Kinderhotel. Kinderhotel. It's the most beautiful word in the world. It's beautiful like a double rainbow which, appropriately, is something we saw at the Kinderhotel --
A double rainbow -- what does it mean?
We went to our first Kinderhotel last year in Switzerland and it changed our lives (Switzerland Kinderhotel trilogy here and here and here). Here's the idea behind the Kinderhotel -- they put beautiful hotels in beautiful locations, then assure parents they don't have to see their kids unless they really, really want to.
Kids are occupied all day and well into the evening in the kids' programs (nature hikes, pony rides, farm visits) so parents can do whatever they want -- which, judging by the rush of parents back to their rooms after dropping their kids off at the Kids Club, is have a whole lot of sex. Kinderhotels should probably be called Sexhotels but maybe that would attract a whole different unsavory kind of clientele?
This was the view from our deck --
This is me drinking a beer and reading my man Hemingway on our deck. I didn't know where my kids were at the time this photo was taken. Thank you, Saint Kinderhotel --
There weren't a lot of English speakers (and zero French speakers) at the Kinderhotel so we certainly encountered some communication issues. We were given a very shaky English translation of the weekly calendar of events and immediately signed Lucien up for everything that didn't make sense, such as "action with a cloth" and "we tinker a beetle."
Coco was also left in the loving care of the childcare staff. It's probably not a surprise this pissed her off immensely. Coco delights in running away from us at every opportunity but became outraged when we had the gall to do the same to her. The yelling was impressive as we hustled our asses out of Baby Club. I think I heard her say, in jarbled baby tongue, "You gonna pay.... you gonna pay...." (Foreshadowing.... about five days later, we did pay.)
Alex and I took one of our leisurely days to cross the border and drive into Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg is a lovely town, home of Mozart and the Sound of Music. There are still Sound of Music tours happening and Sound of Music souvenirs everywhere so after awhile Alex and I were like, "Hey, Salzburg, movie came out fifty years ago, move on."
There was an incredible beer garden in Salzburg where Al and I ate wienerschnitzel and drank large steins of beer bigger than our heads. When you lifted your stein to take a sip of beer, it was like seeing an ocean of beer coming at your face.
The hills are alive, motherf*ckers
Salzburg is a very pretty city with pastel-colored buildings and tons of tourists. We were delighted to discover most of the pretty building serve delicious apple strudel.
Do you ever see a picture of yourself and think, "My God, I'm so sexy, I don't know how people keep their clothes on around me?" That's what I thought when I saw this --
One night after dinner a huge storm engulfed the Kinderhotel. The previously blue skies turned black. A sheet of dark clouds came rolling off the mountains and came over us like a fast-moving wave of terror. Alex eyed the clouds and whistled low and slow.... "This is some serious Mordor shit going on," said Al.
Then the wind kicked in. Chairs flew across the terrace below our room and Germans sprang into action to wrestle them indoors.
Guests came out on their balconies to cheer the storm on because apparently everyone loves a good storm when they're tucked safely into a Kinderhotel for the night. Most of us stayed out for the duration, watching the lightning and feeling the thunder in our bones. Mother Nature, thank you for a helluva show, and you scare me a lot.
Good luck, Salzburg, and godspeed
The most wonderful part of our Kinderhotel stay was we were there with the exact right people. I've got tales to tell of our new friends, but this post is getting too long for my comfort. It looks like this vacation story may be a four-parter, if not more, so sorry about that.
Thankfully there's nothing to report from Paris right now. The weather sucks and we're just sitting around indoors being mad about it. There is one thing -- I wore my new black and white polka dot rain boots to pick up Lucien at the centre de loisirs and boutique man downstairs pointed and laughed at them. Then I pointed and laughed at the ugly dress that looks like it's been put through a shredder in his store window that he's trying to sell for 200 euro.
Ahhh.....Parisians, you damn lovable snobs.
Sexhotel: Putting the sex back in family vacation,