Thursday, November 17, 2011

Celebrating my 23rd Austria!

Yesterday, I celebrated my first birthday in Austria!  For the big 2-3, I went to Graz with my boyfriend, Michi Schmieder.  We decided to go shopping for some Under Armour once we entered the city.  We went to ALLSTAR Sport and ended up spending just more than 300 (about 450 US Dollars) on Under Armour gear!  My boyfriend was so sweet in that he paid for all of it!

After we left the store, we parked at a shopping center inside the city and walked toward a giant wall of steps leading to the top of a mountain.  This sight seeing attraction is known as Schlossberg.  As we walked up the stairs, we observed the amazing view of the city.  We could see the rooftops of buildings as if we were on top of the city.  We climbed the steps further and we approached a tall clock tower, which was located on the top of the mountain.  There were several other buildings at the top, such as a café, but we just walked around overlooking the city.

We worked our way back down the steps, which seemed a lot easier than climbing up them.  Once we hit ground level, we walked to a unique bridge that crossed over a river, Murinsal - Island in the Mur.  The center of the bridge looked as if it was a bowl sitting in the middle of the river.  The unique architectural concept of this bridge really caught my eye since I have been planning to attend graduate school for architecture.  We walked across the bridge toward the bowl-like structure sitting in the center of the bridge.  A cafe and a playground resided in this "bowl."  We sat down inside the café for I was freezing cold.  I have yet to get used to this Austrian weather.  We each had a cafe latté to warm our bodies.  After we thawed out a bit, we continued on our journey across the bridge.  After we stepped off the bridge, we made our way back to the shopping center where the car was parked.  With my being a girl, I had to stop in a store and buy a few more items before we left Graz.

We arrived at the car and left Graz.  We drove to Bruck an der Mur, where we had dinner.  We ate a restaurant called Papa Joe's.  This place seemed like a Mexican restaurant, but it had an array of items on the menu ranging from burgers to burritos.  We ordered two beers each.  The funny thing was that these beers were 1/2 yard tall!  I struggled lifting the glass as I tried to pour the beer into my mouth.  For our meal, we ordered the Star of Santa Fe, which was enough for two people.  Our waitress brought out a giant platter that had an arrangement of meat (beef, chicken, pork, and bacon) hanging from a pole.  She set the platter down and lit the dangling meat on fire.  It was quite a sight to see!  After our meals, we ordered some dessert although we seemed pretty filled.  We ordered a chocolate fondue dish that came with an assortment of fruit for dipping.  After we finished our dessert and our beers, we drove home to Mürzzuschlag.

As I walked into the apartment, my roommates (Courtney Bradley and Jessica Jenkins) surprised with decorations on the walls for my birthday.  On our dining room table, I found a gift bag for me.  It contained two bottles of wine and my favorite kind of chewing gum!  After several minutes had passed, Jessica brought out yet another surprise, an ice cream cake that had two numbered candles on it, a "2" and a "3."  I blew our my candles and drank one of my bottles of wine (It was a small bottle) to conclude my birthday.


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