25 February 2010

WU Ball at the Vienna Hofburg

We went to the ball in January, but we were waiting to get some pics from our friends since we didn't take many (we were using our babysitter's camera, ours was broken). By the way, Chris typed the first half of the post, and Karen the second, so it might be confusing, but just assume if the commentary is about women's footwear or something, it was probably Karen who wrote it...

The WU Ball at the Vienna Hofburg is at the Vienna Imperial Palace where up to 4000 students, alumni, or faculty get together and party until 5am. Yes, the ball starts around 9pm and ends at 5am. It's a black-tie thing, so men need to wear a tux or at least a suit with bow tie and women need to have a floor length evening gown. We've blogged about part of the Vienna Hofburg previously.

The first thing we were greeted by inside was a mob-packed entry way. We had to wait in a big line to pick up our tickets from the will-call, but. Austrians don't really believe in orderly lines so it was easy to nonchalantly move our way in front of everyone else. Fortunately, when you look like James Bond its easy to be nonchalant.

Here's Karen showing off her Damenspende, a free gift that all women get at the ball. She got some breath mints with a mirror inside and some hair spray. The men got a bar of chocolate!

We met up with some friends from school: Everton and his wife Andrea, and Thomas and Elisabeth (on the right)

Couples were taking turns making poses in front of this bust/statue of the Kaiser (emperor), so we decided to abandon all protocol and act like the awkward and out of place Americans that we are at a fancy European ball in a palace.

The ball inside this section of the palace is arranged into a series of rooms. It's basically a mixture of bars and dance floors with live music in each room.

Karen is enjoying her $5 glass of orange juice that is literally about 4 sips worth of liquid! It may be for students and faculty, but it is still very expensive. There were some tables, which were available for reservation to sit at, and the prices were as high as $1400 for a table with 9 seats. Not including food, drinks, etc.

All Viennese Balls open with the traditional Waltz dance. Dance couples who have signed up in advance can take part in this fancy dance they do. It's pretty impressive.... if you can see it.

As you can see, we couldn't see through the crowds lined up to watch the opening dance, so once again the awkward-tourist-American persona took over. But the Austrians must have been impressed because several people took pictures of us, and two people even handed Karen their camera for her to take pictures for them as well while she was up there.

As we wandered through all the rooms we came here... where this random band dressed like they're right out of the civil war was playing 50s Rock and Roll music. This was definately our favorite place to hang out, it was so funny.

Here we are pretending we know how to waltz. We tried to learn from some videos on youtube, and while we got the basic idea, I think it still needs some work. We must have looked pretty confidant however, because Elizabeth told us we looked good walzing... hmm, maybe she doesn't know how to waltz either...

This fancy schmancy room had big band music, and the weird part was that no one was swing dancing... they were all waltzing!

There was a room sponsored by Loreal where ladies could go get their hair fixed up during the evening by professional hairstylists. My hair was looking a little messy... a combination of running for the bus, dancing, and the snowstorm outside...

Here was the orchestra playing in the main Festival Hall.

Since it felt like we were at a fancier version of a high school prom, we figured we should take some traditional Prom Pose pictures. If only I had a corsage.

And some not so traditional prom poses...

So we saw this girl laying on the stairs, and I mean Laying Down on the stairs, getting her picture taken. It was very strange. So Andrea and I decided it would be funny to pose on the stairs too. Chris says, if having a red carpet on the stairs encourages women to crawl around like a tiger, then we need red carpet in our house. Nice.

Everton talking excitedly on the phone about chicken sales (he sells chicken... turkey too!) I (Chris) keep asking him to get a deal, but he says to get a deal I have to buy the chicken in tons - guess we need a bigger freezer...

Who is that handsome man? I just had to take his photo and ask for a dance... or two...

Chris was fan of the wood floors. A comment on my footwear - I had planned on wearing cute heels, but it was very cold and snowy that week. I kept debating about it, but in the end, the snowstorm outside and the fact that we had to walk to the palace from the U-bahn helped me choose the boots, very classy. On the plus side, I was the only woman there who was not complaining that my feet hurt by 11:00.

And now for the traditional ball food - hot dogs with a roll. I saw people eating this with their hands and I thought, "At a ball? You have got to be kidding me!" But this is a very traditional Viennese ball food, was easy to eat without getting messy, and tasted really good.

A very handsome couple.

And there we are again...

One more time! Here we are leaving the ball at 1:30 am. We didn't make it until 5 am on account of the fact that we were leaving to go skiing at 6am the next morning. But! I could have stayed all night without being sick of it, the ball was so much fun.

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