Monday, July 22, 2013

Matt's Devotion Leads to an Award

 
We all gathered at church to watch Matt sing for the last time.  Since we moved here, Matt has been very involved in LAUMC. 


Matt has gone to every meeting, event, service that he could.  He LOVED being in Starfire. 

Starfire Senior Guys on the last Sunday before they set off to Europe. 
 
Matt received the Dirk and Carol Damonte Scholarship because of  his faithfulness and his commitment to Starfire. 
 


 
 
As with all things, it must come to an end. 
Everyone was teary eyed to think they would not be singing in Starfire again. 



Not sure what is going on in this picture. 

 The traditional prom picture that I need to get of these two. 



 



 


 



 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Vienna Part 2

My favorite part of the trip was visiting the Sisi Museum.   I loved learning about this controversial empress.  As you walked through the different rooms of the museum, you walked through the life of Sisi.  This was such an enjoyable way to visit a museum. It really allowed for you to feel like you were a part of the Royal Family.





It was one of the best museum visits I have ever visited,  because it told the story of Sisi's life beginning at childhood.  It was an amazing way to learn about the Austrian Empire.



The amazing portraits of Sisi on display were extraordinary.  It was interesting to learn about all the things she did to maintain her beauty.  I felt for this young woman who was thrown into royalty life without knowing or understanding the restrictions and protocol that would be placed upon her and have a complete loss of identity and spirit.



I felt for her as a mother who lost a child to Typhoid Fever.  I can't imagine having to live through something like that and especially to experience such loss and grief as a monarchy, expected not to show any grief.  I felt like I could understand her rebellion against court ceremonial (all the things that were expected of you that you did not ask for). 

The splendor and the vast richness of the Austrian Empire is incomprehensible. 



Loved exploring the streets of Vienna.  I love just taking off and wandering all the narrow cobblestone streets.  Love just experiencing a city. 

It rained a little when I was out.  I wandered in and out of the cathedrals to escape the down pour.  There was a live concert in all the chapels that I walked into. 

The Schonbrunn. . .



On the day we went, it was rainy, but still magnificent. 
 
It was built to replicate Versailles and I enjoyed it so much more than Versailles.
 

The grounds were extraordinary. 
 
 
I just can not get over the grandeur and wealth of the Austrian Empire. 


The Schonbrunn was so much better than Versailles because you did not have the crowds of Versailles and they told the story of the Austrian Royal Family.  You moved through the rooms of the Palace as if you were a member of the Royal Family. 


The grounds were amazing.  Made me want to redo our back yard. 

Steve and I on a midnight walk through the city.  Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever visited.  The people were friendly, not too crowded, and the architecture is amazing. 



Other highlights:

The Naschmarket.  Had the best wiener schnitzel. 







Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vienna in June Part 1


On the last day of school, Steve and I took off for Vienna for a quick trip.


We checked into the hotel and began exploring. Our hotel was right across from the Hofburg Complex.   
 
 
As we walked through the park I love that there is an impromptu dancing class/group in the middle of the park.   

We walked around the historic center. 
 

 

 



 
 
 

We lit a candle and said a prayer for the kids. 



 

Outside the beautiful opera house
 
 
 is a massive screen that plays the opera live.  People sit on chairs, blankets and watch the opera from outside.  Opera for the Masses- only in Vienna. 

Every time I go to Europe, I really think that I could seriously live there.


Steve and I woke up early on Sunday morning, and went to Mass at the Hofburg Chapel. 
 
 
 

We actually had great seats to see both  the altar and

 
 the Vienna Boys Choir. 



We kind of laughed to ourselves, as the boys sang.  We realized that a lot of them had just woken up, had bedhead, were yawning during the Mass and even talking.  It made you realize that boys aged 8-11 are probably the same everywhere.  Made me think of Stevie at the Sunrise Easter Service yawning during the service. 


 
 

 
We got to walk through a few rooms to get to our seats. 
 
After Mass, we raced over to the Spanish Riding School for the performance.
 
The arena was beautiful. 
 
 
 
 The Lipizzan stallions were magnificent. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We felt very accomplished that morning to see both major touristy "must do's."


We walked all over the grounds of the Hofurg Palace.  The architecture is amazing. 


We walked over to the Imperial Gardens to take a look at the Mozart statue. 



Here we are again later that day in the famous park to take our picture with Johann Strauss. 

 
Finished our day with a nice dinner.
 
Enjoyed some REAL Wiener Schnitzel.