I heard the line "Always a Bridesman" about me twice in the past two days, so I thought it was an appropriate title for a blog post.
Anyway, M and I got back to Minneapolis at a decent time last night and my roommate was nice enough to pick us up. After checking out all the sports scores I could and watching the Eagles almost pull off what would have been a great upset I was able to get to sleep around 11pm. Unfortunately, I still haven't adjusted my time clock completely since I woke up at 5am (noon Austrian time) without the hint of ability to go back to sleep.
Anyway here are some random thoughts of what I learned in Austria:
1. Nicholas looks damn good in Lederhosen.
2. Eyes Wide Shut is an even more weird, more angry, and more unwatchable movie in German.
3. If I didn’t care about sports or modern conveniences there would be no better place to live than the countryside of Austria. The trip through the wine coutnry was almost as nice as the Lake District outside Salzburg. Here is a picture from the wine tour trip:
4. When you are in a foreign country it is best to eat first and then ask questions later.
5. There isn’t much better food in the world than Austria food.
6. Nancy was the perfect Austrian bride. Maybe M can write in sometime to desribe her dress (beautiful), and other important wedding day facts.
7. If a waiter asks you for an after dinner schnapps type drink, you should say no unless you want what Dr. Winklemann calls “Austrian fire water.”
8. If you are only to know one thing about Austrian history the best thing to know is the history of the Hapsburg family.
9. Vienna > Budapest. M and I were glad to see Budapest, but we definitely wished we had more time in Vienna.
10. I have been reading part of Bill Bryson’s Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe and I thought he described Vienna best: “Vienna is certainly the grandest city I have ever seen. All along the Ringstrasse colossal buildings proclaim an imperial past – the Parliament, the Palace of Justice, the Natural History Museuem, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Opera House, the Burgtheater, and above all the Hofburg Palace, with its 2,600 rooms. They all look much the same – mighty piles of granite and sandstone with warlike statuary crowded along the roofs and pediments. A Martian coming to earth would unhesitatingly land at Vienna, thinking it the capital of the world.” Here is an example of Vienna:
11. Elk steak (the main course at the wedding) is excellent.
12. There is an Austrian tradition where the bridesmaids "steal" the bride and take her to a local bar, where the bridesmaids and bridge have a few drinks. The groom has to go and look for the bridge and ask every bar he goes to "Have you seen my bride." Once he reaches the bar that the bridge is in he then has to pay off the bar tab before he gets his bridge back. Of course we did this after the wedding cake and no I am not kidding.
13. SIDE NOTE: DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT SPORTS: What happened in the world of sports when I was gone? It seems like mos of what I wanted to happen did. My fantasy teams did well. Miami University finished 3rd in the Anaheim basketball classic after barely losing to USC by 3 points and then beating Mississippi St. I now have bragging rights on all my friends who went to Mississippi St since the MAC school from Oxford, OH beat what is supposed to be one of the better SEC basketball teams. Duke is 6-0 and have won the Maui Invitational again. Also, the Jazz are a top team in the Nba. END OF SPORTS RANT
14. Graz is a beautiful city. One of the nice things about it is that it isn't swimming with tourists and that gives the city a better feel of authenticity.
15. You could spend 500 Euros in 50 minutes and not think twice about it in Graz during the time of their Christmas market. Everywhere I looked I saw something that I wanted to buy for either myself of someone else.
16. I have already gotten Hank two Christmas gifts. Why do I feel like I am not alone?
17. The appetizers at the wedding and rehearshel dinner were out of this world. I had many plates full of cheese quiches, chicken skewers, shrimp tempura, etc.
18. All the servers at our functions where female and became my fast friends with the above mentioned appetizer plates.
19. I felt like I was back at St. John's College in Annapolis because everyone in Europe smokes. My jacket (which I will be wearing to work in a little bit) still smells like somke.
20. It was great spending time with the Winklemann family, Clark family, and all the friends of Nicholas and Nancy that were able to make it to the wedding in Graz.
I am going to get ready for work.