Friday, July 22, 2011

Kinderhotel Nirvana

This is Part Two.  Part One is back there, but only go back if you have a strong stomach.

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,


Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Lucky you! Lucky, lucky, lucky you! Salzburg is definitely on my list of places to see. The hills are alive....hahaha. Love it.

TN said...

Ahhh...we will have to try a kinderhotel soon! Bday weekend next weekend and kiddo is staying with the in laws!!

Sorry I have been MIA...back online ;-)

Where are you off to for August?

MJ said...

Samantha, GO to Salzburg, you will love it. So pretty, lots of beer, lots of Sound of Music stuff. I'm regretting not buying the tacky Sound of Music magnet we saw in front of the cathedral. Darn.

Hi TN! Welcome back online. Obviously, I cannot recommend a Kinderhotel enough for those with young kids.

We aren't going anywhere in August -- well, maybe a short weekend here or there, but mostly plan to stay put. It's our last August, and frankly, I love it when Paris clears out and the streets are all ours. It's an entirely different city and I don't want to miss it, to say some tearful goodbyes and whatnot.

Bye ladies, thanks for stopping by.

AM said...

Our kids first school vacation has Kinderhotel written all over it...thanks for the tip!

Duchesse said...

I don't know what's worse: our weather in this part of Europe (meaning in Paris and The Hague) or Debbie's in Toronto (what was it, Deb, 50 at Pearson with humidex yesterday? Geeez!)? It's either feast or famine with Mother Nature these days, isn't it?

Exactly what evil thing(s) did Coco do five days later?;)

Duchesse said...

Have you set a date for departure?

Lisa said...

Man, I wish there had been a kinderhotel when we had young kids! Sounds great! Love the storm shots, nothing beats a great storm, except maybe that super sexy picture. Great post! Drama, sex, humor, beer, and Hemmingway!

debbie in toronto said...

Hey was 50 at Pearson yesterday with the little window thermometer only goes to 50 and the red line was right at the top..

oh..excuse us MJ just chatting with the Duchesse

gotta love that kinderhotel...

and you should have bought the my collection of tacky fridge magnets..

that beer stein is serious business...gotta go there.

The Bold Soul said...

OMG I loved Salzburg and all that apple strudel. I did go on one of those hokey Sound of Music bus tours and in that garden (the one you were photographed in) was very nearly tempted to try and hit that high note like Julie Andrews did while all the kids hopped up and down the steps.

But I didn't. The Austrians are still grateful.

Making mental note to check out Kinderhotels...

Paperdoll said...

I went on a Sound of Music tour in Salzburg during which they let you twirl on an actual Alp and do-re-mi yourself right up and down those same steps. I also marriage-walked down an aisle in Mondsee Cathedral where Capt. Von Trapp and Maria did just the same. It ruled.

Kinderhotel sounds like paradise. I'm telling my friend Mackie about it right away!

MJ said...

I am starting to suspect the rest of the world loves The Sound of Music more than I do.

AM, check out the Kinderhotel site. Most of them are located in Austria, with a couple scattered elsewhere. Austrians are brilliant, brilliant people.

Duchesse -- There will be more vomit. Let's leave it at that. She's such a punk.

We don't have a date yet for departure. We seem to be skirting the issue, reluctant to actually put a date on "the end." Certainly hope to be home for Christmas, though.

Lisa, thanks, I'm glad you find this post so well-rounded. My mom still thinks I swear too much.

Debbie, no worries, carry on your conversation with Duchesse. I'll wait....

Bold Soul! Salzburg is a wonderful town. I've been there twice now and still haven't done the S of M tour. Could I be missing out?

Hi Paperdoll -- hey, looks like I'm missing out! Like I said, I have a feeling everyone likes the ole Von Trapps a little bit more than I do. I wasn't tempted to Do Re Mi even once in the Mirabell garden. There may be something wrong with me.

Bye, posse. Thanks for dropping in and leaving the ole two cents.

Paris Paul said...

Ahh, beer steins and hotels and too sexy for other people's clothes...double rainbows and Storm know how to throw one hell of a holiday, MJ.

PS Which Hemingway was it?

PPS Maybe the group of us good hook up if y'all come to the Canal d'Ourq Paris Plage!

MJ said...

Paris Paul! Happy to see you, man. Agreed, the holiday was really something. Chaos is our friend, and that's OK because we'll take it any day over boredom.

P.S. It was A Moveable Feast. Even when out of Paris, I'm with Paris. I love that book immensely, especially the parts with F. Scott and Gertrude.

P.P.S. That is a great idea. Didn't the Paris Plage just begin? We're here all August, so I'll be in touch with Paris Karin, cool?

Kiki said...

So, you know your "I'm so sexy I don't know how people keep their clothes on around me" picture? The lady behind you looks like she's doing the dance from Thriller. Just thought I'd point that out.

MJ said...

Kiki -- you're right. F*ck her for being sexier than me.

TN said...

I will miss you when you go back to Seattle you will have to keep blogging. We are thinking about doing 3 weeks in the US next August (not this August since I AM HUGE 7 months preggo so far!). 2 weeks with family then 1 week in Seattle. I will get some advice from you in 2012 on where to stay, see, eat etc...

This year we are going to do 1 week Loire Valley and 2 weeks in Dordogne since I am not able to fly soon. We are here in Paris for 2 more weeks from today ;-) But this weekend going to Champagne with the hubs it's our annual Bday Celebration (our Bdays are only 2 days apart ;-).

Have fun this August here in Paris!


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