Anthering 2014

We left the hotel and took a quick car tour of Regensberg, though Everett protested because he wanted to see Sophie and Anna as soon as possible. In fact he wanted to skip breakfast in the hotel in order to get to their house faster. When we asked Everett his favorite thing about Germany he replied “Sophie and Anna.”

On the way to Anthering Everett got sick once more. We have a theory that this was partly caused by high speeds and narrow, winding roads. Anyway, this time we were able to get him an intact bag in time.

We arrived at at Schloss Haunstetter, the youngest castle in Europe, around midday. That afternoon Chris and Armin took the kids and Polly to a nearby park.
The rest of the trip was a bit of a blur, and the best we can do is try to reconstruct it from photos. We note that transformations often occur while travel, and with that in mind here are a few observations:

-The babies spent lots of time sitting upright and playing. It also became clear that for them to be happy they needed both sleep and awake quiet time. Without the latter they seemed to get overstimulated.

-Sophie and Anna often take showers before bed. As soon as Everett realized this he announced that he wanted to take a shower by himself at bedtime. He later explained to me that it’s part of growing up. A couple days later he asked if he could brush his teeth in the morning. Um, yes!

-A couple days after we arrived in Anthering Gwen had a farm toy in her mouth when she seemed to wince in pain. Chris saw it, but she recovered quickly and he didn’t think any more of it until later that evening when Melissa noticed there was blood coming from her mouth. Gwen is getting her first tooth! Her bottom left front tooth is just breaking through the gums.

-The babies are starting to handle and eat their own food such as biscuits and crackers, though they move like sloths when they grasp and manipulate it. The two of them have also been able to sit up and entertain themselves for periods of time. They can’t get upright on their own, but if we help them up then they can usually stay that way. We piled blankets around them for when they topple over. For a few days they have been fascinated with the farm play sets at Carrie and Armin’s house.

-Teddy is almost a different kid. He is still fussy, but he cries much less than he did at home, and he is just delightful to be around. He can now spend extended periods of time entertaining himself. He often looks mischievous.

-Gwen is getting very wiggly, much like her brothers. Before this trip she would often lay on her back for long periods of time. Now she rolls over quickly and is moving almost as much as Teddy. Both of them have very strong trunks and are good at performing alligator rolls when we try to hold them still.

-Everett got new shoes in Austria. Chris asked if they were speedy-go-fasters (the term he used when he was that age), but Everett prefers to call them tennis shoes. Either way, we discovered that they perfectly match the colors of his coat.

-On Thursday we pushed things harder than we ever have before with the twins: we went on an entire day outing with no naps at home. We left the house about 9am and drove to the bakery in Anthering, then to Burghausen to see the longest castle in Europe (about 1km long).
Burghausen Panorama
The twins slept a little bit in the car but it wasn’t a normal nap. After we arrived we walked the length of the castle and back, making several stops along the way to explore. On prior days we have noticed that the babies don’t like to be in their stroller seats for extended periods (and we don’t entirely blame them), but we really didn’t have an alternative for them. Today we thought ahead and brought a blanket so that they could have some time to move around. After the castle we walked down the hill to the old town and had lunch. A woman asked “Bub and Mädchen?” Bub is apparently a local term for boy. Next we drove back to Anthering, and all three kids fell asleep in the car. We regrouped and then left again for Mostheuriger, one of our favorite restaurants in Anthering. We ate dinner, and it wasn’t until we were packing to leave that the babies got really upset. However, halfway up the mountain they were calm again, and they were able to get in a little more play time and another feeding before bed. Great work babies!

-On Friday we went for a hike in the morning near the house, and in the afternoon we went into Salzburg and hiked the Mönchsberg. The original plan was for Carrie and Melissa to spend some time together while Chris and Everett went hiking. However, those plans changed because Sophie was feeling sick and came home from school early. Instead, our family went for a hike and later we all met at the Augustiner for dinner. Everett had a sausage on a bun, followed by a pickle, a pretzel and an ice cream cone. During the hike we asked Everett to take a picture of us. We setup him up with the camera, got in position and he stood there for a moment without doing anything. When Chris asked if he was going to take a picture he replied “Um, hello? Could I have a little romance here?”

-Sophie and Anna have recordings of several popular songs such as All the Single Ladies, but sung by chipmunks. Some evenings the girls and Everett would have a dance party in the kitchen while listening. After the last dance party on Friday night Everett announced “I love chipmunk music!”

We woke up Saturday at 4am, loaded the babies and the remaining luggage, said goodbye and headed to the Salzburg airport. Chris dropped the family and luggage off in front of the terminal and then went alone to drop off the rental car.

The first wrinkle in our travel: Even with no wait at the ticket counter it took a long time to get us checked in, though we aren’t really sure why. They wanted to check our stroller through to Chicago, which we didn’t want to do because we anticipate needing it in the airport. So we had her check it to Berlin and then we went through security. We are now the family that you don’t want to behind in the security line: we have infant twins, a stroller that won’t fit through the x-ray machine, a five year old, jars of baby food and enough bags to fill the entire length of the conveyor belt. We got to the gate with almost no time to spare and discovered a couple things: 1) we had to get on a bus to the plane; 2) AirBerlin doesn’t have family boarding. Chris packed the stroller as quickly as we could, but then we realized we couldn’t carry it. Two German women saw us and offered to help, so they carried the stroller to the bus and then dropped it on the tarmac. We arrived in Berlin and took another bus halfway around the airport, picked up the stroller at baggage claim, went through customs and walked to terminal B. There we had to get some kind of special stamp on our boarding passes before we could go through passport control and security.

To remember for future trips: Bring fewer bags. We already knew this but really need to cut it down even further. The problem is that there are several bags we can’t seem to travel without: Chris brings his laptop bag and camera; Everett brings his frog suitcase; Melissa has her diaper bag; we almost always end up with a bag full of snacks (also knows as the feed bag).

The final question is: would we do it again?
Chris: Yes
Melissa: Yes

Comments (1)

One thought on “Anthering 2014

  1. Is this a new blog, Chris, or am I mixing reading with stories in my memory? It was a lovely trip for you all.

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