Hi friends! It has been a while… I’m still here, trying to find my footing, and struggling to find words to write. The past couple of weeks have been up and down. Some days I feel as if I’m on top of the world, patting my back for accomplishing big and small tasks. Some days are busy and stressful, where my days end with me curled up in a ball, crying my heart out while DFJ holds me or cooks dinner because strength is so hard to muster. Some days, I get to do everything I want to do: teach yoga, cook, bake, go on a long walk, and read.
I have some stories to tell and we should catch up...
DFJ and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple (and our engagement anniversary) in true DFJ and M style… staying in, cooking shrimp, and baking an utterly delicious beet-strawberry cake. The cake was all DFJ’s making. He wanted to make me a pink cake with zero food coloring and voila, he made it happen and it was really delicious too!
A week after Valentine's Day, we flew to Austria for 10 days and had a fantastic time exploring Salzburg and finding our way around Vienna. We ate pastries to our hearts’ content, enjoyed gelato out in the cold almost every night before walking back to our pension, and tried the local cuisine. We also drank plenty of coffee morning, noon, and night. I thought DFJ and I had a pretty good handle on making coffee at home, but I was wrong, oh so wrong. The coffee in Austria is rich and smooth, almost creamy, and not at all bitter. And drinking wine at lunch… we should really do that here!
I fell in love with both Salzburg and Vienna. Salzburg is very charming with a downtown area surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It has everything for everyone… restaurants, shopping, museums, churches, palaces, and all sorts of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, skiing, and so on. Vienna is beautiful in an old city kind of way. It is clean and not over crowded, plus, all the touristy sights are close enough to walk to if you are in the heart of the city. We had the best time discovering the sights recommended by our guide book, admiring the magnificent churches and buildings, and people watching. Many Austrians like to smoke; they love sitting out in the sun; winter fashion mostly consists of big, chunky scarves, tight jeans, and uber stylish boots; Austrians love their coffee and when they are out at cafes or restaurants they actually talk to each other (i.e. look into each other’s eyes, lean towards each other, and their cell phones are nowhere in sight!). DFJ and I did not want our trip to end and we were both sad to have to say goodbye to Austria. By the way, I wrote nine pages worth of notes on our trip, but I will spare you the boredom of a long recap. I must say though, that by far my favorite spot inVienna is the Naschmarkt. It's a long block of restaurants; cafes; and stands that sell olives, nuts, spices, tea, bread, fruits, oils, wine, flowers, and everything else under the sun. The choices were overwhelming that we both didn't know what we wanted to eat!
Salzburg (top to bottom, left to right): Hellbrunn Palace; view of the suburbs from the Hohensalzburg Fortress; view of the downtown area from the Hohensalzburg Fortress; on top of Untersberg.
Vienna (top to bottom, left to right): Stephansdom altar; Anker clock at Hoher Markt; Majolikahaus; Beethoven.
Vienna (top to bottom, left to right): Neuberg; Rathaus; Maria Treu Kirsche; the back of Schonbrunn and Vienna from the Gloriette.
Vienna (top to bottom, left to right): Sigmund Freud Museum; a sunny altar; Belvedere Palace; Grinzing.
Things started getting hectic when we got back in March and I started substitute teaching and teaching 3-5 yoga classes per week. After a month of subbing, I learned that I’m not a big fan of it. At certain schools, the students are a little bit too much for me to handle and in some schools, the teachers that I get to work with treat me as if I have no clue what I’m doing. It’s a strange phenomenon, although I have four years of school teaching experience, I begin to doubt myself and forget what to do when another teacher tells me that my presence in his/her classroom is unnecessary and the only task I am asked to do is take attendance. So, I have not been taking any jobs lately… perhaps it’s pride, or cowardice to refuse new challenges, or maybe I really don’t know what I’m doing… but, if at the end of the day I come home angry, frustrated, and barely able to breathe, then maybe this isn’t for me. Yoga is my life saver. On my mat, I remember to breathe and for a few moments am able to truly let go of all the heaviness in my heart.
Amidst all the substitute teaching and no-success-with-job-hunting drama, DFJ and I have been looking for a “new” used car. We finally found a great SUV with low mileage for a decent price. It was nerve wracking and we felt so adult and responsible for buying our first car together! High fives!!!
Although things are not really going the way I want them to right now, it is time for me to stop sulking. Today, I opened all the windows in the house to invite the sun in, hoping that all this light will bring me some cheer and help me look on the bright side. The sunshine bathed my kitchen as I made a big batch of applesauce and baked some orange-chocolate scones. You should come over and we’ll have a cup of tea.
P.S. If you're planning a trip to Austria and have any questions about places to see in Salzburg or Vienna, just let me know and I would be happy to talk!