On the train ride home from Salzburg we met a real live Heidi! She and her husband, Eckhart, were so sweet, and gave us a list of family-friendly things to do around Luzern. They have grandkids Ava's age, and were just precious with her. We talked so much that the two of them missed their train stop. I will always remember the hour spent with this kind couple.
I was so smitten with the city of Salzburg that Ava and Josh decided to build a Lego version of it for me.
Cole and Josh worked on separating our cardboard and paper for recycling. Have you ever wondered why it sometimes takes boys ten times longer to get through a task? Please notice Josh playing a game on his phone in this shot,
and Cole reading the sales papers. Oh boys.
Ava and Ms. Well caught up on their Disney channel shows.
This weekend my old college roommate and her husband came to visit us from Vicenza, Italy. They arrived late Friday night, and we left for Bern on Saturday morning.
Lindsey is proof that potluck dorm roommates can end up in lifelong friendships. I LOVE this girl!
Bern is the capitol of Switzerland, and absolutely gorgeous this time of year.
Sights we saw as we walked around town
One of my kiddos in the leaf pile,
and my other kiddo in the leaf pile.
We used the Rick Steves Switzerland guide to take our own walking tour of the city.
Still loving these mountain-cold water fountains
Taylor, Josh, and Ava walked way up into the bell tower of the Bern Cathedral.
They captured some gorgeous views of the city and surrounding mountains.
Look who climbed all the way up.
Spiral the whole way
The original Lindt chocolate factory, my favorite!
Home of the Bern Bears.
The bears really put on a show for us. These two were play fighting over a pelt of fur. One would snatch it from the other and start shaking it back and forth like a dog, then the other bear would bite his ear and snarl and 'bear hug' until he retrieved the pelt. It was so fun to watch.
Ava giggled at the silly bears and did not want to leave.
Posing with a less feisty bear in Bern
Lindsey and Ava made brownies for us, yum.
On Sunday we showed them around Luzern.
First stop: feeding the swans our old bread.
I cannot get over these trees. I didn't take many pictures on Saturday or Sunday. We were just enjoying the time with our friends. Hopefully Lindsey will share the photos of all of us that she took.
On Monday we found a store celebrating Halloween. We had to stop and get a picture.
The weather on Halloween was gloomy and cold. Look at this spooky cemetery shot.
On Monday evening we headed to Rapperswil. The amazing Zellwegers found some trick-or-treat friendly houses for the girls to visit. We were also eager to return to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch near their house.
Don't call CPS on us, but we took off her heavy coat to get some Halloween pictures. I also stripped of my heavy coat, as an act of solidarity. I snapped the pictures as quickly as I could and then snuggled her back into her coat.
Playing on the riding toys
A little tractor riding through the patch
Her shirt says "Cutest pumpkin in the patch"
With the bunnies
Noah's ark made from gourds and pumpkins
Checking out the pumpkin selection
Helping Daddy choose our pumpkin
As we sat down to dinner last Halloween Ava announced that she wanted to be Rapunzel for the next one. All year we have grown out her hair and she received the dress for her birthday last January.
All along she's insisted that Rapunzel would trick-or-treat barefoot. However, when we woke up Halloween morning to a chilly fog and no warm sun shining through she changed her tune. She chose to wear her pink cowgirl boots, and I talked her into wearing purple tights and a cardigan. Isn't the frying pan awesome?
Cole agreed to play Flynn Rider to Ava's Rapunzel.
It took us so long to convince Ava to pose for this picture. She was so concerned that people would think she actually hit Cole with the frying pan (like Rapunzel does in the movie Tangled). We eventually talked her into it. So here Ava, just for you: No Flynns were injured in the making of this picture.
This sassy stance appeared over the past week or so. I have no idea where it came from, other than we've been catching up on a lot of Project Runway lately. (By the way, Ava chose Anya as her favorite from the first episode. She was thrilled when Anya won!)
Freezing with Daddy
We have all tasted the blue Smurf Village kool-aid. Josh was planting vegetables on the game while we were picking out real ones.
Soon the Bunsons arrived and it was time to trick-or-treat.
Dina and Suzan helped me make a couple of costume adjustments so Ava could be warm without covering up her Rapunzel dress.
Ready to go
In Switzerland you are supposed to say, "Süßes oder Saures!” to get your candy.
It turned out to be quite the tongue twister, so we settled on plain old "Trick or treat!" to begin the candy transaction, and "Dankeschön" to say thank you at the end.
The girls came home with quite a load of candy.
We returned to a warm and wonderful dinner.
Carrot soup and homemade pizza, delicious.
Cole was in charge of handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters who came to the door.
The first leg of our train ride home was peaceful.
After a burst of mountain air when we changed trains, and the sugar high from "just one more" candy snack,
the second part of our train journey was not so quiet.
How do you not just love these two?
We hope you all had a magical Halloween! Thank you so much to Mimi & Coach, the Randall family, MLML & PLPL, Nana & Pappy, the Broaddus family, and Beene Been for sending cards and packages this week. You delighted us with love from home. We are so thankful for our friends and family! Click here to see all of our pictures from this week.