5 July ’04. Monday. We are getting old-hand at using the local transportation systems and today was no exception. We were off to meeting the Chouinards at the Schonbrunn Palace which was the summer home of Empress Maria Teresa Hapsburg. This palace was very much like Versailles in France. As we went into the receiving courtyard there was a large sign warning all visitors of “pickpockets” in the area. Luckily we didn’t encounter any. As Louise has mentioned in her journal we were only able to see about 40 rooms and all the grounds of the Palace, but those that we did see were just incredible.
We were also able to read a lot of Elisabeth’s “Sissy” personal poems and I was really struck with them. She wasn’t a real happy person in the roll of royalty. It seems that having married at 16 set up a life that was difficult to jump into and maintain with very little personal time for herself. Her writings were very good but at the same time very sad. Her husband was a man with a lot of integrity and loved her very much but that wasn’t enough. She also had a baby die at 2 years and then her son Rudolf died of suicide at 32. From that time on she wore nothing but black except on one occasion of a wedding she wore gray. A tough life, and a person that even today is loved and admired by all Austrians. Anyway, I was impressed as to how much Lou and Drew stayed with the program and really enjoyed it. There was a break from all the audio and room traveling that gave them a little time for themselves as well.
A great “maze”… it seems that Drew was the only one to find his was out without help. He made sure that I knew he had to help his mother and grandma out or they might still be there today. Well, it seems that “Bumble Bee” will have a house guest tonight….Lil Louise is going to spend the night with us. The rest of her family are going on a train/boat adventure and she opted out to spend the night. Tomorrow….time out