For mom's last weekend in Germany we decided to go big: King Ludwig's castles in southern Bavaria!!!! The iconic castles of Germany I think - each unique and each wonderful. I was a little nervous about driving down myself but it went really well. We stopped at the white church in the meadow on the way down and had a picnic dinner.
William got these star glasses from his graduation party and he wore them ALL weekend! He got a lot of amused smiles but no photography that I know of.
I just love the alps and the scenery!
Ok a lot of these pictures I've posted before really but I just can't resist!
Then we finished our drive to the castles. We had a hotel literally down the street -- we left our car there and walked all over the castles. Friday night was especially nice because everything closes about 7 and there was no one around. We walked as far as we could up to each castle - Hohenschwangau and Neuswanstein and took pictures and had a really nice evening.
The platform that has a great view of the front of the castle was no good this time -- they've got the entire front covered by scaffolding.
The next day after breakfast we walked up and took tours of both the castles. Of course you can't take pictures inside but there's a few windows you can take pictures of the view out. I love each of these castles because they are all beautifully done and unique even if Ludwig did nearly bankrupt Bavaria to do it. I was worried that the kids would be bored out of their minds with tours that they've been on before but they pretty much acted like they'd never seen them before. I guess it's true -- kids their age don't really remember or appreciate Europe! But at the same time it meant that the tours went well again!
This is the courtyard at Neuschwanstein that we missed last time.
Because we had walked up the night before we took the carriage up this time and then walked around the back of the castle and onto the Marienbrucke -- Mary's bridge. It was closed when we were there in September.
Ok so the view is great but it's pretty window up there and the boards of the bridge have a little give to them, especially when there's a 100+ people on it with you! We walked across, took a few quick photos, and left. We rode the tram down and I had a great conversation with an older couple where the husband was Irish and the wife Phillipino and they live in Australia. It's fun to meet people from so many parts of the world!
Afterwards we drove over to Linderhof. It's probably my favorite and this was colorful with flowers and the grounds were just gorgeous!
Abby is really into weird pictures lately. Her poses are just ridiculous!
Spontaneous hugging followed by "William get off of me!"
We walked the grounds quite a bit as well and although the grotto is closed we found the Maurischer kiosk which basically a building on the grounds that he decorated in a Moroccan style. It had these fantastic peacocks inside!
So it actually works to get the kids to take good pictures if we count down and jump so we did a lot of that!
A few from my mom's camera
As far as a last hurrah goes, it was a pretty good one!!! We had a great time. On Tuesday night I drove her to the airport and we had a childless dinner together and then she flew out super early Wednesday morning. Sigh. It's been a year since I've seen my mom and we don't normally go that long between visits but it can't be helped. We do lots of FaceTime conversations but I'm just really really glad that she and dad were able to come. I loved sharing things that we love with her and discovering some new things to love as well. I think they'll be back!