It seems like just yesterday that we stepped off the plane into the Viennese August heat with two toddlers in tow (one of whom barely slept on the flight thanks to Austrian Airlines confiscating our FAA approved car seat since it was not on “their” approved car seat list). But actually, this was 2 years ago – my, how time flies when you’re having fun!
And what fun we had. Vienna has been a wonderful home to us. In the past 2 years, the kids have grown to preschoolers and we have enjoyed much of what the city and Austria has to offer (you have been reading all about it here, right?). Vienna, you will be surely missed and will always have a special place in our hearts.
What have been the highlights of this tour abroad? Oh way too many to count…. there were:
- 2 wonderful opera performances at the State Opera (Barber of Seville & La Boheme – both coincidentally coinciding with Oma & Opa’s visits; it’s almost as if they had planned their visits around the Opera schedule!)
- one operetta (Die Fledermaus) at the “Volksoper” (=the people’s opera because everyone should have access to culture – got to love Vienna!)
- 4 visits to the ballet – Rock the Ballet and Romeo & Juliet – both by the ‘bad boys of dance‘ at the Museums Quartier and Carmina Burana – twice- at the Volksoper (and yes, John was dragged to a repeat performance of Carmina Burana because it was just so amazing that I needed to see it for a second time – I can’t say he enjoyed every minute of it but at least he didn’t fall asleep so that’s a successful outing in my book)
- 2 memorable evenings at a local Heuriger Show (let’s just say the wine was flowing)
- 2 amazing albeit extremely cold church concerts at St. Annakirche (Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons) and Karlskirche (Mozart’s Requiem) – no, churches are not heated during these performances even if it’s -10°C outside – note to self.
- 2 beautiful classical concerts/shows including one at the Orangerie in Schönbrunn Palace
- Viennese Balls! Even though we never figured out how to waltz or took those dance classes we talked about, we certainly enjoyed dancing and hanging out at these two amazing balls each year – the OSCE Charity Ball at the Hofburg/Imperial Palace and the Roma Ball.
- Countless museums – a real highlight were the two “long nights at the museum” where museums were open until the wee hours of the morning and everyone in Vienna was hopping from one to another – fun times!
- Visitors! Yes, this was the post for visitors – I mean, how else did we end up with 153 days (22 weeks) with house guests (yes, I kept record). All in all, 11 sets of visitors moved into our guest room including a few repeat ones (hello, Oma! 87 fun days with us in Vienna – you are the winner!)
- Travels and day trips…too many to count. Just look through the handy, dandy navigation menu to read more on all the trips we took around Europe (↑).
- 2 kid-less trips! Yes, we finally realized the kids were old enough to handle a night at home without us so we took willing babysitters up on their offers to stay overnight….twice – one a surprise birthday outing to Baden and another planned overnight with friends to Lake Neusiedl!
Vienna, you will be missed. Dearly.
It’s been great, fun, cold (seriously, that first winter was something else!), beautiful, hot (A/C, where are you and why can our landlord not turn off the heat in the summer?), amazing, and….did I mention fun?
Vienna, thank you for hosting us and letting us learn weird Austrian words like “Mistkübel” (garbage), “Gatsch” (mud), “Patschen” (slippers) and “ba ba” (bye bye) that will forever remain part of our family language.
Thank you to our absolutely favorite restaurant “Aphrodite” for the many late evenings of good food and plenty of wine, beer, and ouzo, great chats with the lovely host and his son, and for instilling our children’s love for seafood and all things garlic.
Thank you for all the friends we made – local and expat alike. They, too, will be surely missed.
Thank you for letting us grow work- and career-wise (yes, I also did some more growing up here).
So long, Vienna … auf Wiedersehen … farewell.
Now, onto new adventures…. (insert our sad faces).