I really want to go back to Europe. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving my college experience. And, even with cool experiences like this... I'm sorry, Provo is just not as cool as Austria.
From my first day in Vienna, meeting Jillie at the airport, and then meeting Claire. We ate marvelous pizza that day, and drank our first Almdudlers.
The next day we met the rest of the group. We ordered our first pastries. And they were delicious. We checked into our hotel and were set free to explore the city. We found the rathaus. And the votivkirche (and we thought it was St. Stephen's). We got slightly lost, but knew the general direction back to our hotel and found it. We ate pizza a second day in a row.
We went on a quick tour of the city. I ate my first Austrian Doener. Then we met our host families. Jonathan was quiet and being shy, very unusual for him. Little did I know that as we got to know him he would running around the house naked. And dancing, and singing. And try to pull our pants off in turn.
We went to Bratislava. We went on that ridiculously long tour. And ate that disgusting "chicken of the sea" puffers. And other people had even more gross food. But we cleaned our pallets with ice cream. Walked to the castle. and sat. A group of us, just chilled at the castle, sitting on a wall, chatting, getting to know each other better. And loving "bike man" who walked by in his short shorts probably 12 and a half times.
We went to the danube and went paddle boating. Claire and I decided we would go sailing together some day. With our boys. Whoever that ends up being. It was a beautiful day and I should have jumped in the water. To have swam in the "Blue Danube".
We had stake conference. McKinlee and I got headphones with English translations. Jonathan was coloring and playing games. Acting as crazy as normal. We listened to the German in one ear and English in the other. We watched the end of a "feuerwehr" parade at the rathaus. We explored "our schloss". It was a beautiful view of the city. We went to the rathaus, met some friends and watched a video of the ballet of swan lake.
Then Trevor and I wanted to explore the city. We found a fountain. We bought lunch of yogurt and bread. We hopped on a random Ubahn and got off on a random stop. We found Schoenbrunn. We wandered the grounds for at least an hour and half. And only saw about 1/7 of the gardens.
Our whole group traveled to Melk. To the abbey there. It had the beautiful "beauty and the beast" library. We went on a 20 mile bike ride. Biking next to the donau. I ran into the man and then his bike was "kaputt" I told him I didn't speak German. I ate my first bratwurst. We found a little beach and I had to go into the freezing water. We ate the most delicious grapes straight of the wine. Trevor and Brad decided they were going to start drinking wine if it was that good. We ended the ride at a park. With that wonderful "trampoline". Our legs were broken and dead. At least mine were.
We had dinner with our family. The Schmidl's came. We met Danny, Astrid and Laurin.
We traveled to Mauthausen. It was a foggy day that set the perfect mood. We saw the gas chambers and the crematories. We went to the church at St. Florien. We sang in the catacombs. We ended the day in Hallstatt. The most beautiful little "dorf" I've seen to date.
We went on a tour of the salt mines. We rode down the slides. We hiked in the Alps. To a beautiful waterfall. It rained. We froze. I ate minestrone to warm my throat.
We went to Salzburg. I checked my email and skyped with my parents. We went on a tour of the city, with the sweetest tour guide. We saw Mirabel gardens. We touched the gnomes. We saw a breath taking view of the city. We got wet at Hellbrunn. And saw a fish with a tumoresque bump. We drove to Dorfgastein.
We hiked in the Alps again. In the snow this time. I was wearing vans. It wasn't as cold as I expected, but it was 10x more beautiful. We watched Fritz's son play soccer. Melissa had a worm crawl IN her shoe. We cooked spaghetti. We played Mafia. We played MASH.
We went to a "Thanksgiving Day" Mass. We watched a parade. We ate our first Wiener Schnitzel.
We went on a "short walk" that turned into a hike straight up the mountain. To a cute little alm. I wore flats. We ate scrambled eggs, and a delicious cake thing and hot chocolate and strawberry jam. And I gagged eating goat cheese. And some uncooked pig fat/meat. We fed some rotten apples to some ponies. We rode a train back to Vienna. We moved onto Auf der Schottenring. Into our new house.
That's September for you. I'm not sure why I wrote that all out. When I started this blog post I was planning on just recording a few of my favorite experiences from the WHOLE 4 months. But looking through my pictures this is what came out. You don't have to read it. I guess if you are reading this part you already did. Just know its for me. And it wasn't a pointless post. I feel BETTER now. I'll probably write the other months sometime too....