Between weekend trips, we had about 3 days with a doubleheader in the middle of them. I had practice on the other days, but they are in the evening so I usually have the whole day to hangout beforehand. The day after we got back from Salzburg, I took them up to the Hohe Wand Nature Park and skywalk. We also killed some time at the mall that day before practice. I looked at the weather the night before and it said it was supposed to be stormy. Originally, we weren’t going to go but the weather cleared up, as it usually does! I really wanted to show my visitors the beautiful views from up there and I’m so glad I could. We had a little picnic up there and spent a little bit of time just looking at the views. I took every opportunity I got to spend time with my mom because I knew the time would fly. I went to dinner with her and Katie after practice both days as well as after our games. One place we went to had employees that spoke very little English. That’s always a fun little adventure.
Our game schedule is everything but consistent. Sometimes we have a two week break and sometimes it’s a few days. Game days are my favorite, as you know, and it’s always really exciting when they come around. We were just about to start warming up and it started to rain a bit. About 20 minutes later it was warm and sunny and it stayed like that for the rest of the day. We wear warm up shirts up until a few minutes before game time. Putting a jersey on is another thing I will never take for granted. It’s such a special feeling for me. Once that goes on, it’s go time. Even more than it was before. You go from almost a blank slate to the name on the front and the number. It’s who you play for as well as your identity and you have to represent. I love it.
My mom got to watch me play for the first time in over a year. I loved seeing her out there with her camera again taking those amazing pictures she always gets. We played the Linz Witches, the team in first and the defending champs. We didn’t come out with the wins, but they were close games. We faced the best pitcher in Austria. they threw her both games because, well, they had to in order to win. Our team would have smoked any other pitcher they threw at us. Next time we play them it will be a different story. A hit here or there and we win both of them. I went 3-5 with a little bit of everything again. This time I played first in game one and third in game two. I still absolutely hate losing, but I am just grateful that I still have the opportunity to play the game that has given me more than I ever could have asked for.
We have been very busy since my little fam came into town. They needed to go see Vienna and a day before practice was our only opportunity. I took them through some places I’ve been to that I thought they’d like to see. I’m getting pretty good at navigating trains and subways by now! I showed them the Stephansdom, Museums Quartier, Austrian National Library, City Hall, and the Schonbrunn Palace all within about 5 hours. I loved seeing the reactions when a giant, beautiful building was standing right in front of us. My mom gasped and her jaw dropped when we walked in the cathedral. It was great. Mass was actually going when we were in there. I lit a prayer candle for my grandma too. Then, we took an elevator up to the bell tower and saw a rooftop view of Vienna. It kind of felt like a bird cage up there with how we were closed in. I love seeing the views from up high, but sometimes it flips the stomach upside down. The bell was huge and I’m really glad it wasn’t ringing while we were up there. We got our pictures and safely made it back down. There was a big souvenir shop right by the cathedral and of course we had to be all touristy and go inside. A month and half in and it was the first souvenir shop I’d been in. We spent a lot of time, and money, in there. I saw the Schonbrunn palace on a Vienna postcard and was determined to find it. First I found it on my phone map, then I had to find it on the subway map. Done and done, let’s go. We didn’t have a ton of time, so we just saw the back of it, but oh my goodness it was still quite amazing. Right after seeing the palace, we took a couple subways to the train station and hopped on a train back to Wiener Neustadt just in time for practice. I stayed at the hotel again because I can and it lets me spend more time with my momma 🙂 It’s a win win!
Next stop: Prague, Czech Republic