Plans

Well, it looks like we finally have a plan. It has been a very stressful, very exhausting couple of months waiting to see what path our life would take. I learned a lot about myself through this process. I consider myself someone not only open to change, but someone who craves and needs it. However, when I am faced with so much instability that I don’t even know what continent I will be living on come the next season, apparently I actually stop being able to function. The lack of blog posts the last few weeks is a good testament to that.

So.

Last Friday Markus signed a contract for a lease on a cafe. It is a Testa Rossa Cafe, a successful franchise here in Austria. The location is good, fairly close to the city center. But more importantly, it is surrounded by provincial government buildings. So the crowd will likely be mostly local…not a bad thing in our estimation. It has 40 seats inside and 4o seats outside the first year. In the second year, once renovations to the square in front are complete, another 60 patio seats will be added.

Markus will continue to look for a hotel to operate, but for now he will focus on making this new business work. Our current hotel shuts down at the end of April. It is sad and frustrating that we were never able to come to an arrangement with the building’s owner, but it is also very much time to move on. We are all excited about that.

At the end of April the three of us will move into our new apartment. It is an area called Arzl, which is about 10 minutes drive from Innsbruck’s city center. We are renting one of two apartments in a bright yellow house, so our apartment is actually on three floors. There is a small office on the entry level, the main floor has the kitchen/living area, our bedroom, the main bathroom and a guest half-bathroom. Upstairs is a big room for Annie with a half-bathroom as well. We will relocate Annie when guests come so they will have a floor to themselves.

The pros are a good-sized balcony and a front yard for Annie to play in. The views are nice, although not as lovely as our current apartment. (I’ll post pictures once we move, of course.) It certainly has the feel of a house more than an apartment, which I really like. It is completely newly renovated, so hopefully fairly easy to keep clean. There is a shed for sports equipment outside, and some storage under the roof on the top floor. A shopping plaza is a 5 minute walk away, and there is a frequent bus line just a few minutes away as well. If we end up going with just one car for a while, it is only one bus to Annie’s kindergarten. I’d like to keep her there as she has such a great circle of friends already. And she loves the teacher, which is also important at this age.

The biggest con is that Annie is on a different floor than us. With a windy staircase. She has never in her life fallen, or even slipped, on the millions of stairs she climbs every day here at the hotel and at Kindergarten. Here’s hoping that trend continues. Our bedroom is small, so we’ll have to store some of our off-season clothes in boxes or in a wardroom in Annie’s room.

I can’t really comment if the house is small or big; my perspective is so mixed-up about that at the moment. It is about 1400 sq. feet (135 sq. meters), so it is big for a European apartment, but less than half the amount of space we had in Canada. No guest room, no real laundry room, no walk-in closet. But I’ve been living without these things (as do pretty much all Europeans) for some time now, so I’m not sure if I’ll even notice anymore. I guess I’ll just have to update you on how I feel about that once we are settled in.

And now the amusing part. When I moved to Europe one of my deal-breakers was that we had to have at least two bathrooms. Now I’m looking at our sort-of 3 bathrooms and thinking, meh, I’d rather have more closet space. Ah, perspective changes so fast.

As for the rest of life, lots of plans for that too. Annie and I are off to Winnipeg for two weeks at the beginning of May to help Mom celebrate her 75th birthday. Then I’m spending three or four nights in Paris when I return, as good friends Ryan and Renate are having their wedding there. In the middle of all of that is Annie’s birthday, of course. Four years old. 4!! 4?? Unbelievable.

I’m quite excited about spending a summer in Austria, although I hear it is HOT. There are lots of lakes and outdoor swimming pools and play areas for Annie and I to hang out in, and we might even travel a bit. Markus will be very busy the next few months (although the cafe will be closed Sundays. Yeah!), so Annie and I will be mostly on our own. I think we’ll also just enjoy hanging out at home and making it our own.

My dream is to spend two or three weeks in Victoria and Vancouver in autumn, but that is going to depend on lots of things. So I’ll just keep hoping it all falls into place.

Big breath, a few moments to give thanks that it is all working out, and now off to pack.

5 Responses to “Plans”

  1. Lesli Boldt says:

    What? No mention of that exciting e-mail you received from your friend in Vancouver last week about how she plans to come to visit this fall? 😉

  2. Lori says:

    Thanks for the update, lovey … the apartment sounds lovely and I’m sure there will be much excitement about Markus’ new endeavour. Summer in Austria is going to be great, if only because you haven’t yet done it.

    Can’t wait for your arrival. If you & Annie need transport from the airport, let us know. Also, if you have some Winnipeg/parent-type events locked down, maybe let me know so I can try and block off some OTHER time for you, me, Shawna, Matheson and Annie!!!

    Love you, Lori

  3. Monica Sheridan says:

    I agree with Lesli (even though I don’t know her!) – where is the key event of your whole spring – MY VISIT!!! Goodness – the excitement must have made you forget 😉

  4. beth says:

    I’m glad to hear your feeling more settled (internally). Your future plans sounds exciting – and a new adventure for you and your family. As always, I love reading about what you are doing and seeing the pics of your beautiful daughter. I’ll get it together soon and send you an email about how its going back here as well – not nearly as exciting – but I’ll try to spice it up a bit.

  5. Mom says:

    Hi Hillary
    I, too, am very excited about your plans, new apartment and the excitement of planning for visitors. Hi Leslie.

    The best birthday present will be the arrival of you and Annie. But 75!Did you have to tell?!
    Of course. As amatter of fact , I am delighted to be here.
    We will have a birthday party for Annie.
    Hi Lori.

    See you soon
    Love Mom