Thursday, December 20, 2012


Budapest is a Monet--beautiful from far away, but a hot mess close up. We arrived at a train station in the kind of neighborhood where train stations often are, then walked to our hotel. The neighborhood reminded me strongly of other Eastern European cities I have visited. There were 18th- and 19th-century buildings interspersed with Soviet-era buildings. Everything was in various states of disrepair.

We visited the castle hill in Buda, Memento Park with its Communist-Era statues, and the Terror Museum in the building which once housed the secret police's cells and torture chambers. The overcast, freezing weather just added to the oppressive feeling of the last two sites.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Auf Wiedersehen, Wien!

We are headed to Budapest today. I have enjoyed Vienna and wish we could spend a little more time here.Yesterday was Schonbrunn Castle, Sacher torte, the Ferris wheel (think London Eye but more decrepit), church at the "English" ward and standing-room tickets at the opera.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wunderbar Wien

It is chilly and rainy in Vienna. We walked all over and saw the Christmas market at Belevdere, where we had hot white chocolate that was made by stirring chocolate bars into hot milk. I am normally pretty good at getting around cities, but Vienna confuses me.We became so turned around that we needed to take a taxi back to our hotel. The highlight of our trip has been the amazing Vienna Philharmonic concert this evening, with Ray Chen as guest violin soloist. Rowdy and I were moved to tears by the beauty of the experience. Tomorrow is Schonbrunn Palace and, with any luck, church and standing room tickets to the Opera. I am not going to wear pants to church tomorrow, but I support those women who choose to, whether as a statement or for other reasons. That is a subject of another post.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Euro Christmas Cheer

Rowdstar and I are in Strausbourg, France. It bills itself as the "Capital of Christmas ", and good reason. We have enjoyed the wonderful Christmas markets, decorationsand snowy weather. Pain au chocolate, hot orange juice with honey and Croque Monsieur. Have been enjoyed. The Hobbit opened this morning, and we were surprised to find that here was no crazy line at the box office, and we paid less for tickets than we would have in the US. I only fell asleep twice in the movie. LOTR movies have that effect on me. One of the effects of traveling in Norway earlier this year is that evertywhere else is inexpensive in comparison.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Catching Up Gratefuls

December is upon us, but I missed a couple of gratitude days.  Just a few things:

I'm grateful for music.  Rowdy and I went over to his friend, Paul's, house last night.  Paul and I jammed some.  I haven't been playing for the last couple of months, so now I'm reenergized.

We went to my department Christmas party tonight.  I was named, "Radiologist of the Year", which is pretty sweet.  I was given this nice award that says all kinds of nice things on it, finishing with, "Loved and appreciated by all".  What I'm grateful for is all of the support that I get from my staff that helps me do my job well.  I'm also grateful for the Atonement, so I can repent when I'm not being so nice or good.  I'm grateful that my prayers for my patients get answered so much.  I'm grateful that I have a supportive husband, who decided to come to the dinner with me tonight instead of going to a shooting competition that he'd really been looking forward to (and would have be more fun).

Here's my "major award".  Be careful, it's frageeelay.

My Rad Life!