Spring in Vienna

Spring in Vienna

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our First Month in Wien

Our journey began in Golden, Colorado when the movers arrived at our house two days after Christmas. On December 27, a knock on the door at 8:00 am, right on schedule, a crew of movers from Allied Moving Co. showed up ready to go to work. 

Fortunately, despite Christmas being just two days prior, we had managed to find the time to clear out and sort most of our belongings into the three shipments: Air-500 lbs with a one week arrival time; Sea-what we wanted to live with for the next two years but not get for 30-45 days and Storage-everything else that we'll eventually forget we own! Not an easy task with three children to consider.

Despite that, Finn and I managed to pack our Ball clothes in the Air shipment for we were not going to miss that event for anything. I packed my $20 Thrift Store gem of a dress and black jeweled stillettos and he packed his black Banana Republic suit with the intent to purchase a bow tie and cumber-bun when we arrived in Vienna. 
The movers thought we were crazy when they saw the fancy clothes being thrown in with the sleeping bags and kitchen dishes!

Because our departure on December 3 was several days after our house was packed up, we used the remaining days in Colorado to tie up lose ends like storing the mini-van, securing bank and post office accounts, getting the new tenants moved it and saying our Good-Byes to family and friends. It was a whirlwind of activity and all I can remember is staying up late the night before our early morning flight trying to squeeze any last belongings into our many suitcases and wondering if our dog, Hunter was going to be able to make the trip with us, for the temperatures were predicted to be cold the following morning.

Fortunately, Hunter was able to fly with us and we left Colorado bound for Washington, D.C. without a hitch.  Our layover in D.C. was about four hours. Just enough time to get the kids fed, get to our departure gate and hang out until our flight began boarding.

Upon boarding the Austrian Airlines plane was when our world was transformed...bright red and green decor, the stewardesses dressed from head to toe in everything red, and classical music playing on the intercom.  
Our seats were in the middle aisle. Austin and Anelie sat up front and Finn, Arissen and myself sat in a row behind; across the aisle from members of a women's NBA basketball team bound for Europe for training. Unfortunately, I had brought along with me from the states laryngitis and a chronic cough; not fun on an international flight.

We arrived in Vienna at 8:00 am to cold and damp weather. The kids enjoyed the unusual tram-like truck that ferried us across the runway to our gate. We immediately got off and headed towards luggage claim while Arissen chatted it up with a nice stewardess from Louisiana. He had managed to plan a "sleep over" with her before it was over:-)

After rounding up all of our gear, three children, skis, a car seat and a cute dog, we made our way through the airport to meet our driver. We had been told things were "simpler"... "smaller"... less"... in Europe, but until you experience it, you don't really know what "less" means. Plus, with three children, "less" is virtually impossible!  
Much to the drivers dismay, we were able to load all of our gear into the van and off we went to our temporary apartment in Karlsplatz. 

The first week was spent in a tiny, one bedroom apartment watching the German version of SpongeBob SquarePants and trying to figure out how to grocery shop when the stores are closed for Holiday!

I will fast forward a month. Much has happened since our first week here. I will sum up some of the highlights:

Eating goose eggs for breakfast because that was all that was available at the Turkish market open on Holiday.
Using Buttermilk for coffee creamer because we couldn't read the label! Ha
Hiking a mile up a very steep hill to school, carrying a 4 year old, in the pouring rain, 2x a day for 2 weeks. 
No, really.
Using an umbrella for the first time in like 10 years.
Anelie contracting lice at the most expensive school in all of Vienna her first week here!
Us treating lice the Austrian way. Missing a day of school to travel across town by bus, then a tram, then another bus in the cold, pouring rain to a center that is open from 7:30-11:30 M-F just to treat lice! It was bizarre. 
Escaping the air mattresses (and lice) for a weekend in Prague. It was an amazing city despite the freezing temps (although the kids were not too excited about the museum of medieval torture tools)
Attending a Ball at the Hofburg Palace on public transportation.
Paying the babysitter mistakenly in Czech crowns instead of Euros. Oops!
Remembering not to order anything on the menu that says "beuchel" which translates to veal heart and lung. 

Hmmmmm...I know there is more but I'll save it for the next post:-)
Life is an adventure and we are excited to have this rare and unique opportunity. The kids are making some good friends and we are enjoying meeting families and people from all over the world. 
Till next time...


  1. Wow, what an adventure in such a short time! What a great idea too to do a blog. Thanks for the postings...can't wait to read more. This is way more exciting than any parenting book I'm reading. :-) Love and Miss you...

  2. Ha, I love the quick recap! Glad Hunter wasn't stopped by cold weather and that you can tell your kids you used to hike up a hill to school in the rain two days a week :0)
    Keep blogging cause we love reading it :0)

  3. Hallo Dahl Familie,

    this is a wonderful website and sure is nice to see how you are surviving living and enjoying your new home in Austria. I always wanted to go to the city of Prague it's the last untouched un-bombed original city in Europe. You lucky guys I'm sure Rachel Austin Anilie and Arissen fell in love with Europe. The ski trip was a real adventure and I'm glad you all enjoyed. Your apartment or home is wonderful looks astonishing in great. I hope your furniture has arrived. We are anxious to see what it looks like with beds and furniture.

    With all our love and blessings be safe mom and dad.

  4. Hisan Dahl Familie,

    We woke up to 6 inches of snow on our deck this morning so spring has finally arrived in Colorado. Sure enjoyed looking at your website hopefully we can see your new home with furniture? Mom is getting better every day from her and I am her nurse. We're looking forward to traveling to Norway and Vienna and seeing all of you in your new lifestyle. If you find time please come to the cabin in Norway so we can go fishing, hiking and boating. You have posted some beautiful pictures of Vienna. What an experience to have for all of you.

    With all our love and blessings be safe Mom and Dad