Saturday, November 17, 2007

Well, here I am for the last time for now at the Internet Cafe in Vienna! I had the perfect last day of a great adventure. I woke up to beautiful sunshine! Thank you very much. I headed to the local market to get the last bit of chocolate for all of you. Came back and emptied my stash and then headed to the Nachmarkt by Mariahilfestrasse. I use to go to it on Saturdays many years ago. The fun thing is that I ran into 2 girls from the BYU Study Abroad. How is that for coincidence?? We bought scarves together. I told them to watch out, look at me and know that some day many years ahead they'll be dreaming about coming hear again!!

I did a little more shopping down Mariahilfe strasse, walked more town down Kirchengasse, went to Kartnerstrasse to get a little more phone time on my handy and headed back to my apt. to rest.

This is a serious last day in Vienna! I rested for 2 hours and headed to the Kristkindlmarkt at the Rathaus (another must do again experience!!). Oh my gosh, it has grown so much....10 times bigger. It was everything I dreamed of. I was there to see the lighting of the tree, hear the band playing oompapa Christmas music with a million other people. It was so fun. It was so Austrian. I bought hand painted ornaments, lebkuchen and two hats.......look out Sarah, I have the cutest Xmas hat for you! You have to wear it! and a freshly made donut where you tell them what filling you want in it and they do it right there! Last day for a donut (actually my first on the trip!)

It's 7:30 and feels like 10 because it gets dark so early and it's so dang cold. I lost my gloves at the market..........bummer! Oh, well, last frozen temperature night!

Well, last entry until I get home! Auf Wiedersehen Vienna and it will be Guten Abend when I get home. Love ya all! Cherie, mom

Friday, November 16, 2007

Okay, the first picture of this blog is probably the most important of all my pictures on the trip. You might ask yourself but why? It looks like an embarassing picture of Cherie in her nightgown. Now, why would she take such a picture? Why would this be important? Be important, are you kidding?? This picture was taken at 5:17 a.m. to be exact, thank you! I woke up to a call from Sean telling me that he had done his professional investigative work to get my phone number..oops, mom didn't give her family her phone number. Maybe I shouldn't admit this part....well, there was a lot of noise in the background. They were restraining Shane from opening his long awaited missionary papers until they got a hold of me!! He got his call. Grandmas and grandpa, family, friends, video machine and me in Vienna, Austria all waited with bated where?? Chicago, Illinois. My son is going to Chicago, Illinois!!! I am so excited. Congratulations Elder Shane Shoemaker!! He goes into the MTC 2-13-08! I am so proud of you son. Now do you know why this is my most important picture?????

I slept in Friday morning and woke up to a view of snow! Shane, look what you have to look forward to in Chicago!! Sorry not just the same, Chicago has more snow and more wind...I'm being positive.!! Shane, by the way, was hoping to be called to a big city! Oh, back to Friday. I spent the morning packing and then decided it was a good museum day. I had to eat a late lunch-early dinner at my once favorite Wienerwald. I think my taste has changed. I'm not going to recreate that memory again. Sean, I took the picture of the food choices for you...your staple of Berlin, ha! The kids were having a snow fight outside of the museum. Believe it or not, it has taken me the rest of the afternoon and evening to blog. I've been experiencing blog drama!! I hope reading this blog has been work it to you. It has to me.

Tomorrow, I spend the whole stinking day enjoying the Xmas markets.........that's for tomorrow. They're lighting the Christmas tree by the Rathaus! I'm so excited!!! In case I don't make it to blog further...........I leave for home Sunday at 4a.m. for the airport via taxi like Carla. I am so sad to see this all end. Thank you Steve, kids, and mom and dad for making this possible. And again, Debbie, Dave, Claralynn & Ben.......thank you for your love. Debbie I will always cherish the time I got to spend with you. I feel so much closer to you. I'm so grateful to be your sister in law. It has been an amazing musical and life adventure. Love ya all! Cherie

Every night this week I've done quite a bit of talking on the phone...I discovered that phone cards are pretty cheap, hence, all the talking!! I took my time getting up Thursday because it wasn't the sunny day like Wednesday. It drizzled snow all day but not really sticking much during the day. I made it my going to a museum day. I spent some time at the home of Mozart on Domgasse 3 by Stephensdom. It wasn't absolutely amazing but since everyone here keeps telling me I have a perfect Mozart voice I thought I better start loving Mozart, thus, I better start learning more about him. It was very interesting to me because of my desire to learn more about Herr Mozart! This was the place where he lived the longest, two and half years. His poor wife having to move so often! It is also known as Le Nozze Figaro house.........hey, the role I'm learning! The marble ceiling was there when he lived there. The rest of the day I did my most favorite thing.........roaming the steets. I especially enjoy Kartnerstrasse. I just love all the shops. I wish I had taken more shop pictures. They are true works of art! I had heiss chocolate at the top left but was dissappointed. Starbucks hayelnuss chocolate puts all to shame (note next picture). I drank chocolate for dinner while blogging at the nearby cafe. Oops... Technical error....the bike picture belongs to Friday (Yes, we got snow, Friday comes later.)

Carla left our apt. at 4 a.m. via taxi to catch her plane. I miss her sorely. We have had the adventure of all adventures...............our personal oddessy!!! I'm so happy we were able to create such an adventure together. Life long forever memories..........!! That morning, I had a wonderful talk with Emily Struckman, wife if the famous baritone Faulk. She is giving me some real help with futhering my career. Thank you Emily!! Wednesday, the clouds parted and dropped her sunlight on me. Forget the museums...........I went out walking for at least 4 hours. Love the scissor door handle? I talked to the owner of this knife scissor shop. It's been in their family for 4 generations. I took my walk down memory lane again........from the museum (always the Rathaus in view), past the beautiful bakerie to Burggasse by Kirchengasse to the Hotel Kugel where the other part of our group lived. Mr. Johannes Pooller was sitting there when I went in. I couldn't help it!! I cried. I was so embarassed! I hadn't seen him for so long. He always greeted us students with a loud "Gruss Gott!" I know he didn't remember me but I will never forget him. How do you tell someone like that how much they mean to you? I tried to but everytime I did, the tears just came. Sister Hinckley in a talk told of her frustration of one of her sons who always took off for the creek while she the mother worked. She would wonder what is he was doing down there every day. She was obviously frustrated that he got to play while she worked. Later in life when he was an adult full of frustrations and stress, when he would come home to visit, he would go back down to that creek. It was at this time that Sister Hinckley was grateful that her son had that creek. Vienna has been a type of creek for me. When life is stressful, those experience as a young women fill my mind and bring me joy! Yes, another lunch at my old spot, goulache (a favorite their for us students.) We would always do our grocery shopping at the Billa.......but we didn't have such a cool sign. You would never see shopping carts at the grocery stores then. The women would come with their own baskets. I contacted a possible future agent thanks to Emily and headed to the opera to watch her husband, Faulk, in Fidelio. He was great. That's a picture of me in the Vienna Opera House. I went standing room, about $5, wow what a deal, right? NOt!! What was I thinking. I about died. I experienced a fabulous opera via the standing room torture chamber................never, never, never again. I will spend the money. What was I thinking???? (Note the cool picture of the reflection of Burgasse from the back of a car..oooo!!)

I'm in the theater at Schonbrunn. The school uses this theater. This theater was used bz Maria Theresia for private showings of her choice. Many a famous composer has had their works shown here. After the tour, Michael was kind enough to take us out to dinner and then for a walk in the Vienna Woods! A blistery day but worth it! We climbed the tower overlooking Vienna..........boy whas it windy!! Amazing how windy it was. Since a huge lunch wasn't enough, Carla had dear friends, Otmar and Silvia Devorak, who took us out to dinner. We kept it light but still had dessert! They were wonderful people. Carla met Otmar when she was a teenager on tour in Europe. They have stayed on conatact ever since! He has been so kind to us. He's arranged taxis and calls me to make sure all is well. What a sweetie!!