Blogs 18 and 19: Trip to Vienna

Blog #19 Vienna 2012: Part 2

9-14-12

Hello again!  To continue with our vacation blog….we had two days left in Vienna.  On Friday, I went to the conference and gave a talk.  Then I got a text that Bill was waiting outside the conference, so I found Dave and Pam, and we went to happy hour.  We then got ready for the big gala dinner.  It was held at the Austrian National Library.  It was a beautiful building and on the first floor, there was a band and the buffet.  We had to wait for awhile for our food, and then we were standing at a table eating.  I didn’t know where the awards ceremony was going to be held, so we started looking for some of our colleagues.  We were told they were upstairs.  Upstairs?  What the heck is going on upstairs?  We go upstairs and there is the conference president, handing out a few awards.  Oh no.  We realize that I may have missed receiving my award!  We see Brian, and he says “You missed it!”  I couldn’t believe it.  We go all the way to Austria and I couldn’t wait to receive the educational award, and I missed it.  Of course I missed it.  They are giving out the 2nd to last award and I get the attention of the president.  He asks me to come up and get the certificate.  Yeah!  Although I missed the whole speech, I was able to get the certificate.  I didn’t need to hear the speech anyway….my head is big enough!

We went back to our hotel and skyped with the kids.  Actually we used OoVoo.  I guess it is cooler than skype.  We got to see all the kids and Grammy.  It was 4:00 in Pennsylvania, but 10:00 in Vienna.  They were getting ready to go to the Canon Mac football game (they lost 50-0.  Good thing they have the best band in the country!)

That night we end up partying with our friends until midnight! That is incredibly late for me.  We start on the rooftop of our hotel, but they were too snooty up there.  So we went down to the streets of Vienna and found a great bar with a sweet waitress and enjoyed the evening.

The next day (and our last in Vienna) we decide to explore the city.  We started with Ernte Dank Fest.  Does anyone remember the quote from “The Office”?  Dwight Schrute says: If onlys and justs were candies and nuts, then every day would be Ernte Dank Fest.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh08C8Nwwto

Ernte Dank Fest!

The harvest festival was spectacular!  There was dancing, music, beer, wine, cheese, soft pretzels and bread.  The main drink was sturm.  It is wine in the fermentation stage and it is incredible!  I don’t know if we can get it in the states.  I can’t really explain what it tastes like.  Here’s what I found online: “Sturm is fermenting grape juice of high alcohol content. It is only on sale for a few weeks in the wine making regions of Austria and must be consumed quickly as it cannot be preserved,” (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/706045).  It is definitely my new favorite drink!

We toured the rest of the city, riding the subway and bus system with Pam and Dave. We saw the blue Danube river.  What a beautiful country!  I’m glad we had the opportunity to visit Vienna, but I am more glad to be home with my whole family!

Have a great day!

~Kacey

Blog #18 Vienna 2012: Part 1

9-12-12

Hi everyone!  I’m back after a wonderful week in Vienna and have many stories to tell. And of course most of them are embarrassing, but I’m getting used to public embarrassment!

Today is part 1 of our trip, and I’ll blog about the second half in the next day or so.

The trip started with tearful goodbyes to my three rugrats, who were in for a wonderful week with their Grammy.  They are incredibly spoiled by my mom….she feeds them all 3 meals a day, washes and irons their clothes, and doesn’t yell at them.  Quite the opposite of what they are used to!

Bill and I arrive at the Pittsburgh airport, and within minutes, our plane is delayed.  No big deal though.  I am really a go-with-the-flow kind of lady, so I’m cool.  But then we realize that we will likely miss our connection to Austria.  Oh no!  We call the airlines to see if there is a later flight, and there is, but we would have to cancel our current flight.  I decide to risk it and try to make the original flight.  We land in Toronto at 6:00, and our flight to Vienna is departing at 6:30.  We run to the gate and make it!  Woo hoo!  We fly all night and arrive in Vienna at 8:30 in the morning the next day.  I slept most of it; Bill slept none of it.  We get to the luggage carousel and wait for our 2 bags that has EVERYTHING Bill needs, and not too much for me (I am a wary traveler and put much of my stuff in my carryon!).

Needless to say, you can figure out that while we ran and made the plane, our luggage did not make it!  I’m still cool as a cucumber though.  We file a report at the counter then take a taxi to our hotel.  It is in the heart of the city and very quaint.  I see some American friends, and I’m feeling okay.  We shower and nap and set out to buy some clothes for Bill then head to the conference.  Oh yeah, I’m there for a research conference!  It’s only all pleasure for Bill.

Bill waiting for our invisible luggage.

There are only designer stores in downtown Vienna….Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, Burberry….no Walmart anywhere!  So Bill ends up buying $35 underwear and $20 socks!  It’s his souvenir from the trip.  Highly uncomfortable European tighty whities.  Okay, they were boxer briefs, but tighty whities is pretty funny!

The conference is in this beautiful Palace and the wine and food is flowing.  A poster session kicks off the meeting, and I set up my posters and chair a session.  It was very warm in the palace (apparently A/C had not been invented when it was built!).  We had a wonderful dinner that night with friends from Boston.  Bill had beef goulash and I had dumplings.  And of course we all had good German Reisling!

The next day we check on our luggage and we’re told that it may arrive on today’s flight to Vienna.  I head back to the conference, and Bill sets out for sightseeing.  He toured castles and churches and walked for miles.  I chaired a session at the conference, ate some wiener schnitzel for lunch (only one bite because I don’t like to eat veal).  I met Bill for happy hour, along with my San Antonio friends, Pam and Dave.  My Boston friend Dave joined us as well.  We trekked around Vienna and ended up at the Nacht Market. This is an awesome section of town, similar to the Strip District in the City.  We were hassled by a very elderly woman selling fish knives, but other than that, it was a fun evening.  We then went to dinner at an Art History Museum.  It was a gourmet tasting dinner so we had five courses of delicious food.  And the wine and champagne were flowing!

Bill and Kacey enjoying ale in Vienna.

So far, so good!  My next blog will describe the second half of our trip.

Have a great day,

Kacey




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