Tuesday, December 23, 2008



The last little bit of Vienna was great/stressful. I had so much to do before I left with finals, getting souvenirs, and fitting in last minute things. It was crazy at the time, but coming home was such a relief. I think I got a couple of A's and the rest A-'s/B's.

Before I left, I went and saw the ballet, Giselle in the Staatsoper. It was amazing! I definately recomend seeing it. We also had our ward and school christmas parties. I loved the ward christmas party. The ward has been so kind with trying to make us feel at home. It was fun mingling with all of the great friends we had made during the past 3 months.

We flew home on the 15th. We left our apartment at 8 in the morning, Vienna time. The flight from Vienna to New York was almost 10 hours long and I got a head ache an hour into it and I had a headache for 9 hours until we got off and Marinda gave me something for it. Then we had our layover in New York. We went through customs, got our luggage and then we had to figure out where to check our luggage again. I decided to ask at this desk. At first, I was trying to figure out how to ask it in German and then I realized...HE SPEAKS ENGLISH! He said he could help us and then asked us how we were I replied, "I'm just so happy you speak english!" We found we were happy to be back in a country where we all speak english and it is perfectly okay to smile at complete strangers!

Our flight to Salt Lake was delayed a bit. We sat on the runway for an hour. We finally got going and I managed to kind of sleep the whole flight. We arrived in Salt Lake City about midnight. That's 9 am Vienna time. We traveled over 24 hours! My parents picked me up at the airport. They went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert and stayed the weekend. On Tuesday we drove home and I FINALLY got home Tuesday night.

Being home has been nice. I've just spent my time with family. Last week Aubrey and Darrell went out to San Diego to help Brenda move so I watched Jamie, Courtney and Whitney. They are adorable. I can't believe how big Whitney has gotten! Then Brenda came with Jonah and Jemma and right now I'm babysitting them while Brenda finishes up her Christmas shopping.

I'm happy to be home for Christmas. This is my favorite time of year...cookies, great movies and of course, remembering the birth of our Savior.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What a fantastic week!

So, I admit that I'm not always very good at going out and doing things. Like, I felt bad when Chelsea came and I didn't even know what cool things there were to do in Vienna other than the good, cheap treats and chocolate... Anyway, this week was different. I went and did quite a bit.

Wednesday night a group of us went to the Austria vs. Turkey game. It was my first proffessional football game (yes, it's the REAL football, not the American kind, but I've never been to one of those either) Man, Austrians are crazy about their national team and they aren't even that good. We lost, but it was a BLAST! EVERYONE is decked out in red and white (the Turks too, because those are their colors as well haha) and then had flags painted on cheeks, carried flags, had scarves, hats...you name it. It was fun learning the cheers. I still occasionally find myself singing "Immer wieder Oesterreich!" Yeah, we lost 4-2 and the Turks didn't let us forget it as we left. Man, it was crazy. If you didn't know, the Austrians treat the Turks worse than we treat Mexicans, so it's a big deal. This was just a friendly match too, but they still had police and security EVERYWHERE. I guess at the last game, a riot broke out. It was quite the cultural experience.

Thursday night I went and saw Rebecca....again. And no, that's not a person, it's a musical based off of the novel by Daphne du Maurier. You may have even seen the Hitchcock film. Well, the musical is amazing! And I got to see it with the original cast, in the orignal language, in the city it premiered in! It's up for th e 2009-2010 Broadway season so keep a look out. This woman has the most amazing voice! I love it and am considering going a 3rd time - it really is that good. This time I had a better seat than when I went with Chelsea. I also bought a program. That night we had the whole original cast except for the famous guy who plays Mr. de Winter (I kinda like the understudy's voice more) At the end, this time, the cast got a standing ovation. Then, as we were leaving, I decided I wanted to go wait by the stagedoor for autographs. No one wanted to because it was freezing, but if you know me, you know I'm really stubborn, so I made us go just see. GOOD THING! We made it just in time as people came out. I got 5 autographs! And a couple of pictures! I'm still a little mad at "Mr. de Winter" because he ran away. Ugh! Meh, he wasn't even the lead anyway. Now I'm currently listening to the soundtrack.

Friday night was fun. It started out with the talent show at the Outreach center. Then after playing pool and darts, a group of us went to the Flex, a club right around the corner from where I live. It just so happens that the night we go happens to be the cd release of this guy, Stefan, who we had met about a month ago. We got to hear him and it was awesome. It's so funny because Vienna is a pretty big city. Anyway, we saw him and his band and they were great and I think I'm going to buy their cd. Then they played techno and we danced until 3:30 this morning. Oh, I forgot, on my way there and on my way home, I passed a crew filming a movie on my street. They were still there at 4 am when I was going to bed. That was pretty cool. I think the best part of the night was when I walked home by myself, enjoyed the quiet AND....It started snowing! The first snowfall is always the most magical. So it didn't stick, but it's still snowing. I cannot explain how amazing it is here at this time of year. Christmas music is playing everywhere, lights are everywhere and the displays are great. Arizona Christmas will never live up (but my family's there, so I guess I'll have to live with it)

So there would be no better way to end this week other than going to this tonight for the opening of the Schoenbrunn Weihnachtsmarkt.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well, since it's been so long, here is just a quick overview.

We went to Prag, which was beautiful. Lots of tourists, but still beautiful.

Chelsea came to visit on my week off. It was a blast and we saw a lot of Vienna. Chelsea saw her first opera - Die Zauberfloete (The Magic Flute) It was alright, but the queen of the night wasn't that great. We also saw Rebecca. Oh my goodness! It was so good! Even though Chelsea didn't understand the German, she still loved it. It's in the 2009-2010 broadway season so keep an eye out for it (but we saw it with the original cast, where it premiered!)

Last week we went to Budapest. I loved it! Others from our group didn't, but i did. It wasn't a city that is only for tourism. People live there and live normal lives rather than just living off of the tourists and stupid souveneir shops.

This week, I'm trying to catch up on homework. A few others and I are starting to get homesick. We're just tired of traveling and now that we are registering for classes and looking for housing, so we're all looking to the future. It may also be the fact that the holidays are approaching and we're all sad to miss out on Thanksgiving, but so excited for Christmas. How could you not be when you pass this everyday?

The streets are lit, Christmas music is playing and the window displays are all festive! The Weihnachtmarkts are opening. This one opens Saturday, and I'm going to be there!

I LOVE Christmas! I'm in heaven

Monday, October 13, 2008


My German professor definitely wasn't expecting my answer when she asked what the best part of Italy was. You should have seen her face when I said, "Ein Italienischer Mann hat mich gekuesst!" HAHAHA!

If only she knew the whole story. The first picture is the guy who tried selling me a bag by saying "You dropped something....my heart." It didn't work with me, or when he tried it on Melissa. He did, however, get a kiss on the cheek from both of us.

The next is Mossimo, who told me I was cute. He was pretty cute too. We became friends with him and Carlo. I was the lucky girl who they decided to kiss.

Here are some other pictures of our trip to Italy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sorry :(

Umm, so I'm not a good blogger. I just don't have time or patience. I hiked in the alps, got swamped with homework and then I just got back from Italy....Oh boy, do I have a great story from Italy! I'll definately be posting it in a couple of days.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What you may not know...

is that in Vienna, the toilet (aka the WC-the wash closet) and the bathroom are two separate rooms. You go to shower, get undressed, start the water, then have to turn off the water, get dressed again and run across the apartment to go pee because you forgot. Also, washing your hands is interesting. At home, it's no big deal, we just go to the kitchen or the bathroom to wash our hands, but sometimes in public places, they don't have soap. At school, a couple of the bathrooms don't have sinks so you have to wait for someone else in the other bathroom to finish so you can wash your hands....we've gotten used to carrying purell.

Also, Europeans are still catching up on the smelling good thing. You see, most Americans say they don't really like their deoderant. We're pretty sure some of the old people don't wear deoderant. Marinda and I think the main reason, is they don't shower right. Europeans are all about saving water/energy (which I agree with) We think they control this is by making showering very uncomfortable so they don't shower as often and not as long. All of the showers are very narrow. Ours is really narrow and the curtain doesn't even cover half of the shower so you're constantly worried about splashing water out. Also, if say you take a 10 minute shower because you have to shave your legs, you run out of hot water. My family will be happy to know...drum roll please...I take about a 5 minute shower every other day! You know, I'll probably go back to my longer showers when I come home, especially when my hair grows back (if it ever will) Luckily it's cold so everyone is bundled up and they don't smell as bad.

They also save engery with laundry. Most places don't have dryers. THat means you have to plan your laundry accordingly. Jeans take about 2 days to dry. ALso, we can barely move in our room when the drying racks are up.

Another interesting thing...they boil their whites. We thought that was funny. We'll have very clean underwear!

Oh, they also have smaller fridges. you buy fresh food every or every other day. Ours isn't that small, but considering we have 4 adults and 2 kids, it's smaller than we'd have in the states. It's a bad picture but you can kinda see it.

A few others...most places don't have elevators, just stairs. My friend walks about 150 steps to get up to her 6th floor apartment. Our apartment is over 100 years old and has orignal wood floors(that squeak!) We have a weird courtyard thing in the middle of our apartment. Um...you don't sit anywhere where people will walk such as sidewalks or hallways and you never put your feet where they don't belong, they only belong on the floor. They think ice is unhealthy. Also walking on cold floors without shoes. They think americans have horrible table manners(which they do) and yeah, in general, they are always very proper. They are a funny people.

Umm, these are just some. We've been embracing the differences and there are many things here that we like more than the states. I hope my roomate doesn't mind that I'm sharing her drying underwear with cyberspace. Meh, it's okay.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our fun day at the Burggarten

We pass by this everyday on the Strassenbahn. We finally went in to see it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Where I live.

If you look closely above, our window is the open one. We also have flower boxes in all our windows. The apartment goes to the left from our window and wraps around the corner. It's a pretty big apartment.

This is across the street. It has the military and police in it.

Our entrance is under the Bar sign

The entrance to the apartment

My Roomate Marinda!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The first week

Wow, so much has happened in the past few days and I haven’t had any time. I’m looking forward slightly for the normal routine to kick in because I am exhausted.

On Wednesday night we moved into our host family’s apartment. Alex and her son came to pick us up. I am so happy she was so determined to fit all our bags and all of us into her tiny European car. It was cramped but we made it. Her apartment is on the 3rd floor and like most places here, does not have an elevator. They’re actually in the middle of putting one in right now. After Marinda and I struggled to get our heavy bags up most of the way, the nice elevator-worker-guys came to the rescue and had our suitcases up in no time.

This is the sign that greeted us on the door to our room.

We unpacked a bit and then took a walk with Alex, Issak and Cyra(the dog). We went to pick up her daughter, Marie-Louis and then went grocery shopping for dinner. Dinner was good….very Austrian: Bread, Meats, Cheese, Tomatoes. I found in the following days that that is pretty much the day-to-day food here, no matter the meal and there are lots of places to get it. Our host family is great. Alex served a mission in Temple Square so she is fluent in English. Actually, she speaks English all the time, whether it’s with us or teaching her kids. It’s maybe not so good for us. We’re trying to break that habit before it’s too late. There is another student here from Utah. She is not with our program, she just always wanted to go abroad and now she is taking German classes at a school here. She’s been here 2 weeks and doesn’t speak any German. She’s really nice, but we’re worried that we are going to be speaking too much English.

Thursday was the first day of classes. We just had our cultural class with Prof. Brewer and then we had German. Our German class is combined with 201. We have different work and the lessons plans are switching the levels every other day. Thursday was a 201 day and it was a bit boring but a really good review.

After school, Marinda and I came back and hung out with our host mom. She is so nice and has become a good friend. Then we got to meet her Dad, who speaks more German to us, so we like when he is around. Then Marinda and I decided to go get eis from Schweden Platz. Oh man was it good! We’ll definitely be going back.

We saw these awesome street performers infront of the ice cream shop.

Then we decided to wander around. We found our way to Stephansdom and we didn’t even use a map and we didn’t get lost! We had a lot of fun exploring the city.


Friday morning we got up super early to meet our group to go to Bratislava. If you didn’t know, Bratislava is about an hour away from Vienna by train and is the capitol of Slovakia. We a tour guide named Ivanna and she showed us all around the Oldtown of Bratislava and we got to learn all about its history and legends. Bratislava is unique. It’s very old, and you can see it. Some of the buildings didn’t look very well kept and then others you can tell had been refinished. I loved learning about the buildings and the old city called Perbern. While I loved the city, I think my favorite part was hearing Ivanna’s feelings on the way the US and other countries treat Slovaks. She has lived through socialism and communism and the way the US screens her if she wishes to get a visa reminds her of how she was treated during that time. She doesn’t understand why people are so afraid of her. It was an eye opening experience for all of us students.

Marinda and I at St. Michaels Gate in Bratislava

Even though we aren’t speaking all that much German at home, I know my German is getting somewhat better. On our trip to Bratislava, I was with a lot of students who were trying to speak all German. There are certain phrases that just naturally come out in German. I even almost started writing this auf Deustch!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Getting There

I am in Vienna!!! So, I'm sure you all don't want to hear about my long hours of sitting in a plane, but as usual, I have fun(detailed) stories to tell.

I'm pretty sure that yesterday morning was the first time in quite a while that I have woken up before sunrise. We got to the airport in plenty of time and said goodbye to Utah (I flew with my friend Marinda, who lives in Salt Lake. She will be my roomate in Vienna) We had loads of time before our flight took off. We checked our bags and I was relieved my suitcases weighed in at 48 lbs and 46 lbs. I really did try to pack light. I even left a few things at Marinda's house to lighten the load. Anyway, check-in, blah, blah, blah. We meet up with other girls from our program and all sit with anticipation/dread for the day ahead of us.

On the plane, I had the window seat and Marinda had the aisle. The middle seat was taken by a woman who sounded Australian. We never really talked, but she was definately a cool lady. Us 3 girls shared a few laughs and giggles at the things we heard and saw around us, such as the lady who was given bag from the overhead compartment because the attendant needed the room (and because it fit under her seat) but then as soon as the attendant turned around, hopped right up and put it back.

Really, this first flight could not have gone any smoother. You see, it was intended as an international flight. We were getting off in New York, but the plane was continuing on to Barcelona. That meant that movies were free! And because I had remembered my ipod, I didn't have to pay $2 for ear phones. Delta airlines was great, made it really simple, but the real reason I liked them was that I got to pick my own personal movie on the screen infront of me. Like, I got to scroll through a bunch of new releases and pick. I watched Made of Honor (typical chick flick that even I could write) and Leatherheads (well, I slept through most of it). Then the flight was shorter than expected and we landed 10 minutes early :) It was great!

Then we got a little confused in the JFK airport. A nice guy that worked for Delta saw us struggling and gave us great directions and even walked us through most of the way. The whole cause of the confusion: Terminal 1 was not on the map. Yes, thank you JFK airport for giving us platform 9 3/4! We were supposed to know that we needed to board the airtrain at the 2/3 platform (the platform between terminal 2 and 3) and then take it to the terminal that on your map, does not exist. Anyway, we got there, got in the wrong line, accidentally cut a woman in line (I hate being rude to others) and then had only 40 minutes to get through security and find the gate.

Well, I lead us in the security line. I hand the guy my ticket and the envelope with my itinerarymy stuck in my passport. He hands me back the envelope and jokingly says, "I don't want yo' money." Haha, we both laugh and I reply, "Well, if it gets me through any faster." He laughs, and we all get past him and are now waiting in this rediculously long security line. Well, then my jokester friend steps in and opens up another line for us, giving us "the VIP treatment," as he put it. Unfortunately, he didn't know that all the pilots and attendants were going to come cut us in line because they have priority. I stood and waited and waited and waited and the line never got shorter. Then a French pilot (who was very handsome) smiles at me and told me sorry. He wanted to help us, but he really didn't know what to do. Finally the security guard let us go through because he had watched us stand and wait patiently. I ended up running into that French pilot again. He was happy we made it through.

Well, the the next 8 hours weren't that exciting. It involved sitting uncomfortably and trying to sleep. We finally got to Vienna. The whole first day was just a big blur because I was a walking zombie. We sat in the airport for a long time waiting for everyone. We hung out at a hotel and then we went to an awesome italian restaurant for pizza. I got the regolo. It had Tomatensauce, Mozzerella, Knoblauch(garlic), Oregano, und spinat(spinach). It was SO good, but I had horrible garlic breath for the rest of the night.

At the Restaurant