What this vacation needs is more cowbell

We’re home. As always happens, a week away simultaneously feels too long to be away and not long enough. We loved our time in Salzburg and Reutte (near Neuschwanstein Castle). We had some great experiences, made some fun memories, and saw some amazing sights. (And this trip gets bonus points because nobody puked.) B is already talking about the next car factory he wants to tour (Opel/Vauxhall, because that’s what we were driving on this trip) and I already have my own list of things and places for our next trip to these areas.

There are some pieces of this trip that really stuck with me — some things I’m going to miss the most and which I know will always come to mind when I think of this trip.

From our arrival outside of Salzburg, each moment included a soft, sometimes distant clanging of cowbells. The cows there actually wear them as they wander up and down their mountain fields. (It seems that not all of the cows, but just the one in charge, wear the bells.) The most striking piece of that memory for me was waking up on out last morning to a mountainside covered in snow and fog. It was like every other mountain had been erased overnight. The stunning views were gone, and all the usual sounds of wind and water were muffled or absent. But still, we heard the cow’s bells, chiming in the fog.

Just having snow at all was a favorite piece of this trip. Watching my boys giggle and throw snowballs in an unexpected October storm was pretty special.

Gazing at the stars, which we did in both parts of our trip, was wonderful. I hadn’t seen a night sky like that for a very long time, and I’d missed it more than I realized. My kids had never been able to see the Milky Way before.

This trip was mountains, snow, autumn, castles and sunshine, all wrapped up together. It was wonderful, and all so close to home. (Which also means that we might actually get to go back.) But still, it’s good to be back. I love the feeling of coming home after being away.

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