Greetings from Vienna!

I am currently sitting on the balcony of my hotel room and while soaking in the beautifully sunny weather. I am also observing the local Austrians and the daily happenings of this village. I love to people watch, especially when in a foreign place. It seems this week there is a food festival going on in the square. So there are lots of tents, booths and mobile trailers who are emitting all these lovely aromas into the air, tempting me with each gust of wind. Sadly I put myself on a budget so as to save for my shopping spree in Venice! 

As I sit up in my second story balcony I cannot help but notice all the different styles of dress here. The elderly wear the nice pants and jackets (you know the traditional attire you see in movies) while the young wear anything to stand out. They dress the typical European style, of tight straight-legged jeans and most men sport the fake Mohawk or better known as the “fohawk”. Anything goes over here especially in color schemes; and people try to say Uggs, Vera Bradley and Carharts are not in fashion, well over there anything goes really. 

Today I had my first Austrian style breakfast. This consisted of ham and cheese croissants, warm milk or juice, cereal and yogurt. They do not believe in, nor do they use ice in Europe.

After breakfast, we went to Seegrotte, an underground lake that was once a mine. The water was cold and so clear that you could see straight to the bottom. I was hoping to see some dark underwater creatures that inhabited this lake, but there was no aquatic life whatsoever. Anyways, after our wonderful tour, in which our guide had to speak in both German and English due to the diversity in the group, we went shopping followed by our first match of the trip.

The organization wanted to ease us into playing with one another, so the first team we played was more of a city league team. To say the least, we won. It was very strange however, we played women from the age of 17-24 and in a recreational gym that was big enough to fit three basketball courts width wise and full size basketball court lengthwise. 

The competition was not too fierce, but playing with all these random girls from all over the country was quite the task all of its own. One struggle we faced was the different defenses each girl had come from. Needless to say, it was an interesting match, but lots of fun! 

I unfortunately went up to hit my first ball and hit a girl straight in the forehead and it bounced off and hit the opposite wall!  I FELT TERRIBLE!! I ran over and apologized at least a hundred times. Other than this traumatizing event the game was quick and painless.  

In celebration of all three of the USA teams winning, we went out to dinner with the teams we played and then they took us out to the local bar scene, which was conveniently within walking distance of out hotel. 

So for those paranoid about being in a foreign country and drinking, (i.e. ME...) I felt very safe and comfortable going out. We had a blast! Oh my goodness we had a great group that went out with us and we made friends with the locals and were introduced to their music and dancing. 

On a scale of 1 -10 (10 being a great time) I gave that night a 12!!

Mackenzie Angner