When I first visited Vienna and had the privilege of touring the Schloss Schönbrunn summer palace, I was struck by the rose gardens in the palace park, the delicate explosions of colour and the delicious perfume of the blossoms olfactible from blocks away. While it was lovely to wander throughout the gardens with Josh, my recurring thought was how much I would LOVE to share the experience with my avid gardener of a mother.
4 years after that first visit, it was incredible to walk to the entrance of the gardens with my mom and see her awe and bliss, much as I had imagined all those years ago.
Let it be known that her capacity for awe and bliss were even more admirable since mere hours earlier, we had just gotten off a train, found our hostel and dropped off our luggage, and figured out public transit to come straight to Schönbrunn since we weren’t able to check in for another few hours. Not only was my mom game for wandering the gardens after such a morning, but she also toured the imperial apartments and hiked up to the Gloriette!
The next morning, we made our way to the Naschmarkt and spent the morning finding Austrian culinary treasures to tuck away for future family Christmas presents… as well as for our imminent enjoyment in the form of a picnic dinner. Our afternoon was languidly passed in Stephansplatz, shopping, sipping coffees and Spritz, and admiring the endless graceful corners and facades of Vienna’s many architectural gems.
Finally, we stationed ourselves just outside the Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera House) on the Ringstrasse. As twilight settled around us and the crowd swelled, we delighted in our simple yet luscious dinner of Naschmarkt smoked hazelnut salami and black truffle gouda, with burstingly-fresh strawberries and tangy dried watermelon for dessert.
The day felt restful yet extravagantly lovely… much like Vienna itself.