I need an hour or two at a good Viennese coffee house today. 

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Favorite thing: Biking through a Viennese suburb. I seriously could have done this every day. Actually, my last two weeks in Vienna I did do this every day!

(Apologies for the strange colors again. No camera.)

There are bike/walking paths everywhere in Oberlaa, which is on the outskirts of Vienna. They go through fields, parks, along a creek, etc. It’s beautiful! 

I stumbled upon an apiary (collection of beehives) in the woods!

Horse!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m very thankful to finally be home with my family for this holiday, but I do have to admit that I’ll kind of miss my Thanksgiving celebration in Vienna this year!

I’m sad that summer is coming to an end. One of my favorite things about summer in Vienna is the gelato, or eis in German. The tasty treat above is a scoop of raspberry and a scoop of a unique chocolate flavor called “Viennale”. Although Vienna is filled with delicious gelato, not all gelato is created equal! Everyone seems to have a different favorite here and I happen to have several favorites.

Top 5 Gelato Places in Vienna:

1. Eissalon am Schwedenplatz, pefect amount of creaminess and a changing menu of unique flavors. 1st district, U-bahn Schwedenplatz.

2. Tichy, a smaller list of flavors, but that also means more perfected flavors. My favorite place for chocolate gelato and they have great pistachio! Not as creamy and has a lighter texture to it. 10th district, U-bahn Reumannplatz.

3. Greissler Eis, pictured above. Organic and delicious, they also have several vegan options. 1st district, U-bahn Stephansplatz.

4. Tuchlauben, a bit thicker texture than the other places. To me, this gelato most resembles American ice cream. 1st district, U-bahn Stephansplatz.

5. Zanoni Garda, not to be confused with Zanoni and Zanoni in the first district, this place uses less sugar and therefore has a richer flavor. 15th district, U-bahn Westbahnhof.

What could be a more perfect place to enjoy a scoop of your favorite gelato than one of Vienna’s numerous parks?

I’ve been MIA due to the fact that I’ve been playing the role of summer camp counselor since my return to Austria.  For those of you who may think otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Hanging out it kids all day is (usually) more fun than hanging out with adults I discovered.  It also helped that the camp was held in a GORGEOUS part of Austria, Zell am See.   Fun times.

June 6th:

These two pictures are from Rust (pronounced something like Roooust) near Neusiedlersee (Neusiedler Lake).  I guess they decided they wanted to up the population of storks living there so they build nests for them everywhere.  On apartments, government buildings, cemeteries.  They count the number of storks they have and the number of babies or eggs as well and post it for everyone to see.  The city even had a nifty stork life cycle information plaque for visitors.  Props, Rust.  

June 10th:

The Holocaust Memorial at Judenplatz in Vienna’s first district.  I’m sorry thatI didn’t get a closer picture.  It is actually made up of concrete “books” that are turned inside out. You can read more about it here.

June 17th:

My friend, Mallory, is an au pair near Horn.  This is the puppy her family had recently brought home.  I want it!

Not sure why I can’t find any pictures from the 10th through the 17th.  I’ll look around.  It’s possible I didn’t take any that week though as it was kind of a rough one for me. Oh well, I’ve taken about 700 pictures in the past month so I think I can make up for it!

Well, I leave Oklahoma tomorrow to go back to Vienna.  Bittersweet.  I won’t miss the heat here though!  Just so everyone knows, I’m flying British Airways due to a temporary moment of desperation concerning tickets and prices. I would just like to say that you should never, ever fly with this company.  They are crooks.  Among many other irritations, I’m currently fighting with them about having to pay extra for extra baggage at the airport rather than the airline.  BA is awful.  Ugh.  On that note, I’ll move on.

June 5th:

Wild hamster!  This guy lives at the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery).  This is the first and only wild hamster that I’ve seen although I always heard that they live in Austria.  

So the Life Ball counted for both May 21st and 22nd since I was there/at the after party about 16 hours.  I babysat a few hours later, fyi.  Never again.  

Also, I seem to have lost the memory card for my blackberry when I took it out to get the phone fixed. So all of my pictures from there are gone I guess.  Sad times.  Ooooh well.  Moving on.

May 24th:

Me,WORKING. Shocking, I know.  Believe it or not I actually did teach on a regular basis this last school year. To be honest, we were playing a game in this picture, but everyone looks really serious.  Still counts as working though.  

May 26th:

I was running last (as usual) and had to ride my bike to catch the train.  Taking my bike on the train=not as irritating as taking it on the public transportation once I got to Vienna.  Also, bike riders in Vienna are COMPLETELY INSANE.  I probably only rode for about a mile in the city, but it was terrifying. 

May 27th:

A rave at Stephansdom. Ok so not really, but that’s what it looks like, right?  This was one of the things the Stephansdom did for “Lange Nacht der Kirchen” (Long Night of the Churches).   Every few months Vienna has a Long Night of Something Interesting and then everything related with that stays open until 1 or 2 in the morning and has special programs.  For the churches there were plenty of concerts, some special talks and of course food.  And the crazy lights at Stephansdom.

May 28th:

My mom!  Eating some Wiener Schnitzel.  She came during a great week.  This was an outdoor food festival with fresh food from all over Austria.  Yum.

Life Ball!

The next pictures are from this year’s Life Ball. My friend Tina and I were lucky enough to get tickets this year.  ”The Life Ball is the largest charity event in Europe in the fight against AIDS.” (www.lifeball.org)  It was a great time with a few celebrities, plenty of performances, a fashion show by Dsquared2 and of course, dancing.  All of this took place in and around Vienna’s Rathaus (city hall).  It was definitely cool to dance all night in such a gorgeous building!

May 21st:

Bad lighting, but this was my outfit for the ball.  The “element” this year was air with the theme “spread the wings of tolerance”.  The event puts out a “style bible” every year.  Those who meet the style requirements (well, go above and beyond, actually) can purchase reduced price tickets.  I didn’t have a reduced price ticket, but a costume is always more fun than normal formal wear! I went as some kind of Greek goddess with wings.  I think it turned out alright!

This is Tina!  Her wings were much more intense than mine!

Mini opera performance. 

Nadine Beiler, Austria’s Eurovision Song Contest contestant for 2011.

Natalia Kills performing “Mirrors”.  (Sorry for the awful pictures!)

Janet Jackson

Dsquared2

Beginning of the fashion show

more from the fashion show