Alles Gute zum Gerburtstag, Liebe Abigail

Trip Start May 13, 2011
Trip End Apr 28, 2012

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It is one thing to turn 9, the last single digit age you will ever be.  It is another to learn to sing Happy Birthday in German, twisting our tongues into shapes we had never attempted, and have the words match the tune match the day. 

Happy Birthday to you
Marmelade im Schuh
Aprikosen in die Hosen
und ein Arschtritt dazu.

Happy Birthday to you,
Marmelade in your shoe,
Apricots in your trousers,
And a kick in the butt, too.

We usually sing both the traditional and in the zoo versions of Happy Birthday, but this year, we added the German twist:  ).

Abigail turned 9 today.  We had been talking about this day for a long time, as we wanted to make sure she felt like she could have her day honored, even when she was out of her norm. Birthdays are big in our family.... they are a day to honor the person, their family and their choice to have this experience right now.  Abigail wanted a special experience, and I hope she had one.

We also had another first today.  Kahlan lost her second tooth... seriously, they keep falling out of her face (it also helped that dad gave the tooth a little yank).  She has two more loose on the top.  She is definitely keeping the toothfairy busy.  Yay for Kahli!  Of course, she wrote a note asking for a horse.... she is not a girl who holds back.

She started the day off with a birthday breakfast.  Food is also very big in our house, and to Abi the foodie, even bigger.  There is a bakery here, Strock, that we have all come to love, as they back organic breads that are vegan, fresh, all day, and they are soooo yummy.  So, we walked down to the bread shop, which we LOVE that we can do here, and Abi choose Bio GlobalVitalwerkl.... translated, roll with lots of nuts and seeds.  She also wanted Preiselbeeren(lingonberries, they are prolific here in the markets, and our new favorite), Himberbeeren (raspberries), and Kirsche (cherries).  It was a fruity, carb loaded feast:  ).

The girls decided they would like some English companions, so we found an art class about 10 minutes away that is taught by a beautiful woman from the Island of Mann, Emma.  She has a shock of red hair, is quiet and sweet and absolutely lovely.  The girls adore her and her Austrian/Irish assistant, Laura.  They go from 9-12pm, and for Amit and I, it has been a real treat to spend some time together without the girls.  So, Abi and Kahli went to class, while I went home and cooked a lunch feast, to order: gazpacho with fresh herb croutons, Miso and ginger coleslaw, traditional vinegar coleslaw and a cake this year, vanilla with nutella, chocolate and raspberry filling, covered in whipped cream.  This was also made to order per Abi's request.

Amit fetched the girls from their class, and we feasted well, Abi was delighted, talking non-stop about her class and enjoying her birthday lunch.  After chilling out for a bit, we headed to the Prater for some rides and a walk in the woods.  As the weather has been absolutely beautiful in Vienna, today decided to be hot, like 95 degrees hot.  The Prater is all outside as well, but we sweated through the rides of course and made it to the woods thirsty, hungry and tired.

For dinner, (I told you, this foodie girl had it all planned), we headed to our local favorite vegan place, Bio Bar, which we had been to a few times.  The girls had bruschetta with olives, artichokes and capers, on toasted organic whole grain spelt bread and a Dalmatian salad with lettuce, veggies and grape leaves.  Amit and I split the wild and brown rice risotto with smoked tofu and veggies.  While not risotto, it was very yummy.  Amit and I figured out the local customs on dining out here, so we were pleased to be able to seat ourselves, ask for the bill and pay the server including the tip.  Here is Austria, when the bill is presented by your server only when you ask for it, they tell you the total, and you either give them the total with tip, or you ask for change minus the total with tip.  If you leave the tip on the table, it may not be there for the server when they return.

The warm day ended as we got back to our boiling hot apartment, but Abi did not care.  She was glowing, but not with heat.  I think, it was her beautiful day.  Happy Birthday my love, may this year bring you peace and adventure, quiet times and friendship, a sense of newness and comfort and most of all love.
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