To Innsbruck

First off, I’m going to brag a little: I think I may be the world’s best packer. When we laid out all of the things we needed to bring with us on this trip, I thought there was no way we were going to get away with only packing two suitcases and a backpack . . . but we did. It’s impossible to really pack light with kids, and winter weather makes it harder (snow pants, wool socks, long underwear, hats, gloves, mittens, etc., times two) but we got away with only a little luggage.

This morning, before we left for Innsbruck, we were actually ready early, which has never happened to me before (even before kids). I’m sure that means we forgot something important, but I always worry about that — turns out that whether you’re finished early or not, you’re still worried about forgetting something.

The train ride was really fun. We ate, the kids napped, we all talked, and at one point I got stuck coming back from the snack car behind an accordion player and a guitar player in lieterhosen.

The scenery through Austria was gorgeous. There was a lot of snow, which made everything seem sugar-coated. The trees here hold the snow in their branches more than at home, so the all look frosted. We passed perfect Christmas village towns glimpsed for just a moment between the hills and the trees, and saw rocky, snowy mountain peaks. As the sun went down, everything turned pink, and it was dark by the time we arrived in Innsbruck.

Even in the dark, the mountains loom over the city. It took us a bit to notice them — they’re so big that your brain almost insists upon seeing them as a bank of clouds, but once I saw them as mountains, I was awed.

I can’t wait to see Innsbruck by day, and to play in the snow.

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