Saturday, August 07, 2010

Underground caves, witch hunts and buried treasures

A very low formation of stratocumulus and the consequent heavy downpoor called for indoor activity on this wonderful Saturday. After a guilt walk in the pouring rain this morning with Charlie and Russel on which we realized that Russel must be almost deaf and most likely blind after he nearly got hit by a car we decided to spend the rest of the day somewhere inside.
Now, Upper Austria is a very "outdoorsy" kind of county with no "little gyms", "romp and rolls", "kids cafes", and certainly no malls. This small fact made our plans very difficult if not impossible. We could have opted for sitting in the pub all day, getting drunk whilst the little ones ripped out each others hair, but no, we came up with a plan.
Finley's love for Halloween inspired us and we found the "Wiltshire" of Austria, filled with witches, gobblins, ghosts, dragons, and every other creepy creature on this planet. We found the "Geisterwerkstatt" in the beautiful and magic area called "Waldviertel". "Geisterwerkstatt" loosly translated means "a place where ghosts are made". This was good enough for us. The kids were quickly packed off into the car and an hour and a half later we knocked at their door.
The drive itself was mysterious already and the low hanging clowds I mentioned earlier were even lower where we went.
Legend has it, when it is foggy in that area, it is because the dwarfs are washing their invisibility hats. The fog makes sure they cannot be seen. My 10 year old niece did not belief me, but Finley was easily convinced.

The place was quite spooky, probably because the area was an actual place where witch hunts took place in long forgotten days. The walk through the exhibition was a little scary, but there was a treat at the end of it...we got vampire teeth:-))
They also had a magic school and they offered ghost hunts in a helicopter. We took a rain check on that and chose to go and have Schnitzel and ice cream instead!!

Before we indulged in our yummy food though, we walked around a beautiful garden where the owners had cultivated long forgotten herbs and vegetables.

We ate a few very sour berries and "aaahhhed" and "oooohhhed" at colorful heirloom tomatoes and vintage oregano types, took some pictures of gigantic stone sofas, and pink pots before we had a very well deserved rest in a little wine region called Langenlois.

Our Schnitzel, however, was washed down with a delicious home brewed dark beer at the Fiakerhaus.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Dream journals and other things

Writing was always a great passion of mine and it was and still is one of the more relaxing activities in my life. However, lately I never seem to have enough time to write even though I know I can do incredible things if I try hard enough. After all, I managed to write a novel in 30 days!! A novel with 52000 words. It still needs some work, but it has a beginning, a middle, and an ending.
Anyway, this is what I remembered today and here I am sitting in front of the computer...writing:-)
Of course now I have a problem, what do I write first??
Should I write about the editing progress of my murder mystery novel, or perhaps the progress of my current novel, or maybe just about the kids and my awesome vaccation in Austria...difficult choice!!

Maybe I'll think about it and start tomorrow with a whole new chapter.

In the meantime I want to share a litte conversation I had with my son this evening.

Shortly before bed time, I found him sitting at the edge of his bed. In his little hands he held a very small German/English dictionary. He asked me for a pencil and I answered that I did not want him to write in the dictionary because it was just for looking up words that needed translating.
He looked at me disapprovingly and with a deep sigh he told me that this was in fact his dream journal.
I was a little taken aback by his words since I did not expect a four year old to know that there was such a thing as a dream journal. Carefully I asked what he intended to do with a dream journal.
"Mami, it's for writing down your dreams!"
Well, that taught me not to underestimate your children.
I have no idea where he heard the term or how he learned what to do with a dream journal, but I love his imagination.
...and by the way, I got him a little notebook and a pen, even though he cannot write!!