Publishing stories of fascinating Prairie People and Unsung Heroes

Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver - author, editor, and publisher of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan. We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also publish genres of healing and wellness, humour, children's fiction, and rural poetry. Visit our website to learn more about our books.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Never Leave Your Wingman's Excellent European Adventure - Part 1 - Austria

Hello there. It's me, the Never Leave Your Wingman book. That's right. A book.

You're not going to believe what I did this summer. It was amazing! I can hardly wait to tell you about it...

So you may know that I am already a widely travelled book. I have been told by my author (Deana Driver) and her husband Al (who are also my publishers) and from my subjects (seven-time cancer survivor - oops, excuse me - eight-time cancer survivor Dionne Warner and her wingman husband Graham) that copies of me have been enjoyed by readers in Canada (where I'm from), the United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Austria, Australia, England, Italy, Brazil, France, Israel, and several other countries.

Personally, I am pleased that my happy story ... er, Dionne and Graham's happy story ... of love, courage and hope is being shared by so many readers in places far away from where I was created.

So imagine my surprise when my author told me this summer that she was taking me on vacation. And not just any old vacation to the beach or to see the family. She was taking me to Europe!

Wow. What an adventure!

I not only get to tell a beautiful, bestselling, fun-filled, inspiring love story about a multiple-cancer survivor who dresses up in costume and dances into chemo with her romantic wingman-husband at her side... I get to go to Europe, too!

You could have knocked me over with a feather when she told me about the vacation. Of course it would have had to be a very BIG feather because I am a full-bodied girl - at 272 pages (including the 32 pages of full-colour photographs).

Anyway ... I just knew this was going to be a marvelous adventure... so it only seemed right that I should share my experiences with you, my loyal readers. So hang on tight! We're going to have some FUN in Europe!

Here I am, peeking out of my author's bag, ready to go to the airport in Regina, Saskatchewan - my home city - to start my big trip.


Here, I'm waiting to board the WestJet plane to Toronto, Ontario - which also happens to be where the lovely Dionne Warner (the main subject of me) was born.

There's the plane! There's the plane! Oh my gosh, I can hardly wait!

Those WestJet folks are pretty nice - and funny, too. I can't say I visited with them much on the flight, though. I was resting up for my big journey.

Once we got to Toronto, we had a short wait in the airport before boarding our Condor Air flight to Frankfurt, Germany. 

My publishers have done a lot of travelling in North America, but this was their first trip to Europe, so they told me they were kind of unsure about a few things. They had not heard of Condor Air before this trip and they joked that they hoped the plane wasn't like the Condor Air from the Flintstones cartoons - a giant bird with a little seat on its back. Silly publishers.

To our relief, it was definitely not a giant bird. At least not a real bird. The flight was great and we all landed in Frankfurt safe and sound about eight hours later.

The first stop on our journey was the resort village of St. Johann im Pongau in Austria. Skiing in the winter, sweltering in the summer, pretty all the time.

I liked it in Austria. Of course, I like adventure and mountains and exploring new things, so I was a happy girl. My author was a little uncomfortable, though. Although she also loves the same things I love, it was 38 degrees Celsius outside and there was no air conditioning inside. Canadian Prairie girls aren't used to that much heat. Even on our hottest days of summer, it rarely gets past 35 degrees. Anyway, we all got through it just fine and enjoyed the sights in beautiful Austria.

First, we drove to Salzburg.

I didn't drive, of course. I'm only a book, silly. Publisher Al did all the driving for the three of us. Thank you, Al. And the rental car had a LOT more kilometres on it (9,348 to be exact!) by the time we were done our excellent adventure.

Anyway, Al drove us all to Salzburg for a day trip and I happily went along wherever and whenever my publishers invited me to come and see the sights.

In Salzburg, we took the funicular (a gondola-type elevator ride) up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress which overlooks the square.

There's the fortress, behind and above this cool fountain.

Here's my author, showing me the great view of Salzburg from the steps of the Fortress. Nice, huh?

On another day, we travelled to Vienna (or Wien, as it's called in Austria). We ate lunch on a bench overlooking the gorgeous gardens of the Schonbrunn/Hofburg Palace, the former summer residence of the Habsburgs, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This palace has 1,441 rooms! Can you believe it? And I thought cleaning my little corner of the bookshelf was a tough job.

Can you see me in this photo?

How about now?

Yep, I am hanging out with some cute little bums on the back steps of the palace. There's nothing like cherubs to make you smile.

It was pretty darn hot in Vienna, too, in August, so we cooled down with a tasty treat - gelato. I like strawberry. Yummy!

Then came my favourite day in Austria - with a day trip to Hohe Tauern National Park.

Grossglockner is the highest mountain in the Austrian Alps at 3,798 metres. The Grossglockner glacier is the longest glacier in Eastern Europe.

I loved the view I got of the Grossglockner from behind these two chunks of mountain. 

The Austrian Alps are gorgeous, aren't they?

Here I am again, taking a front-row seat while we head back to the resort. I soon discovered that every single road we drove on in Europe - even in the small towns and countryside - was paved and in either excellent or great shape. Too bad we can't do that in Saskatchewan, but we do have more roads here than in any other Canadian jurisdiction and we do have a pretty small population by comparison. Sigh. One can always dream.

But we don't have tunnels in Saskatchewan. At least, not like this one and the dozen or so others we drove through to get to and around mountains, hills and various other bits of European geography. Publisher Al did very well driving us around western Europe. I am very proud of him.

So where did we go next? I'll give you a hint...

Stay tuned....

Here's my next blog in this series

1 comment:

  1. A big WHOO HOO for having fun like our Angel Dee./