30 June 2012

A Day Around Bled-town

This is going to be picture heavy!  So hard to chose a few!

I found a great vacation rental online called The Red House.  It was a great place for us!  I'd never seen a rental place have so much for kids!!  A wicker chest FULL of toys, baby items for those with small children, a Wii, lots of movies and much more.

Bled Vacation 1

We slept fairly well that first night, although Eli woke up EARLY, about 5:30!  So Kristi & Eli had an early start to the day.  They were both a bit sleepy, but we headed in to downtown Bled by mid-morning.  Our goal that day was to take a gondola out to the island and go up to the castle for a fantastic view of the lake!

We headed straight for the gondolas.  These gondolas hold up to about 18 people, we had 13 on our boat, which included a couple from Australia, a couple from England and a Swedish/Norwegian couple and our party of 7.  We had a good time chatting with all of them and they laughed at the antics and silly things our kids did and said!

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The view from the lake is so beautiful and calming as the water laps at the boat.

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As you can see, the kids loved playing in the water!

Arriving at the island the gondola rower gives you 30 minutes to explore (not quite enough time, but oh well).  We took a moment to take some family photos.

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There are only a few buildings on the island housing the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church, a souvenir shop and a cafe.  It is the most hilly island I have ever seen.  You have to climb about 100 steps to get up to the church/cafe/shop.  Maybe not that many, but it was a lot.

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The view from the island does not disappoint.  I don't think much about Bled could be disappointing in the panorama department.  It is just that gorgeous!

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Look at all those fish and how clear and green that water is!!

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I'm so glad Kristi and Eli could come with us.  We had so much fun together!

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We ate at a Slovenian Mexican restaurant for lunch.  It was pretty good!

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Visited the Parish Church of St. Martin.
I love this photo collage Kristi put together.  Kristi did some research and found that this church was designed by Friedrich von Schmidt in 1905, who also did the Rathaus (city hall) and Votivkirche in Vienna.
We meandered along the lake taking in the sights.
Did a bit of window and souvenir shopping.  This shop felt as if we'd stepped into a quaint shop in my parent's town of Granbury, Texas!
The kremina rezinka, a dessert specific to the Park Hotel, had been recommended to us by some colleagues.  Yum!!

After our yummy dessert we made our way up to the Bled castle.

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Love them!!

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We decided to buy our souvenirs at the castle shop and had a nice little chat with the shop keeper.  A young, local guy who grew up in Bled.  He was a ski fanatic and his eyes lit up when he heard I was from Alaska.  Ha!!

That concluded our day.  Looking a little haggard!!

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We decided to pick up some eats at the store for a simple dinner at the house.  The kids still got to bed late, but they slept in a bit too.

It was a long day, but we all had a great time!

Next up, Vintgar Gorge!

29 June 2012

Road Trip!

We discovered Bled, Slovenia 12 years ago when attending an annual meeting.  
Bled Vacation 7

On Tuesday of last week, we hopped in the car for a road trip with our friend Kristi & her son, Eli following behind in their car.

Many Americans may not know about this little European treasure! Slovenia is a part of former Yugoslavia.  Our first visit to Bled was for an annual meeting we attended 12 years ago in 2000.  We'd been in Russia for 8 months and the trip was our first visit outside of the country.  It was a refreshing escape from the heaviness of living in Russia.  Bled is located in northern Slovenia, close to the Austrian border.

A town with a lake, 15th cenutry church on a small island in the middle, cliff with a castle surrounded by mountains.  Breathtaking!!

However, getting to Bled this day turned into a little bit of a nightmare.

Here's how it went.

*Stopped for lunch.  Reegan had a poo accident.  Then learned Eli had an accident  This did not set a good tone for the rest of our trip.  Kristi was already feeling ready to turn around and head home!! 

*On the road after lunch and our gps had us veer off the highway onto a different highway taking us through several small towns and adding time.  Grr!  Remember to update the gps before a road trip!

*Jerry was pulled over going way over the speed limit.  Oops!  This did not help my already grumpy mood for this trip!  Luckily, here you pay on the spot and the fee, in this instance, was minimal.

*Made our way back to the highway and almost to Slovenia when we got to the Austrian/Slovenia border crossing and wouldn't ya know......it was blocked.   The tunnel going through the mountains from Austria to Slovenia was closed for the day.  Great!!!

*Two cars and a motorcycle pack stopped to ask us what we knew about an alternate route (all were also foreigners from varying European countries and couldn't read the signs in German.  Way to go Austria!!!)  We explained and researched as best we could. Hopefully we didn't lead them too far astray.

*Our alternate route?  A steep and winding mountain road.  Luckily it was good and clear.
This little mountain excursion added over an hour to our trip, with a few extra minutes here and there trying to avoid the highways since we didn't have a vignette (highway permit) for Slovenia, bringing our total hours traveled to 9 hours!!!  We should have made it in 4 hours!!

Several times I had to remind myself that, at least, the view on this lengthened road trip was nice!

We made a quick stop to pick up of the keys to our holiday home at a gas station, made our way to the lake in Bled, oooh and ahhhed over the view......

....and went straight to find food and found ourselves at a nice little pizzeria with some tasty pizza!!

I must say that our kiddos all traveled quite well and got to bed late!!  But we all survived!!

20 June 2012

School Rewards

It's hard to believe the school year has come to an end.

The last week of school (which was only 3 days) was all half days.  The first day was field day and the second day was awards.  Brennan got mixed up and called it "rewards" and it stuck.  Then I started calling it that when talking to people about it.  Ha!  It's actually somewhat appropriate seeing as an award is a reward for their hard work.

Karis getting her "rewards" 

She is so proud!

Brennan receiving his "rewards"

Checking them out with his classmate.

Reegan too!

This group had good scores all year!  Brennan is second from left.

On the last day of school, my friend Mollie and I volunteered to take the first grade class as a gift, of sorts, for the teacher.  We watched the movie "Dolphin Tale," brought goodies to eat and did a special craft for their teacher.

Karis and her friend being silly!

Watching the movie.  The actual watching of the movie didn't last for long before there was talking and then complete uninterest in watching the movie!  Oh well, it was a good idea!

Presenting the gift to their teacher.  We had to wait for the hands to dry to finish it, but the hands of each student are leaves on a tree.

Their teacher wasn't able to give out as many awards as she would have like during the awards ceremony, so she gave them out at the end of class.

Karis' first grade class

Her teacher signing her yearbook.

Brennan & Reegan with Ms. H.

Karis with Ms. D.

We had such a great school year, great friends, and great teachers!!  What a blessing ICSV has been for us!!  In all honesty, we won't miss Vienna much, but we will sure miss our school and friends!!

We're taking a little road trip this week, so stay tuned for pictures from our trip!

18 June 2012

Last T-Ball Game

T-Ball has come to an end.  It was fun, but I am glad to have our Saturday mornings back!!

Reegan has been a good spectator this season!
And sporting one of the many headbands Kristi gave to my girls!


The Royals and the Reds with their coaches.

Our baseball field is located in this beautiful green forest area.  We decided to go exploring after the game.

And stumbled upon this park.

I LOVE this setting behind Brennan!  Isn't it gorgeous?!

They loved this thing.  Until Reegan bopped her head on the pole in the middle.  Oops!

This past week we wrapped up the school year.  More on that in my next post!


  Deeper - adj. 1. extending or situated relatively far down from a surface: a deep pool. It's been a long time since I've ...