Thursday, September 30, 2010

Willkommen nachhause! (Welcome Home!)

Ah Austria.  It's so hard to hold back from posting the 840 photos I took on our trip.  I'll restrain myself and only post a few :-)

My husband had to travel to Vienna for work two weeks ago.  We found out he was being sent in June, and budgeted for me to go.  After all, his work paid for EVERYTHING except my ticket...flight, lodging, parking, meals, the whole kit and kaboodle.  It made sense to take advantage of the opportunity since with the economy, job situation, and our budgets it was not likely to get an opportunity for such a trip anytime in the next 5 years or so (and sadly i'm not exaggerating here).  So Grandma found an awesome ticket to come to FL at the same time and keep little Mimicans for us while we went.

Sadly the day we left, Franco's grandfather passed away.  Thank you to all of you who sent me supportive messages when I mentioned this in an earlier post, our family truly appreciated them.  So the trip started off badly.  I'm not going to dwell on this, but it made for a difficult week for my husband.

Trying Tafelspitz, a traditional meal in Austria
We got there Saturday morning and got to our  hotel who wouldn't let us check in earlier than 2pm, so we stowed our luggage and enjoyed some delish pizza from a Italian restaurant.  There are TONS of Italian restaurants in Vienna, good ones at that.  Ones that rivaled some of the food we ate in Rome 2 years ago.  We check into to the hotel and crashed.  We crashed hard.  Normally we aren't travelors her waste our time in a new city sleeping off jet lag, but either we're getting old or the stress of the weeks happenings hit us, we slept 4 or 5 hours and woke up refreshed.  We went out that night and explored and got a bite.  We tried the Sacher Torte, and enjoyed more pizzas and schnitzel.

Belvedere Palace
The next day we went the Belvedere palace and explored the gardens and the upper museum. If you ever go to Europe and you have an old student ID (or you're a crazy old grad student like me) bring it! You save 3-4 Euro at every museum and on railway tickets.

Me at the Belvedere

Monday and Tuesday my husband was at his conference fulltime 8-5, so I ate breakfast with him and explored on my own.  Armed with my Canon Rebel, snacks and my travel book I set out to find funky museums (like the Sisi Museum) and cafes to explore on my own.  At night my husband and I would explore the busy city center and get dinner and coffee and take night photos.

Wednesday his conference ended at 11 so we ventured to the Schronbrunn, the imperial summer home.  I picture having a summer home someday, I think cottage, they think elaborate palace with grounds the size of Monaco! lol.  We didn't have time to really explore the inside, but we spent HOURS exploring the grounds and hiking to the Glorietta.

Thursday we traveled home almost missing our flight in Brussels because in Europe you have to go through security at EVERY FRICKIN airport when you transfer.  A little ridiculous.  Alas, we made it home safe to our little Mimi, who seemed very happy to see Mommy and Daddy.

Now I've had my European travel fix for the next few years.  It wasn't my favorite trip to Europe, but it's up there towards the top of my list!

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