Travel Journal (Days 15 & 16)
August 1, 2013

Travel Journal (Days 15 & 16)

Well, the last couple of days of the trip were pretty low key, so I figured I would write about them together. I will start with Sunday, July 28, our last day in Vienna.

Partially because it was so hot, but also because the trip was winding down, we had a very chill day. In the morning we went to Sch√∂nbrunn Palace, which is a very beautiful place. The students took many pictures of the vista and of each other. It is one of those places where you can’t help but feel like you are in Disney movie. We really just walked around the palace and looked at all the stunning architecture.

Afterwards, we grabbed some lunch at a German restaurant just down the road from our hostel. We were all starving because the heat zapped all of our energy. Then we dispersed for the afternoon. One group went to museums, another did more shopping (these are the shopping-ist group of travels I have experienced.), a third group went to rest in the hostel, and the final group went down to the Danube for a little swim to cool off.

The best part of the day, though, came that evening. We went to the store and gathered supplies for a spaghetti dinner. We got ingredients to make sauce, some wine, and spaghetti noodles and rice because I had rice with my sauce since I am gluten free. Then we all gathered back at the hostel and helped to make the dinner. My boyfriend (and the lead prof on the trip) made the sauce while some of the travelers cut up the dried meats and cheeses we had left over from the Naschmarket. Then I prepared the noodles, and everyone else just enjoyed the company (the latter folks also did the clean-up afterwards.). Everyone participated.

It was such a lovely evening and nice way to finish up Vienna.

On Monday, July 29, we first took a bus back to Prague. This was the first time we had really felt any air conditioning since we left the States. Many of the students absolutely fell in love with it. I think they are missing their luxuries quite a bit. For most of the students, this is their first time to travel internationally (and in general), so they had a hard time with not having ice in their drinks, having to pay for refills, and no air conditioning. It is good to remember how blessed we are, though.

In the afternoon, we all split up and did some last minute shopping and sight-seeing. Then it was back to repack and prep for our early morning flight. We had to be at the airport by 7:25am the next morning, which meant leaving the hostel apartments by 6:15am. Obviously, we had much prep to do before the trip home.

I hope that the students had as good a time as I did although I know a handful probably did not. There are always those who don’t, and I can’t please everyone. I know, though, that the trip was more positive than anything. Travel like this can be hard, but it is life changing, for sure. Tomorrow brings the flights home. For now, though, I must rest.

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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