Our Summer In A Nutshell: Insanity

by farrah on August 26, 2015 · 7 comments

Holy crap people! I’m back! And I really, really feel like I am back and home and so so ready to let the fall things happen and just be still. For a bit anyhow- at least until October. But for now we’re all sleeping in our own beds and eating my own typical mediocre cooking. So what has been going on? Well here’s the Cliff Notes until I can sit down and go into specifics.

Hallstatt, AustriaCan you believe I took this?

Den Hague

The boys were out of school on July 17th. My husband left town for a work trip and I dragged them up to Den Haag to ‘stave off boredom’ while my friend was away. We did a bunch of things, and they ran me ragged. We came home four days later so that I could pack us up and ready the house for our friends who were coming to house sit while we were away.

Austria (Hallstatt & Salzburg)

hallstatt, austriaMy minions and I. Not everyone can cooperate.

I had two days to recoup, when my husband came home from wherever he was (kidding, it was Minnesota) and we hit the road for our two-week extravaganza. I was under the impression our drive would be about 9-10 hours, while in reality it took us 12 hours. It was kind of chilly and raining and we were glad that as an afterthought we all grabbed a fleece as we left Oisterwijk. Good thing too since we wore them almost every day.

While in Austria, we stayed at a lady’s house where she lived downstairs with her son and we had the upper floor. It was a little odd- and often times a bit uncomfortable as I was worried that we would make too much noise and bother her but never fear. Her son would get home from work at all hours of the night and bang every door or use the hairdryer at midnight so I didn’t feel bad for long. She was nice, but a bit tight of quarters- but for the view we had from our deck… I don’t know. It was pretty spectacular and our location was close to everything.

Throughout the week we did everything we possibly could, ate sauerkraut every night and as much good beer as humanly possible. I’ll have a ‘things to do’ in Hallstatt up someday.

Italy (Lake Como area)

domaso, ItalyThe church we looked at outside our window and walked by daily.

At the end of week one, we packed up the car again and began (what I thought was) a 9 hour trek to Domaso in Italy. Again it was raining cats and dogs, pretty miserable and longer than I thought it would be. When we arrived at Lake Como it was so misty and rainy that we just wanted to hit the market, get some food and see our apartment. The website wasn’t too impressive- but I had a good gut feeling about it and holy smokes- were we in luck. Our villa was fantastic. HUGE compared to the apartment we had in Hallstatt- and even though the owner lived next door to us (seriously- how strange is that happening twice?) it was no big deal. I am really really looking forward to writing up the Domaso post as we did so many awesome things- the pinnacle being the winery dinner with the kids. And then we went straight down (on foot) at midnight 600 meters or so back to our place. IT WAS AWESOME.

At this point we were sick of the heat, since it was bloody hot in Italy the entire time. It was a Saturday, exactly two weeks after we left Oisterwijk and started our epic journey home. For the THIRD time (you’d have thought I learned by now) I thought we were only driving 9 hours. But surprise! This time it was really FOURTEEN. We endured the switch back mountain road in Switzerland (where Linc lost his banana all over his shirt) and we hit traffic about 20 minutes from home at 9pm. Needless to say- that was a hellish car ride. We don’t have a car DVD player and had to listen to Madagascar Circus five hundred times on the iPad since it was the only movie we could download. Talk about hell. Try hearing that AFRO CIRCUS song on repeat every 15 minutes.

Netherlands/Paris/Cologne

paris scootersScooting like locals in Paris.

So then we were home. My house was immaculate after our friends had left- and we had two days to recover until my sister and her family arrived. I did ALL THE LAUNDRY we possibly owned, and stocked up the groceries (thank you Albert Heijn yet again for your delivery service!). I relished the time I had in my own bed- since Hallstatt’s was a coily-spring futon and Italy’s bed was fine but omg it was so HOT. So for two nights I enjoyed my own king sized luxury. It was blissful.

The next day I readied the house for my sister, brother-in-law and nieces (10 and 12). I was putting my sister and bil in our room, nieces in the twins’ room, and B, L&C in Brody’s room. My husband and I were going to sleep on the Ikea futon in the toy room. That bed wasn’t bad at all but for the fact that it’s a stuffy room that I feel was crawling with spiders and the ghosts of dead cows. It was, after all the slaughter room. So anyhow. We only did that for a few nights since five days later we all headed to Paris.

My husband had to stay home by himself while the boys and I took our visitors to Paris. If you remember, it’s not exactly my favorite city but this time (fifth time being the charm apparently) I felt like a local. Well, not really a local- but I knew what was what, where was where and got around just fine thank you very much with just the kids and I. I even took a late-night bike taxi with the boys back to Champs-Élysées where we then walked to the apartment.

So yeah, I even bagged some new content (a deli! cheap! and good!) for the city I’ve been to a million times and never really liked. This was probably my favorite trip ever except for the fact that I lost my sunglasses (sob).

I drove home four days later with the boys, my sister and one of my nieces (while two of our party enjoyed the train- ALTHOUGH it was only two days before the crazy suspected terrorist business on the AMS-Paris Thalys) and we pancake housed, Eindhovene’d, Efteling’d, Cologne-Germany’d, and Oisterwijk’d. This is of course after the previous week of Amsterdamming and all that jazz too! So talk about a FULL trip. I can’t believe how much they saw and did in just two weeks.

To finish off this post which is just about as long as our ‘vacation’… I have to say we loved having my sister and her fam with us. They just left yesterday and it feels really strange to be home and not on the go. But now, I am just going to sit and sit and sit and count the minutes until Monday and my boys all go back to school.

Happy to be home, glad to be back, and thank you for keeping up with us on Facebook and IG!

All photos taken by me, except that one by my husband.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The London Mum August 27, 2015 at 9:47 am

What an amazing trip! I’d live to do this with my son when he’s that but older. Excited to read your more in depth posts x

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2 farrah August 28, 2015 at 6:24 am

Thanks! And I am really looking forward to writing about each place. They are so different- but both were fantastic with kids.

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3 Amy August 28, 2015 at 4:48 am

As always, you are crushing it with your awe-inspiring travels. Well done. However I am haunted by the idea of your futon filled with dead cow ghosts.

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4 farrah August 28, 2015 at 6:25 am

Ha! Thank you for picking up on that. Because- that’s just creepy. The meat hooks still hang from the ceiling.

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5 Anna August 28, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Well done!! As amazing as all that travel it is, it can be exhausting and complicated with a family. I bet you are so happy you did, though. Welcome home!

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6 farrah August 28, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Thanks Anna! And you are SO right. We were wiped out after it all, and still recovering. We are happy- but also so so happy to be home again!

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7 Chamisa August 28, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Fun, fun, fun!! And so busy – wow. What was up with the road in Switzerland on your way home? Was the Gotthard Tunnel closed? I’ll never forget the traffic in Italy the year we went to Tuscany.. thank goodness you didn’t go further south than Como. We stopped not far from Domaso in Bellinzona on the Swiss side. Love that area :). Can’t wait to hear about that awesome winery dinner with the kids!

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