Sunday, August 1

Wolfgangsee Lake, Austria

This is a beautiful vacation spot! Hallelujah! I've been craving a vacation rather than a trip and we sure lived up our day spent here.

I'm sure you've gathered by now that to live in Europe, it'd be a shame not to be destination travelers, especially since we have no idea how long we'll live here. Ryan is truly a "destination traveler" at heart whereas I've discovered I'm a "vacation" type, content to sit somewhere with a good book and a view and be happy for days on end. It's kinda like discovering the differences between how you and your spouse envision the perfect weekend. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the destination traveling and we've been very blessed to see so many places since we've moved to Germany.

And now we've added the Austrian lake country known as Salzkammergut. We enjoyed perfect sunny weather in the 70s and the lake was just 200 meters from our door!

Having been off a normal schedule for a few weeks with the Normandy trip, Vacation Bible School and running catchup errands - Morgan was in complete meltdown mode by 9am and needed a nap. I gladly stayed behind for uninterrupted quiet time while the boys went down to the lake before the crowds hit, enjoyed a family of ducks and at some point got a little motor boat ride.

After lunch I took the kids back to the lake while Ryan napped away his sun headache. The boys really could have used a nap too, but I thought the lake would be fun. After a rocky start, we had a pretty good time. This was a clothed beach, thank goodness, but changing in public seems to be the norm with no qualms about covering up for many. Aren't ya glad I'd left my camera in my bag on the stroller?

When we arrived at the lake's beach, Easton walked to the end of the dock saying he'd jump into what would be chest high water for him. He surveyed the scene and decided the beach entry was more his cup of tea so in he and McKay went. A couple times in the next few hours he'd head down to play on the steps on either side of the dock, watching other kids jumping in. Then one time he headed down there, he actually jumped in! He'd jumped a couple times before I saw him do it. I was so proud of him getting up the nerve!

Lake shores were new to Morgan. She likes the water, just not the little waves lapping against the shore. McKay wants to love being in the water as much as Easton but ends up hovering around me once he's gotten enough. Easton could live by the water! He not a fish when it comes to swimming, but he's gaining confidence and just makes up his own games as he goes. A man gave the kids a tennis ball at one point and the kids took turns throwing it in and Easton fetching. Soon Easton was the only one left playing the game but he'd come ashore each time, throw it out and go fetch it. Cute kid!

It was time to go when Morgan began melting down. And that's when the swans appeared.

Oh glorious snack time!

A cutie harassing her resting parentals with a beautiful example behind her of the painted woodworking that decorated everything in the apartment.

A home cooked not-so-fancy dinner of mac'n'cheese in this traditional corner booth. I see these corner table boothes in stores still and I don't know what to call them. Anyone know? I always think of them as breakfast nooks, but we ate all our meals here even though there was another dining room. I'm all about easy!

After dinner I took the kids outside. The boys desperately wanted to jump on the trampoline but had been asked not to so we walked a little. A duck walked into the yard and right as the boys saw it, the thing's bladder let loose giving Easton an incurable case of giggles. We followed the duck for a bit and then a cat with Morgan leading the way until the boys gave up and went inside. Girls can be so boring I guess. :) Besides, maybe Dad would play "Plants vs. Zombies" if they asked!

Morgan and I walked back down to the lake for some quiet time. This is my favorite time of day, when the evening begins in earnest. One swan swam right up to us and put on a show.

I wish I had Morgan on video so you could hear her non-stop squawking! She is such an animal lover!

It was so peaceful there. All I needed was a nice reclining lawn chair and a book and it would have been perfect! But we needed to head home, Morgan was done humoring me.

The adorable house and garden were across the street from our house. The house we stayed in was under a complete renovation with only the top floor apartment where we stayed complete. Our house wasn't so pretty yet from the outside, but we liked our views of surrounding houses and the mountains all about!

Following a renewed effort at evening family scripture time and while waiting for our cookies to bake, these two snuggled up to me. This is one of my favorite things about being a mom! After all the ups and downs in a day, they still want to be near me! PHEW! And I absolutely love how McKay contorts himself when sleepy and sucking his thumb. Optimal skin contact seems to be the name of the game! Easton is snuggling up to his daddy and probably talking silliness as they do so well together.

And that concludes a bonifide day of vacation for the Carter family! I can hope and dream for more now.