We haven’t had many of our friends take us up on our standing offer to play host here in Vienna, but we’ve had a memorable time on each occasion that someone has. We’ve hosted my mom, two of my sisters, Dan’s parents, Dan’s uncle, our friends Pam and Joshua, and now our friends Fotis, Claudia and Eva. We love it, each time. Of course, it’s wonderful to get to spend so much time hanging out and catching up with friends and family (the sensation of feeling like we’re picking up just where we left off is marvelous) but it also gives us a new appreciation for how fantastic Vienna is. We get to see it through fresh eyes each time someone comes to see us.
After two years, we’ve established a pretty good repertoire of sightseeing stops and tours. We always suggest that everyone goes to see St. Stephen’s, the Hofburg, the Volksgarten, the Rathaus, the Graben, Michaelerplatz and Schönbrunn. We love to help everyone make the most of the amazing public transportation system. We love sharing all of our favorite sights along the ring. And, of course, we have our very favorite authentic-but-not-too-touristy restaurants, and our must have local bakery items.
And each time that we share those things with our friends, we appreciate them a little bit more. It’s surprising to realize it, but after two years of living in Austria, there are parts of it — some of our favorite, most wonderful parts — that we’ve stopped appreciating as much as we ought to. We take a lot of this lifestyle for granted these days. Sharing it with friends and family reminds us to be amazed and inspired all over again.