European Adventure Part 3: Vienna

Hello Friends,

This is the third, and final stop of our 16 day holiday.  While this is business travel for the World Traveler, I join him a few times a year and we find time for mini holidays.

Part I: Montreaux, Switzerland
Part II: Budapest, Hungary

We drove from Budapest to Vienna, via the autobahn.  A quick trip, just a few hour drive.

Vienna, Budapest, and Montreux in one holiday - these are three different places!  Vienna is pristine.  I immediately noticed that you only find grass in parks. We discussed that in ye old days the rain must have bathed the city.  Today this can happen with power spray.

With about three days to explore, we selected a hotel in a walking distance of many sights. This is a city I would like to visit again. Planned similar to Paris, Vienna has 23 districts. Mozart, Beethoven, Freud, and Marie Antoinette are just a few people that call Vienna home. 

Highlights and Observations
- We arrived Saturday afternoon. After settling in, I ran to a castle... again! Purely by accident... I found one of the most famous places in Vienna. The Belvedere Palace.

- On Sunday we were too close not to visit Marie Antoinette's childhood home.  Getting there requires a few transfers on the train and a mile walk.

The grounds are like visiting a state fair.  What I mean by this is that Schonbrunn Palace offers SO much to do an see.  Days are needed, not hours.

- We traveled back to Inner Stadt for coffee, to find Gustav Klimt's 'The Kiss', and walk through Hundertwasser House and Village.  Take a few minutes to research The Kiss and Hundertwasser online.  You won't regret it.

This wraps up this European adventure.  Thanks for traveling with us!
With love and gratitude, Mari
The Belvedere Palace

Schonbrunn Palace: Marie Antoinette's childhood home
Train Station, Pretzels at the Easter Markt, our first glance at the Palace

Easter Merkt - Hundertwasser - St Stephen's Cathedral
Doesn't it remind you of Alice in Wonderland?
The perfect ending to our adventure - a stroll, coffee, a date.

Books I can't wait to read!

Hello friends,

After a long snowy winter, it's time to dream of summer: gardens growing, crisp morning runs, warm days, cool nights, barbeques, and  relaxing on the deck with a good book.  It's so close!

I have added several books to my TBR list over the last few weeks. Most are titles I'm eager to read but do not publish until summer, forcing me to practice patience.

While I wait to be outside more, I will work on a new design project - my new two room office/workspace.  An office and three season porch.   I can't wait to curl up with a book and enjoy the porch on a summer day.  More on this later... and a wrap up of our basement renovation.

Cheers, Mari

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The Status of All Things: pub date, June 2
Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancĂ©, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

Kate's two best friends, Jules and Liam, are the only ones who know the truth. In order to convince them she’s really time traveled, Kate offers to use her Facebook status to help improve their lives. But her attempts to help them don’t go exactly as planned, and every effort to get Max back seems to only backfire, causing Kate to wonder if it’s really possible to change her fate.

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The Knockoff: pub date, May 19
An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.

A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.

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The Rumor: pub date, June 16 
Nantucket writer Madeline King couldn't have picked a worse time to have writer's block. Her deadline is looming, her bills are piling up, and inspiration is in short supply. Madeline's best friend Grace, is hard at work transforming her garden into the envy of the island with the help of a ruggedly handsome landscape architect. Before she realizes it, Grace is on the verge of a decision that will irrevocably change her life. Could Grace's crisis be Madeline's salvation? As the gossip escalates, and the summer's explosive events come to a head, Grace and Madeline try desperately to set the record straight--but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it.

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Summer Secrets: pub date, June 23  
A story of one woman struggling to right the wrongs of her past, with even more complications in the present.

June, 1998: At twenty seven, Catherine Coombs, also known as Cat, is struggling. She lives in London, works as a journalist, and parties hard. Her lunchtimes consist of several glasses of wine at the bar downstairs in the office, her evenings much the same, swigging the free booze and eating the free food at a different launch or party every night. When she discovers the identity of the father she never knew she had, it sends her into a spiral. She makes mistakes that cost her the budding friendship of the only women who have ever welcomed her. And nothing is ever the same after that.

June, 2014: Cat has finally come to the end of herself. She no longer drinks. She wants to make amends to those she has hurt. Her quest takes her to Nantucket, to the gorgeous summer community where the women she once called family still live. Despite her sins, will they welcome her again? What Cat doesn’t realize is that these women, her real father’s daughters, have secrets of their own. As the past collides with the present, Cat must confront the darkest things in her own life and uncover the depths of someone’s need for revenge.

European Adventure Part 2: Budapest

Hello Friends,

Add Budapest to your must travel / bucket list today!  I may not find the right words to express the feeling of this beautiful city but know it's historically somber with fantastic energy and style.

This is my first time visiting an eastern European country; this old town has been beautifully cared for, and I'm happy to report... it's a walking city.

Blessed with a week to explore while the World Traveler and his colleagues were hosting a conference, I had time to learn and walked miles every day.  I had to be out, on the streets, absorbing.

On day one we settled into our room, met a group for dinner, and found ourselves at a concert in the basement of a hot spot. The locals were dancing and singing to a Jackson Five cover band. This was going to be a great adventure!

Click here to read Part I: Montreux, Switzerland
Click here to view our travel journal

Highlights and Observations
- I have a Pinterest board for Budapest listing must sees and lesser known places.  I tend to go out of my way to find places tourists don't know to see.

- We both have motorcycle licenses which lets us rent scooters while traveling.  Budapest is a perfect city to explore on a scooter since Budapest is expansive.  The Turkish Bathe Houses are a few miles out of the tourist district.  During this trip, we had the scooters for two days.  We saw so much, it's a forced technology break, and we made a date out of our time together.  Lunch and exploring, stopping to walk through parks, take in the monuments/sights, etc.. Did you know Buda is hilly, and Pest is flat?

- You must find the Shoes Memorial which honors the Jews killed in Budapest: ordered to take off their shoes, and shot, so their bodies fell into the river and were carried away.

- Walk across the River Danube via the Yellow Bridge, and cross back to Pest on the Chain Bridge. You will walk by Parliament and a lovely boardwalk.

- In Buda, you must see the Freedom Monument ( a tribute to the end of Nazi occupation) and the Castle.  Back in Pest, find the Thousand Notes Pub, shop The Great Market (it's one of the best markets I have visited),

- All of the communist statues have been removed from the streets, gathered up and placed in one central location.

- Enjoy a Transylvanian Chimney Cake... Delish!

Budapest is on my top five list of places I have been lucky enough to see.  I could go on and on talking about this city, but now it's time to pack up and depart for our last destination.

Enjoy the photos below; now we are off to Vienna!
Thousand Notes Pub
Gellert hill overlooks Budapest. The climb takes about 15 minutes and is well worth it to see all the statues of men being manly (plus some nice views).

Szimpla Kertmozi - If you are lucky enough to find this car free... you have sit for a drink/lunch!
Ruins Pub

I did not care for the fish pedicure!

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