Happy (Belated) Christmas

It started with a 4am wake-up call that, as 4am wake-up calls are wont to do, came far too early. Fortunately, as we had packed the night before, we were able to get up and out of the house with relative ease, meet our driver and head to the airport for our 7am flight to Munich. Yes, I agree that 7am is incredibly early for a flight with a tired baby, not to mention an exhausted mama, but it was nice to arrive in Munich before 9am, ready to start our weekend. We grabbed a couple of laaaaarge coffees at Munich International (don’t worry, I won’t devote a paragraph to it this time but just understand that they were takeaway and amazing) and imageour rental car and we were on our way to visit the Christmas markets of Innsbruck, Austria.

We had booked a suite in Fulpmes, Austria because we couldn’t find one that suited our requirements (ahem budget) in Innsbruck. But, man, were we stoked we did as the Schottenhof was exactly what we were after in our quest to find the perfect Germanic alpine destination: storybook mountains in the foreground, cows being milked in the barn, and clucking chickens pecking away in the coop. Yup, that’s correct friends and family: we had booked ourselves a weekend at a farm, complete with horses, chickens, cows, goats, and even a friendly cat content spending his days watching the animals and winding his body around the legs of visitors’. The landscape was reminiscent of interior BC and our hostess was pleased as we advised her it evoked happy memories of our home and native land.


Besides the scenery, the other void that was filled for us was in our bellies: breakfast! It was so nice in the morning to eat an actual breakfast with delicious homemade breads and buns, fresh cheeses and jams, and yogurt and cereal (sorry, Italy, I love pasta and pizza more than your average Canadian – I mean, come on, I moved to Italy! – but, when it comes to breakfast, biscotti is not enough to sustain my imagegrumbling belly. The breakfast spread at the Schottenhof was perfectly satiating and put a bit of bounce in our step for our big day in Innsbruck.

Innsbruck is a small city in Austria with a significant Italian population so we heard almost as much Italian as we did German over the weekend as we wandered the stalls of the Christmas markets, drinking hot cider and checking out all the booths with various handmade goods. Saturday morning, we took the Hungerburg Funicular and then the Nordkette Cable Car up to the very top of the 2,256-metre-high Hafelekar mountain, taking in the amazing panoramic surrounding us on the gondola ride up, up, up. When we imagereached the top, we gingerly picked our way over the ice-encrusted snow (unfortunately unseasonable warmth meant no fresh snow) and snapped some pictures but, as my dad “hilariously” pointed out during our last FaceTime exchange, when it comes to weather Italy has softened us, so it got cold quickly and we decided to go in to the restaurant to warm our bodies with some goulash soup. After finishing up, we slowly made our way back down to the city, a mere 20 minutes journey from the peak, to have a hot wine and people-watch as Frankie slept soundly in her stroller. Then, we purchased a giant Nutella-flavoured schneeball, in an attempt to embrace our Christmas spirit, and headed back to our cozy suite.

We started feeling peckish a few hours later but were also feeling exhausted after an early morning wake up and a long day of sightseeing. Also, having an active daughter who is not content to sit in a high chair for animagey period of time, much less for the time it takes her parents to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, assisted in our decision to stay in for supper- she’s a wilful toddler and when things don’t go her way, she screams and writhes until we give in or she gets tired (and you can probably guess who has more stamina in that scenario). So, Jesse decided to go out and bring something home for dinner. Less than 15 minutes later, however, he rushed back, truly as excited as a kid on Christmas, urging me to get ready because, on his journey to find dinner, he discovered a parade and it was imperative we return to watch. It was just about to get started, he exclaimed, not understanding why I wasn’t leaping up to change out of my pyjamas to get ready to go. I didn’t share his enthusiasm and felt that I could happily have missed it (parades are not exactly my jam) but he persuaded me it was another one of these “once in a lifetime” experiences and so I reluctantly changed out of my pyjamas for the second time that day.

We jumped in the car and headed out and this is where my story ends…for today. I’ve decided to break this one up and leave you in anticipation of the second half which I promise will follow shortly. So, for now, to be continued in the (recent) future.



10 Responses to “Happy (Belated) Christmas”

  1. you’ll never know how happy it makes me to see another of your posts up! And this one is great — I’d love to spend a Christmas in Europe, and the Christmas markets of Austria and Germany would be a great place to start. Looking forward to reading Part II (also looking forward to seeing you soon!)

  2. Paul Sprout says:

    Enjoyed your post and can taste that laarge coffee from nanaimo. Happy new year! Dad

  3. Zach says:

    How nice to have a proper breakfast! Did Frankie eat before flipping that plate upside down?

    • Rhiannon Sprout says:

      Hmmm good question. I would say she probably didn’t….she likes to eat her food off the floor so she was probably just waiting until it got there so she could scoop it up.

  4. Liz says:

    Enjoyed reading your post. What a fun Christmas trip with your family. I read your Mom’s blog, but have never commented – a lurker…… : ). Keep on blogging!

    • Rhiannon Sprout says:

      Hahahaha I also lurk on a lot of blogs – sometimes I like to keep a low online presence;)

      And, yes, the Christmas markets were really cool! We are already talking about doing something similar next year.

  5. dottoressa says:

    Dear Rhiannon, happy (belated ) birthday!
    I wish you one(or more) Starbucks in Rome :-)!
    You write so well (it runs in family),I hope to have a lot of your posts in this year

    • Rhiannon Sprout says:

      Thank you Dottoressa! My birthday was great! I got my hair and nails done at an outrageously expensive salon and then we went out for Indian for dinner.
      Expect many more posts this year – it was a resolution of mine so I need to keep them coming.

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