I enjoyed a busy summer of visits this year… just two short weeks after one of my besties visited, along came my parents.
My folks have visited three times now, and it’s already their second staying in our house. Luckily the house is big enough (for everyone to have his own bedroom if they so choose).
So began the old familiar story of what shall we do when they’re here. When people visit for the first time it’s easy – Pyramiden Kogel, the stunning Wörtersee, hiking, lake swimming, schnitzel eating, walking the local town… But on a third visit – then it starts to get tricky.
It’s not that our area is lacking in things to do – Austria, being a relatively small country means that pretty much anywhere is only a few hours’ drive. But there’s a balance. And my parents are not exactly at the get up at 6am and hike a mountain followed by Oktoberfest activities age. For them, it’s more like one day on, one day off.
Which is great. It means I don’t have to stress about running out of things to do and I also have plenty of free time – sleep-ins, running in the sun and the obligatory dining out.
It also gives me a chance to do some things that I haven’t done before – simply because they’re not top of the list. This time, we visited Schloss Eggenberg, toted as the most significant Baroque palace complex in Styria. After the lineage of the original family ran out of sons, the palace was passed on, but the next family chose only to live in the bottom floor, leaving the top floor almost unchanged since the 1600s. There’s quite a bit of original furniture and the ceiling paintings are amazing.
I also sent my parents to Burg Hochosterwitz with the inlaws – I’ve seen it before so I spent the day working – they arrived home very tired.
We sampled some of our favourite restuarants again (the Golf Club for Kaiserschmarren) and visited some new ones (Captain’s Table (not its real name)).
We watched movies in the evening as you would at home, we played a lot of scrabble and my folks took the bikes out a couple of times. We ate breakfast while watching the AFL Grand Final, as weird as it was. The weather, thankfully this year (last year it snowed) was Autumn-y but definitely warm.
It was great to host them in our house again, to show them the newest home improvements (new curtains, installation of the laundry sink etc.), to have some help with the cleaning – the cellar is sparkling now – and to just take some time to be together.
I love having people come to stay and I love my friends and family, but by the start of October I was exhausted. And straightaway, I went and booked a trip to Australia for the summer, but I’ll get to that!