Salzburg, Austria & Split, Croatia

After my Mom’s friends left, I held her hostage for three and a half more weeks. Whether she wanted to stay that long or not she did not put up a fight. I appreciated this because I loved having her here! I’m a night owl, Jason is not. Having my Mom here allowed for some later than normal nights, an excuse to have one, two or more glasses of wine, and maybe even a late night snack over some girl talk.

We had spring break in Split, Croatia all planned. Last minute, we threw in one more weekender to Salzburg, Austria. It started out a little rough with a train ride — almost 6 hours. We told ourselves the kids would be mesmerized with actually riding a train and the time would fly by. That lasted about 15 minutes. When will I wise up?!?!

This was minute 14 on the train.

This is minute 16.

Salzburg, Austria is famous as the filming location for The Sound of Music and the birthplace of Mozart. It did not disappoint. If you like narrow, cobblestone pedestrian walkways with adorable shops, cafes and gelato stands this is the place for you.

Did I mention we missed the early train?

We arrived late Friday night and hit the ground running Saturday morning. First stop, Unstersberg, this beautiful mountain top is where the “the hills are alive with the sound of music” if and only if you are willing to take a ten minute gondola ride to get there. Beautiful and terrifying it was worth the trip. There was still snow the third week of March but we got the general idea and then went inside to warm up.

Smiling cause we’re on the way down.
Caps for sale.

Next we went to Old Town for lunch. We ended up at a great cafe and ordered up pizza.

From here we walked to the Mirabelle Gardens. This is the site of the “DoReMi” scene. Pretty and cool.

We wrapped up the day with dinner and brew at the Augustiner Brewhouse, a brewery run by Benedictine monks. It was the best food and the coolest atmosphere. We got weiner schnitzel, pickled veggies, fries and pretzels and washed it down with beer in giant steins.

On the walk home we happened by Mozart’s actual birthplace. It capped off the night pretty perfectly.

It was such a great weekend! Everyone was exhausted and slept the entire train ride home and then went to sleep at 7:00 pm…not.

Five days later we hopped in the car for a seven hour drive to Split, Croatia. I’m gonna let the pictures speak for themselves and just say, this place is beautiful!

Perfect family photo

Hannah doing a little shopping and walking.

The view from our villa.

Roman ruins — Diocletians Palace

Adriatic Sea

Tons of cool walkways like this full of cute shops and cafes.

Two days after we got home my Mom flew back to Grand Rapids. She was here for five weeks and it felt like two. I know it wasn’t a relaxing trip for her. She pitched in with the kids and was witness to the occasional family argument. I have to imagine she slept for days when she got home. But the thing about my Mom is, she does all those things and she stays so cheerful and optimistic. Even when we were tired, the kids were crying and we were all thinking “why did we think it would be fun to go on vacation with three kids” she was there to say “I know this is hard but these are the best times of your life”. I know it’s true. I really hear it when she says it. And let’s be honest, when a woman who raised seven kids can say that and you have three kids, you have to remind yourself that yes, it is hard but you’re not the first and you won’t be the last.

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