Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mothers worst nightmare!

My friend Tiffa came to visit us and we decided to go paddleboating on the river. After a great time we walked to the tram stop where it was unusually crowded. It is high tourist season and the stop we were at (Narodni Divadlo - for you prazaci) was packed. Our tram came and Tiffa helped me onto the tram where I did my usual check list. Benji - check, Vinson - where is Vinson? There are so many people and he often runs to a chair by himself and sits down. Sweeping the chairs and getting more anxious, "Vinson! Vinson!" The tram shut the doors and started pulling away. I still thought there was a good chance Vince was on the tram. He is so independent lately. As the tram pulls away in slow motion I see Vinson on the platform crying and walking into the street to follow the tram. The tram turned and he was out of sight. For those who don't know the stop from Narodni Divadlo to Staromestka is one of the longest, and it's one where trams and cars share the street. I was imagining Vince getting plowed. He's so small I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't even see him. My face went white and some nice Czech women who caught on to what was going on and watched this whole thing were as horrified as myself. One told me to push the emergency button and the other ran towards the driver to explain the problem. I buzzed and buzzed and the tram stopped - more likely from traffic than that the woman actually reached the driver or my buzzing - and I forced the doors open and sprinted back to Vinson praying that he was safe. Then I saw him holding an old woman's hand. Vince saw me and ran to me still crying. Vince: "Mom you got on the tram and I wasn't on the tram." We talked about what happened and how both of us would make sure it never happened again. Phew!!! Then I was getting panicky as we were walking back to the next tram stop that Tiffa wouldn't get off at the next stop and she would get lost with Benji and if this were the case I knew she didn't know how to get to our house. But there she was waiting at the next stop. Double phew!! That was enough excitement to last . . . well forever. I love Vinson!

Quick Trip

While Valerie's friend Tiffa was in town, we decided to go on a short road trip...Road Trip Excitement!

Tiffa needed to be in Vienna on Wednesday and there are a couple of chateaus on the way to Vienna that have been on our want-to-visit list for a long time.

On Tuesday morning we picked up a rental car and headed for Mikulov:
where we ate some lunch.
Then we went on a tour of nearby Lednice Chateau:
before traveling a few kilometers to Valtice to see the outside of another chateau:
and eat some dinner.This whole time, strange things had been going on with the rental car. I thought it was an alignment issue after I checked (several times) to see if we had a flat tire. As we were driving back to Mikulov to the hostel we were going to stay at, the problem was so bad that the steering wheel was rhythmically vibrating and we started hearing a repetitive clunking sound from the front tires.A local family of good Samaritans noticed, and were kind enough to tell us, that we were down to one lug nut out of five on the driver side front wheel. Apparently the entire wheel was wobbling back and forth as we drove. From outside the car, it was an easier problem to diagnose:The man who stopped us was super helpful. We jacked the car up and "borrowed one lug nut from each of the other wheels, so that they were all just one nut short of a complete set and the car worked wonderfully the rest of the trip!
Mikulov at night.

The next morning we drove to Vienna and met up with Tiffa's friend Dan. We had lunch together and saw a little of the town, before we went our separate ways.
"Hang loose lane"

Val and I drug the boys through Vienna's Kunsthistorsche MuseumMy favorite part of this picture is that Vinson is so obviously bored with Caravaggio's David and Goliath David mit dem Haupt des Goliath in the background:

before we hit the road for Melk...

the site of a huge baroque monastery overlooking the Danube:
We stayed the night and went through the monastery the next morning.

We then drove through the scenic Wachau Valley between Melk and Krems and made our way back into Czechia and home.We asked Vince about his favorite part of the trip... "riding in the car". Not only is riding in a car a novelty for our boys, they had a portable dvd player in the back seat to keep them entertained. It's funny all we go through to have adventures and see interesting sites...
All in all though, it was a great trip.