My deepest apologies for my extended absence. Ever since I've been reunited with my sister Carolyn (aka Coco, Coco Chanel, Cokes, Keeks, and many others), we've just having too much fun catching up to fit in blog time. I guess we inherited this weird gene from my dad to nickname our friends and family with names that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Take my siblings for example:
Jimmy- Holly Max
Andy- Can't remember at the moment, but we'll use McConvict for the time being (he'll hate me for that)
and me… Peach
Yes, I am the only one missing the "oon" ending out of all the girlies. Guess that makes me special! I didn't mind once I found out there was a character on Mario Kart named Princess Peach :)
So for time purposes and to save you from four really long posts, I'm going to try and condense my first stay in Graz into a single post.
When we arrived in Vienna, we had the most presh little cabbie. He spoke like a hundred languages and loved my dad's jokes--pops was lovin' that up. We met up with my eldest brother Chris/StuBan (he's 20 years older than me) and his wife Lindsay who I have grown to love and become great friends with! They basically did our vaca two weeks ahead of time, which was to our advantage because they told us what to and what not to miss. We met them at a famous little chocolate shop called Demel and snacked on apple strudel (an Austrain specialty), teas, finger sandwiches, and other fine foods. I mean, what the heck, why not meet with your bro and sis-in-law in a Vienna cafe? Totes.
We departed ways so that we could finally see the author of the famed Life in Graz blog, otherwise known as my sister Carolyn (it's been 14 months since we'd seen each other! NOT okay). After a quick drive, we were finally in Austria's 2nd largest city: Graz. I finally got to see my sister's way of life through my own two eyes rather than the snippets she provides through her blog or the blurricious Skype cam. She cooked us a wondey homecooked meal (which was refreshing after many nights out on the town) while we dined and discussed. I was perked to be staying in her humble abode while the 'rents posted up at the hotel. I got to see her hubby Art and her puptin Elsie. She doesn't like her dog that much so I was glad to give LC (like Conrad…my inner teenager likes to call her that) some attention. Ha…. if you read LIG or just know Carolyn's natural tendencies toward animal lovin' you would understand that subtle sarcasm.
Carolyn gave us an evening tour of her neighborhood. It's quaint, all the apartment buildings are different colors making for a cheerful atmosphere, and all the street names might as well be named supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Sunday morning we went to church (it was in German, so the mass was hard to follow to say the least). We went to the top of the Schlossberg on an elevator inside this cave that was naturally about 40 degrees cooler than outside. We all wanted to pitch a tent and stay there overnight. The top of the Schlossberg offers many things including places to dine, commanding views, gardens, and the famous clock tower. There's a history behind it, but I don't want to bore you with all that.
We ate lunch then took the scenic walk down where Elsie had to cool herself off a bit. I wish we I could jump into fountains whenever I needed a quick refresher…
After days of go, go, go we took a rest at Coco's place. That evening was the final match of the World Cup. In Europe, the towns were buzzing with excitement. I was rooting for the Netherlands (okay, let's be honest I really didn't care but I wanted to have somewhat of a spirit for this whole thing that randomly got popular this year). We went to one of Graz's best places (as Carolyn claims), and with our experience we weren't about to argue. Elsie even came along! Europe is much more dog friendly than the States.
[And for all of you that know about LC.. her collar is working! As my dad claimed, that event is "right up there with the Declaration of Independence."]
On Monday, we went to an Austrian spa. These things need to hit up Texas. My friends and I would be all over that. Imagine a mix between the Houstonian spa and a really nice version of Schlitterbahn and there you will have Loipersforf. Carolyn and Art had already been last November, and since it looked so fun I wanted to see this place for myself. My water park experiences in America have been less than fantastic, but in Austria they do it right.
Carolyn and I--being the kiddos we are--rode on the slides. We ate dinner there then drove back into Graz hoping to get a good night's rest before we continued our tour across Europe. Salzburg was the next stop. [And just for a little sneak preview, I've been here for a few days and I love it! Lots of good reporting to come.]