Friday, November 21, 2008

Yeah it's been a while. I'm still alive, I promise

Ok, here's the deal. I hate doing this. I'm not much of writer and I've never been big on keeping a journal so the fact that I even put up the last three posts is somewhat of a miracle. So, sorry it's been so long.
Recently in the Vienna adventures:
This last week was way fun.
Tuesday: My friend Kasia and I went over to the Brewer's house to make pumpkin cookies that were delicious. And I love hanging out with those boys they are so much fun. Nick and Logan were running around like crazy kids making swords out of paper and just being ridiculous (as usual) and Andy was, of course, completely absorbed with the rubiks cube that I bought him a few weeks ago. He's completely obsessed with it, it's so funny. (Note: these boys are our Professor's, Dr Brewer a.k.a Cindy, boys.) I have to say that Andy is one of my favorite people ever. He and I have a blast just bein silly.
Wednesday: After spending all day at the Brewer's having class I went with a bunch of other students and some Austrians fromt the JAE (Young Single Adults) to a soccer game. We got all decked out in red and white and jumped around and had a blast.
Thursday: Me, Claire, Kasia, Brittany, Marinda, Melissa, and Danielle went to go see Rebecca, a musical that everyone has been raving about, and let me just say that it was simply FABULOUS!! I loved it more than anything ever. I'm planning on seeing it at least two more times maybe three or more. You never know. It's that good. I'm buying the sound track and can't wait for when it gets translated and goes to Broadway. It's going to be fabulous.

So, that was this week in a nutshell, all the highlights at least. In the last month or so we've been to Prague and Budapest and I went on our week off with Cindy to do research in Basel, Switzerland which also way fun even though sitting in a library for hours on end and scanning sounds dull.
I'll try to be better about writing in this thing... no guarantees. Sorry. But remember, that I love you all and can't wait to share all my exciting stories with you in person and show you all my pictures.
Loves from,
Me!


Me and Andy being cool, as usual.















At the soccer game being oh so supportive of our team even though we lost.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Italien ist am schönsten!!!!

So, this last week I took a trip with my study abroad group to Italy. I have always wanted to go to Italy my entire life and I got the chance to see the two cities I wanted to visit the most. It was so great. I ate tons of gelato and enjoyed the beauty of the country and all their great pasta (even though it was pretty expensive). I wish that I had taken better pictures but there are some good ones out there that other people took, so I guess I'll just have to get them later. Here's some of the best ones I took though. Oh my goodness, I can't wait to go back someday. I hope it's soon. On the train ride to Italy. We were in sleeper cars and there was about a foot above my head in the rock hard beds. It was really cold too and I kept waking up every time the train stopped at a station. It was the best ever though!!!


The bridge in Florence. If you ask me this is one of the best pictures ever, don't you think?


The dome at the Florence Cathedral. It's kinda in the background but it's the best picture I got of it.


The square at St. Mark's.


The square at St. Mark's. There were so many people there it was hard to get a good picture. And then there were all these political looking people with cameras walking around.



A seagull totally swooped down and started chewing on a pigeon. The pigeon was still alive for a while, while it was being eaten.
We saw it flapping around. It was really disturbing.


Me and a bunch of gondolas. In Venice!!!


We went to the beach in Lido. It was so beautiful and warm. It was a perfect day.
There is only one thing that could have made it better.


I got gelato eight times while I was in Italy. There was this one gelateria in Venice that served really big scoops for pretty cheap.
And the guy who worked there was really cute.


On Murano with the cool glass sculpture


We took a tour of the glass blowing factory in Murano and watched this guy make a horse out of glass in about 2 minutes.
Pretty impressive, if you ask me.


The final product.


Venice is so beautiful.


In the Lagoon back towards Venice from Murano


We got 24 hour passes for the public transportation in Venice and guess what. The busses were BOATS!! Ok, I know it's not that cool but I was really jazzed about it. Is the public transportation in your hometown boats? Yeah, I didn't think so.


Here's a video of us riding through the canals of Venice on the Water Busses.

video

Friday, October 3, 2008

Renee Fleming!! Oh my gosh!

So, yesterday (Oct 2) I went to an opera at the Staatsoper here in Vienna and guess what!! Renee Fleming was totally performing the lead!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so exciting. We saw Capriccio by Richard Strauss. I had no idea she was in it but we just happened to get there 3 hours early because we had the time wrong. So we had super good spots in the standing room section. For those of you who don't know, for standing room you get in line a few hours before the performance starts and wait then you rush in to get a spot in this little tiny section of the main floor of the theater so you can stand and watch it. We only pay like 4 euros for a spot on the main floor or 3 for a spot in the balcony so it's a really sweet deal. Anyway, since we were in the front of the line because of some random fluke, we were in the front of all the standing room and could see everything perfectly and oh my goodness it was beautiful. The opera itself was really bizarre but I highly recommend it. I wasn't familiar with the music at all but it was so gorgeous. I was so happy to be there. Renee Fleming for cryin' out loud!!
The only bad part of the evening was I lost my Monatskarte, the public transportation pass that the school buys for us that lasts the month and I had to dish out my own 50 euros to get a new one. I was not happy about it but it's better than getting fined for using it without a ticket. Oh, well. I'm gonna be way more careful in the future (even though I thought I was being good).
Anyway, today I decided to do an ORCA project. I'd been sitting on the fence about it for a while and finally came to the conclusion that not only would the money be super sweet to have if I win it, but it would look freakin awesome on a resume and the experience would be really worth it. So, wish me luck. I'm gonna die because this is totally not my strong point and I have lots of German homework that is really difficult, but I think I'll learn a lot. So, I'm goin' for it. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

First Post (I can't believe I'm doing this)

Ok, so I've never been one to share my thoughts with the unknown universe and personally I think blogs are the best way for egotistical people to show the world how big headed they are. When blogging first started and became popular I vowed I would never ever do that. But now, I find myself half way across the world from my family and friends and have gotten several requests that I start a blog so they can keep up with what I'm up to and what I'm doing and seeing and experiencing. And. I finally cracked when I realized how much simpler this would be than getting everyone's email addresses. So, here we are. I'll try to keep this updated but I'm not sure how often that will be because I am currently putting off a pile of homework in order to write this.
Anyway, since it would be really difficult to catch you all up on everything that has already happened I thought that maybe I would just start at where I am right now. I've been in Vienna for about 3 weeks now and having a blast. My apartment is great and the couple I'm staying with are really nice. Tante Hanna (my host mother) is really neat and tidy and we are required to make our beds every day and keep the room clean. This is really good for me since I don't ever do these things at home. I'm hoping the habit sticks. Eventually (after I take some) I'll post pictures of the place I live so everyone can see the luxury in which I currently dwell.
We just got back from a week long trip to Halstatt, Salzburg, and Dorfgastein and let me just say, GORGEOUS!!! I have never seen anything so lovely in my entire life. The alps are so clean and bright and they really are alive with the sound of music. It's totally true. I've witnessed the singing myself.
We started our trip with a visit to a concentration camp in Mauthausen. It was really sobering and made me appreciate how blessed and comfortable my life is. Hopefully you don't mind that I don't dwell on that any longer. Not that I don't appreciate the magnitude of the events that occured there, I just don't know what to say on that subject. So, then we drove on to Halstatt (after visiting a couple monasteries) which is the most gorgeous place I have ever been in my entire life. We visited the salt mines there which are the oldest salt mines in the world. It was really corny but lots of fun. We got to put on cool suits and slide down these big slides that were once used as an easier access into the mines but are now just for tour use. It was tons of fun. Then we went on this gorgeous hike up to a waterfall. I don't even know what to say about it. I could post pictures, and I will, but they don't do any justice to how perfect everything was. Although it could have been drier (there was a lot of rain and my feet got soaked and I bought a jacket).
Salzburg was fun too. We saw a lot of the Sound of Music sights and went on a general tour of the city. And then Dorfgastein we went for a gondola ride up to the top of one of the mountains and hiked down through the snow and mud. I'm not much of a down person and I was being really slow and wimpy. So much so, that the lady from the Austro-American Institute with us gave me one of her ski-pole walking stick thingys to help me down the mountain. The next day we went to a Catholic Mass and saw a town parade afterwards. It was their Thanksgiving celebration. It was really interesting but all in Deutsch so I had issues understanding what was going on the whole time. And finally we started our last day of the trip with another hike up another mountain to an Alm which is a mountain farm and had a breakfast buffet.
Now if this thing gets any longer I'm gonna lose any interest I had from you at the start of this so I'll leave it at that. Let me just say, life is grand. I'll write more about my actual adventures in Vienna later. Viel Spass!