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Vienna Diary: It’s all in the details

July 21st, 2010 · 10 Comments · travel

Vienna Diary is a short series about my weekend at Life Ball. Now that the big awesome online package for The Huffington Post is complete, thought I’d share with you all the extra tidbits of glamour and glitz that didn’t make it in.

{Red carpet entrance to Life Ball’s opening ceremony}

I’m baaaaaaack! Going to Vienna for the Life Ball weekend was the trip of a lifetime. The jam packed activities during my 48-hour itinerary was enough to fill two weeks. How amazing was this trip? Well, just check out these details…

{Surprise perk #1: A business-class seat on the Life Ball chartered-plane.}

As part of a group of journalists with Kenneth Cole, we were seated in these super-roomy, as-comfortable-as-it-gets-on-a-plane seats. It was my first time flying business class. (Now I understand why SATC’s Carrie is insistent on traveling this way.) Attendants were always ready to hand over a glass of champagne or wine. When it came to meal time it was hands-off bringing out the tray table. The attendant would setup the eating area for you. There must have been six to eight pieces of silverware for the three to four course meal? There was one piece that puzzled me. Included in each silverware set was a tiny clothes pin. I found out after the fact, from a photographer who often flies business class, that it was to pin the the napkin to your shirt. How fancy!

{My room at Le Meridien in Vienna}

It’s fortunate and unfortunate that I got just about two hours of sleep while in Vienna. I didn’t want to miss anything! From the glitzy parties to updating my Facebook for friends and family during the wee hours of the morning, sleep was my last priority. For the brief hour I slept on this bed, perhaps it was out of delirium or exhaustion, I can only describe the experience as what I imagine it would be to sink into a cloud made of marshmallows.  Just an hour before the ball the chaise made a good power napping couch, without getting too comfortable in a bed.

(Surprise perk #2: The pink bathtub.)

This bathtub saved me numerous times from the sweltering heat of Vienna. I’d say temperatures were easily in the mid to upper 90s. Following a morning, afternoon or evening running around the city I’d jump in for a quick dip and a good lather before jetting out the door for the next event. A separate bathtub from the shower is always nice, it feels so much more luxurious. The first night, probably around 2 a.m., I ran a bath, had the speakers in the bathroom playing classical music and sipped some champagne. It really was the best bath of my life.

{Surprise perk #3: A note and chilled champagne}

If you look closely at the previous photo of my room at Le Meridien you’ll see this sitting on the table. I saw the envelope, opened it up, and as you can see Kenneth Cole was kind enough to leave a handwritten note along with a bottle of  chilled champagne waiting for me in my hotel room. I literally had to sit down because everything leading up to that moment felt  jaw-dropping incredible.

{My closet at Le Meridien}

It’s really the simple details in life that get me. For instance, this closet. The light inside the hanging rod, what a fantastic idea! I know, I know. I brought a lot of dresses just for the weekend but hey, I knew I’d be in a group of very fashionable people. I needed options.

{The quintessential Viennese coffeehouse}

In an attempt to escape the sweltering heat, I was instantly reminded upon walking into the elegant Cafe Ritter that air conditioning is a rarity in most restaurants. In hopes of cooling down, I ordered an iced coffee and an Austrian homemade cake. My coffee came out with a small glass of water and I was reminded of  the research I  read on Viennese coffee houses.  The cup of tap water is a bit of a luxury that most tourists mistake for a health hazard. The water comes from Alps. Take that Evian!

{A morning stroll at Volksgarten}

The Volksgarten is a park in front the Vienna’s City Hall and next to the Burgtheater (pictured in the distance). It’s full of well-kept roses, romantic water fountains and meandering walkways. I spent a morning just admiring the roses when a nice old man invited me to his Tai Chi/Qigong class in the middle of a field surrounded by shady trees. I learned how to count to ten in German as a result. Talk about carpe diem-ing it!

{Intermission room at Vienna Opera House}

Chandeliers in Europe are the equivalent of flower arrangements in the United States. Everywhere you look they add class and charm to each room. I was lucky to get my own guided tour around the Vienna Opera House. All the intermission rooms had chandeliers that were simply stunning.

{amfAR Gala at Vienna Parliament}

Whether it was wine, champagne, a mimosa, everywhere I turned there was always a server ready to hand over a drink of my choice. It didn’t matter if I was on the plane, at a cocktail party, or at dinner there was always booze.

{amfAR Gala appetizer plate}

The table setting at the gala dinner was amazing. I had to watch out for the red and yellow accents on my plate. I’m so klutzy and nearly stained my gown. The starter included olive cornet filled with cream cheese, tender duck breast fillet with pistachio cream and marinated and fried  boletus mushrooms. I’m a bit regretful that I didn’t save my name card as a souvenir but c’est la vie.

{Room service}

The morning after Life Ball  I sat in my room attempting to get started on my article, but it just wasn’t happening. God only knows how much champagne I had that night. So I ordered this delicious vegetarian pizza. I’m already missing this experience. Why can’t life be like this everyday?

Coming up tomorrow: The juicy stuff!  Celebrity photos and stories.

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tweets that mention Vienna Diary: It’s all in the details -- Topsy.com // Jul 21, 2010 at 10:57 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brittany Levine, Lindsey Baguio. Lindsey Baguio said: What was it like to be a VIP journalist at #LifeBall this year? Check it out – http://ow.ly/2eDb3 […]

  • 2 Miss Charm « Эхо блогосферы // Jul 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    […] Lindsey пишет: I didn't want to miss anything! From the glitzy parties to updating my Facebook for friends and family during the wee hours of the morning, sleep was my last priority. For the brief hour I slept on this bed, perhaps it was out of delirium … Everywhere you look they add class and charm to each room. I was lucky to get my own guided tour around the Vienna Opera House. All the intermission rooms had chandeliers that were simply stunning. {amfAR Gala at Vienna Parliament} … […]

  • 3 Annie // Jul 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Wow Lindsey, what a trip!!!! So amazing. I’m loving that pink bath tub :)

  • 4 Emily @ The Happy Home // Jul 21, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    this looks just too good to be true. absolutely amazing!

    (if you could break down the contents of that Viennese coffee, I would be very much obliged. And that white dress with the tiered ruffles? gorgeous– even at this angle!)

  • 5 Jackie // Jul 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Wow, that must have been an amazing experience! I was half-expecting to see a picture of the tiny clothespin.
    I know you do freelance journalism, could I ask how you managed to get a “break” after college? I’m set to graduate soon and have wondered how I will get my foot in the door of a prospective employer.

  • 6 veterinary technician // Jul 22, 2010 at 12:09 am

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  • 7 Lindsey // Jul 22, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Thanks Annie! I love that tub too. Wish I could’ve taken it home with me ;)

  • 8 Lindsey // Jul 22, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Emily, I had to keep pinching myself because it truly felt unreal! It was an all-expenses paid assignment. My first international one! As for the iced coffee, the ingredients were very simple: coffee, a scoop of ice cream and a dollop of homemade whip cream. And that dress, it’s a pale buttery yellow. I have yet to wear it. It’s an H&M find, one of my favorite places to shop!

  • 9 Lindsey // Jul 22, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Hi Jackie, It’s a very competitive world out there. Not only are you competing among your graduating class there are some very talented writings veterans in the employment pool (due to cutbacks across the industry). The Internet is a great way to get your foot in the door. Maintain your blog, daily if possible. Seek out mentors. See who is writing your favorite articles/posts and ask to meet with them. Most of the time I’ve found that people whose work I admire are willing to sit down and pass on their words of wisdom, especially to college kids. Make sure you have a couple solid internships under your belt – your connections and the references will be invaluable. If you’ve got the initiative, talent and thick skin you will go very far. Good luck! And thanks for reading :)

  • 10 Kelly // Jul 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Amazing amazing and amazing!!! :D This is so super exciting. I can’t wait to hear more about it! :D

    <3 Kelly

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