Sunday, April 28, 2024

Home again! Home again! Jiggity-jig!

Vienna. Salzburg. Freilassing. Znojmo. Bratislava. And finally home again!

Here are a few pictures of Rachel and Miriam in Znojmo, Czechia:

They had a wonderful time there, but did not enjoy the sweets. The sweets were so bad, in fact, that they bought some specifically to bring home for us to try (along with a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on how you look at it) stash of dependably tasty Milka bars). 

The chocolate, I hear, was so-so. But the chewy Sójový Suk bar smelled like permanent marker and tasted...terrible.

When I lived in Russia, I remember initially thinking that the treats weren't wonderful, but as time wore on...the treats were fine. We would look forward to a cold Сырок with our school lunches (a little cheese dessert covered in chocolate (with one kind dipped in, I recall, a strawberry shell instead of chocolate)) and we would buy biscuits at the markets and...everything was just yummy.

Before coming home, I went to the market to buy some biscuits that were very popular amongst my co-teachers, along with some chocolate bars, and other treats. I brought them home and presented them to my family and they humoured me with an unenthusiastic "Mmmmm...mmmm..."

But those treats didn't get eaten, so I could tell they just weren't that into them. 

Josie distinctly remembers the treats being awful, which is why she thought it would be funny to bring some not-so-yummy treats to me. 

And watching the kids sample these treats was admittedly pretty funny. 

But it just goes to show how much tastes differ around the world. Suk bars are pretty popular in Czechia, as far as I can gather from my internet searching. I'm sure our treats are equally off-putting to their tastebuds. And that's okay. 

Here are the little kids excited about all the candy and trinkets they were given this morning:

They got pencils and snow globes and Kinder egg toys (Uncle Patrick bought huge Kinder eggs for himself, Josie, Rachel, and Miriam, which they ate so they could legally import the toys for the little kids, who got the toy without the chocolate). Phoebe decided that her little bird was a puffin and was just delighted by it (she's very into Puffin Rock these days):

Before Josie left, I channeled my Grandma Conrad and made everyone gather for some family-togetherness photos. Here we all are with Josie (who is technically shorter than Rachel, but we're on a slope because...our whole yard is a slope):

Here are the kids with Josie:

Here's Josie with Rachel and Phoebe, because we were talking about how the age difference between Josie and Rachel (13 years, 3 months, and 3 days) is just about the same as the difference between Rachel and Phoebe (14 years, 3 months, and 24 days):

In fact, Rachel is a whole year closer in age to Josie than she is to Phoebe. That was a little strange to think about! 

The conversation came up between the two of them because...well, I'm not quite sure why. But Rachel mentioned something about how she still gets in stupid fights with Phoebe, even though they're so far apart in age. And Josie laughed and told her that when she came out to stay with us in Egypt (when Rachel was about the age Phoebe is now), she would also get in dumb fights with...a literal baby. 

It happens. 

Here's a picture of me with Josie (because we neglected to take one while she was here two weeks ago):

The little kids sure were sad to see her go because they have such fun with her whenever she's around.

Phoebe wasn't quite sure about Auntie Josie, but with the threat of her leaving, Phoebe suddenly decided that she really needed to give her a hug, so she ran up to her and gave her a hug:

That made Josie feel quite happy because she hasn't really had a Phoebe hug before! She is so good and patient about letting little kids make their own advances. It was a hug well-earned!

Here are the three littlest ones getting in there for more hugs:

After a full day of traveling yesterday, Auntie Josie spent the night on the couch, and then spent the morning visiting with us before heading to the airport to fly back to Utah. She's got to be exhausted! But it was sure good to see her and the girls had so much fun with her and Uncle Patrick in Austria (and surrounding areas).

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