The German Wort of the day is Geheimnis, meaning secret. Its gender is neuter (das Geheimnis), because generally men and women are both equally secretive and sneaky. The story I'm about to relay, however, is a story of the sneakiness of men, specifically one man, named CameraMan.
A couple weeks ago, CM mentioned casually that he thought we should plan a nice dinner out once we got to Vienna, to celebrate the journey and reward ourselves for all the work that went into moving. He would research restaurants and we would dress up and have a night on the town, and did I think that might be fun? As it so happens, dressing up and going out to dinner with CM is pretty much my favorite way to spend a Saturday night, especially when I'm not in charge of deciding where we go. I told him I was excited that he was taking me on a romantic date, and he said, "Well, it's a date. I didn't say it would be romantic." The evening was henceforth referred to (by me, at least) as our "nonromantic date."
We spent Saturday running endless errands (knowing that all the stores would be closed Sunday). We got home from all of that, I blogged, we chatted briefly with our parents on Skype, and then we primped for our nonromantic date. CM was making this big Geheimnis of where we were having dinner, which I thought was kind of ridiculous; I had never eaten a fancy dinner in Vienna, so why would I care where we were going? I brattily informed him that he could keep it from me all he wanted, but of course I would know at least what neighborhood we were going to when he told our cab driver the address.
Dressed to the nines (I had on my latest opening night dress and my hot pink Barbie shoes, and he was wearing a suit!), we took this picture before going out. (CM looks kind of freaked out, doesn't he? But I didn't notice that at the time.)
And here's where he got really sneaky. He wrote down the address on a slip of paper, and when we got in the cab, he handed it to the driver and told him in perfect German that we were going to this address, but it was a Geheimnis for his girlfriend. The cab driver got a big kick out of this and promised not to say anything.
We drove through Vienna for a while admiring the incredible architecture that fills every neighborhood I've seen, and then we arrived at the Prater, which is an amusement park where nobody was dressed like us. I, of course, assumed that there must be a nice restaurant hidden somewhere inside. And I was right…sort of.
Okay, here's where sneaky turns into the most romantic thing EVER. One of the most famous landmarks in Vienna is the Riesenrad (it amuses me greatly that everywhere it gets translated into English they write GIANT FERRIS WHEEL). I've been on there before, with The Best Friend. You buy a ticket, stand in line, and slowly ride around once in a large enclosed cabin with about 10 or 12 other people, all jostling to look out the windows at the gorgeous view of the Prater and all of Vienna. It's nice.
Turns out, there's another way to ride the Riesenrad, which is in a private cabin for 2, over 2+ hours, while eating a delicious 3-course meal (with champagne before and coffee/hot chocolate after). And that's what we did.
Here's a view of our cabin:
Each course was served while our cabin was stopped at the bottom of the wheel, so during the actual rotations we were alone in there. We started with champagne, and almost as soon as the cabin began to move we were up and out of our chairs, staring out the windows, pinching ourselves at our good fortune.
We were right at the top when he got down on one knee.
I've pretty much been crying from happiness ever since.