Saturday, January 7, 2012
I hope all of you had an AMAZING holiday season. A lot has gone down here in Vienna the past couple of weeks, mostly because The Hagglunds took over! It was so amazing to just be with the people I love most in the world for a week. It’s funny, I’ve been away from home for long periods of time before- going to college in Seattle makes it a bit difficult being an Ohioan- and even though it had not even been 3 full months, it felt like so much longer. Come to think of it, I probably have talked to my parents more in the past 3 months in Austria than in a years time in Seattle. On that note, I’m going to add my little thanks of Skype and the Internet and computers in general. I have no clue how athletes could have done this before having these incredible tools.
Back to family time! So the clan arrived on the 22nd while I was at practice and got delivered to their hotel in the city. We got SO lucky that day and were given the afternoon off which made me one super happy camper. I busted butt so fast after that practice to get back to my apartment and into the U-bahn to find them. I’ll be honest I may have gotten a little emotional when I finally got to them in the lobby of the hotel. (Sidenote- the electronic revolving doors are a total buzz kill when you’re trying to get somewhere fast, or in my case trying to get to someone fast)
That evening we walked around the Inner Stadt (the inner ring) of the Vienna. We saw Stephansdom and the main shopping streets, went to a couple Christmas markets, and had some delicious Italian food. And after all of that excitement…. they all crashed around 8 pm 🙂 Jet lag is a killer, but they did way better than I ever would have expected.
The next day I had a match in the evening, so I didn’t get to see my family until our game. But they did get to go visit Schonbrun Palace, it’s Zoo (the oldest in the World) and enjoy it’s Christmas Market, while I was prepping. We handled our match in 3 then had a nice Christmas party/dinner with the President of our club, some of the staff, and younger kids. Afterwards a few of the girls and my family went to relax and have a few drinks at a bar before calling it a night.
We spent the whole day running around the city trying to squeeze things in on the 23rd. I showed my family the Naschmarkt (one of the oldest and largest outdoor markets) went to Karlsplatz, into Museumsquarter and toured the Natural History Museum. We grabbed some pizza on Mariahilfer Strasse, a huge shopping street. Then set off for Hofburg Palace, went on the tour there. Browsed the Spittleberg Christmas Markets, found a great authentic restaurant for dinner and THEN finished up the evening at the largest Christmas market at the Rathaus. We were running around quite a bit that day and somehow made it out alive and still happy! 🙂
The next 3 days we got out of Vienna and headed to a really neat town outside of Salzburg. We actually thought we were staying right by Salzburg, only to find out it was more like an hour. Whoops! But Bad Gastein (the town) is tucked away in the middle of the mountains. It was SO beautiful. We had a nice time overall- with a few bumps here and there- just trying to relax in the area.
The hotel we were staying at- The Europaischer Hotel- was spiffier than we expected. In fact each night we had dinners that were 6 or 7 small courses. Not quite Hagglund family style. We’ll take the burgers and fries please. But I was really proud of my other family members to at least taste all of the dishes, haha.
We came back to Vienna on the 27th, also my Dad’s Birthday! Woo! I had made reservations at The Danube Tower. It’s a very high revolving restaurant/cafe that’s right on the edge of the Danube River, so it overlooks the entire city. Similar to the Seattle Space Needle… but in Vienna. We had a really lovely dinner, then finished the trip with a spur-of-the-moment ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel at the Prater (Vienna’s Amusement Park). It was a really nice way to round out my family’s visit.
Which brings us to the next morning 😦 I got up early to head to the airport with my family before my practice. It was so sad to say goodbye to them. They bring so much joy and happiness and comfort when I’m with them. But this is life, and as much as I wish I could keep them here with me (or jump on the plane with them!) our wonderful little holiday had to come to an end. They are back safely at home in Ohio, and I am usually found in a gym in Vienna again.
I am so grateful to have been able to have my family with me to celebrate Christmas. We are yet to spend the holidays apart, and I hope we never have to! (crossing my fingers) It was such an amazing trip, and now I can’t wait for us to be together again But I’ll be more than happy with us sitting on our couches in our living room at home with a deck of cards, laughing the night away.
PS I don’t have many pictures to post from the trip because Mom and Dad and Nick were doing more of the camera work than me! So go check out his facebook album for more pics.