In early December, my friend Shelby, her husband Kevin and her son Theo came to visit us as part of their vacation. We had the best time together, especially because we were able to talk about Mom stuff and share tips on parenting. We have a similar parenting style, too. That was one of the best parts about the visit, because Rosebud and Theo were able to play together and we were able to really enjoy each other’s company.
Shelby’s son Theo is what the Germans call a “Christkind” – a Christmas child, as his birthday is on Christmas Eve. He’s not that much younger than Rosebud, although he is a lot bigger! The first time I picked him up, I almost fell over; the first time Shelby picked up Rosebud, she says she felt like she almost threw Rosebud as she is so much lighter than Theo. 🙂
On our first day, we went to Schloss Linderhof, one of King Ludwig’s castles. It is the closest of the King Ludwig castles to our house. I conveniently ordered some snow for Shelby, Kevin and Theo.
Rosebud and Theo asleep in the car
near Schloss Linderhof, a winter wonderland
Rosebud plays in the snow and slush outside the castle
snow-covered Schloss Linderhof gardens
Handsome Theo, waiting to go in the castle
Schloss Linderhof was designed to resemble Versailles palace in France, as King Ludwig was a fan of King Louis XIV, the Sun King. It’s a small castle, and in terms of its size, feels more like an over-decorated country manor. But it is impressive and quite beautiful. Both Rosebud and Theo discovered that their voices carried well in the castle rooms, so they entertained themselves by listening to their voices.
After our visit to the castle, we had a bite to eat in a café. Rosebud had a grand old time drinking hot chocolate with a spoon. The hot chocolate was all over her bib and shirt, and she was very pleased with herself.
Gratuitous Theo photo:
Nom nom nom!
The next day, we went to the Zugspitze, which is the highest peak in Germany. The Zugspitze is outside of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. To get to the top of the peak, we took the cog train. Especially during the skiing season, the Zugspitze is mainly accessed by skiers, although visitors can make reservations for an overnight stay in an Igloo hotel. Other activities include a kid’s skiing area, snowshoeing and during other times of the year, hiking.
The tickets up to the ski center near the peak are not cheap, but the ride up in the cog train was really neat. As it was late in the day – in fact, the last train up to the top – we were the only people in the train car. This worked out well because Rosebud walked up and down the car. I followed close behind, holding on to her shoulder, as we were at a fairly steep angle. Rosebud thought that walking uphill and downhill was pretty great.
Shelby, Theo and Kevin in the cog train car, going up to the Zugspitze
Kevin holds Theo so he can see the snow-covered trees on the mountain
It took about 40 minutes, maybe a little longer, to reach the ski chalet at the top. We didn’t stay outside very long with the children, as it was bitterly cold. Kevin and I took turns to take photos and watch the kids. Braving the frigid temperatures was definitely worth the stunning views:
The ski chalet at the top of the Zugspitze, at an altitude of 2600 meters
The sun sets on the Zugspitze
On our last day together, we drove to Salzburg which is about an hour and a half from our house. Salzburg has a charming Altstadt, or old city quarter where we spent most of our time. It was another bitterly cold day, so we all bundled up. As we wandered around, we found a lovely Christkindlmarkt, also called a Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas market. I liked this one much better than the one in Munich, as most of the items were hand-made and local.
Shelby and Kevin at a Christkindlmarkt in Salzburg
Cozy, napping Theo
A view of the Altstadt and Christkindlmarkt
The cathedral and view of the fortress from the Christmas market
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Shelby, Kevin and Theo; I only wish we could have spent more time together.