Thursday, August 2, 2018

Camping in Style!

This year I had a camp director who was able to go to Girl's Camp for part of the time. We still needed to take the girls down on two separate days though so I drove the first bunch down and took my kids along for some camping of our own for a few days. We all love the mountains in Garmisch and my kids have never been camping before so it was a good opportunity. Chopper had to stay behind and work.

So I don't know how much this is really like camping! The campground is part of a resort complex and so we had access to their pool and restaurants. And buffet breakfast $3 for kids? I'm totally taking advantage of that!  So we did sleep in a tent and spend most of our time outside but it was really not roughing it!

The kids slept until 7:30 that first morning despite it being so light out. And of course William had to come cuddle with me. It doesn't work as well in a sleeping bag as a regular bed. We were pretty squished.

Our first full day in Garmisch, the kids wanted to hike. And I ignored my common sense that said "take them on a kid friendly hike" because they wanted to go into the mountains. So we did. Rather we tried. We started up Mt. Wank and it was uphill and hot and William wanted to hold my hand (and drag behind) and we stopped every minute or so to look at a butterfly or a rock or a snail. We didn't get very far. We turned around and went back but salvaged the trip by giving our parking ticket to a couple from the Netherlands who were thrilled to have free parking. But even not going too far gave us some great views!

Then Megan wanted to go in the cable car up to the top of the Zugspitze. And it was a great clear day. But we couldn't find her sweatshirt and it was 50 degrees at the top and I knew she would not be happy so we decided against that. We ended up going back to camp and helping the second arrival of girls to set up tents and stuff. Then I took them swimming again and that was it!

It was kind've a disappointing day. My pie in the sky plans didn't work out and we spent a lot of time running around without actually doing anything. But in the end I had to let it go. The kids were happy with the swimming and those other things are ok to wait or not happen at all. Because we have amazing blessings just in a regular day. 

Ok but that did kind've make me more determined to pull off my plans for our drive home!!!

On Wednesday we packed up our camp bright and early, went for breakfast, and then drove home.
 But of course we first took pictures of Abby with this bush in the campground that looks exactly like a snail!

One last look at the Alpine glory!

We literally drive right through Munich to get home and so I was BRAVE (I always make Chopper do the city driving) and actually stopped at Nymphenberg Palace in Munich!  The parking fortunately was easy - I had already pretty much decided that if I needed to parallel we wouldn't stop. And I had a car top carrier on the van so a garage wasn't an option.

Nymphenburg was a country palace (not anymore!) originally built by the Elector (before Princes and Kings in Bavaria) as a gift for his wife on the birth of the Heir. It's been expanded over the years of course and has extensive grounds that are mostly wooded. Throughout the grounds are several smaller (really they are) buildings that have different purposes in entertainment and living. I had heard about the proliferation of ducks, geese, and swans on the grounds and so we went prepared with lots of leftover rolls and croissants.

This is also the palace where Ludwig II was born so you can see where he gets his amazing taste! 
The Great Hall is absolutely lovely and has balconies on either side. I would love to stand up there and watch a ball from above!

The girls and I decided I must be royal - I have this lovely lady's chin! Both of them!

The rooms themselves weren't the most spectacular that we've seen but one of the reasons I've wanted to visit here so much is for the Gallery of Beauties. King Ludwig I of Bavaria had 36 women painted for his gallery - from all sections of society. There are upper class women and even the daughter of a shoemaker. Although of the 36 only one is blonde so clearly he preferred brunettes! The women in the portraits truly are lovely and we enjoyed picking our our favorites.  
Abby and Megan both chose the shoemaker's daughter!  She's the one on the bottom right, just above Abby's head. 

This was one of my favorites.

William didn't want his picture next to his favorite - he wanted to take the picture. It's the one in pink on the left. He likes pink.

The tour of the palace is short and self-guided although there is an audio guide available. Then we went out to the grounds. It was HOT but in the shade, really just fine. We walked the paths to various buildings and did our typical thing - fed ducks, found snails, laughed at geese, etc.
This is the tiniest snail they found.

Ok so the first building we went into was a wing of the palace that houses the carriages. So we have seen the gold coronation coach of the British Empire. I'm sorry to tell them - these are better. Mostly because Ludwig II did everything over the top - not just palaces.

The gold coronation coach of Emperor Karl VII

This is a child's sleigh
What the horse wore for the jingle bell sound! That's a lot of bells!

Just one of Ludwig II's amazing sleighs

And coaches - we called these the duster coaches because of the plumes on the top

So I just thought this merman looked a lot like teenage boys today with that hair!

 Sorry are you tired of coaches yet?  Then here's a horse. This was Ludwig II's favorite horse. He had it taxidermied. The kids were pretty appalled by that.

 We went quickly through the porcelain section - I love to look but it's not really something to linger over, especially with kids. Then back out into the grounds. The first building we came to was the Amalienburg - the hunting lodge.


Sorry - you know how I feel about Rococo! 

The tiled wall above the cooktop in the kitchen. Amazing! 

Back into the park we found another tree with eyes. 

And a whole group of ducks that followed us after we had fed them our bread. For a while. We finally came upon a little birthday party that had a dog with them and the ducks left.

The grounds are lovely and tourist-free!  They do not know what they are missing! 

Totally staged. 

Then we came upon a huge flock of geese (which we did not approach or try to feed - geese are mean!) and they erupted into speech (????) right when we were walking by. The kids thought it was hilarious. 

 Then we came upon the Badenburg which has a swimming pool in the bottom. So it's probably not surprising that much of the art seemed to be throwing up water?


Top level is I don't know what but the blue part is the swimming pool.

At the top of the park is the Great Cascade that was just ok!

But with a view all the way down to the end with the palace.

A little perspective here.

Then of course the kids found a HUGE snail!

Which slimed all over everyone.


The last building we stopped in (we missed one but the kids were hot and about done) was the Pagodenburg which is covered in Delft tiles and decorated in the Chinese style that was popular (which actually Delft tiles in the blue and white started because the Dutch were trying to recreate Chinese pottery - true story).

The upstairs rooms were in different colors.



William told me he wanted to live here and could we do that? I told him we'd probably have to ask. I spoke briefly with the ticket taker (not about living there though) when we left and William asked me if he said we could live here. I told him no, it's owned by someone else to which he responded "well maybe we can live here when they die!"  Yeah too bad it's owned by Bavaria AND way out of our price range.

Once we left the sanctuary of the trees it was HOT so we wrapped it up pretty quickly and were not tempted in the slightest to take a gondola ride in the sun! 

Abby is the only one who wanted to do a jumping picture and it turned out awesome!  Especially because no one's in it! I really think the tourists come in at the front, see the palace, and leave! 

One last stop to get rid of the last of our bread.  
Then finishing the drive home.

At home we did laundry, unpacked, watched movies, and I repacked to go back to girl's camp as the leader and was able to do the hike with them on Friday and be there for testimony meeting and then I brought them all home on Saturday.