Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunshine!! by Lori

I think today was the warmest day we've had here so far. It hit around 65 degrees so I opened all the windows to air out the apartment. The view from the windows is pretty cool so I took pictures of it. The first 2 pictures are of the apartment and businesses right across the street from us.

This one is going down to the Cafe Sperl. And this one is the street I walk up to Mariahelferstrasse. It has blocks and blocks of incredible shopping. And yes, I went there today!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Why Cow Milk?-Nate Peck

Read this Calvin and Hobbes comic before moving on to the rest of the Blog:

(in case you cant see it theirs a link to a bigger picture, or see other Calvin and Hobbes comics)

So i thought that Fit quite well with the Melk trip, hahaha, so I, Nathan D. Peck, have been obligated to blog to you today about the food of Melk, Yummy Yummy. Anyway when we arrived at the Melk train station, there was a vending machine, and being the hungry person i am decided to look in to it, and to my surprise they had Skittles, which is something they don't have in Vienna. They were GREAT, sure they were hard from they fact that they were cold but it was the best tasting thing I'd had in months. and I had a total of 3 box's they were good.

(odd looking picture of me, but I'm actually looking at the Skittles, Sorry mom I'm not looking at you)

After i had eaten my skittles we decided to get some lunch at the Abby restaurant. So we got there and in case you didn't know all the menus are in German, so most of the time we don't know what we are getting, but we can always guess pretty good to what we are getting. so this time Mom and Emily got a pork schnitzel to share, Dad got a beef Goulash, and I got a cheese pasta thing. All of the meals were really good and very Delicious and good.

So after the lunch Mom, Dad, and Emily decided to go get some ice cream, i didn't get any because i wasn't all to very hungry after eating skittles and having that big lunch so i just sat there and watched them in ice cream. apparently it was very good, but really who knows.

And last just for the sake of saying we did it we all drank Milk in Melk, just because we're cool like that.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Melking Austria for all it's worth

So it was off to Melk for the Vienna Pecks. I promised Nathan that I would let him blog about what beverage we drank in this Austrian city, so I'm not going to say what we all drank here, so hang on to his blog for more info about the mystery beverage we drank in Melk. Melk is a city on the Danube about 60 miles up from Vienna. By watching the Internet I found a rail pass that lets you travel anywhere the regional trains go for only 28 euros (which of course is thousands of US dollars given the current exchange rate, no its really only about $45, but that was yesterday). But for four people that's a great deal, so we took off to Melk to see the famous Benedictine Abby below. It could be easily seen from the train station and these pictures don't give a sense of how massive this really is. This Abby was built in the 11th century first as a gift from the Bamburg Emperor, then rebuilt in the 18th in Baroque style.

We visited the Abbey right off and bought our tickets for the only English tour given during the day, which was about three hours later. We ate at the Abby restaurant. Lori and Emily shared a schnitzel, I had Goulash, and Nathan had a great pasta dish. His was meatless, and my goulash was only meat, so we shared with each other and he had a meated pasta dish, and my goulash had pasta with it. The food was great, though. I'm not sure it was cooked and served by real Benedictines, which was a little surprising at an Abbey restaurant--I suppose.

We then strolled through the town--in which everything was closed of course because it was after 12:30pm. Mental note, everything in Europe outside of Vienna is closed in the afternoon. We did find a kind of creepy secondhand store. Lori seemed to enjoy it, but Emily and I thought this a dark and dirty place so scary we fled. It reminded me of something out of Oliver Twist or bad dreams I sometimes have about a shabby and ruined world. Lori almost bought something, but I talked her out of it. I mean, it could have been from anywhere! So we went to a park along an oxbow of the river and Emily ran to throw of the feel of the flea market.

The tour of the Abbey was unbelievable. The library held 100,000 books many from the middle ages (although missing many volumes from a 12 Century fire). The Abbey was a working school and had about 30 monks currently living in it. The displays included both medieval artifacts and modern implements of Catholic worship. We saw a 900 year old full size carved wooden crucifix that was unbelievable both in terms of its age and beauty.

I realized too that we as a church in Utah really don't make as much use of skeletons as we could. Once again I found the Abbey way ahead of us in terms of their use. Here is one of the early saints preserved as a dressed-up skeleton. It seems to me that if we kept the bones of old Stake Presidents and Bishops around on display at our Ward Houses it would make church much more interesting. I'm going to send in a suggestion to the church that this motif ought to be used much more used than it is. I mean who wouldn't want to go to church if there were skeletons on display?

This is the view from the Abbey Balcony. The view stretched over the city of Melk on the left. On the right stretched remnants of ancient forest that ran up to the shores of the Danube. This is the same forest were most of the fairytales took place. Really, this the dark forest where Red Riding Hood was accosted by wolves, where Hansel and Gretel tried to find their way home and ran into the witch, where Snow White lay in a glass coffin until her prince kissed her. How cool is that?

Fairytale forests:

One more view of the Abbey.

Ice cream was so good in Melk. Only 60 cents in Euros ($343 US or American Yen as they are called here).

Why isn't Nathan looking at the camera? Look closely in the window behind us.

All in all it was a great day!

And we saw some great ceilings:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nates Thoughts.

I Nathan D. Peck have been obligated to blog to you people of the United States of America, about the troubles of chatting to three to five people at the same time, while trying to blog. Which coincidentally is what I am doing right now, odd isn't it. Its great being able to talk to my friends, brothers and sister in Laws. Its really fun to talk to them to see how everything is going over there. and with Chris, Tim, Fritz, and Sam i am able to talk to them through games and stuff and its really fun to do that. its really fun to be able to talk to them. Yup so good times with them.

Next time on Nate's thought, Nate and hes family visit the land of Melk, what will there adventures bring them upon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Internet Lori

We are still alive......but our Internet wasn't. So we didn't disappear. It's not fun when the Internet goes down when you are in a foreign country. You feel very isolated. But tonight Nathan and Steve were able to get it fixed and up again. I think Nathan had it the hardest because that meant that his xbox live was down too. But on the good side, he couldn't do school either. I think he's happier to have it up than not. Steve is glad it's up because it's one less worry for him. Believe me....he worries about everything!! I'm happy because I can see what's going on over there and what's on sale. Plus I love reading email. So the blog is up and going again. We'll talk to you all tomorrow!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tiergarten Schönbrunn

Emily has never been to the zoo before. Well not that she remembers, anyway. There was a small zoo in Hilo, Hawaii we used to take her when she was a toddler. It only had about 10 animals, but since she doesn't remember anything about it, it doesn't matter much. It seems like such a rip that we spend all this time doing things for our children and they don't remember any of it! At least I remember everything my parents every took me to. I'm sure I do. Well, even so, despite her forgetting the Hilo Zoo, it probably became part of her in deep unremembered ways. At least I'll tell myself that it is so.

The Schönbrunn Tiergarten is a primer zoo. We didn't have the energy to see everything but what we saw soo cool. Above, Emily sees fruit bats for the first time. Indeed, I see fruit bats for the first time. (And note we are in their cage, nothing separates us from these lovely creatures.) They were in the rain forest house. 85 F and 80 % humidity. You might think that the fruit bats could not be topped, but on the bottom floor of this massive green house, in a small stream I saw a mud skipper! Those little fish that breath air and can walk around on limb-like legs! I've always wanted to see one and there it was, about the size of an aquarium guppy, sitting on a little log poking out of the water. I was like a kid at a zoo seeing that. For me that was the highlight of the Teirgarten. It's strange what captures and delights us, but that little mud-skipper won the day for me. I should point out that BOTH Lori and Emily said, "Oh" and moved on. IT WAS A MUD-SKIPPER! for heaven's sake. I don't understand some people.

Despite her face, Emily was really intrigued by these Flusspferd:

Can you count how many mice it has in his beak? Or are they rats? They are awfully large.

This Koala bear might be the cutest thing I've ever seen. Ever. Ever.

A Kodachrome moment:

This is a real elephant:

Lori and Emily watch a sea lion.

Emily tries to find out if this frog is a prince:

One of the other highlights was a display of these bee hive landing boards. They had a number of observation hives, but these paintings were absolutely fascinating. I think the bees must have enjoyed coming home to such aesthetic surroundings.

The Vienna Zoo has two pandas.

It was a full day, but a great one. I saw a mud skipper.

You can't fake this kind of smile!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Fall of Man

Sunday I slipped in the bathroom. I lost my footing and came down hard. In the few seconds after, I had an opportunity to contemplate my mortality. While lying on the ground my first thought was I wonder how bad I'm hurt? I next realized that there was no one that knew how to call an ambulance. I knew I had hit my head hard. And that there were odd signals coming in that spoke of injury, but I just didn't know if I were hurt or not. After a few seconds Lori came in (alerted by the sound that a killer whale makes when hitting a sidewalk after being tossed from a six story building (which I'm sure most of you have heard before)). She asked if I were all right. I said I didn't know. Finally I started to try to get up. I found that nothing was too bad. My head took a smack on the side. My wrist was tender, my knees were sore. But I realized that I was more scared than hurt (although now after three days the side of my head is tender to the touch). Luckily, I need a hair cut really bad and my long beautiful locks cushioned the blow. But it has me thinking about how quickly life can change. And how odd it is that I'm old enough to have a "I've fallen and I can't get up" moment.

Ah well.

This will be short. I've been helping Emily with her math most of the evening. We have to do it together. Here was one of her problems:

Ein Satellit braucht für 7 Erdumkreisungen 10 h 11 min, Wie lange braucht er für eine Erdumkreisung?

Yes you read that right, she is figuring out orbital times for satellites. It took us about an hour and a half to do four problems. However, when we return to Utah and are camped in the La Sals and we see a satellite pass overhead, just ask Emily to figure out for you when it will be back. Just to make it hard ask her in German.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Haunted house -- by Emily

Well you know that we went on a theme park. And I wanted go in a haunted house the whole time. Finally I got to the haunted house. But I didn't want to go on It. but dad made me. Well we went in the ride. Then we past through doors. It was pitch black. Then all these skeletons and sharks. Then their were witches putting Vulcans in the cauldron. Then there was a bat with red eyes. It came down. then the scariest thing almost made me throw up. I will not say what it was. We went down a a hill It was slow.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

bla bla bla bla bla-by Nate Peck

So this week while playing Chris in our weekly Halo 3 match Chris' Internet went down and we all thought that his subscription when out "OH NO!!!" we all said (me and Chris) "we wont be able to play next week cuz you wont have xbox live and you dont get paid till Tuesday and thats too late" (we play at 9:00 utah time Mondays and Tuesday) so this whole week we were disappointed that we wouldnt be able to play the next week. so the whole week i was depressed that i wouldnt be able to play with Chris, but i was also excited because on Saturday me and my friends Fritz and Sam were going to get on and play so mixed emotions right ya at about 10:30 at night our time Fritz and Sam got on and we played for about 2 hours it was fun talking to them about what was going on in Utah and what not...then today while i was talking to Chris it turns out that his subscription didn't run out his internet just went down and he would actually be able to play its all pretty cool now everything is hunky-dory.
Also the weather is very nice here it has been mostly sunny and in the 50's most of the feels very nice but when the wind blows in quite cold but other than that it is quite pleasant. and we have the windows open all day to let the warm fresh air in...hopefully the weather will stay this nice.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Day In The Lori

We have all our weekends so booked up as to things we want to do before we come home. This weekend was our amusement park weekend. One of the first things we did was to get a picture of the four of us. It was fun getting all dressed up for this.

After we got done with the picture, Nathan wanted to go on this roller coaster that goes upside down and twists and turns. So I told him that I would go on it with him. So we get on and we start backing up. Nathan is starting to shake. Finally, when we get high enough to make the first loop, we drop. We are upside down and turning all over the place. I'm thinking, that was fun and I'm glad it's done. But it wasn't done. We had to do it again but only in reverse and backwards. When we got off I was now the one shaking. You can barely see us in the picture. I have my white coat on and Nathan is next to me.

Steve and I made Emily and Nathan go on the slide. For one, Emily and Nathan have never been on one of these kind of slides and now they can say they have, and it was a cheap ride. I think they both liked it even though Nathan probably wouldn't ever admit it.

Steve really wanted to go on this water ride. Nathan didn't want to go because he didn't want to get wet. It was kinda cold out and he didn't want to freeze but he went along with Steve because Emily nor I wanted to for the same reason as Nathan. Steve found out it just wasn't a splashy water ride. When you get to the top, your boat is spinning in circles as you are floating down.

We went on a lot more rides but Emily wants to blog on some of the rides she went on. We had a really fun day. Steve and I came home with really dizzy head aches but we'd do again if we had the chance.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mid-Season Retrospective!

You asked for it and you get it! Yes it's midway through the season and its time for a retrospective. Just like on network TV when the writers run out of ideas they do a retrospective, we are going to do it too! So here it is a look back at the adventure.

So it started on Christmas day. We flew to Austria so we could see a proper naivety scene such as this one at St. Stephen's Cathedral.

In a winter so cold that horses had to wear earmuffs.

Things were breaking down so often we got very religious.

Look in Lori's and Nathan's eyes. Yes you will find fear. If they knew what was coming they would have really been afraid!

For there were towers of trouble ahead.

But cool advertisements would make everything worth while!

And museums would be so popular that we would see many. This fine fellow was one of my favorites!

And would life really be complete without seeing this famous bust of Aristotle, the first Biologist? I don't think so.

And don't forget to support your local effort to free Tibet. These protests gave us a chance to talk to our children about freedom (without fries).

And who could forget that classic blog by Emily Wachtel Eier!

We discovered many different kinds of people.

And went to church on Sundays (Nathan also went to Seminary on Thursdays).

While Lori tried to decide whether to wear a mini-skirt or not.

We did a lot of walking in the first half of the season.

Emily bought European styled shoes so she would fit in better at school.

The quality of the graffiti is something that continues to impress us. The fine use of insect themes is a constant reminder of how advanced this society is.

Recognize this from the classic from the 1940's hit "The Third Man?" It's still going around (and going around and going . . . )

Sometime you just got to unwind after a hard day. It looks like this crowd had one too many! Look at that glazed look on their faces. They are lucky the proprietor did not make them take a taxi home!

The first half of the season ended with a trip to Slovakia. Here the star of the show considers her options.

Ah, Europe. It's been a great opening season. Drama, intrigue and the hope for a better series later this season.