sitting in the cheaper seats.  We heard Schubert, Schoenberg, and Saint-Saëns performed by three different sized groups.

Fun fact:  I have visited all the composers' gravesites, Schubert and Schoenberg on the Wednesday before Loïc arrived, and Saint-Saëns on a previous visit to Paris.

We ended the afternoon with a coffee at one of my favorite cafés, Phil, on Gumpendorferstrasse in Vienna.

Sunday was set aside for a visit to the Stift Kloster-Neuberg, just outside Vienna to the north.  It is a very old monastery/winery dating back to 1114.  It's a great place to spend an afternoon walking around, and we did two of four tours, the apartments and the wine tours respectively.  We had a tasting at the end of our wine tour, and bought my host parents a bottle of what we liked best.  Really a good day.

We arrived home and saw there would be a big family gathering at our house, but we were still enjoying our couple-time, so we skipped out and headed to one of Vienna's famous Heurigens instead, where we had more wine and a really lovely meal with lots of wild garlic, and we agreed it was one of our best meals together.

Monday was a lazy day of sitting around sleeping in (a whole weekend of staying up late and getting up early  takes a toll).  Then he flew away :(

But I'm flying to see him for eleven days on Saturday!!