These two are absolutely precious together! Very different... yet with enough in common to make it a sweet friendship. Israel, rough and tumble, (yes, those are Supergirl pajamas she's wearing from Aunt Catherine!), and Anna, glitz and glamour. I kept wishing I had a way to record their dialogue, (yes, I shamelessly spied on them pretty much the whole time...). Once in awhile one of them would get snippy and the other would come back with something witty and then they'd both crack up laughing and go on playing.
Now why can't we all be a little more like that!
Friday morning, up at 3 AM, on the road by 4:30, sleeping children until almost 8 AM. First stop: muffins and juice for breakfast!
Around 10:30 AM we were awed as we entered the foothills of the Austrian Alps.
We ooohed and aaahed as we passed through these sweet little villages nestled against the backdrop of such beauty.
We arrived at the lodge in Garmisch just before noon, which is the best time we've ever made on any trip... ever! This was made even more exciting by the fact that this gave the children the rest of the afternoon to hang out in the swimming pool and hot tub!! This picture above was taken in the lobby while LeRoy checked us into our room.
Anna and Israel...
Zeke. See those Alps in the background?
That night we had all-you-can-eat (totally American as there is no such thing as "all-you-can-eat" in European culture!) German cuisine in the Lodge Restaurant. (It's luxuries like these that prevent us from getting homesick for American culture... the lodge is located on an American Base.) After dinner we attended the first meeting of the weekend for the Ministry to the Military Conference. This was an amazing time of worship, awesome preaching... and a time to reflect on the day's events: a safe and quick trip to Garmisch, incredible scenery, a lazy, refreshing afternoon playing in the pool, a delicious dinner...
Feeling spoiled rotten and completely refreshed, we went to bed that night exhausted but happy.
After the morning conference session we took off to spend the day exploring Neuschwanstein Castle -- "Mad King Ludwig's" castle.
Isaiah and Israel rode on the front seat of the horse carriage that took us up to the castle.
Anna and her mom, Cindy.
Isaiah is standing in front of the castle. This is the part of the castle that is seen in the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
Inside the castle courtyard.
The view from one of the castle windows.
Yet another view. On the right you can see Ludwig's parent's castle.
LeRoy and I...
Eli, Zae, and Zeke...
We had read about how this was a magical fairytale kind of castle... 'Tis true. We weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside, but it was pretty magnificent. The art alone was extraordinary.
More mountain views as we drove back to the lodge for dinner and the evening session of the conference... which LeRoy and the children spent playing in the pool... smile.
Tomorrow would bring one last very indulgent breakfast and a closing session complete with communion together outside surrounded by the beauty of the Alps. After that... a long drive through the Austrian and Italian Alps to Aviano, Italy! Yahoo!