Irrgarten – Labyrinth

On our last day together we took Nana and Christiana to the Labyrinth at the Schönbrunn. It is always a fun place to explore! We love the different mazes and the playground. In the maze we split up into teams. Chris and I have been there a lot of times and thought we knew the way to the middle and we still wandered around for a long time and even ended up back at the beginning at one point before finally figuring out the way to the middle.

Yay! We all finally made it!

There is another fun maze with games you can play. The kids wanted to race me in the pole climb and I won! Yay for me! It was nice because if they lose against each other they get mad, but when they lose against me they just ask me to show them what to do.

It was a little chilly out, but that didn’t stop the kids from playing in the water inside the maze!

We played on the playground for a long time. There are so many great places to play!

After the maze we headed to the Carriage Museum. There is a really great exhibition right now about Maria Theresa in honor of her 300th birthday this year. She was a beloved ruler of the Habsburg Empire, and it was interesting to learn that she became the ruler in a time of great instability in her early 20s and was expected to be weak and easy to conquer. Instead she built up an impressive military presence, saved the empire, made great improvements in infrastructure and education, had a loving marriage, 16 children, and was beloved by her people for being not just a leader – but a woman who wept and laughed and was “the mother of her people”. I thought it was fascinating to read about her life and rule. It contrasted her to other female leaders at the time who tried to appear more masculine, while she embraced and used her femininity to her advantage. Also shown is a painting of her daughter, Marie Antoinette on horseback in men’s clothes. Her mother always rode side saddle and disapproved of her daughter riding astride the horse, as she said it would impact her fertility. All kinds of interesting history. And I thought we were just going to see some carriages!

It is always fun to visit the Schönbrunn. The grounds are so beautiful and there is a lot to see and do around the grounds.

Nana took the kids back to school shopping to pick out a nice outfit for school. This was the kids first experience with back to school shopping, and they all really enjoyed it!

That night we went to dinner at the Siebensternbrau for some delicious Austrian food. Everyone had super delicious food and a late night before we had to say goodbye.

Christiana drew some cute pictures for Elora and Marion before she left. They enjoyed coloring them together.

James enjoyed using Nana’s cane while waiting for the car to come pick up Nana and Christiana.

One last picture before saying goodbye! We can’t believe the summer is already nearing an end and that Christiana is going home. It doesn’t feel like she has been here that long and we will miss her so much. I couldn’t get the little two to smile for the goodbye picture. James said he was sad that he couldn’t keep Nana’s cane, and Marion cried for 30 minutes after saying goodbye. We love you Nana and Christiana! Thanks for all the beautiful memories.

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