We got back from our summer vacation nearly 4 weeks ago. Since then, we’ve had a family-wide bout of miserable stomach illness and 3 of the 4 of us have had birthdays. We’ve been busy. But here I am, less than a month later, writing my first post about our trip. Based on my track record (I still have posts to write about last year’s summer vacation — more from that trip soon), this is pretty great.
So, it was the last Sunday in June, we had just had B’s birthday party the day before and we were ready to embark on our 2 week Austrian vacation. The plan was to see some parts of Austria that we hadn’t yet seen, and to visit some of our favorites again. We opted to take this trip by car. Our first stop was the tiny town of Maria Lankowitz in Styria (Steiermark).
The main purpose of going to that particular piece of Austria was to visit the Lipizzaner stud farm in Piber, the neighboring town (get it . . . NEIGHboring???). But, on the way, we got to drive into the beginnings of the southern Austrian mountains, which was just lovely. My kids, who love car trips (since we don’t have a car and only ride in cars when we’re traveling) spent the first bit of the nearly 3 hour trip happily looking out of the windows. But after about an hour, they resorted to frequently asking their own adaptation of every kid’s favorite road trip question (in our case, they went with “When will we be there?” instead of “Are we there yet?”, which at least allowed our answers to change as we got closer and closer). We did finally arrive in the cute but VERY tiny town of Maria Lankowitz.
We got settled in to our apartment and went for a stroll around the town . . . which took about 10 minutes (20, if you count the run the boys took through a field). Then, we went to find a place for dinner. We were lucky enough to find a great place, with seating outdoors so we could enjoy the lovely evening and the scenery of the cute town. The absolute best part for the boys was that there was a little plastic picnic table just for kids, and they decided they were going to eat their meal there (it didn’t last though the whole meal — it was a nice idea, but they needed help cutting their schnitzel). I tried a “radler” for the first time (a mix of beer and soda — the type of soda varies by region) which is a brilliant invention, and we all had a nice meal and finished up our great evening by walking back to the apartment and listening to the cowbells from the cows grazing on the mountainside. Our Austrian road trip had begun!