The last days I spent in Vienna were such rich times with friends I've made there. The good-byes were bittersweet - great celebrations of friendships, many of which will last over time and distance, yet sad to know that we won't be able to see each other as easily or often anymore. I'm so thankful for all the good memories of these final days before I moved back to the States.
My friend Jayne, from church, took Sandi and I to paint a set of egg cups at a Made By You store. Egg cups are very common in Europe and a souvenir I wanted to take home with me. Jayne thought of a way to make it even more special by having us paint a set together. We used photos of poppies as the inspiration for our original set and we talked about eating soft-cooked eggs together in these cups the next time Jayne and Sandi visit me in Wisconsin.
We ate lunch with Nels and Sandi P. at our favorite neighborhood pizzeria. Sandi and I shared the incredible Broccoli al Forno. It's an "uberbacken" dish, which Sandi translates "heavenly goodness". I also said good-bye to the owner, Mohammed, who has been so kind to us each time we've eaten at his restaurant.
This sweet family - the de Jongs - have become such good friends to both Sandi and I. We enjoyed a picnic with them before heading to church together. I've had the privilege of teaching two of the four de Jong children and Bea has been such a kind and encouraging friend through the years.
Leslie and Felix had Sandi and I over for dinner at their apartment. Sandi enjoyed meeting Felix and seeing how they've settled in to their new apartment since they married last summer. Leslie made a scrumptious stir-fry and we played a favorite game, 'Zug am Zug' (Ticket to Ride, in English).
Brian and Betka used to be neighbors in my first apartment building and are also friends from school and church. Betka baked homemade apple strudel for my last day before leaving Austria! I'm glad they visit Chicago when they come to the U.S. - I look forward to visiting them there in the future.