We started the day by meeting our family friend, Rosie, in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral. Rosie is the daughter of our BFF, Liz, and I've known her since she was two. She is a Viennese through and through, in her speech and mannerisms, although her Iowa loyalty and fondness came through. We walked to a nearby cafe, where Rosie met her spouse as an undergrad, and I did my best to act nonchalant as I ordered my melange and strudel (Apple, cold).
After hugs and auf wiedersehens, we quickly changed (grabbing yogurts from our free hotel breakfast for later), and ran the Ringtrasse. That was exhilarating - my first outdoor run (4.5 miles!) because of you know what, and we are in Vienna - on a Monday morning, weaving in and out of pedestrians, and not exactly sure of the hour or our location (i.e., freedom)!
In the afternoon, we toured the Hofburg - seeing the vast array of silver and porcelain collections of the Habsburg monarchs and the Imperial Apartments tour. I kept thinking about my mom, and how much she would enjoy seeing this stuff! We also toured the Sisi Museum. I liked learning about Franz Joseph I, who ruled from 1848-1916 - he seemed like a cool guy. Bit his wife! Oh my - Empress Elisabeth, aka Sisi, I grew tired of her - she was high maintenance and didn't think much of being a mother, much less an empress. I was actually disappointed we didn't learn more about Maria-Theresa: she was the only woman to rule during the Habsburg's 640 year reign. She was the mother to 16 - and was either pregnant or had a newborn during most of her reign. If that doesn't do enough to make her interesting, and I would argue it does - she ended the feudal system and started social reform. All in all, a great way to spend a few hours in Vienna.
After all those history lessons, we worked up quite a thirst. We found some refuge at Trzesniewski's - a quaint little place that is known for their assortment of small sandwiches. And after eating, we found refuge a few more times...oh - and when the temps drop as the day winds down and you have no jacket? "It's no problem" - they say! That's why there are blankets on the chairs!
On our third try at the wurstelstand, Shawn got the kasekrainer just how he likes it! Vienna, we love ya!