Day 4: Vienna 

Our hotel served breakfast, so we didn’t get away as quickly on Tuesday morning. (But the oatmeal was so worth it…)  We spent the rest of the morning and the early part of the afternoon driving to Vienna.  We even ate McDonald’s on the road to save time.  We’ve discovered that most of the McDonald’s restaurants abroad have kiosk ordering, which helps so much when we don’t speak the language. 

The workbooks I made for the kids turned out to be worth the effort.  I think they learned a lot and they asked for them whenever we were driving in the car.  

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Cameron is lucky to be able to read in the car without getting carsick.

When we arrived in Vienna, we drove straight to Schonbrunn Palace.  Nothing can be compared to Versailles in France, but Schonbrunn might come close.  Our ticket time to tour the palace wasn’t for awhile so we went to the Children’s Museum they have at the palace, which was really fun and interactive.  
Photography wasn’t allowed inside the palace, but suffice it to say it was opulent and huge.  We only toured 23 rooms, or something like that, and the palace has 1,441 rooms.  It was the residence of the Habsburg family, who were the Austrian royal family for 300 years.  In one of the parlors,  Mozart played a concert for the royal family at the age of 6. 

Because of the oppressive heat and because it was nearing closing time, we didn’t tour the gardens, but from the views inside the palace, they looked remarkable.  

I had promised the kids that we would try and find a place to swim, and I had found something online the night before.  It was a free “waterpark” made by channeling the Danube into a little island in the river.  We drove right to it, but couldn’t actually see it, so we thought we were in the wrong place, and we drove around frustrated and irritable and bewildered for another 30 minutes before we found our way back.  There was no place to park so Richard dropped off the kids and me and left us to swim for awhile.  

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There were various mechanics set up to experiment with and the kids had fun making whirlpools and pumping water.

The sun was starting to set and we had an appointment to get the keys to our apartment from the owner so Richard picked us up and we drove to the apartment.  Parking was not to be found, again, so Richard dropped me off to meet the owner.  (This became a theme of the trip- Richard dropping me off and driving away and leaving me feeling helpless and abandoned.)   Fortunately, the woman showed up in a few minutes and let me into the apartment.  We had everything squared away and she left, but there was still no sign of Richard and the kids. We still hadn’t had dinner, so I walked across the street and ordered Chinese take-out.    

Richard and the kids found a parking spot, made their way back to the apartment with the luggage, and we ate a fried rice and chow-mein feast at 9:00 p.m.  

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Goodnight Wien.

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