An Eventful Early 2020

2020 started out with a bang for us, with lots of events and activities at school and in the community. It was punctuated by lovely visits to various places in Austria (Graz, Klippitztörl and Salzburg) as well as birthday parties, a school dance, field trips, and fun in our little town. The kids had dental check-ups in Veszprem, our first since moving overseas, and they went well. I had an eye exam and replaced a lost pair of Rx sunglasses which made me smile in many ways, especially the low price tag! Both girls came down with a stomach bug a week before important visitors came, so it was good they got it out of their system before February break travel plans! The one snow “storm” we had resulted in a solitary Harry Potter snowman that lasted a little over a week. We had to go way up into the mountains this year to find snow, and even where they usually have it, it was bare except for the man made stuff on ski runs. Kind of sad…but we made the most of it anyway! Skating at the castle was fun as usual, and a fun “first ever” movie night at school was a highlight.

Klippitztörl couples getaway

Thanks to generous friends who swapped weekend babysitting gigs with us, Derek and I had a lovely weekend getaway to Klippitztörl, Austria. This area is usually blanketed in snow, but instead it was just barely dusted. The ski mountain had plenty of snow they made for the occasion, but our goal was just to hike around the mountains, eat some good food, totally unplug, and relax. It was a great way to start the New Year!


We had been through Graz before, but never to Graz. It is a lovely little town in Austria that we pass on our way back to Hungary from the west. Walking through the old town has the same charm as many of its neighboring cities including impressive buildings lining streets with trains, hip shops and cafes, and the yummy food! We opted for falafel wraps as they’re something we can’t get in Papa! Next time we might hike up to the top of the hill, but this time we couldn’t fit it in. Maybe we will come back during the wild and crazy Krampus parade next year!


The kids received large puzzles for Christmas, so the whole month of January we compromised on table space to accommodate various puzzle projects. One 1,000 piece Disney panoramic puzzle took about 4 days, and a 1,000 piece Maine themed puzzle took 2 days! This XL 2,000 piece panoramic world map puzzle was a doozy – it took about 2 weeks working on it on and off to finish. We ended up mod podging it and framing it for the wall – a real masterpiece! The best part was pointing out places we have been and where we want to visit someday. It is truly beautiful! When we were in Salzburg we found a Ravensburger store and in it there was a 18,000 piece puzzle as well as a 40,000+ piece puzzle that would fill up an entire room! I can’t even imagine! (Needless to say we did not buy them…)


We got to skate a few times this year at the castle, but he season was short! The kids have all become quite comfortable on their skates, but Beau and Didi will definitely need larger sizes next year – they have grown so much! And, of course, it’s always more fun with friends…


We don’t do traditional birthday parties in our family. Instead we have opted for experiences! But there is one birthday (so far) that each child has had a big classic party for, and that’s FIVE! Willow turned 5 in February and had a super fun “Toothless” (How to Train Your Dragon) themed party at the Kids’ Fun Zone in Gyor, where they could jump, climb, slide, run around, and play all sorts of games for a few hours before coming together to tackle this delicious Oreo Dragon cake! She was over the moon and we were so happy to have all of her classmates join in celebrating with us!


Dianna had the chance to visit the Esterhazy Castle with her class to learn how to make their own chocolates! The students had been learning about the states of matter in science class, so what better way to see matter in different forms than making chocolate!? It was tons of fun!


The first school dance of the year was in February before break and was a huge hit! The new gym space, renovated last year, served as a lovely venue for our community DJs to spin up some hopping tunes and the kids to let loose. What a great job done by all who planned and executed this shindig!


Before picking up Jon and Annamarie for our funfilled February break adventure (read about it here!) We decided to spend some time in one of our favorite places – Salzburg, Austria! It was a beautiful day to rack up the miles. We walked and walked and walked all over town, up the hills and to the castle, and then finished up with another yummy meal of doner-kebabs and falafel wraps! I was glad to be back on a blue sky day as Derek had only seen Salzburg in bad weather. Boy does it make a difference!

Salzburg Castle Overlook

The spring is filled with visitors and we are looking forward to finish the school year strong with many more field trips and fun events planned! Here’s to more adventures and world schooling!

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