MANDYLAND

Mandyland

MANDYLAND

I took a trip in 2017 to Seoul, South Korea, which was the first time I stepped foot outside my own country in over twenty years. I had never even owned a passport before! I absolutely loved the experience of traveling somewhere so different from what I know, and decided I need more travel in my life. My children are growing up and flying the nest, leaving me with more freedom, time and money than I've had in decades! It is my hope to experience amazing adventures in my future, whether they be in far-away lands or right in my backyard.



Europe » Austria » Vienna April 9th 2019

Today, we meandered over to the lovely Old City again. There is never a shortage of things to see there. I love walking around the pedestrian shopping streets and the Hofburg Palace. We did that, and sat down in an outdoor cafe for some coffee. I ordered an ice coffee, and was delightfully surprised that it came with with ice cream in it. Who knew? After this, we went to the Capuchin Church to see the Imperial Crypts. This is where 145 royal family members are buried in beautifully ornate pewter tombs. This place was fascinating. The church doesn't look very big from the outside, but the basement is so expansive, it seems to go on forever. Each casket was unique, and I recognized many of the names on the corresponding placards: Franz Josef, Maria Theresa, ... read more
Imperial Crypts
Imperial Crypts
Imperial Crypts

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 8th 2019

Today was the day we set aside to visit Schonnbrunn, probably the number one attraction in Vienna. Our plan was to get there early and spend the day exploring as much as we could, while taking plenty of time to relax so we don't burn out. We got to the palace right when it opened. There were crowds, but honestly, the place is so large and spread out that I never felt crowded. Our Vienna Passes allowed us entry to basically everything here. We started with the palace itself. It is huge and yellow, and not nearly as pretty as Hofburg or Belvedere. I find it funny that this was the summer palace of the Hapsburgs, only about twenty minutes away from the regular palace. Seriously, how many palaces does one need? I did not get ... read more
Schonnbrunn
Schonnbrunn
Schonnbrunn

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 7th 2019

On Sunday morning, Mom and I went to mass at St Augustine Chapel. It was perfectly pleasant the first forty five minutes, then it just got old. I was bored out of my skull. An hour and a half long mass is too much for me! I entertained myself by giving all my pew neighbors names and fabulous backstories. Little did I know I'd keep running into these new 'friends' throughout the day...haha!! After this, it was on to the beautiful Palmenhaus, which houses a butterfly garden. We figured seeing butterflies in such a remarkable setting would be worth the entry fee, and we were right. We wandered around the small garden's paths, trying to photograph the glamorous bugs. I learned that the prettiest butterflies were the most elusive, and the less attractive ones were a ... read more
Vienna
Palmenhaus and the butterfly garden
Palmenhaus and the butterfly garden

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 6th 2019

Saturday was another nice spring day. Our goal was to visit Belvedere Palace, which required using the tram system. We figured it out easily enough. The trams, trains and subways all use the same pass, and are interchangeable. With one day pass, you can ride all three modes of transportation! I was really beginning to dig the public transport here! The only thing about trams is you literally have to dodge them when walking around the city. We arrived at Belvedere and I was in awe, once again. The complex consists of two palaces..Upper and Lower Belvedere, with a lovely expanse of green in between. I'm sure it gets even more beautiful in later months, as not much was in bloom yet in April. We enjoyed taking photos of each other in front of statues (required!) ... read more
Belvedere
Belvedere
Belvedere

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 5th 2019

Now that we are settled into our home and have gotten over jet lag, we figured it was time to start being tourists. In the morning, we had some breakfast in our apartment and set off to learn the metro. We had a handy little Rick Steves pocket guide with a map of the subway/tram lines, and we would use it often. This was a good reminder of me to not completely rely on my phone and internet; sometimes it's nice to have paper! The metro in Vienna is easy to learn, clean, and not too expensive. It was only a two minute walk to the station, and a quick ride to the city center. We ended up on Kartner street.. a lovely pedestrian street full of high-end fancy stores and outdoor cafes. This was our ... read more
Historic City Center
Historic City Center
Historic City Center

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 4th 2019

This morning was definitely a slow one. We were still jet-lagged and weary from travel, and were not in a hurry to get up and get moving. We slept it longer than we should have, and spent some time relaxing. We walked down the street for some breakfast at Cafe Standard, another fine Viennese establishment. Breakfast was simply pastries and coffee. We took a short walk just for the heck of it, and returned to the room. We had to check out of the hotel and move to the Airbnb which would be our home for the next two weeks. This move really took up most of the afternoon. There was some miscommunication with the Airbnb host. I did not have anyway to get a hold of him unless I had wifi, so when he was ... read more
Prater
Prater
Prater

Europe » Austria » Vienna April 3rd 2019

Ah, we finally arrived! Vienna's airport seemed way smaller than O'Hare, and wasn't at all busy. We made our way to baggage claim, and easily found the taxi stands. We took a pretty expensive taxi ride to our hotel. That's the thing when travelling with Mom; she is almost 79 and is over the skimping in life. I probably would've taken the 16 dollar train, but the taxi was quite nice after such a long, sleepless flight. Our driver was nice enough, but we did hit some traffic and it took us about an hour. I didn't have much of an impression of Vienna yet. My mind was so tired, it could barely form thoughts. We finally made it to Holiday Inn Vienna City, and checked our bags. We weren't able to check in for three ... read more
Naschmarkt
Naschmarkt
Cafe Savoy

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago April 2nd 2019

I woke up feeling pretty well rested from my amazing stay at Comfort Inn. I took advantage of the free breakfast and then took the free shuttle to the Syracuse Hancock Airport. My first flight went smoothly. The flight was packed, but it was only two hours to Chicago, if that. No biggie. Then I got to O'Hare. This is were things got stressful. I did some research and learned that the international flight terminal is separate from the other terminals, and the usual express rail that transports you there was down for renovations until the fall of 2019. Not to worry, I read. There would be plenty of shuttles and buses for us travelers. I got off my flight and decided to immediately get to my gate. At first, O'Hare seemed so beautiful and cool. ... read more
Chicaco O'Hare
Chicaco O'Hare
Chicaco O'Hare

North America » United States » New York » Cicero April 1st 2019

The day finally came! I was off the whole day, had the house to myself and not much planned. Since I'd be gone for two weeks, I wanted to make sure I had all my bases covered. Bills were paid, the fridge was cleaned, I even stocked up on some freezer stuff so I don/'t have to shop right away upon returning. I took my time finalizing all my packing, and finally left the house at noon. I had a reservation at Comfort Suites Cicero/Syracuse North, but could not check in until three. I stopped in Clay for some last minute shopping. I lucked out and finally found a good spring coat for my trip, and a smaller wallet. When three rolled around, I finally checked into the hotel. I only paid 125 USD for one ... read more

North America » United States » Ohio » Sandusky August 4th 2015

Every year, my entire family spends a day at Cedar Point, and this year was no exception. First off, we never pay full price for tickets. My niece found a Groupon deal at twenty bucks, quite a bargain! In previous years, we pre-purchased tickets at local Drug Marts. After we enter the park, we rent a stroller for the day. We may not have a baby with us, but we do have beach bags with towels, swimsuits, sunscreen and bug spray, and some contraband water bottles and snacks. You are not supposed to bring food and drink into the park, but we sneak it in and have never been caught. The food is pricey and low in quality at the Point, so having snacks on hand is a good idea. Letting the stroller carry the load ... read more
Cedar Point
Cedar Point
Cedar Point




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