Ahhhh, mountain air. There’s nothing else like it. I’m breathing it in since my little family of 3 has joined forces with my in-laws for a week-long vacation in Austria’s majestic Alps. We’re in a little village named Abtenau, which is near several of Austria’s must-sees – Salzburg, Hallstatt, Bad Ischl, etc. Our “hotel” for the week is what’s considered to be a traditional Austrian home. In fact I bet if you googled “traditional Austrian house”, you’d get a good idea of what I mean. This is our first Airbnb experience and so far I rate it an A+++. The family who’s renting out a portion of their house to us even grabbed a collection of their kids’ toys for Elliott to play with so it was pretty much love at first sight.
We drove up on Monday and made a stop in Bad Ischl before we continued on to the house. Will and I went to Bad Ischl a couple of years ago with a good friend of ours and were delighted to return. Unfortunately bad weather tends to follow us on every – single – vacation or weekend trip we take and this trip, so far, has not proved otherwise. Of course I forgot important things at home like a warm blanket for Elliott or a warm jacket for Elliott or something wearable and waterproof for Elliott. Basically I forgot everything a baby could possibly need for bad weather. Luckily he’s an easy traveler (a drastic improvement compared to last Thanksgiving’s horrendous road trip) and didn’t mind the sprinkles or cold weather. I probably minded more than he did because I’m always cold and he’s always a thousand degrees so we balance each other out well. We showed my in-laws around, found a unique third wave coffee shop called ImmerVoll (highly recommend it), introduced them to the famous Zaunerstollen – a very yummy, crunchy chocolate treat. I got one in the shape of a hedgehog because why wouldn’t you get a chocolate in the shape of a hedgehog?!
I mentioned Elliott has become an easygoing traveler, which is true, though he did decide to hit a growth spurt this trip and so far that has meant much less sleep, much more crankiness, and WHAT IS HAPPENING amounts of poop. Today we went to Salzburg, and though we walked the city and saw the touristy stuff, I feel like all I did was change my son’s diaper. And when I wasn’t changing his diaper, I was wondering about the next horrifically toxic diaper and when it would strike. One incident was in a restaurant and the staff was kind enough to let me change him in one of their booths (apologies to the customers who sat their later), and another incident was in the Dwarf Park. This time he had to be changed on a park bench, and the diaper was so bad it required the help of all 4 adults. My mother-in-law stripped Elliott down and held his wriggling arms and legs, I did the cleanup, Will took care of the soiled clothes and grabbed new ones, and my father-in-law tossed the dirty diaper and wipes into a nearby trash can. Was my 8 month old at one point during this poop fiasco lying on a park bench naked as a jay bird in 50 degree rainy weather surrounded by severely weathered and old gnome statues? Quite so. But a clean naked jay bird he was!
We’ve been hoping for better weather since we still have several days left in our vacation, but it’s not looking like the sun is going to shine for us this week. I think tomorrow we’re going to a gorge then we’ll spend the rest of the day in a heated indoor pool (also known as a Therme). Fingers crossed that I won’t have a pool-related poop story tomorrow. That would just be really awesome if that didn’t happen.