So we left on Friday, June 7, for our first European travel adventure! For all the pictures from our first couple of days, see this album.
Travel. About 6.5 hours of driving to Verona, where we stayed in a pretty nice hotel (two rooms--Ted, Tobin, and Arden in a triple, all with twin beds, and the rest of us in a quad with Zaden in a "crib"). All we really had time or energy for that evening was walking to a pizzeria for dinner. We should have just gone out on the town, since Zaden had NO intention of settling down for quite some time...sigh...
We drove about 100 miles to the beautiful city of Bolzano, Italy, home to the South Tyrol Archaeological Museum, where Otzi the Iceman's mummified remains are kept. Otzi is quite a fascinating story! We got to see the mummy himself as well as the carefully preserved pieces of clothing, backpack, and tools found with him. The dude is over 5,000 years old! It's amazing what scientists have been able to piece together about him, and some of the theories have even changed a bit as technology improves. (He was found in 1991, and teams of researchers from around the world have done a lot of study on him, as you can imagine.) The town of Bolzano is gorgeous, and it was a nice, sunny day, so we enjoyed walking around and eating gelato before getting back into the Suburban to hit the road.
The next part of the drive took us into Austria and the Alps--oh! A dream come true! I've always wanted to drive through the Alps, but not necessarily in winter, LOL! The scenery was incredible, as expected, though the drive was a bit harrowing for Ted in our Suburban. Of course he did great, and we arrived at our apartment location a little after 5pm. The apartment was part of a ranch/stable area that offers riding lessons and various options for horseback riding, which we weren't able to take advantage of, much to the girls' chagrin. But it was a beautiful location, and we got a good deal on it, plus had the opportunity to make our own meals, which helped us save some money.
We spent two nights there--the first night was kind of a nightmare start, with Zaden absolutely WIRED. We had requested a crib, but there wasn't any...we attempted to put Zaden in a lower bunk bed (there were 3 bunk beds in the room adjoining Ted's and my room), but Zaden was obviously not ready for that. We ended up putting the little cushion from the love seat on the floor beside my side of the bed, and he fell asleep with me rubbing his back and holding his head down so he couldn't pop up! Whew! FINALLY everyone got to sleep!