My mom has come to Vienna for a couple weeks and we started our visit by a day at the Schonbrunn. Elora insisted that the first thing we needed to show Grandma was the maze. So we bought my mom the ticket that would allow her to see all the attractions on the grounds, and headed over to the maze! Ollie and Elora were so excited to show her around the maze.
We reached the center! And it didn't even take the kids very long to find it this time.
Next we headed over to the mini maze to show Grandma the kaleidescope mirror. Elora announced, "Look Grandma, lots of Eloras!"
Ollie of course wanted to play the bells for everyone. We had a hard time getting him away from the bells.
Elora loves this water play area, and today was super hot, so I didn't mind making the water spray really high for all of us to get a bit wet.
Oliver helped me spray Elora - I think she is the one who got the most wet...
Time for Grandma to try out the bells!
These are the bouncing boards in the maze, which the kids think are tons of fun.
Next we decided to hike up to the Gloriette since it was a really clear day. We have never gone up to the viewing area on top of the Gloriette before, so this was new for us. Elora excitedly posed for many pictures "so that Grandma can show Grandpa and tell him all about Vienna!"
Here we are at the top! Elora wisely would stand a little while in the sun and then steer us all toward the nearest shade for a break.
Here we are hiking up the stairs to the Gloriette.
and up on the top of the viewing area. It was very not-shady up there, so we didn't stay long, but it did give us great views of the city and a chance to show Grandma some places we will be taking her the next few weeks.
Here we are back down in the gardens. We will probably come back a couple times to see all the many attractions around the gardens - this is my favorite place in Vienna.
Here we are at the Neptune Fountain. The kids love any fountain because there is water and...
ducks! Oliver figured out that when he dropped some of his sandwich in the water, the ducks would come hang out near him. He thought that was so amazing that they would just stay there. And even better that they would eat his bread, he would excitedly yell, "Eat it!"
Up behind the Gloriette there are these ruined statues. They are statues that were broken from bombing during WWII and they just keep them on display now. Elora had lots of questions about bombs and war after we tried to explain why the statues were broken... "Were people fighting to take over the Schonbrunn?" "What is a bomb?" "Why do people blow up cities?" "Did daddy fight in the battle?" Nothing like a four year old to get you to really think about things.
We stopped to look at another fountain, and saw this little duck hiding in the lilies. It was so funny, you couldn't even see her most of the time, the lilies would just wiggle and then a little duck head would poke out.
And finally, the rose garden. Elora was really excited to show us all the different colors of flowers and tell us about the bees that she saw "they are getting the pollen to help the flowers and make honey! They love the flowers! But we don't touch them or they will sting you!" She understands that part a little better now, because Oliver got stung by a bee the other day - so sad! But neither of them are scared of bees, they still like to watch them on the flowers.
It was a nice start to our visit from Grandma. Elora has a lot on our itinerary for the next few weeks, so there will probably be lots of posting!