After yesterday's title, it's a shame I can't come up with one that good. I'll give it a go when I'm finished writing. I just know it'll not compete at all.
So, today would be the day that dad and mom got their gift to themselves. We woke up and got ready and all went over close to Mozartsplatz to pick it up. You'll all just be held in suspense. On the walk down, I noticed that there was an odd phone company advertising the iPhone 3G here in Austria. I was disappointed to know I'd miss out on it in America, so I figured maybe I should buy it here, but alas, they lock'em on this side of the pond too. Besides, I'm patient. Psh--everyone knows that.
We got in the car and took off to Hellbrun Palace, a place known mostly for two things: the Sound of Music gazebo (yay I got a picture!) and the Waserspiele, or, the Trick Fountains. I must say that I was so intrigued by the archbishop's (who built it) intrigue with water, that I decided I will have trick fountains and all sorts of waterworks of the sort at my future home. Just like that.
After getting a little wet (dude, the tour guide was seriously out to get me. Just because I had keenly avoided getting wet through three-quarters of the tour, she specifically targeted me. It could've been the comment I made about her to Curtis about her not being able to get me wet, but it was probably because she had a little crush on me and wanted to flirt or something. She got me pretty good though...but...seriously...), we toured the palace (not the greatest palace, but it's still a big beautiful house), and then decided to take off to Hallstatt, a quaint little city right in the middle of the mountains. It was like Park City, only quainter and less of a glitz, on a lake (which was incredibly blue). Awesome. I think the best part was the drive up; the roads were perfect examples of what everyone dreams European roads to be like (unless you spent two years in Albania). I was accelerating into turns like it was nobody's business, until of course we came upon a mountain bike race. We couldn't really determine the route, but we tried to encourage them. It had to have been a doozy. Seriously we passed them on and off for at least 40km. I think I found out which race it was: the Salzkammergut Trophy. Check out the course info! One of the courses is over 200km with a 7000m change in altitude!!! Since it was raining a tad, and they were mountain biking, they were *covered* in mud. I was proud of them.
After visiting Hallstatt, we took off once again for Mondsee, where Maria and Baron von Trapp were married (in the movie of course...everyone knows they were married at the abbey in real life, and about 11 years before the movie says so too, so...). This made our trip a nice little circle about.
We had then planned to come back to Salzburg and attend the Symphonie in H2O (I'm not the only creative one) at Hellbrun, but we quickly (or not so quickly!) realized that all it was was the original tour. Not with music...but with lights. Odd. Whatev. By this time we were worn out (and I may have aggravated some with a game of name that musical when I started playing music from Sweeney Todd. I had seriously thought that the musical was well-enough known that everyone would know a little about the plot, let alone simply recognizing Johnny Depp's voice, but it just got everyone upset at me, so, I know not to try to lighten the mood by forcing them to guess people's voices). Dad suggested that we just stop at Burger King to get something fast and go home, and I figured I had spoken enough (okay, so I also went off a little about how I was just trying to liven things up and that they needed to not get so...what's the word...biting?...so quickly) so I didn't object. We thought we had seen one close in town, so we pulled out Mr. Garmin out who sent us on a 11km journey (it's only like 6.5 miles, people) into Germany. That's right. We went to Germany just to get a Burger King. Suppose it beats the McDonald's right on the border. However, it was an okay thing in the end, and I'll tell you why.
As we were walking out, a young man walked up to mom (I walk too quickly) and asked if she spoke english. Mom, of course, said yes, and the young man continues on, in broken english, that he and his folks were terribly lost and wondered if we could help. Mom says that we're American so we don't know the area, but we had a GPS and maybe I could help them.
I pulled the GPS out and went to talk with the boy (what do you call those 16-17 year-olds? young man sounds so...old) and his father. I recognized immediately that they were speaking french and were thus, French. You see, one of my goals is to be able to recognize a foreign language, even if I don't speak it. It's great when I am on vacation, because I seriously just eavesdrop on everyone who speaks loudly enough because they don't think others can understand them. So...I do extremely well here in Europe. I entered the address and switched the GPS to french and pulled up the step-by-step directions and walked them through it, making sure they noted the exact distances between turns.
They were grateful, and only about 6 km off of their mark, so I hope they made it okay. In fact, after they left I thought how silly it was that we didn't just take them there. Kinda stayed on my mind a bit, but the directions were simple enough, and the youngman/boy was resourceful enough I'm sure they made it there.
I've been watching an insane amount of CNN since we've been here since that's the only english channel. I got mom to watch the little special on Youssif, the young boy who was burned in Iraq. Anyway, it was a cool little special. Here's to all of us opening our hearts a little more to those in need around us. I'm out.
ONE MORE THING: I figured I'd do it since Steve *totally* dropped the ball this last time. I'm having terribly spotty wifi here, so my pics are not uploading nearly as well as I hoped. Looks like they might be delayed another day. Actually, a few have been put up (not nearly all) so you can swing by my picasa page to check up on them as they get up!