Well friends and family (as after the incredibly infrequent blogging I’m sure that you are the only ones left standing), I’ve decided to try to post again every day in November.

So much is going on with our lives these days, and I want to put some effort into recording it. Posts may be short, but at least they will contain some information about what is happening in our world and/or in my mind.

The cafe is closed today, so Markus and Annie are out and about on errands as I try to catch up on some work. Annie is going to a Halloween party this afternoon (no door-to-door trick-or-treating in this part of the world). I’ll post some pics tomorrow.

Here we go….!

Squeezing out the Last of the Summer Sunshine

On Wednesday the weather turned and it became rainy and cold here. I’m so glad that we made the most of the very warm Old Woman (Altweiber) Summer last weekend. (Would you say that is more or less politically incorrect than Indian Summer?) It started on Friday after a long, long week at work. I was very tempted to pick Annie up and then just throw her in front of the tv so both of us could flake out. Instead, I pulled up my mommy socks and called the mother of one of Annie’s friends to meet us at the wilderness playground after school. I love this playground, as it is spread out through the forest with  structures made of wood to blend in with the surroundings. There are swings and slides, miniature houses and a kid-friendly zip-line. A nature walk with balance beams and turny things and a quiz to test knowledge of the forest animals. My favourite part is the barefoot walk. Emily and Annie whipped off their shoes, socks and even pants (so they wouldn’t get wet) and went around and around the path that is laid with different textures for you to experience (wood shaving, rocks, pine cones, tree stumps and a knee-deep pool of cold water at the end.) Sara brought coffee for her and I which we enjoyed in the sunshine, so it was waaaaay better than hunkering down at home.

On Saturday we met up with Chloe, Julian and Margriet and drove up about 30 minutes to a lake. Too cold to swim, we just had an über-relaxing day. The three kids played in the playground while we had a drink at the adjacent cafe. The playground was easy for us to watch, but just far enough away that the children had to think twice about running back to us to report on every little incident. Perfect.

We went for a short hike and then found a restaurant with outdoor seating and another small playground. The time flew by and we were outside for over 6 hours.

On Sunday Markus, Annie and I drove up to one of the mountain regions, Alpbach. It is a small ski area in the winter, but in the summer it is available for hiking (of course). I was a bit surprised at the price of the gondola (11 euros per adult), but when we got up top I realized why.

A 2km children’s walk (Juppi Zauberwald) had been created with, well, just about everything you can think of for a nature-focused kid’s hike. Two well-built-out playgrounds with tree houses and teepees and a wobbly bridge as well as the regular activities.

Wooden stilts

There were goats to pet and a witch’s hut and oversized witch’s spell book to look at.

Witch's House

Each child got a card to take with them and there were 10 questions scattered throughout the hike; finding the answers completed a crossword puzzle. The weather was amazing and we had a spectacular day. We took the gondola down after the hike and had a late lunch on the patio watching Annie play with other kids on the near-by trampoline.

Markus took a short video on his iPhone of Annie on one of the balance beams. It totally cracks me up, because she isn’t having much trouble crossing, but hams it up with the over-exaggerated nervous sounds and gives us a look at the end to make sure we were appreciating her performance.

As this was what we woke up to Sunday…

…I’m sure glad we took advantage of the beautiful weather when we could.