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Hallstatt 2013 trip

January 14, 2016

built into the mountain

Ah! Hallstatt! It is beautiful here. We have been doing a lot of lovely relaxing here. Our room is amazing. Hardwood floors, king-size double bed, nice balcony overlooking the lake. We have been enjoying not doing anything. Lots of naps, reading, enjoying the view, and eating good meals and desserts.

stabilizers

At breakfast our waiter brings us all out a hot chocolate that has been really yummy. Emilie especially has loved this part of the morning. The local eggs they serve here have yolks that can be almost as orange as cheddar. I’ve been making deviled eggs or egg-salad at breakfast: yum!

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The dessert of choice here has been an ice cream sundae called Heiße Liebe, “Hot Love” which is vanilla ice cream, warm chunky raspberry sauce, and whipped cream. Everyone liked it so much that Yvette has made it on several occasions since we’ve been home.

townsquare

I loved this house/shop and its tree.

treehouse

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swan

The flock of swans

swans

We loved Hallstatt so much that we decided maybe we would send out Christmas cards later that year, an annual tradition we had thus far never undertaken… And still haven’t to this day in 2016. This is the picture I would have chosen. Merry Christmas two years ago! It’s probably the only year I had a real excuse not to send them out because it was the last month before having baby and that was definitely the most uncomfortable.

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The one activity we had planned during our stay was a visit to the famous salt mines. They are the oldest known salt mines in the world, and are still in use today. This is the tram ride track. Pretty steep!

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The best part about the mines is that they have slides! When you buy your tickets they give you this little outfit to wear over your clothes to protect them from getting dirty. The seat of the pants have some extra thick padding.

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Josh put his trousers on inside-out accidentally, but it worked to his advantage because he went super fast on both slides. On the biggest salt mine slide in the world, the second in the mine, we got photographed and clocked, and Josh was going 41.2 km/hr or some ridiculous speed. He could have slid right off the end of the slide if he wanted to; it was at least 10 km/hr faster than anyone else had gone. Andrew and I looked ridiculous in our slide pictures, so I didn’t include them for you to laugh at.

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Some salt lamps. Now that I am looking at them again, I want one. Urgh. Why didn’t I get one? Let’s go back to Hallstatt! Hmm. I think that may be Emilie looking ghostly in the background.

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Credits: paint.Net
Kingthings Christmas font
Barefoot kit from Shabby Princess

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Daddy and Cate selfies: the only kind worth perusing

January 8, 2016

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I love my little Cate and her wonderful Dadda, who watches her every morning. They have become the best of baby friends and love having adventures together…

Explorer Buddies

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom, growing up: Napping: look how tiny she was! She fitted that newborn size for months, January 2014; identical smiles, May; Jabba the Hut and Princess Leia lounging on the couch, June; Adventure Baby in bib and Daddy behatted ready for walking exploration, June; Daddy’s birthday with Cate, September; Cate loving her new companion cube ball and making funny faces, December; Shy smiles with Kanga in the foreground, February 2015; peekaboo from behind the couch, March; pondering the future and leaves on trees March;

Daddy and Cate selfies!

Chillin’ on the couch, baby in her adventure infinity scarf, June 2015; rocking the shark hat, July; Enjoying a sucker October; tapping her foot to the music at the school, October; Giggling on the floor at Grandma’s, November; Watching Curious George with Daddy on the couch, December; Laying down on the most comfortable pillow in the house and cuddling with her favorite Dadda!

credits: Shabby Princess Plentiful, Affair to Remember, Barefoot, Bella, Clementine, Gracie, Summer Cottage, and Lavender Dreams kits

paint.NET

One Year Total

May 28, 2015

Celebrate Cate

At first Cate was a little wary of the cake placed in front of her, but once she had a taste of the delicious frosting, she dug right in and demolished it! She got a special smash cake made by her Grandma from weecakies.blogspot.com. Her enthusiasm for the cake made everybody want to have a piece! It was fun to have the polka dots on the outside and the inside of the cake. Yum!

Birthday girl

She did a good job helping open up her presents, tossing tissue paper around, and inspected each gift carefully. She even read the cards:

My Beautiful Ragamuffin

Not bad for a one year old!

Credits:
paint.NET
An Affair to Remember kit from Shabby
weecakies.blogspot.com

Sleep training to Vienna

May 18, 2015

Sleeping on the train was… an interesting adventure. I was imagining a bed that took up the apartment or a long comfy futon-like bench like you see in a tv show or movie. But it was this super small compartment with three tight seats and a teeny table and the beds folded down from the walls into bunkbeds. It was very noisy, and when we went through tunnels it would get really loud and make a high-pitched shushing sound. I had to get up and use the bathroom (which was at the end of the car) all night, because it was that time of the pregnancy when I had to wee every two hours anyways and the jiggling of the train made it worse and someone in my room was playing a nose trumpet so I didn’t really get much sleep. Andrew slept really well though. The pest. So if you are thinking of doing some traveling while asleep on the train, this is the image you need to remember. And this was apparently a large two person compartment. It was nice however to not have to drive all that way though.

The way it really looks

Sleep Master

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When we boarded we quickly found our quarters, but inside one of them was this pair of ruffians smelling strongly of the bottle. We blinked at them and then said, “I think you’re in our booth” If I remember rightly their reply was “Oh really?” and while we opened the window to let the compartment air out we saw them out on the platform. I wonder if they ever found a car to hitch a ride in.

The many uses of cellophane

The city of Vienna seems to be set up pretty haphazardly, with centers like St. Stephen’s Cathedral—pictured above—and then it has roads of different sizes that branch off of it in all directions. At St. Stephen’s they had these rock climber type guys winching themselves up their climbing ropes to take down these cellophane “curtains” that were over the stained glass on the western side of the chapel. I thought maybe they were taking them down to switch them over to the other side, but we arrived when they were just starting, so we don’t know the purpose of the cellophane. Perhaps to filter some of the light getting into the cathedral? To protect the glass itself from fading? I’m not really sure what that was all about, but they were fun to watch.

It’s a little hard to see in the picture, but they were actually doing some restoration work on the cathedral. If you look closely you can see that the construction platforms are covered up by detailed artwork that looks exactly like the part of the cathedral they are working on! I love construction in Europe! I was also impressed with the fancy chevron design of the roofing tiles.

We went to a museum that showcased an Empress who wrote bad poetry about wishing she could be free from royal constraints, the “Princess Diana of Austria:” Queen Sissi. The best part of the tour was the Mozart’s Balls we got: chocolate covered marzipan and pistachio. Good flavor combo, great name—I highly recommend them. mozartsballs

Credits: Summer Cottage and Clementine digital kits from Shabby Shoppe

Paint.net

Mozartkugeln picture

The Venetian Boatmen

May 15, 2015

It was hot and sunny as we traipsed around St. Mark’s Square. Tourists were feeding the pigeons in the middle of the square. The birds would flock to people whenever it was apparent they had food to share and land on heads and arms prompting screams from adults and children alike. Later, Andrew and I found a sign that said it was forbidden to feed the pigeons. Woops. Andrew said there were quite bit less pigeons than the last time they were here.

Josh feeds wild animals
We explored the Doge’s Palace, seeing beautiful artwork on the walls and ceilings, and walked through some of the prison in the basements. We enjoyed good Italian food: pizza, pasta, risotto, lots of cheeses, and of course gelato. There is nothing like real gelato:

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In the evening when we were on our way to and from dinner through St. Mark’s Square, there were three small musical performing groups, about three or four people each, playing in front of different restaurants. The square is so big that the sounds didn’t really mingle or confuse with each other. It was neat. All the little shops sell glass from Moreno, carnival masks, and fancy scarves. There are also a lot of clothiers, shoe stores, and leather-goods type stores, and of course restaurants and cafes for gelato and other treats.

gondoliering

We took a gondola tour and saw a building that apparently belonged to someone named Marco Polo :0) It was interesting watching the gondoliers maneuver the boats; it was quite the balancing act, and pushing off walls and the undersides of low bridges. Our gondolier said that if you want to be one, you have to start training as a child and I think I remember him saying they are all family businesses. You can see some of the deterioration and discoloration of the foundations in one of the pictures, and it was fun to see the entrances to buildings as simply an opening straight into the water. I wonder if people in a hurry ever find themselves stepping right into the canal because they took a wrong turn through an open door.

Credits:
paint.NET
Clementine from Shabby Princess in sepia
Scriptina font

Mirror Baby!

January 24, 2015

Smoooch!

Cate will still often give herself a kiss in any mirrored surface: windows, the stove door, our stainless steel fridge door… It’s super cute; we wish she would get back to giving us kisses all the time too!

paint.NET

Bella Collection from Shabby

font inside mini tags: Janda Apple Cobbler

Blanket, bonnet, booties

January 2, 2015

Our little bug was in a good mood this day when I dressed her up in the bonnet, booties, and dress my mother had made for my blessing day 30 some odd years ago. When I showed Andrew the ensemble he said “No goofy hats!” so I put it on her anyway because it was so cute. If I was a professional photographer maybe I would have thought to have taken a picture of the bonnet, or placed it in pictures, or had her play with it, but I’m only thinking of this now, about seven months after the fact, so, oh well. She’s pretty averse to wearing anything hatlike now. She is atop the super soft minky blanket my sister made for her.

HelloBaby and Gracie blessing day

And the dress:

the dress hello baby frame

Kits: Happy Baby from Scrapgirls and Gracie from Shabby
photoediting: paint.NET