Hello again...thank you for your wonderful and kind comments! It's encouraging! (NOTE. I am somehow unable to do spellcheck so please be warned....spelling is NOT my thing...I hope I can go back and edit later with it, but it is NOT working today!)
Now...I left off last on Arrival Day. First up (since some of you were actually wondering...and thank you for your concern) LULU...I returned to the Hotel Grödig to find everyone settled in their rooms (probably brushing their teeth...something my sister Wanda and I can't wait to do as soon as we get off a plane!)...I went up to our room and told Vipin about my mother's call as I was dialing my parent's number... My Mom told me what happened, my parents were getting ready for bed, LuLu was on their bed playing with her little pony (stuffed animal/best friend) and her leg slid between the foot board and the mattress and she started to slip off the bed...my mother was litterally just a step away but too late to help her and her leg broke (Mom said she heard a snap...and then a horrible cry out in pain!...my heart was racing)....so they quickly called Danny (Danny is Dr. Daniel Soursa, friends call him 'Dan'...those that have known him since Nursery School and gone to school with him all the way to high school graduation call him 'Danny')...got him up (thanks Danny!) and over to his beautiful office (the one and only Slippery Rock Veterinary Hospital - LuLu has been their patient since the first day we brought her home to live with us....and this is also where she gets her nails done...they unfortunately do not offer the same for me, otherwise we would BOTH get our nails done there!!!!) and Danny assessed the situation. He gave LuLu a sedative and said they should leave her there until the morning (he was hoping she had just put her leg out of the socket...something he can reset himself and something that happens with little dogs) but my Mother refused...poor little LuLu has never spend a night without a person nor a night without a lap or bed to sleep in/on (um...what can I say, she is spoiled and my little princess!). So they agreed to take her back home and return in the morning. They returned the next morning (were at his office before 8am waiting) only to discover after X-rays that her leg was in fact broken! I can't even imagine how much pain my little baby was going through, or of the lack of sleep my parents had that night worrying about and caring for her! Danny made an emergency appointment with one of his colleagues in Pittsburgh - a vet that specializes in little dogs and would be best for LuLu. My mother wrote down all the directions (care for LuLu, how to get to this new vet's place, etc.) and they were now at home waiting to go to the appointment!!!!
Now..the group was given the option to rest (but I heavily stressed that they should seriously try not to take naps or sleep so that they could easily adjust to the time change....'Force yourself to stay awake until about 9PM...even if it seems impossible, then you will sleep well, and be able to rise and shine tomorrow.') just a bit and then meet me for a Walking Tour of Grödig. This tour is very informal and good to go on for everyone because we walk from the hotel into town and everyone can learn where things are and how to get around with ease. I was hoping everyone would go, and everyone was there to meet me!! It was fun for me as I waiting for everyone to gather because I got to hear the participants tell each other about their various pensions, Haus Fraus, etc. 'The featherbed is like a foot thick!' 'We have a sink and a shower in our room but the toilet is down the hall.' 'We have a view of the mountain...it's like RIGHT THERE!' 'Yeah, she is so sweet but she doesn't speak much English.'
First we walked the 5 minutes down the street to the Grödig Internet Cafe...Elvis came out to greet and meet us and everyone seemed to be relieved that they could get on-line right there and buy their phone cards without any problems and with Elvis, who was going to be sure they had everything they could possible need. Then on to the center to see the Sparkasse bank, post office, and pharmacy....then a bit more down the road to the Sagenhaft (a new restaurant....which is in the same location that the Gasthof Schnöll used to be...the 'Schnöll' was 'our place' every July from 1996 until I 2001...where we had many meals, many of us were housed, and hung out, etc., sadly the Pichler Family sold it, it was torn down and on the land an apartment was built, along with this new Sagenhaft place...however, I am pleased to report that the Pichlers are well and fine, they kept the back building -the one with the mural of the bull on it- and have had it beautifully renovated for 'old' Herr and Frau Pichler and a separate apartment house for Julian (a.k.a. 'JJ') and his family.)....we continued down the street to the Glan. This glan is a direct run off of water from the Untersberg and is a very deep and fast running type of creek - but NOT the kind you would want to fall into!! We are always sure to stress the dangers of this glan to the group....beside the glan is Tobias's hair salon (his sister's is across around the corner and we recommend both), and across the street is the Antique shop (an interesting store that I encouraged them all to go in and see....not a place where they will actually find something to buy necessarily, but definitely a place where they will see things that they have never seen before - everything from beautifully hand-painted antique schranks/wardrobes to chandeliers made from deer antlers)...then on around the corner to see the fantastic Grödig Second Hand Shop (full of top-of-the-line designer clothing and accessories for women...I got a vintage Prada purse there several years ago - fantastic!)...on to the Grödig Market Square, with it's fountain in the center....and of course I had to point out the Tohowabohu (the local bar and hang out for the collage aged students)...we continued on...I pointed out the places they would want to need to know about (of course also including the pastry shop, bookstore, and the new foot massage therapy place -I must go there and see what it is all about!!)...then on to the church, a lovely little church, with an amazing cemetery. Here Bill Schneberger told the group about the memorial outside the main entrance gate, and we went in to the cemetery for a quick peak (many of the professors return their for class..it is an amazing place). Then we continued to the school the back way...along a narrow road lined with houses that have gardens with fruit trees, flowering bushes, and of course every flower petal in place! I was hoping to distribute the bikes a day early, but unfortunately Georg (the 'bike guy') was unable to accommodate, so the tour ended at the school (which was where we first stopped in Grödig to unload our luggage earlier that afternoon).
The remainder of the evening was free...and many (as I had expected, hoped, and assumed) ate at Hotel Grödig's attached restaurant, Restaurant Rossini!!! Ifty and Elizabeth took every one's orders with ease and smiles (as always) and I got to sit down and relax a bit. Great to have some time and catch up with our 'repeaters'...especially Stephanie (this is her 5th year with CSA and although at this point we keep in touch weekly back home via phone, e-mail, cards and letters, it was so great to see her face-to-face again and have a proper 'gab session'). It also gave us a chance to go around table to table and say hello to everyone. (Stephanie and I even went to a table of local Austrian children only to meet two best friends, ages 9 named Steffi and Sonja!!). I heard from Diana that she and her roommates went directly to the Grödig Internet Cafe after the walking tour....she told me that she could hear Elvis speaking Macedonian to one of the men in the cafe and when they needed help with the keyboards (some of the keys are in different places on German keyboards including the @ key and it takes a minute to figure out where it is, etc.) Elvis was helping but his English was not fluent..so Diana asked him if he spoke Macedonian and he said 'Of course, I am from Macedonia.' and she replied back to him in her perfect Macedonian that she could translate!! So....needless to say Elvis was pleased, Diana's roommates got the help they needed and Diana now gets free Internet!! It was a wonderful end to a very long day for everyone!
Next morning....Orientation Day and into the city of Salzburg! Sweet dreams everyone......kisses to LuLu!!!