Monday, November 12, 2007


I know some of my posts are CrAzY long, and to add to the longness I have full sized pictures. Oh, well.
Dan's old mission companion Brian Hansen stayed with us in Prague a few weeks ago and offered to let us stay at his parents house in Vienna. His dad works for BYU and is living there for the BYU study abroad program. We couldn't pass up the offer!!
Things didn't work out so well for us: Dan had a project he had to do Thursday night, the busses in Prague were sold out to Vienna and the trains going to Vienna were all expensive ones. For the greater good: saving money and seeing Vienna poor Dan pulled an all nighter. We found that we could take a train to Brno and then catch a bus from Brno to Vienna which would cost less than half. So we caught the train to Brno at 1:00 in the morning Friday (after walking/jogging to the train station because we watched as we missed 3 TRAMS!!!) Then we got to Brno (see picture of Vinson fascinated by the listings of trains changing in the train station at 4 in the morning.) We waited for an hour in the train station and caught our pus to Vienna at 6:00 in the morning and arrived in beautiful Vienna at 8:30. Thankfully Dan and I caught a second wind and we were off!
In case you were wondering, Vienna is here:) We first wanted to see St. Stephensdome, but got lost and saw these great sights!

Dan and I love to see churches. And we saw this one, not so spectacular on the outside, but WOW on the inside!

Who knew Vienna has SO MANY HORSES, I thought Prague had a lot, but right outside St. Stephans there were at least 50 carriages waiting for someone to get a ride.
Isn't it amazing how no matter how high the cool thing is, strangers still insist on taking pictures with your feet in it!!!!

Vinson playing peek a boo in the church.

Afterwards we were FREEZING!! So we warmed up and ate a pizza. Mine only had 3 olives on it. What a jip!

Dan and I took a long time deciding whether we should go and see the library or not. We were glad we did! Wow! We could take pictures but only without a flash. I took 22 :)
Poor Vinson was too cold to continue. So we went to the Hansens two hours early (3:30). Thank goodness Liesl was home and let us in.

Day 2

Today we wandered around Vienna with a plan! Brother Hansen gave us a bunch of tips on how we could spend the day. We first went to "the Ring." Which is where a bunch of really cool buildings are in a circle. We saw this neogothic cathedral Votivkirche (it was built in the 1800's can you believe it!)

This is the Rat House (Rathaus) hee hee. In front of it they have set up a bunch of Christmas shops. One was open, but we weren't interested :)

This whole time our ATM card wasn't working even though we KNEW we had money in there. (Later we found out it was trying to take money from savings, and there wasn't money there :( Anyway, we weren't able to see the inside of Karlskirche
because they only accepted cash :(! So, since we were freezing we went to the Schönbrunn Palace, waited in line, and found out that their Visa system wasn't working either. So we walked around the gardens since Vinson fell asleep. It was georgeous even in the winter. It must be amazing in the spring.
Afterwards we decided to see if their machines were working. And yipee yeow they worked! So we got to see the amazing luxury that kings and queens lived in. Crazy!

We had seen a bunch of pictures of the Hundertwasser Haus and thought it was crazy enough we wanted to see it in person. Plus we got a tip that the cafe there had the best sachertorte (Thanks Liesl).
We ordered and had a sip of hot chocolate and then my heart sunk. What if they don't take cards. So Dan asked and . . . they don't take cards. So Dan left to try another ATM and like the last 20 times before that it still didn't work. Dan ran into a Czech lady at the bank and she dumped her change purse in Dan's hand. SO NICE! But we were still 5 Euro short. Dan (who is amazing!) explained to her in German that we didn't have enough money and she said to eat and bring money back later. It was SO YUMMY, so how come Dan and I had a hard time laughing and talking or anything? We went back to the Hansens and called the bank and fixed the problem. Sister Hansen fed us dinner, yum! and we headed back to pay for our food. I felt like an idiot. She offered to watch Vinson for us, and we took her up on it.
The extra effort was worth the amazing smile she gave us when we came in and gave her the 5 euros we were short on the meal. We took the scenic way home and took some great night shots. When we got back Vince was already asleep. I hope he was good while we were gone.

Day 3 We wanted to try to see Elder Schaeffner, who was an elder in Prague and had left for home eight weeks ago. Dan figured out which ward would be the one he would attend and Brother Hansen wanted to go to that branch too, to see a friend he hadn't seen since his mission. Before we left we took a picture of the Hansen Family. (Sorry Liesl)
At church Elder Schaeffner wasn't there, and wasn't there, and right before sacrement started he went up to the stand. Dan and I looked at eachother, wow, we're going to get to hear him talk. But we got to hear him give his homecoming address!!! It was really neat when he bore his testimony in Czech because all of a sudden I understood it and the spirit was really strong. He talked about being guided by the spirit, "not knowing beforehand what he should do." Wow!

Vinson on the train coming home. 5 hours, but he was good the whole time, well almost!


Emily and Kyle said...

Wow! What beautiful pictures! You guys are making some awesome memories! Vinson is just so cute and grown up! Those headbands and shades were the boys' idea! Crazy rockers.

Leez said...

What a fantastic picture of me where I had just woken up. How flattering. I'm gorgeous, I tell you! But you guys are so lucky you had me.

Oh - and Vinson needs to finish up some dishes for me.

Chambers Family said...

Can we visit you? Seriously you guys have the coolest adventures (and you take cool pictures).

Anna Davis said...

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that you have inspired me to create my own blog. So I did. It's Check it out. I will try to put some fun ones on for Thanksgiving. Love, Anna

Mckenzie said...

Valerie, it is so pretty in Vienna! (Tiffa and I are seriously contemplating back-packing through Europe this summer, so we will have to stop and see you!!) I love your pictures!