** I actually wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but never actually had time to post it.**

Wow, it seems really strange to be typing 101 up in the title. I can’t believe it’s been over 100 days since I arrived in Vienna. I feel like 100 days is not really long, but I’ve done so much in 100 days, that I don’t think I would remember it all if it weren’t for this blog.

Everyone is starting to get restless now. We have less than two weeks left before the end of the term. Our last week will be filled with finals and then everyone is off to the airport. However, I will be going to the airport not to leave, but to pick up my family! I can’t wait to see them and show them everything I’ve come to love about Vienna.

For class we headed to the Upper Belvedere, which is host to a large number of Gustav Klimt pieces. Klimt is one of the more famous artists from Vienna. In the Belvedere is one of his most loved pieces “The Kiss”. It was a really great exhibit over Klimt, because it went through his style change, from more realistic paintings to painting in gold and 2D, to painting garden scenes.

We were also given the opportunity to visit the U.S. Embassy. The security, as you can probably imagine, was really strict, but the meeting we had with one of the ambassadors was really informal. It was a nice insight into the tasks and jobs an ambassador has in other countries.

That week was also my 21st birthday, but it was on a Wednesday so we didn’t really do anything. My host mom was really sweet though, and when I got home from class she made me dinner, we had cake and then she gave me presents. I didn’t have enough room to pack a lot of things when I came here, so I left out gloves and a hat. My host mom would always complain and say I was going to freeze to death, so she got me a hat, scarf and gloves for my birthday.

That weekend, I was thrown a surprise birthday party! We went to a weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market), between two of the larger museums in Vienna, and wandered around, then they took me to a Austrian restaurant and we all had traditional Austrian dishes. Lastly, we went to the movie theater and watched Perks of Being A Wallflower. We didn’t want to go home after the movie so we found this cocktail bar called New Yorker and had drinks. It played all the old movie soundtracks like the James Bond and at one point the Mission Impossible theme. We all felt like secret agents sitting in a smoky (people are allowed to smoke inside in Austria) and dark cocktail bar. It was a really great night and I couldn’t have asked for more!

Thursday was also Thanksgiving, for which the Institute hosted a traditional American dinner for us at the restaurant 1516. Some of our professors came, friends from the Institute, and also our speaking assistants. The food was actually pretty good, although there was a strange grey-looking mushroom dish that no one touched.

Annika, Ari and I also traveled to the United Nations. It was the third one built after the New York and Geneva buildings. The UN in Vienna has many jobs, but one of the most important is probably its regulation of Atomic Energy. The tour was really amazing. Our tour guide told us a lot of the reasons that a UN is good, but she also talked about why it doesn’t always work and the problems that it faces. It was a good two-sided tour.

This week has been really hectic, but we are all starting to feel the pressure of time. There’s still so much to do, but just not enough time to do it. However, we have all agreed that our time here hasn’t gone to waste!

The weekend before finals Annika and I walked down the Danube Canal, which is right by my house. It’s a really nice path that basically follows the river through the city. The sides are always covered in graffiti, but I think it adds character.

Along the Danube

We visited Christine’s (one of our speaking partner) horse, he was really cute and she let us sit on him for a photo op.

Horse

After meeting Christine’s horse we took a long walk in the woods. We were in one of the towns just outside Vienna and the woods were really beautiful. Christine had her dog Jack there. He loved to run ahead of us and jump in the creek that ran alongside the trail.

Jack

Fall Leaves

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