Monday, September 3, 2018

St. Wolfgang, Austria

St. Wolfgang is a place so nice we've been there twice!  It has been our little secret getaway location, but it is too good not to share, and we are moving within the next year, so we need to get the word out-St. Wolfgang is a must, so hurry and GO!
We love where we stayed, it was a great surprise to find, and so wonderful.  When we got to Hotel Garni Buchin we were asked if we wanted an upgrade to a lake view... Once we saw the view we were sold.  Do I need to do any convincing here?!?
I love all the flowers on the balcony, and the view speaks for itself really.
Bode really enjoyed the balcony too; look at that smile, he is ready to get out and play!
One of the best features about the hotel is is their wooden rowboat that you can take out onto the lake.  The first time we went Jordan took me on a nice ride, showing off his soon-to-be #dadbod.
Our first experience was so great that we came back again with Bode.  We met lots of hotel guests and found out that they too had been coming back year after year.  The hotel has been in the family for generations, and everyone who visits becomes a friend to the family!  The weather our second time around was wonderful, we all got some well needed sun, and relaxation!
I even went paddle boarding and didn't fall in!
Bode loved playing with the hotel owners children.  They had lots of toys to keep him occupied and had a great time playing.
We took our bikes in to town for lunch and found a great spot-so great we ate there twice!
Will you look at this BBQ smoked pulled pork burger from BBQ King.  It was SO good, the garlic  aioli, fresh quality greens, and delicious meat.  I really liked it with the spicy siracha they had, all for under 5 euro too! 
Bode was happy to explore the town
The afternoons we spent cooling off in the lake.  One of the nice things about the lake (along with the clear water) is that the lake has fresh water, so no salty residue on our body to wash off. 
Bode got a swim lesson from daa-daa
And we really enjoyed our ride on the wooden boat
Love this cheesey boy
In the evenings it was time to bike back into town again.  Bode loves his bike seat-and the windshield protection keeps all the bugs from flying into his face.  People thought he was so cute on the front of the bike, and he loved playing with the bell.
We ate dinner at Mirabella, which is a genius of a restaurant because of how family friendly it is.  We asked to be seated in the family room, which had a play room off to the side, so kids could play while waiting for food and parents could enjoyed themselves.  I can't tell you how many times Jordan and I have had to take turns at restaurants eating while the other is holding Bode/taking him on a walk.  This made our night, letting him play to his hearts content.  P.S. the garlic bread was great!
We enjoyed biking along the river after dinner!
I think we wore this little guy out!
We had a great time in St. Wolfgang, sad to leave such a beautiful area, but if we ever come back this way, we will be back to our little gem. For your viewing pleasure, Bode enjoyed drivng home.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Kinsale, Ireland

We visited one of the happiest little harbor towns in the southwestern county of Cork!  It's a nice seaside village, a colorful place with cobblestone streets, bright colored doors, good food, and a lot of history.  Read along and learn more about what there is to do in Kinsale!
We followed Rick Steve's recommendation on touring visiting Kinsale.  We went on a historic stroll of the town led by Barry Moloney.  I first saw him in the parking lot as we were parking, and I felt a little start struck-yelling in excitement "JORDAN thats HIM! That's the guy in Rick Steve's book!"

We learned several stories about the town and learned the port's history.  A major battle took place here in 1601 that pitted the English against the Irish/Spanish forces for mastery of the seas and control of all trade; the English won the battle (sadly?!?) but we all know the Irish eventually won the war for independence. Interesting tidbit, the Irish who came to help the Spanish were all from the northern Clans. As punishment for their involvement, the English stripped the northern clans of their land and encouraged English and Scottish settlers to move and take their place. This is what led to the creation of Northern Ireland when Ireland ultimately gained their independance.
Barry explaining what it was like to live in Kinsale and its layout in the early years of settlers and trade.
I would say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree here.  Bode seems like he is just as much a history buff as his dad!
For us there is nothing better than to wander around town.  Loving all the bright contrasting colors, walking cobblestone lanes, and admiring all sorts of local arts and crafts.
I love this pink shop!
 I spy window ships
Street signs get cold too!
 This little goober had so much fun, and was all smiles 
He isn't shy with making friends.
Bode really enjoyed being carried on his dad's shoulders.
We had heard that there was a tribute to those who died on the Lusitania (a ship torpedoed by a German submarine in 1915 just off the coast of Kinsale killing 1,200 people, sparking America's entry into the war) in the cemetery, so we went to take a look.  We couldn't find it but we did take some cute photos!
Before leaving town we got some local catch of the day at Dino's, along with a battered sausage and some french fries.  They were delicious and greasy and the best fish and chips either of us have ever had.  The prices were very reasonable too.   
Kinsale was a great way to spend half a day, the rest of our journey today took us to the Muckross house.  Read along in our next post for highlights!

Muckross House, Ireland

The Muckross house is one of the best Victorian homes we have ever seen.  Built in 1843 it is not far from Killarney and sits on the edge of the Killarney National Park.  We took a guided tour of the inside of the house, sorry no photos allowed, and it was one of the highlights of our trip.  
The home was once owned by the Guiness family, and then a wealthy American family bought it for their only daughter as a gift with 10,000 acres of land...a nice gift I'd say. It was donated to the State in 1932 and was made into the first national park.
I had a lot of fun with the camera and took some nice photos of Bode and dad.  The scenery is so beautiful why not!
 I think they have fun together
 Oh mama...
We took a beautiful ride along the  green rolling hills, through colorful Irish towns, and see a beautiful stretch if Ireland's rugged coastline.  It's a beautiful scenic drive!  he roads are windy and lined with large rhododendrons.  Bode didn't look like he was having it from the look on his face here.
We stopped at Ladies View about 12 miles from Killarney along the N71 towards Kenmare. The name sums from the admiration of the view given to Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting during their 1861 visit.  
From there we set off to Kenmare for the night and stayed at O'Sheas bed and breakfast.  Some of the best homemade scones we have had, and we had a great stay!

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