News and Summer Fun!

We have had such a wonderful first summer in Papa.  The visitors have been non-stop since mid June, culminating with an epic 3 week visit from Nannie and Pappi (see Observacations and Come to Papa)!  We decided to take it easy and spend some time relaxing locally before our next big adventure – our first big trip to England and Scotland! Its all finally planned and the countdown is on. We are so excited!

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Happy toothless girl!

Didi lost her fourth tooth in late July (top front) and now she looks positively toothless! That’s a consistent one tooth per month since we have arrived in Papa…making for one busy tooth fairy! We were in Slovenia at the time, and in a restaurant with Nannie and Pappi, and Didi bravely asked Nannie to pop it out for her.  What a sweet memory! On that same trip Didi kept touching this very fragile coral chandelier at a hotel we were staying at, and I had to tell her several times not to. “Mom, I just really like to touch holes,” she informed me. HAHAHA! I told her I didn’t know that about her, but that I would always keep that in mind from now on. Didi, you can always crack me up!  Later, we had some friends over for a long-overdue barbecue and marshmallow roast.  More of that please! IMG_8681 We took a little weekend overnight to Vienna through Sopron and ate at a place in Sopron called “Papa Joe’s Saloon and Steakhouse” which we had heard was good. I’ll save my restaurant review for “Hungry in Hungary” but will say it was a terrific atmosphere inspired by the American Wild West, and it was fun to explore the town a bit!

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Sunset view of the Danube from our hotel in Vienna

We stayed on the river in Vienna where the kids could swim at the pool and we could just relax. We thought about going to the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna on our way out of the city but when we drove by it was SO busy, plus we had Bonsai with us (no dogs allowed apparently) so that tour will have to wait!

Derek and I got a little date night in Papa, which was so nice! We rode our bikes into the town center and had a lovely dinner, then went for a nice long bike ride all around the outskirts of town on a beautiful evening and watched the sunset and full moon rise.  That’s one of our favorite parts of living here – being able to bike around at night is dreamy!

We had some basic maintenance done on the vehicles so they’re up to speed for all of our road trippin’. The kids had several play dates with old friends who are leaving and new friends who are just arriving in Papa. We got some great bike riding in at the square, and Didi finally got a new bike that FITS her (as Willow has commandeered her old bike) and she is a machine with it! She’s so excited to have her “first bike with handlebar brakes and gears!”

We love to discover new places and get off the beaten path (and out of the summer crowds) so we were lucky to find a fun little place to swim in Tata, Hungary – about 80 minutes northeast of Papa. Tata has a great dog-friendly, shallow-entry, sandy-bottom lake surrounded by grass and a great walking path, where there is tons of room to set up a cozy picnic spot under a Willow tree and enjoy the afternoon sunning and swimming. The views are really lovely too, as Tata has a few impressive historic buildings lakeside! There were great eateries by the lake, and we noticed they had SUP rentals too, so there’s something for everyone! The best part was it wasn’t crowded and it was FREE. We will definitely be going back to Tata!

The MAJOR news of late, is that the man of the house earned his oak leaf! Derek is officially a Major (cue all puns and funnies) and you’d never know it.  It was almost impossible to get a picture as he avoided all pomp and circumstance around the promotion but I’m awfully proud of this guy! So there’s no more calling him Cap’n as a cute nickname…guess I’ll have to come up with something else! We love you Major dad!

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“Awww shucks”

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