It has been an interesting week. Long flights, three Hotels, sightseeing, a car rental and some shopping. I thought for fun, I would use a different format for this article. This way I can chronologically praise or blast, this or that, while still keeping it interesting.
To: Springfield, Missouri Airport (SGF). You are one of nicest regional airports in the world. I didn’t realize that until now.
To: The Airberlin Gate personnel in Chicago (ORD); are you insane? What a cluster that was. You don’t board Special Needs, Families with Children and 1st/Business class ticket holders all at the same time. It was a neck-in-neck race of strollers, children, wheelchairs and brief cases all bearing down on one clerk blocking a single door. It didn’t end well.
To: Airberlin A330 1st/Business Class. Your staff is wonderful but only one bathroom? I’m waiting in line with the Captain of the plane. He finally gave up.
To: The luggage handlers between Springfield and the Vienna Airport, Damn!, you are a brutal lot, our luggage is not your enemy.
To: The Grandmotherly at the Berlin International Airport, please, PLEASE start wearing bra’s or thicker undershirts, ANYTHING! And please turn the heat up! Lilly was having way to much fun pointing my attention here and there. It’s like a car crash, you just can’t look away…the images, now I may need therapy.
To: The Taxi driver from the Vienna airport to Le Meridien, really? You couldn’t get any closer to the door, everybody else did. Didn’t appreciate the hike with our beat up luggage.
To: Le Meridien Vienna, you can and will do better. You share the SPG Brand and on the outside, you are beautifully done. For reasons discussed with SPG Customer Service, I left. Members value their status, it can be challenging to earn and we take it very seriously. So should you.
To: Starwood SPG Customer Service, Thank you! Your attention to the matter was prompt, appreciated and worthy of your reputation as one of the finest hotel groups in the world.
To: The SPG Hotel Bristol Vienna. You provided a level of service and patience with me that was extraordinary. Subira, Miriam and Carlos, I was having a very bad day and you exceeded my expectations. It was the effort you put forth that made it so special. It mattered, it made a difference and I am humbled. Thank you
To: Lilly for not killing me for being “me” that day. Yes, I can be quirky. Thank you love.
To: The City of Vienna for your beauty, architecture and the precious gift of Music that both your past and present Citizens have provided.
To: The two couples we met at our business dinner. The Biergarten afterward was incredible as was the lady bathroom attendant (in the men’s room) who walked up and down behind us mumbling, probably judging us like Madelyn Khan in Mel Brooks’, History of the World; yes, yes, no, YES! Anyway it was creepy and there she was. Too much beer later, we went back to the hotel and ultimately called it a night…after more beer etc…the next day was not good but hey, we socialized! For that, I thank you.
To: The prolific bicycle riders of the world, you arrogant lot of roadway tyrants who consistently refuse to obey the laws and blaze through traffic lights and stop signs, yes, you who see pedestrians as an obstacle but refuse to yield. And, ironically, it is you who whines the loudest when a vehicle does the same and you are the one “ass-up” on the ground, crying (and filing a lawsuit) for your suffering. This is the long way of saying be on-guard in Vienna, or any city, as they rarely yield and are easily annoyed if you slow them down or impede them in any way.
To: Salzburg for being incredibly beautiful and having actual pedestrian sidewalks to avoid those two wheeled maniacs. For having the most glorious old town shopping areas and for your continued contribution and support to the music we so dearly cherish today.
To: Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden. You weren’t always a restaurant with a view. In another time, you were different. I sit within your walls and even though you try and deceive me, I know you, I see you clearly. The pleasant smells of your kitchen hide nothing.
To: Humanity. If we ever wanted to ensure the return of that which we loathe, we simply need to allow it to be forgotten, for this act alone, is the key that opens the door of that which separates humanity from its demise.
To: The Autobahn, I was promised reckless endangerment. Instead I received a Ford Fiesta with 3 cylinders and a 70 mph limit.
To: Rogers and Hammerstein for the musical “The Sound of Music”, the Von Trapp Family and to Julie Andrews for blessing us with her voice and beauty for so many years.
To: Janet for daring me to do my own twirling version of “The Sound of Music” on an Austrian hillside. And a thank you to Ben for editing. It’s basically 11 seconds of me earning a permanent revocation of my Man-Card. Bob Fosse would not approve.
To: Austria for having the most beautiful forests that I have ever seen, they are absolutely stunning to view. If I had accomplished nothing more on this trip than to drive through the Salzburg countryside, that drive alone would have made it worth coming to Austria.
To: The jerk who studied the Von Trapp family and the true story of The Sound of Music. Thank you for crushing my idyllic view of the story and showing a picture of Maria Von Trapp, who by the way, looks absolutely nothing like Julie Andrews. I hope this guy gets hit by a bike.
To: The City of Salzburg Municipal Court and the eagle-eyed officer who noticed that I apparently didn’t feed some hidden parking meter when I parked in a group of other cars and gave me a 25 euro parking ticket. This event provided great joy to the hotel staff who couldn’t stop laughing when I asked them to translate the citation. “Didn’t you see the sign?”, my reply, “everything is in German, no English anywhere!” The clerks’ reply “you should learn German then”. I gave up, he had me with that.
To: Natalie at Hertz Vehicle Rental. You would’ve thought the vehicle I had rented belonged to her personally. When I returned it, she examined that car like it was a crime scene. Somehow I passed, no damage whatsoever.
It was a great trip, made up of many events that give it depth and make it wonderfully memorable.